Tag Archives: News Media

Aam Aadmi Ki Maa

Karan Arjun ki Aunty

Vijay aur Jai ki Maa. Karan Arjun ki Maasi.

Arnab’s Vigilante Justice System, popularly known as The Newshour at 9, has spared no one when it comes to doling out reprimands – Politicians dimpled and bearded, Bureaucrats, Jurists, Journalists, Czars of the Sporting World, Social Scientists, Activists, and some Overweight Unknowns with Curly Mops and Loud Voices who duet in complete symphony with Arnab’s own tunes. Lately, however, Arnab was realizing that this constant aiming at the Stars in order to shoot them down, had started to distance him from the very Aam Aadmi (and Aam Naari) he was aiming to protect. After all, no one remembered the last time they had seen a Mango Fellow on his program. So, off went Arnab’s producers, looking hither and tither for the Perfect Common (Wo)Man to be paraded on Newhour, to obtain some answers straight from the featured equus’ snout. Sadly, all they found were Men in Mufflers and inverted paper boats being passed off as Aam Aadmi Caps.

“No more Muffler Men on my program!” yelled Arnab. “Go find me someone who actually looks like a real Aam Aadmi!”

Then, one of his producers suggested they look at Bollywood. After all, Art mimics Life in India, Dhoom and Joker notwithstanding. In fact, who could be more Aam than The Quintessential Hindi Film Mother?

And who better than SuperMa Nirupa Roy herself for the interview?

 

Arnab Goswami : We debated amongst ourselves who to talk to when it came to getting Aam Aadmi’s opinions.

Nirupa Roy : Thank you for having me on the show, Arnab. I am uniquely qualified to answer your questions on behalf of the Aam Aadmi. After all, the Aam Aadmi is the Mother of All P… (pauses)

AG : What were you going to say, Maaji? Problems?

NR : (cautiouslyErrm…no, Possibilities. I was going to say Possibilities. The Aam Aadmi is the Mother of All Possibilities. And I am…well, Aam Aadmi’s Maaji.

AG : How many children do you have, Maaji?

NR : (pontificating immediately) My children have grown up to become Model, Upright Citizens of Society. In fact, most have grown up to become successful Police Inspectors…

AG : Maaji, I have just started by asking you a very simple question, and you are avoiding it already.

NR : (presses on unheedingly) …and not just any silly, old, Police Inspectors, mind you…

AG : (persisting) Maaji

NR : (and on) …I am saying, very successful Police Inspectors…

AG : Maaji

NR : …the kind who are allotted no less than Type-VIII quarters by the government…

AG : (slowly losing patience) Maaji

NR : …with a spiral staircase to the upstairs bedrooms, and a giant piano in the drawing room…

AG : Maaji, you are avoiding my…

NR : …and a Puja Room made just for me…

AG : (shaking his head, patience ready to snap any minute) MaajiMaajiMaaji…!

NR : Oh, and they get their own official vehicles too. They all have Willy’s open-roof Jeeps.

AG : (angrily) Maaji, my simple question to you, which you have avoided for the past ten minutes, is this – how many children do you have?

NR : (as if suddenly snapping back to attention) I have several, Arnab. The exact count no one knows because I have lost a few over the years.

AG : (immediately chastised) Oh, lost? That is awful, I am so sorry, Maaji! Were they very young when they passed away?

NR : (mortified) Good Heavens, no, they are not dead, Arnab!

AG : Then?

NR : Arnab, you see, I have never failed to visit the Kumbh Melas and other Vishal Bhagwati Jagarans that millions of people in the Hindi belt attend on a regular basis. You know, the kind where stampedes are as common as trains running late in India.

AG : So?

NR : (surprised) What, so? Isn’t it a given that a mother would lose a few of her children at such large gatherings? After all, what else are Kumbh Melas famous for other than misplaced kids? And Naga Sadhus?

