India Uncut

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Kingfisher, Roman bloggers and Lindsay Lohan's daddy

A holiday at Goa comes to an end, and I've just arrived back in Mumbai after a most pleasant flight. I flew Kingfisher on this trip, and I have to agree with Peter that they're outstanding. You have guys in the Kingfisher uniform running to your cab when you arrive at the airport, to get you a trolley and load your bags on it, and you have their guys at the baggage chain when you arrive, helping you out. The service is outstanding every step of the way. I suspect that the value of the goodwill they're generating is far more than what they invest in these extra passenger comforts.

And how was my stay in Goa? Well, apart from my ENT problems, it was fun. Everywhere there was someone who looked like somebody. A Chetan Bhagat lookalike wandered around with mehndi on his feet, in tranparent white kurtas. (One at a time.) I played pool with a Rocky S lookalike, and lost. (I claimed his parrot-yellow shirt distracted me, and he thought I was serious.) A Cho Ramaswamy lookalike at the next table at breakfast berated his wife for getting an American pancake, and kept muttering "dosai, dosai," or something like that. And at the beach, I bumped into a lookalike of my first college crush.

Actually, the last one wasn't a lookalike, she was the old college crush (and my classmate through standard XI to graduation). And she didn't recognise me! She trotted over to say hello to the partner, who she knew from before, and then looked at me in astonishment on being introduced and said, "Amit? You're Amit Varma? Oh my God." She barely restrained herself from saying, "What happened to you, is it some disease?" That's how different I look.

Someday I shall put up pictures of the scrawny me in college, posing with the wind behind me so that it wouldn't blow against my t-shirt and reveal my ribs. Now you couldn't find my ribs if you carved me up. Aaargh.

Anyway, some links:

First up, there's this great post at Wired where Lore Sjöberg tells us that blogging "was actually invented by the ancient Romans who built a majestic blog in 200 BC from marble, granite and links they stole from the Greeks." (Next holiday, Rome!) Sjöberg goes on to sum up the essence of some of the most popular blogs out there: the one about Digg was rather cool, I thought. (Link via email from Gautam Ghosh.)

Indian cricket is full of controversy and we're struggling in hockey, but no one can complain that we lag behind in the sex trade. (And you, Rocky S lookalike, if you're reading this don't take that last sentence at face value. And don't you have any grey shirts?)

Arjun Swarup directs me to a revealing newspiece about beggars in Mumbai who refused offers to become maids and security guards because begging pays much better. No doubt they never considered blogging either.

The Telegraph has a story headlined "Professor’s organs move back & forth." I clicked on it thinking it's some weird news that will amuse me, but it's disturbing stuff, when a son says something like "I am not even aware that my father’s heart and viscera were travelling from one place to another." That's Indian politics, that is.

Speaking of politics, Atal Bihari Vajpayee says that Vande Mataram "is a symbol of devotion towards the motherland" and that "[e]verybody should sing the song together." Only if each of them wants to, Ataljee. Respect for the individual is far more important than respect for a symbol, and if I don't want to sing Vande Mataram, that doesn't make me any less an Indian than someone who does -- even if that someone wears half-pants that the British left behind. We don't want your RSS feed, Mr Vajpayee.

And to end this post on a somewhat lighter note, let me leave you with Lindsay Lohan's daddy. He he, and suchlike.
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