Poison Pen

don't worry, she doesn't bite anymore.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


everyone knows about the iipm controversy. this post is to point everyone to the following petition (courtesy Arka).

i'm copying verbatim the appeal on arka's blog


The purpose of this petition is to express solidarity with the bloggers who have suffered threats and abuse at the hands of IIPM and also to draw attention to the original issues at the heart of the JAM story on IIPM.

If you believe that journalists and the media should be free to inform the public of false advertisements, which directly or indirectly affects their lives;

If you believe education should not be reduced to a marketable commodity;

If you believe that blogging is a powerful supplement to traditional media;

If you believe that bloggers should be entitled to individual opinions as also their own online space for airing and discussing these opinions;

If you believe in standing up for your rights; as an active member of society, as a blogger, as a citizen with the right to know

Please show your support to this cause, by going to the following website, and adding your signature. Also, if you're a blogger, please carry this article on your blog. Thirdly, do pass this e-mail around to all your contacts.

The bloggers of bangalore are also going to stage a silent, sit-in demonstration on Monday, the 24th of October, in front of IIPM, Bangalore, to express their support to this cause. If you think the right to express our opinions is one of our fundamental, inalienable rights, do inform as many people as you can about this proposed demonstration.


the bloggers of bangalore have my full support. we shall not be moved.

Monday, October 17, 2005


about the 55-word tag, i have to admit that i took a longer story that ihad written way back and chopped it to size. but, i still think, and Rimi agrees with me, that the longer one was clearly better. so please forgive this bit of self-back-patting, as i do present some unconstrained fiction. those of you who have read the short one, sorry for killing the suspense.


Mrs. Chatterjee, what are you doing here at the

My daughter is coming from the US. We are all very
excited. She's also bringing her boyfriend with her.

Boyfriend, hmmm. Indian boy?

No, no. He's American. We told her, we are very
liberal parents. We have no problem if you have an
American boyfriend. But please let us meet him. There
should be no secrets between parent and child, no.

What a wonderful attitude to take, Mrs. Chatterjee. So
is this the first time you will meet this boy?

Oh yes. But we've heard so much about him. He is
studying law at Harvard, and doing very well. And he's
a very good boy also from a good family. Mona even
told me he's trying to learn Bangla.

What a nice thing to do. He must be wonderful.

Maa, Maa. Is Monadi here yet? I want to see

Maa, I think Richard-da will be handsome like Tom
Cruise, don't you?

Oh, I'm sure. Mona is such a beauty herseld. He will
be even more handsome than that model boy. What's his
name? I don't remember.

Maa, Maa, there's Monadi.

Oh, oh. Mona over here! Here! But where's Richard?

She was so lost in thought that she didn't notice her
mother and brothers waving frantically at her. She let
her hand rest gently on his powerful shoulders. She
sighed. This was the happiest day of her life.

He gently looked at her. At six feet four, he towered
over her. Four years of varsity level tennis had
helped him sculpt the physique that was the envy of
his classmates. Yet, as he looked towards her, his
soft brown eyes revealed his gentle nature. The most
sought after man in his peer group, but he only had
eyes for her, and she knew it. He raised his hand to
run it through her hair one more time, when he saw the
two little boys frantically waving.

There they were. Her mother and brothers. The boys
couldn't contain their excitement. But her mother
seemed less warm than she expected. They walked hand
in hand towards her.

He had practiced this a hundred times. With a swift
movement, he bent down to touch the feet of the woman
standing in front of him. He knew he could not have
made a better first impression.

She noticed that her mothers hands stayed by her side
as he bent in "pranam". She frowned slightly.