AG : Let me tell you, Maaji, that what you are saying is not normal. People don’t just ‘lose a few of their children’ while they are laundering their sins in the Ganges!

NR : (unapologetic) Frankly, I blame the arrangements made by the State Governments of Uttar Pradesh for my losses. No matter who has been in charge of managing the Kumbh Mela, for example, I have lost kids there. Under the Congress, the BJP, BSP, SP, you name it.

AG : (angrily) You are looking for a scapegoat for your own follies, Maaji. Why can people never accept their own fault!

NR : (taking offence) That’s not true, Arnab. Sometimes I have lost children because of other reasons, too.

AG : Like what? Maaji, please don’t give cryptic answers now. Remember, the nation wants straight answers.

NR : Arnab, there were times when I was physically incapacitated to mind my brood. Like, that one time when I fell and hit my head on a stone and had amnesia.

AG : (concerned) Oh dear!

NR : Yes, it took me many years to regain my memory. I didn’t even have any partial memory left. At least Aamir Khan recalled some of his every few minutes in Ghajini. No such luck in my case. I recovered mine only when I hit the same stone at the same spot again years later. I mean, had I known…

AG : I see.

NR : And, that other time, I fell and hit my head on a stone and became blind.

AG : (exasperated) What’s with all this frequent ‘hit my head on a stone’ business, Madam? This points to some other kind of malaise within you. Why can’t you walk straight? Why should you lose your balance so often? And to such catastrophic results! Have you gone for a full medical check-up?

NR : (helplessly) How can I? I am just a poor widow. Look at my simple white cotton saree! You think I can afford health care in this country? These hospitals are so expensive! In fact, the last time I had to go to one, I needed a blood transfusion but had no money to pay for it.

AG : Then?

NR : It was the kindness of the doctor there who caught hold of three young men named Akbar, Amar and Anthony and made them donate their blood for free, thus saving my life. The kind doctor just hooked all four of us to the same intravenous line and sucked out all the blood from them that I needed. I wish all our medical facilities worked this way!

AG : Holy Maaji of God! You do realize that was unsafe medical practice, don’t you? In fact, the doctor should probably be in jail for such gross medical incompetence!

NR : (surprised) Unsafe? Why? The boys looked healthy and seemed to be from decent families – one was a cop even. The Muslim fellow looked like a tailor, and the third was a Padre, I think.

AG : (a 1:3 mix of concerned and angry) But, Maaji, it is illegal to donate blood without testing! HIV, Hepatitis A, B-12, C, D, E, K, do you really have no worries? What if you had fallen sick? Or worse, died? Who would have taken care of your children?

NR : Oh, my children, yes, though sometimes, I feel that I am losing control over them anyway.

AG : Why do you say that, Maaji?

NR : What else should one make if it? You know, one of my sons just ran away from home after I scolded him?

AG : Young boys do have a rebellious streak…

NR : This one, I think his name was Vijay or Jai, went and got a tattoo without seeking my permission. I was so livid!

AG : (offering helpfully) Maybe the tattoo parlor had a discount scheme? There is just too much competition these days.

NR : No, he got into a tiff with his dad who wouldn’t take him to the T-20 game between Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians.

AG : So?

NR : So, he went to the tattoo parlor and asked the fellow to engrave “Mera Baap Bore Hai” on his arm.

AG : That sounds like a harmless little thing, Maaji.

NR : Arnab, but that was not even the half of it! The foolish tattoo fellow made a spelling mistake and tattooed “Mera Baap Chor Hai” instead.

AG : (nods his head) Ok, I do see why that might be a problem, yes.

NR : Doesn’t it? That’s why I yelled at the boy. And he ran away. Not only that, my husband left me and disappeared, too.

AG : (with a furrowed forehead) I am confused. Is your husband missing? Or dead? What about this white, cotton saree you are wearing? You can’t don the National Costume of Widowhood on just a whim, you know!

