India Uncut

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My tush, Sushmita's mantras and some German ham

I like it when the pace of life becomes slow, and languid, and blah-blah-blah, but I hate it when a slow internet connection turns a session of five minutes into one hour. Thus, yet again, you get just one post for the day from Goa. I contemplated posting pictures of me in a thong from the beach, but having worked hard for 21 months building a readership, it wouldn't do to lose it all in one day. You will just have to wait to see my finely toned tush, I'm afraid. (And so will I, actually.)

While I like to discover places on my own, away from the tourist grind, today we decided to take the sightseeing tour the hotel had thrown into our package. It was most boring. We had a tour guide who was a charmer, though, an immaculately groomed gentleman to whom the history of the churches and temples of Goa was clearly a lifetime's passion. His commentary was entertaining. Some samples:

"On your left you will see the Mandovi River. And that bridge you see, it is the Mandovi Bridge. [After some time, when we're under the bridge...] And this area, it is known as Below-Mandovi-Bridge."

"Please look right, you will see an old building."

"Please look left." [Nothing else for 60 seconds.]

"Have you heard of the hip-peas? There, see some hip-peas." [Points to a couple of tourists in the distance.]

"On your left there is the Children's Park. It is also known as the Lovers Park." [Figures, no?]

"When the Portugese came to Goa, they started burning all the temples. All the Hindu, they left with their baby."

And much such, which I don't remember because I was engaged in the difficult task of breathing. Yes, my nostrils still suffer, and my throat feels like a tandoori chicken in the tandoor. And still I blog, manfully, just for you!

Some links to end the day now:

First up, Arun Verma sends me a link to a website that explains why the internet is shit. Their logic is that there's a lot of shit on it, therefore it's shit. I don't agree, naturally. That's like saying that literature is shit because a lot of shit books get written or music or anything. As Sturgeon's Law indicates, there's crud in everything, and we need filters to see past it. In the case of books and TV and so on, that filter is the process of publishing itself (after which there are further filters), which takes out much of the crap. There are no filters on the net in terms of publishing, but loads in terms of our selecting what we want to read, and they uncover a lot of gold. Filter blogs, for example.

An example, from close to home, of excellent content that would not exist if not for the internet: Chandrahas Choudhury's lit-blog, The Middle Stage. The kind of writing he does on it is far removed from the reviews he writes for the linkes of the Scotsman and the San Francisco Chronicle, and there could be no other outlet for that kind of writing but the internet. It isn't shit, it's freaking wonderful. (And do read this interview of Chandrahas in Bloggasm. Boy's becoming a star, he is. When I'm suitably jealous I'll say the internet is shit, and use that to piss on him.)

Anyway, on to MSM now, where India media is paying a lot of attention to foreign media. The Times of India sees fit to report what a Washington Post editorial says about India's nuclear deal with the US, while a Hindustan Times report writes about Shah Rukh Khan making the cover of a German magazine. (Why, I wondered? German ham is famous...)

I'm waiting for the Indian press to pick up on the bizarre AP story about Sushmita Sen's reaction when a snake entered the sets of a film she was shooting: in Tanuja Chadra's words, Sen "bowed before the snake and chanted some mantras."

Meanwhile, a priest drowns in Africa "trying to demonstrate how Jesus walked on water." Ever heard of the Darwin Awards? (Priest link via email from Bhavesh.)

Enough for now. More tomorrow, in the morning if time allows, or in the evening, when I'm back in Mumbai, the city of dreams. When I'm sleeping there, that is.
amit varma, 5:40 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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