As he straightened, he looked at the face of the woman
whose family he hoped to be part of. He smiled a warm
smile. His pearly white teeth shone in dazzling
contrast to the flawless ebon skin of his face.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

blog wars

ok, you all know what this is about. war has broken out. on one side is a ponytailed egomaniac and his cronies. on the other side are the bloggers of the world. please see desipundit for updates.

so i have decided that i need to add my two cents to this. why should i bother, someone asked me? i mean, its not like your blog is particularly popular. and none of whats happening really concerns you. so dont bother. post some stories instead.

but i clearly havent taken her advice. i had to put this post up. why? because this isssue is bigger than me. its bigger than each and every one of the bloggers out there. and its bigger than mr. management guru, though he doesnt realise it. this is an issue of democracy and free speech. this is about defending our basic human rights, and in the case of india, our CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS!

weve seen it happen before. an artist paints something that offends some group and they threaten him with bodily harm, and the painting is withdrawn. a movie hall is ransacked by people who dont agree with the topic. talk show hosts fawn over powerful politicians for fear of saying something that will offend them. in india, everyone is afraid of speaking his mind. we are always looking over our shoulders in case someone decides to send a gang of thugs after us. we have no support from the police, elected officials, or even the press. the freest press in the world chooses to publish mindless crap and shies away from taking stands on any issue. basically in india, we were not even close to being free.

but then came the internet, and with it the online forum and the blog. a space of your own, that is outside national boundaries. that is completely free from interference by government and non-government goondas. that is what my blog is. its where i express my opinions on issues and speak my mind. it cant be burnt or broken, and no one can stop me from saying what i please.

thats what we all though. thats what rashmi, gaurav and varna thought. now someone has shown that he can take their freedom of expression away. he tried through underhand tactics to cow them through threats, insults and finally some overtly unethical armtwisting. he even caused gaurav to quit.

but he has not won this. in fact, he has no chance of winning this one. for the first time, indian bloggers and some of bloggers from other countries, are united as never before. we may be small, but we have shown that we have the power to really shake things up. really, mr arindam chaudhuri had no idea who he was up against. he is going down and he is going down hard.

the same friend also asked what we could possibly do to him. we can write and write till were blue in the face and it wont affect him a bit.

but thatss not true. the more we write, the more we are heard. the next tiem some student is wondering where to apply, he will think twice about submitting his application to iipm. the lies that they spread are now exposed. no one will believe their full-page ads. we can flood the blogsphere with real information, so that his lies can be drowned out. and that is hitting him where it hurts. when the number of applications to iipm drops drastically, because that is bound to happen.

someone said we should be concerned with the students. well, not really. mr ponytail will just form a new company and hire more people to keep his 100% placement record intact. but as the quality of students entering his institute plummets, he will realise that he cant keep this up.

so i wrote thiss post. because i believe this is important. i also think its a turning point. the bonds between mainstream media and the blogsphere have been strengthened, and non-techies are hearing the word "blog" for the first time. this will give a fillip to blogdom like never before. this is truly an historic event.

and i also wrote it because i want to be able to say that when the great blog war happened, i was on the right side. and that we won.

i also appeal to all my blogger friends to show your solidarity. no need for a post. just say youre here, and that you want to be counted. i know that many of you prefer not to post about political issues, but this is something that attacks your very right to exist. if you dont speak up now, you may never again be heard.

mr chaudhuri has truly counted his chicken too early.

ps - please go to the fake blogs and flag them. the button is on the top right of each blog.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

tag: part 2

so im also supposed to delve into my blog archive, find my 23rd post (or closest to), find the fifth sentence (or closest to) and post the text online.

well, thats tricky. depending on my definition of what counts as a post. so it could be one of the following


"also, thats not a black eye."

"and i WILL post."

"if not, ask resident english language expert alfred prufrock, whose love song is still being sung."

"i dont know when ill be back, but i know i will be."


you know, these are completely out of context, but theres a story hiding in there somewhere. hmmmmmmm.

oh, i also have to pass on these tags. so i will be lazy and pass both tags (the 55-word story and this one) to gati, urmea, tablemannered, gypsynan and the other vishnupriya.