NR : (points to the saree, there is even a hole in it at the pallooOh, this? This is just to claim benefits from the government under the Rajiv Gandhi Muft ke Kapde Yojna. Frankly, I am positive that my husband is alive. See? I have full faith in my Mangalsutra (points to suhaag in a necklace). Meri woh zaroor aayenge (tears instantly)

AG : Maaji

NR : (wipes tears away) And I keep Karwa Chauth fasts also, but without telling anyone (triumphantly).

AG : (glaring angrily) Maaji, I am appalled, APPALLED at such devious trickery. YOU are the Mother of Aam Aadmi. At a time when India’s growth rate has hit catastrophic lows, Foreign Institutional Investments have dried up, job growth is an 2.2% and The Times of India print edition is surviving only because it replaced news with ads, it is people like you who are bleeding our nation dry. I say, despite such successful Police Inspector sons, you are pretending to live in penury? Why, Mrs. Roy? The nation wants to know!

NR : But I am like this only, Arnab! My sons seem think I have very high morals. In fact, just the other day, my rich son in “Import-Export” business (goes winky-wink at Arnab), got into an argument with one of my Police Inspector sons whom I live with, you know, the one who got me my own Puja Room?  The boy kept throwing his blazing success at my poorer son’s face – “I have DLF bungalows, Audi cars, servants, Husain’s artwork, Apple products, bank balance with HSBC! What do you have?” – he screamed!

AG : Well said! We all know there is more money to be made in the private sector!

NR : I know! But do you know what my Police boy said?

AG : What?

NR : He replied – “But I have Mother by my side”.

AG : (unimpressed) What shit does that mean?

NR : (excited) That’s exactly what I thought, too! I mean, what shit? So I took my Krishna and Radha idols from my Puja Room and moved into my rich son’s bungalow.

AG : Hey, wait, wasn’t your “Import-Export” son the one who died after a car accident at the Jai Santoshi Maa Mandir? The Police had arrested you for yelling at the temple idols and throwing your slippers at them like a demented person. India-TV did some exclusive breaking news coverage of that.

NR : (shakes her head) Much of what the media says is exaggerated. They will concoct anything for TRPs! It was just a simple protest, nothing more! But, yes, I was on psychotic meds, so…Thankfully, my son did leave me his estate in his well before he died.

AG : Ok, Maaji, now that we have established how strangely the Common Man of India lives these days, I wanted to know – What are your thoughts on the party that represents you?

NR : (happily) I am very glad that the Aam Aadmi Party is doing so well. I say, more power to the Common Man! They will finally bring down the Zamindaari system with the Jan Lokpal Bill! I have seen enough troubles with these Thakurs.

AG : (in a quiet, but seething voice) Maaji, this is national television so I will refrain from using harsher language than this, but you are a fool. Why the bloody hell are you talking about Thakurs? In 2014?

NR : But Arnab…

AG : In the era of computers and CNG low-floor buses, you are talking about something from the 1950s?

NR : But Arnab…

AG : It is because of people like you that progress in this country is difficult…

NR : Arnab…

AG : (relentlessly)…because you keep bringing up demons of the past! Have you not heard of all these government schemes that can save you from the Thakurs?

NR : Arnab…I…

AG : (mouth : frothing) MNREGA? Or Jawahar Jai-Jawan-Jai-Kisan Yogna? Or Indira Daridra, Dukhiya, Lachaar and still Jeevit Yojna, popularly known as DDLJ?

NR : Listen, Arnab…

AG : What do you have to say to explain yourself, Maaji?

NR : If you would only let me…

AG : (angrily) Speak? The nation wants straight answers, Maaji! For much too long, the people of the country have been taken for a ride by the likes of you.

NR : (offended) The likes of me? But I AM Aam Aadmi…or at least Aam Dharampatni and Maa.

AG : Then behave like one, Maaji!

