Archive for October, 2010


Freedom ’10


Rakth Charitra Should’ve Been Called Fucked Vichitra

My favourite filmmaker is too obsessed with camera angles and the background score to justify the violence in this low-on-substance film that rehashes his tired formulas without making an impact, and I won’t be watching its sequel, which is (unfortunately) scheduled to release on my birthday.

RATING: 2.5/5

MUST READ: The Best Movie Ever Made


Restaurant Review: Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar

My search for the perfect biryani led me to this place, and while Jafferbhai’s mutton biryani does come very close to perfection, Yash and I now frequent Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar for the best-cooked mutton dishes we’ve ever had. Yash didn’t even like goat meat till he tried the tava bhuna gosht (see the pic on the right) here, and now the fellow refuses to eat chicken. We’ve dined at Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar many times and have been blown away by the food every single time. Hell, I refuse to go back to vegetarianism because of the food here.

The thing about Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar is you can eat at any JBDD and the food will taste exactly the same. Unlike other restaurant chains, they slow-cook the food in a huge vessel and transport it to JBDDs everywhere, where it is slow-heated in a big utensil, while the cooks at the restaurants make naanspapad etc. Understand? So one fine day we’ll get over the mutton curries and call for a murgh masallam and the sikandari raan, but maybe not around this guy who can make chunks of meat disappear from your plate when you’re not looking.

Jafferbhai’s Delhi Darbar is the biryani king of Mumbai! The regular biryanis are great and the tikka biryanis are greater! The fine basmati rice comes doused in ghee and makes you go crazy with the tikka masala and all the secret ingredients. The food at Jafferbhai’s Delhi Darbar isn’t right to eat on a regular basis, but makes for a superb treat every now and then. The daily specials are what you must seek out. The khichda is balanced to perfection, and I go to Jafferbhai’s Delhi Darbar on weekends just for the smashing dum ki chop and the delicious khichda, which are two of the best mutton dishes ever!

MORE RESTAURANT REVIEWS: Sernyaa | Purepur Kolhapur | Global Fusion | Tibet Kitchen | Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen | Lung Ta | Pot Pourri | Karim | Havemore | Sitaram Diwanchand Bostan


God Lives Underwater

By Janak Samtani


De Constitution

By Angry Anonymous

I didn’t write it. I didn’t sign it. I didn’t pledge allegiance to it.

How can a document whose creation I had absolutely no say in, be said to be mine. Of, by and for me.

If I didn’t write it, or sign it or pledge allegiance to it, how can it be mine? How can it be binding upon me?

If I am bound to it and by it without my consent then surely I don’t live in a free country.

My Constitution? Nope.

A constitution is meaningless unless the people to whom it applies were active in its drafting. Or its signing. Or at the very least, are active in its renewal, every few years.

A document, unconnected to those to whom it applies and whose lives it seeks to direct, is meaningless.

This is not my constitution. It is not applicable to me.

If a document I did not sign, a contract I did not consciously enter into, an arrangement I did not pledge my allegiance to, is applicable to me automatically, and is binding upon me by sheer accident of birth, then it is nothing short of enslavement or captivity.

Any bond that is binding upon man without his consent is immoral. Much like the relationship between a child and its parents.

All kidding aside.

One is not an Indian (and the implications of that term are a separate issue) because the state says so – instead, the state exists because people bring it into being and will it to exist.

Or at least that is the theory of it.

However, I did not constitute this state or its laws. How can they apply to me?

I did not constitute this union. How can I be bound to it.

Whose Constitution?

The Constitution in its original form – as well as its amendments – is for the most part the work of people whose ideologies, such as Scientific Socialism, and modes of thinking are terribly outdated. It is the product for the most part of an entity, the Congress Party, whose ideology I most certainly do not subscribe to. And frankly find quite abhorrent.

It must stand to reason that if I reject its ideology I also reject a document born of that ideology.

To make matters worse, when the dictator, Indira Nehru, added the words ‘Secular’ and ‘Socialist’, it sealed the deal on the unacceptability of the Constitution. For someone who does not accept the tenets of either secularism or socialism as those terms are commonly understood, this document, assuming for the sake of argument that it was once acceptable, upon the addition of those two words, became thoroughly unacceptable.

However, even this brief rejection of the Constitution is unnecessary because the document can be refuted on the basis of its own stated aims.

If a document claims ‘X’ and it can be logically shown that its own text is in violation of ‘X’, then it must follow that the document is null and void.

The Constitution in its original form intended to be ‘secular’ in spirit, and after the infamous amendment, became ‘secular’ in letter as well. This being the case, any aspect of it, a single article, which violates the tenet of secularism – which is taken to mean the absence of government support for, or favour to, or accommodation towards, any religion or religious body –  renders it null by agency of self-contradiction. This constitution, containing within it as it does, article 30, which explicitly grants a privilege to certain religious groups, under the moniker of ‘minorities’, thus voids itself through its own text.

