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BOOKISH VIEW: SUPERSTAR INDIA–FROM INCREDIBLE TO UNSTOPPABLE–SHOBHAA DE

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Read initiative–

TITLE: SUPERSTAR INDIA

–FROM INCREDIBLE TO UNSTOPPABLE–

SHOBHAA DE

PUBLISHED BY PENGUIN IN 2008– 456 pages 

Abridged for a quick read

 

    The book is full of masala … quite like the proverbial Bhanmati ka pitara—the wonder casket. It seems, whatever, dawned her mind and heart. She just penned it down—so in many ways she has opened her heart. Shobhaa is, as old as independent India. So, she runs through India keeping that in mind, in her flamboyant narrative style. But the content is quite scattered and even skewed at places. In fact any regular gazer of a newspaper or a periodical may find a great amount of familiarity with the content. So, while reading the book the reader might just start reminiscing, where he or she had read it earlier. As ‘SUPERSTAR INDIA’ is not some deeply treasured secret in this day and age of internet, driven by search engines, and the aggressive paper and electronic media. So a lot of it seems to be a lift-off from there. True enough. The book is well styled, well ornamented, orotund, and is quite generous. With the munificent usage of ‘within-the-brackets’ that simplifies or elaborates the meaning of many of its subtle sentences—her aristocratic and well born writing style—I guess. Also, in galore there are ellipses and punctuation marks. The narration is loudly verbose but with sound construct of sentences, of course to zenith the literary astuteness. In a nutshell it is a good detailing of, the already circulating India’s contemporary and ancient history of those times, in a monotonous and drowsy speed and style. Where, she could have sharpened the content by not leaving it open ended and maybe with some sub-chapters and even span breakers.

    Nevertheless, the book also has some latent strengths, within the long spans of boredom. She is indeed very bold and doesn’t spare anyone which is plus point. She brings in a wide range of topics. But it doesn’t tie up all to well, to derive any lessons of life. So an average reader may not find it very interesting. Especially, if he has mistook the book for an interesting stretched out story. Although the title of the book is SUPERSTAR INDIA. But in reality she is more critical than appreciative about her. Where, I’m forced to think. As to why did Shobhaa think of writing this book at all? It remains a mystery to me. Did she want to criticize the West? Or did she want to praise India. Down the line she also criticizes Indian men to raise the flag of Indian women? She praises India only when she compares her with the Western World. Otherwise, she is critical about her most of the times.

    She starts off well with her visit to Agra but then she goes all over the place after some sixty odd pages. Where, she covers personalities, political system, Indian beliefs, Hollywood, Bollywood, the Mayawatis and the ilks, schedule caste and tribe in great detail. 

    She downloads most of what she knows about India. But then it does not add up to a formidable plot. No doubt she throws her heart out, by being abusive, frank and quite unbothered. But all of that doesn’t churn into an interesting read. Let’s not forget the acid test of any book is the impact it leaves behind after you’ve completed it. She has flagged some great facts and some interesting points as mentioned below:

    People still correlate Bollywood with old songs and not the new ones/She appreciates India here and there, but also criticizes her, no end. But when she compares India with the western world she begins to praise her/Describes how India is evolving sexually/Talks about Indian realities/Promotes the Taj Mahal/Paints a picture of Indian hospitality/Book satisfies the Indian ego but only partially. As it even magnifies the chinks of Indian civilzation/Reveals many hidden facts about Indian Corporate Inc/Facts about foreign citizens of Indian origin … like Zubin Mehta and Laxmi Narain Mittal to name a few/India’s great culture of sacrifice/She sounds like an American Born Confused Desi (ABCD) herself. When she makes fun of Indians when it comes to their age old customs and habits/Her views are quite clear about how we treat our elders/describes an Indian family life/ She also talks of metro cities and its cultures but doesn’t go so much in detail about the rural areas barring the established religious and social practices/Indian weddings including destination weddings/Intermittently even speaks of her family/Talks about big brother America and page 3 culture/At quite a few places it is India versus the Western world/Talks of Indian spices in the US/Talks of Indians being superior in many ways where she builds the tempo in certain pages/Very vividly she describes the contemporary lifestyle  of the Indian megapolis/Indian shamelessness while defecating in the open/She even errs out to see love making in Bombay chawls/Bathroom habits/Death rituals/Bombay municipal corporation/Describes Indians as sex machines/Writes quite bluntly about sex/Talks about ‘nazar’—the evil eye. And calls herself a firm believer of that/She even talks of death rituals/ She is very bold and doesn’t spare anyone—is what I liked about the book/She is descriptive but doesn’t connect the dotted lines/ She describes the lives in China and Pakistan quite well.

 Some catchy lines from the book

    ‘When all hell fails, we pull out Gandhi. The Mahatma has saved India’s ass in more ways than one. If he only knew how frequently and arbitrarily we use the Gandhi trick to impress outsiders.’

    ‘Most Indians are like elastic bands, ready to stretch themselves or shrink, depending on circumstances.’

    ‘Adjust’ is a favourite word in India, and is used across the board, even by those who barely speak intelligible English.’

    ‘The trouble is Indians aren’t used to being prosperous. We are more comfortable dealing with poverty—after all, poverty is a staple here, and has been for centuries.’