NR : I wish I had access to all these schemes after my husband supposedly died! But the Thakur stole my farm plot in Gurgaon. And then my buffaloes also ran away. The police wouldn’t help me because I am not a VIP like some UP Minister. I had no place to go! I was on the street!

AG : But your own sons are Police Inspectors!

NR : But they are busy fighting Smugglers after Chidambaram changed gold import policies! They have no time for me now.

AG : Smugglers? You mean they work for Indian Customs Service?

NR : What’s that?

AG : (shaking his head) I am very concerned about your sanity, Maaji. I think the Aam Aadmi of the country has a serious mental condition. Ok, let’s change track. I’d like to know more about your family.

NR : (enthusiastically) Most of my sons are married and settled now.

AG : Oh, that’s good. So, there is at least something that is not completely demented in your life then.

NR : My Bahus are indeed very nice. They are reed slim, astonishingly fair and movie-star beautiful. They touch my feet every day and cook me kheer despite my diabetes.

AG : That’s nice, Mrs. Roy. In this day and age, it is hard to expect well-educated youngsters to still be so rooted to our old conservative customs.

NR : Err

AG : Did you choose working wives for your sons? Since most of them are Police Inspectors?

NR : (sheepishly) I didn’t choose the girls. The boys chose their own.

AG : (impressed) Very progressive! Have they continued working their old jobs after marriage?

NR : (horrifiedOh, heaven forbid, no! That would be disastrous!

AG : Why?

NR : Well, all my Police Inspector sons married Tawaifs and Cabaret Dancers, you see.

AG : (suddenly much contrite) Maaji. Can I say something?

NR : Yes, Arnab, it is your show.

AG : I think this will be my last Aam Aadmi interview.

NR : (surprised) Oh, why so, Arnab? Abhi toh picture baki hai, mere dost!

AG : (shakes his head) I am afraid to stay on until the end of this film.

 

 

The Top 7 Fake News We Would Love To See Come True!

Want Red Beacon Light? Go Through Potency Test First

September 4, 2013 : New Delhi 

In an effort to control the ubiquitous menace of red beacon lights on vehicles, the Supreme Court today ruled that all public officials desiring one will now be required to take a Potency Test first. The court felt that the gross inconvenience involved in going through the test might serve as a deterrent for most aspirants.

This is a file photo. It was not taken during the Potency Test.

This is a file photo. It was not taken during the Potency Test.

It may be recalled that the Potency Test was recently in the news in the Asaram Bapu case.

According to one of the doctors directly involved in handling Asaram Bapu’s surprisingly sprightly genitals, the potency test requires “one to cause stimulation of private parts through manual movements.”

The court did not elaborate whether the official will need to pass the test in order to obtain the red beacon light. However, the results of all Potency Tests conducted for this purpose will be available to the public under RTI. The court is still mulling whether video filming the test as part of record-keeping should be made mandatory.

 

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Sachin Tendulkar To Make Bollywood Debut As Amitabh Bachchan’s Son

March 11, 2015 : Mumbai

The question about Sachin Tendulkar’s next career move since he retired from all forms of cricket has been answered. Agencies report that the ex-cricketer has signed his first Hindi film under the Yash Raj Films banner. The film will also star Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan in key roles.

According to sources, the script has been penned by Aditya Chopra. The original version had Amitabh Bachchan playing a father of twin sons – both sons to be played by Shah Rukh Khan. But with the new casting coup, extensive script changes may need to be made since it is unlikely that the audience will accept Shah Rukh and Sachin as brothers, let alone twins, and Amitabh Bachchan’s sons at that. Sources suggest that Sachin’s character may now be shown as an adopted son.

“Dubbing over Sachin’s original sweet voice by someone more manly is out of the question,” explained an insider close to the project on condition of anonymity.

Reportedly, the original idea of having Deepika Padukone as the leading lady of Sachin’s character has also been shelved.