Whereas the text cunningly includes both ‘religious’ and ‘linguistic’ minorities within the gamut of its intended beneficiaries, so as to convince the reader that it is not merely religious minorities who have been granted this privilege, since Hindus – a group which as per the Constitution includes Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains – were not a minority at the time of writing of the Constitution, and are not a minority now, they are automatically barred from this privilege.

Thus being discriminated against.

Therefore it can shown that the Constitution explicitly favours certain religious groups while implicitly discriminating against others.

This one article alone I believe causes the Constitution to void itself. This is not to imply that were it not for this article the constitution would be acceptable to me. As explained earlier I am of the belief that the constitution cannot rightly be binding upon me, and any attempt to bind me to it, or impose it upon me would constitute, an immoral act.

Constitution or New Constitution. Or … No Constitution
Democracy cannot and does not work in and for, large heterogenous groups. It is only workable, if at all, in and for, small homogeneous groups or societies.

A small homogeneous group is far more likely to draw up a document well-suited to its needs, than is a large, diverse group.A small homogeneous group, being necessarily of like culture, mores, thinking and tastes is more likely to draw up a system of social organization acceptable to most of the number within its ranks. This was originally the case with the American experiment. In the case of India however, it was a handful of men, disconnected for the most part from the majority of the people, drawing up a document to accommodate a large and impossibly diverse mass.

Either stick to the letter and the spirit of the original. Or trash it and write a completely new one.

For the United States, the original document might work when applied to and used by, a much smaller, homogeneous group. It cannot and does not work in its present state.

In India, the original never worked to begin with and works even less now. The addition of the words Secular and Socialist rendering it even more meaningless than it originally was.

However, like the American document, it might conceivably work if applied to and used by much smaller, homogeneous group, such as the faculty of the Jawaharlal Nehru University for instance. Even though I am of the opinion that unlike the American document this one has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Although, the very act of constituting, is to me an act which curtails freedom and individuality. By its very nature it draws together and binds together a disparate mass.

Living and/or Current, as possible solutions to the validity conundrum, are only helpful to a certain extent.

A living document is one whose original tenets can be amended and to which new clauses can be added. This however still requires the original text to be accepted for the most part as is.

A current document is one which is brought up for vote in its entirety every generation and is either accepted or rejected.

The latter is a slightly more sensible method of having, using and applying a constitution. To keep renewing it, in its entirety, every few years, so that every individual in the here and now has willfully chosen the document for himself. Or not.

If the system that was put in place at the end of the British occupation is so rigid and narrowly focused that I cannot reject certain of its core espousals, then the document upon which that system was founded is deeply flawed.

If one counters by suggesting that such freedom does not exist or is not possible … that one can only question thus far and no further, and that the supposed foundational principles are off-limits no matter how flawed, then that leaves me with only one option. Revolution.


Oktoberfest Mumbai 2010

Let me give it to you straight – Mumbai’s first ever Oktoberfest was a complete failure.

Marked by poor time management, underlined by total irresponsibility, and highlighted by the lack of beer, Oktoberfest’s 2010 Mumbai debut is something the Indo-German Chamber Of Commerce won’t forget in a hurry.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Scheduled to begin at noon, “Oktoberfest” is forced to start by thirsty, annoyed beer lovers at 2 pm, who get even angrier on finding out there are only two options.

Erdinger Weissbier and Erdinger Dunkel – and they don’t have Dunkel today. Can you beat that?

Then, an organizer tells us that they, in all probability, will run out of the lighter Erdinger too, and we might have to settle for Kingfisher instead.

My first thought to that is “Fuck you!”, but this is not the time to think or fuck, and my immediate reaction is to sneak into a section I’m not permitted to enter, buy three litres of Erdinger Weissbier and, with the help of a waiter, take the brew back to where I should be.

So I find myself a barrel to lean on, throw back half a litre or so, and take a short walk to grab some food, only to be told they’ve run out of bratwurst. At 3 pm, at an event that’s supposed to go on till midnight, these guys have run out of another highlight of Oktoberfest.

I go back to my barrel with sweet & tangy spare ribs, and they’re fucking tasty. The problem is I need to finish all of these three litres before the damn beer gets warm because I’m not mentally prepared to drink warm beer.

So yeah, shortage of German beer, no sausages, and being offered Kingfisher is what I’ll remember Mumbai Oktoberfest 2010 for. Maybe the Indo-German Chamber Of Commerce didn’t know Mumbai can drink as much as any other beer-loving society; well, now they know for sure, and they’ll have to slap their hangover off if they want to try and impress Bombay next year. Prost, India!


Music Review: We Are The Void

Great songwriting with quite a few shining moments by my favourite melodic death metal band, but they just can’t seem to top the magic of Haven.


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