 

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2014 Lok Sabha Elections To Be Decided Through Reality Show ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’

July 14, 2014 : New Delhi

Given the stalemate produced by the latest Lok Sabha elections where neither the UPA nor the NDA are in a position to form the government, President Pranab Mukherji has decided that the two bachelor Prime Ministerial candidates, Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, will have to face-off in the new season of the popular reality TV show ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’.

Pick me, Rakhiji, pick me!

Pick me, Rakhiji, pick me!

Thees bhill bhee like keelling two stones bheeth hwan bard,” the President declared in his address to the nation last night, carried live by Doordarshan and Zee Bangla.

Loyal viewers of the reality TV show explained that the show involves two bachelors slugging it out to win the affections of Rakhi Sawant as she lines up impossible amorous tasks for them, for example, writing poetry about her beauty, plucking stars from the sky etc. The program’s producers insist that they will stick to the winning formula despite the two high profile participants.

“Not only will the winning bachelor claim the hand of Rakhi Sawant, which already would be the biggest jackpot of their lives, he will also win the Prime Ministership,” explained Ronnie Screwvala, the head of UTV, the studio that produces the show.

“I think it is a win-win for everyone,” said Smriti Irani, the most articulate BJP leader of all time, when asked for her comment. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the UPA, declined to comment.

 

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The RBI Forays Into Toilet Paper Business

September 4, 2013 : New Delhi

With its vast supply of printed Rupees not likely to find any takers for the forseeable future, the Government of India today decided to convert all its currency notes into toilet paper rolls. The decision was taken unanimously by the members of the Planning Commission and the Reserve Bank of India. The project will be executed by the RBI.

Speaking to reporters after the marathon meeting, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the Planning Commission Chairman said, “We use the best quality paper for our notes. It seemed criminal to waste them.”

Mr Ahluwalia seemed mortified at questions related to the availability of the Rupee Toilet Rolls to the Indian consumer. “This is for export only. We will earn precious foreign exchange in return for our worthless paper,” he said.

“Besides, 65% of the country doesn’t even have any toilet access. So what is the point in focusing on the Indian market?” he asked.

 

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The Times Of India Becomes The World’s First Ads-Only Newspaper

October 2, 2013 : New Delhi

In a step that was long overdue, Bennet, Coleman & Co. Ltd announced that their flagship brand ‘The Times Of India’ would henceforth be an ads-only newspaper. All 96-pages of India’s leading daily will carry only advertisements, no news.

“Our readers won’t even notice any difference. As you know, we already stopped printing news years ago,” stated Mr Jug Suraiya, Associate Editor of the newspaper.

Understandably, the staff at The Times is very proud to be the world’s first newspaper to have declared itself news-free.

 

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Tech Buzz : Facebook To Start Paying Its More Loyal Users?

September 4, 2013 : Palo Alto

The technology world is abuzz with rumours of an impending statement by Mark Zuckerberg, the Chief Executive of Facebook, where he will announce the roll out of a bonus payment plan aimed at the most loyal users of Facebook. According to insider sources, Facebook Inc. is so flush with funds that it will pay out US$ 1.00 to every loyal user for each ‘like’ the person clicks. That amount is expected to go up to US$ 5.00 for every comment typed.

Birthday greeting messages, however, will not be encashable.

A ‘Loyal User’ has been described as anyone who sends out at least 10 Facebook Friend requests daily. Alternatively, if you spend all your waking hours refreshing the notification button, you may also qualify as a ‘Loyal User’.

It is already well known that Facebook pays US$ 1.00 for every ‘like’ or ‘share’ of photos of sick or deformed children that most Facebook users observe on their Timelines all the time. It is estimated that close to 6 billion such lucky children have already been cured, thanks to the philanthropic activities of Facebook.

However, critics of the new rumoured policy have already started complaining. “Who does he think he is? Bill Gates? I hope he goes to Africa and dies of Malaria,” said one of the Winklevoss twins when contacted. It was virtually impossible to tell which one of the twins that was.

 

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Alok Nath To Limit His TV Appearances

September 4, 2013 : Mumbai

There was widespread panic in the Indian Television world today when veteran actor Alok Nath, simply known as Baba in all the serials he has ever acted in, announced that he was going to limit his TV appearances to only 50 serials at a time. Baba currently stars in all 148 serials aired across all TV channels in India, including many in regional languages.

Mujhe maaf kar do, Beta

Mujhe maaf kar do, Beta

“He can’t do this! I have 24 serials that will get affected by his arbitrary policy,” complained Ekta Kapoor, owner of Balaji Telefilms.

“But, Beta, where is the time to do so many serials?” Baba asked this reporter in his characteristic voice, furrowed forehead and I-am-just-about-to-cry expression. “Besides, I have also been offered Suraj Barjatiya’s next film in which I play the head of a joint family. I play Prem, I mean, Salman Khan’s father, and Reema Lagoo’s husband in the new film,” he added happily.

At the time of going to print, the TV industry and Baba were still discussing an amicable solution to this deadlock.

 

 

 

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013. The theme is SEVEN. This post features seven made-up news stories. Fake, sure, but millions of people pray and fast each day hoping that they will come true. 

Face The (Extremely Bewildered) Nation!

Since the motto of Indian TV news media is to cover everything that may or may not be news, I wondered how Sagarika Ghose, the inimitable host of a livewire TV debate show, would cover the recent brouhaha between Raj Thackeray and Asha Bhosale. The wellknown singer is expected to be the judge on a TV reality music competition where Pakistani and Indian singers face off. In a country where even Biharis and North Easterners are considered less-citizens, imagine bringing in Pakistanis to sing with us! The nerve!

So, what happened on the show Face The Nation the other day? Here is the complete transcript.

Hold that thought!

Sagarika Ghose : Good evening! Why should Indian reality competition shows feature Pakistani artists? That is the burning question of the day – especially after MNP chief Raj Thackeray openly threatened noted Bollywood singer Asha Parekh of putting money over patriotism and agreeing to be a judge on one such music competition show. Today, we will beat this issue to death. Joining us from Mumbai is Mr. Raj Thackeray himself, and also joining us is Asha-ji who will defend her position. Welcome to you both!

Asha Bhosale : (slightly bewildered) Mera naam Chin Chin Choo….

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Ok, I have just been told that Asha Parekh could not make it to the program, so we will have Asha Bhosale representing the position of the music industry, Bollywood, the producers of the reality TV show, UTV, in fact, practically the entire Indian media. Welcome to the show, Asha-ji!

Asha Bhosale : (slightly more bewildered) Naam gum jayega, chehra yeh badal…

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) I know, Asha-ji! Such a remarkable coincidence that both you and Asha Parekh share the same name! In fact, I would go ahead and say that to me, you both even look the same!

Raj Thackeray : (with raised finger, thundering) Jai Mahara…

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Yes, good of you both to join us! So, like I said, we decided to bring the two warring parties on the same platform so they could thrash out this issue of why it is getting difficult to get Pakistani singers to perform in India. Mr. Thackeray, so what is your point of view?

Raj Thackeray : (with raised finger, thundering) My point of view is very clear. India is for Maharashtrians. Not Pakistanis. Jai Mahara….

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Yes, yes, yes, you have made a very important point, Mr. Thackeray. Hold that thought, we will come back to you. Clearly, Mr. Thackeray meant that we are all patriots and after Kargil and 26/11, how can we even think of allowing Pakistanis to perform in our country! The Pakistanis respect Indians even less than we Indians respect ourselves, so what is the point of having them perform in our country? Yes, very strong point, Mr. Thackeray! So, Asha-ji, what is your defense on all of this?

Asha Bhosale : (even more bewildered) Parde mein rehne do, parda na uthao, parda jo uth gaya toh….

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Yes, thank you, Asha-ji, for your perspective. I think you are trying to say that you are being unnecessarily dragged out into the open on this controversy – you would rather hide behind a curtain. Fair point! Mr. Thackeray, I will come back to you now. Why are you dragging this poor woman into this fight between Pakistan and India? In fact, as she is clearly questioning you in her unique style – why mix art and politics?

Raj Thackeray : (with raised finger, thundering) Who is she to defend Pakistanis? Is money bigger to her than Maharashtra? And why are these bloody Pakistanis coming to Mumbai to perform on our TV? Send them to Bihar! That’s where they belong. In fact, send all non-Maharashtrians in Mumbai to Bihar. They are all Biharis anyway, including Pakistanis! Jai Mahara….

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) So, I will take this exact question to Asha-ji! Asha-ji, like Mr. Thackeray is saying, you are the judge of this music competition. Tell us, did you really think that we don’t have enough mediocre talent in India, for example in places like Bihar etc., who could come and perform on your show? Why get people from Pakistan and then rig the show to have a winner from Mumbai when you could more easily get some poor suckers from Bihar?

Asha Bhosale : (more bewildered) Dum maro dum, mit jaye gham, bolo subha sham…

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Alright, I see your point! You are saying, you pushed very hard to get talentless people from Bihar, in fact searched high and low for such people morning and night, and since that didn’t work out, you had to look towards Pakistan? I think that’s a very important point! In fact, Asha-ji, hold that thought. We are inviting another important person into this discussion. Joining us from Patna, Bihar, is the Chief Minister of that state, Mr. Nitish Kumar. Mr. Kumar, you have heard the entire exchange so far. Why do you think Asha-ji thinks there is no talent in your state? As you heard, she has made some very serious allegations against Bihar. What is your response?

Nitish Kumar : (confused) I…

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) In fact, hold that thought, hold that thought. We will come back to you after just a short break.

 

Face The Nation music fade out

Sachin Teldulkar sells Boost as the secret to his current cricket form.

Kareena Kapoor sells Boro Plus cream that prevents her feet from looking like that of a peahen.

Amitabh Bachchan sells Binani Cement as the magic glue that holds his broken body in place.

Face The Nation music fade in

 

Sagarika Ghose : Welcome back! Before we left for the break, we were asking Asha-ji why she and her sister, Lata-ji, decided to live in Mumbai even when they love Pakistan more than that city. In fact, before we even go back to her for a response, let’s bring on a proud Mumbaikar into our panel and get his opinion on this issue. Joining us straight from batting practice is the greatest cricketer of all time, Sachin Tendulkar. Welcome, Sachin! What do you feel about Asha-ji’s decision of loving Pakistan more than Mumbai?

Sachin Tendulkar : Thanks for having me, Sagarika. Like I always say, when the ball comes on to the bat…

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) : I think you have made an incredible point! Let me quickly get Asha-ji’s reaction to your accusation.

Nitish Kumar : (interrupting) Sagarika…

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Hang on, Mr. Kumar, I will come back to you for your thoughts. Yes, Asha-ji, tell us why do you hate Indians so much, especially Maharashtrians?

Asha Bhosale : (much bewildered) Jaiye aap kahan jayenge, yeh nazar…

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) I see, I see, good point, Asha-ji. So, what do you have to say about that Mr. Kumar?

Nitish Kumar : (extremely confused) What? What do I have to say about what? I am so confused that…

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) You are very right, Mr. Kumar. It is clearly confusing, in fact, shocking to all of us that Biharis are not allowed to come and go to Mumbai as they please. In fact, we have similar questions about people from the North East as well. Where are they to go if they want to see Shah Rukh Khan or Salman Khan? So, let’s give an alternative scenario to Mr. Thackeray. Mr. Thackeray, coming back to you, what if Asha-ji decided to not have Pakistanis on her program? What if the program featured North Easterners in competition with Maharashtrian singers? Wouldn’t that be acceptable to you?

Nitish Kumar : (flustered and angry) Sagarika…

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Hold on, Mr. Kumar. I promise I will get your point of view in just a minute. Yes, Mr. Thackeray, go on.

Raj Thackeray : (with raised finger, thundering) Let me first say Jai Maharashtra because you have not once allowed me to complete that sentence. Now, coming to your question…

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Let me stop you right there, Mr. Thackeray. Are you saying that if the other contestants in the show were to state their allegiance to Maharashtra, you will be fine with that? No matter whether they come from Pakistan or Bihar? I think that sounds like a great compromise! Asha-ji, what do you have to say about that?

Asha Bhosale : (incredibly bewildered) Yeh kahan aa gaye hum….

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Oh I see. Are you saying then that the audience will not recognize the show in the new format? They will wonder where the hell they have landed? Fair point, fair point. Actually, hold that thought and we will come back and close this after another short break. Do stay with us!

 

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Priyanka Chopra sells no chip-chip cream amidst plenty of shoulder and head movements

Aishwarya Rai sells 5 (not 4, not 6, but exactly 5) solutions for good hair

Madhuri Dixit guarantees 1.2 billion people spectacular teeth

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Sagarika Ghose : And, welcome back! So, when we left for the break, we were asking, what is the future of Indian television in Pakistan. Looks like Mr. Nitish Kumar is dying to put his point across on this. Yes, Mr. Kumar?

Nitish Kumar : (angry, slightly frothing) Sagarika, what exactly are you…

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Sorry for interrupting, Mr. Kumar, but I can see where you are going with this. Clearly, you want to know why we are restricting Biharis to perform only on Indian TV. If they are talented, why can’t they perform in Pakistan? What are all these Aman ki Asha type initiatives good for, if we can’t even achieve this simple thing? After all, Biharis are at least as talented as the people from North East, if not as much as Maharashtrians, even though Bengalis are clearly the most talented people in India! Let’s put that question to our new guest, the President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari. Welcome to the program, Sir!

Asif Ali Zardari : Thank you, Sagarika. As you may know, my wife Shaheed Benazir Bhutto….

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Yes, that is very true, Sir. Ever since your wife died, Bihar has shown remarkable progress in India. There is no point in not allowing Biharis to perform on Pakistani TV, especially since Maharashtra only wants Maharashtrians to perform in their own programs. Thank you for suggesting this great compromise! In fact, we were more than certain that you will come up with this option, so we have another guest joining the program! Welcome to the program, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh! It is great that you could join us.

Manmohan Singh :

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Sir, are you there? Are you able to hear me? Please say something to confirm that you can hear us.

Manmohan Singh :

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Sir, can you at least nod your head to confirm?

Manmohan Singh :

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) So, there you have it, everyone. The Prime Minister’s silence speaks volumes! Clearly, he is in agreement that the only way Pakistani TV can ever hope to be as good as Indian TV is by having Maharashtrians run the show there. Will Aman ki Asha help us achieve that? If Ajmal Kasab lives for another 5 years, and acquires Maharashtrian citizenship, can he be sent to Karachi to improve Pakistani TV? Those are all very important questions and we will raise in another forum discussion. For now, one quick last word from our panelists. Does anyone want to add anything?

Raj Thackeray, Asha Bhosale, Nitish Kumar, Sachin Tendulkar, Asif Ali Zardari, Manmohan Singh : (all together, undecipherable) @$#%&& &%%$# %^&*$ #$**^(()*^%% $%%#@!%^&&* %$#$^&

Sagarika Ghose : (interrupting) Very good! Thank you, everyone, for a great panel discussion! Moving on, after the break, why is the government not charging Colgate Co. for all the free brand publicity that the Coalgate scam is providing that organization? Why are billions and billions of rupees being thrown down the drain at this missed opportunity? We will have a special report. Do stay with us.

 

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