    Well … if you have the glorious time and patience pick it up.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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THE VISION AND MISSION OF MOST POLITICAL PARTIES IN INDIA—to win elections

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excellence field track events political parties

WELL SUMMARIZED BY A TV ADVERTISEMENT

    Some TV advertisements become immortal. You just can’t forget them. They are so very interesting and relevant that they occupy your mind space forever. I too, remember one such advertisement quite vividly, and if I’m not mistaken it was from Nike where the script runs as follows:

    There were two guys walking in the jungle. Suddenly they hear a tiger’s roar and get frightened. The guy who is ahead makes a request to the guy behind him. To pass on his Nike shoes from the bag.

    The guy holding the bag says,

   ‘You think, by running with these shoes on. You’ll outrun a tiger?’

    ‘No,’ replied the other guy and smartly added, ‘I will not outrun the tiger. But I will definitely outrun you and that is enough to save me from the tiger.’

    Isn’t this the manner in which most political parties of India are run today? As their only mandate appears to be, to keep ahead of their nearest rival. Which is often witnessed in TV debates too. Where, they only remind each other of the final tally of wrongs the other party has done, as compared to them.

    Excellence will never flow out of this attitude. For excellence, political parties need to openly accept their mistakes and shortcomings if any. To forge ahead like a rocket, without trying to defend the indefensible.

    Remember. When a political party admits to their mistakes and shortcomings. The general public gets a positive feeling about their being honest.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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                                                   https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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#VVIPS: IF YOU COULD ONLY SPARE DAINTY FLOWERS- IN YOUR THANKLESS BOUQUETS

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b1b3

 

 

 

    ‘Earth laughs in flowers’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Each flower is the heart throb of the garden where it is grows, and so also the emblem of ‘earth’s laughter’—as Emerson puts it.

    But it is sad to see on TV these days. How people in droves, mindlessly present flower bouquets to VVIPs and Heads of States who mechanically pass it on to their personal security staff, standing next to them. And you get a disgusting feeling seeing these lovely flowers being insulted.

    Perhaps, callous VVIPS do not have the time and mind to visualise and feel about the labour pains ‘Mother Earth’ undertakes to deliver each flower. And the blood and sweat of the gardener in bringing about this exquisite beauty.

    Therefore, won’t it be wonderful to leave them in the garden alone, than to give them premature death in thankless bouquets. So I would plead to our PM Sri Narendra Modi to stop this culture of bouquets.

   And, for tokenism one could think of plastic or paper flowers. That too under—‘make in India’ scheme.

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Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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Feudalism Lives- Rachpal Singh makes his guard put on his shoes, democracy sheds a tear

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

New Doc 60_1 (2)

Sardar Rachpal Singh, also minister for Planning and Implementation in government of Bengal forgot at his convenience, Guru Nanak’s all time relevant teachings; so also the umbilical and noble duties that a Sikh is supposed to perform in a Gurudwara by allowing his security guard to tie his shoe laces. And, further shamed the martial race by hiding behind a measly back pain, the reason why he allowed the security guard to tie his shoe laces, when Sikhs are known for their unimaginable pain enduring capacities.

But let me also point out as to why security personnel posted along Netas, VVIPs and bureaucrats are getting into such a demeaning form of Chamchagiri? Why can’t they refuse on the face of these VVIPs as this is not part of their job?

And what will happen if one guy refuses, hundred guys refuse and thousand guys refuse?

MODI GOVERNMENT DOES WELL: Rent won’t allow longer stay in Lutyens’ zone now

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

New Doc 66_1

Narendra Modi government has done extremely well by disallowing, Politicians and Bureaucrats to continue in their ‘Paradise’ (official Lutyens’ zone bungalows) when it’s a clear case of ‘Paradise-lost.’

Government truly is not a real estate agent and is not there to make money on such properties. By bringing about this order, BJP has hit at some politicians and bureaucrats where it hurts the most.

Recently TOI had covered shameless politicians like Ambika Soni and Kumari Selja of Congress party who were digging their heels for their sprawling bungalows, when they don’t deserve it anymore. Congress had converted Lutyens’ zone into a “Private Estate.”

Well done Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr Venkaiah Naidu!

Suggestion: The more you remove VVIP-ISM more you will stand a chance of returning in the next elections. Remember Indians are now frustrated with vulgar display of VVIP-ISM.

TOI: column 25.5.15 ‘Rent won’t allow longer stay in Lutyens’zone now.

THE MENACE OF #LAL-BATTI #CULTURE … THE WAY OUT

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l2l1l3

A lot is being discussed about the menace of Lal-Batti (Red-Beacon) culture in India. I hear and see many suggestions on TV and newspapers. But largely those suggestions are of routine nature and may not be helpful. For now, only a paradigm shift will make the difference.  Therefore, to get rid of this menace we require some out-of-the-box thinking, and to that effect my suggestions are as follows:

  1. Stop manufacture of Lal-Battis for general market forthwith. These red-beacons should be manufactured only against specific orders, emanating from the Government of India, for constitutional posts, and as approved by GOI or the honourable Supreme Court of India. Treat it, as a dangerous commodity, such as sale of acid or even live cartridges.
  2. Honourable Supreme Court has approved of certain constitutional posts, where Lal-Batti can be used. Barring these no one else should be allowed to use Lal-Battis, and if anyone is found breaking the law he or she should be fined for a minimum of Re 1 lac, plus additional amounts for misdemeanor and dishonour of the honourable Supreme Court orders.
  3. Dismantle the entire fleet of government vehicles with red-beacons, which are only misused by Netas and Bureaucrats, barring few pool vehicles and vehicles for top dignitaries. For the rest, provide them with car loans, basis their salaries and entitlements. Also, provide them with fuel and maintenance allowance and even driver allowance like in private sector. This will save crores of hard earned tax payers money as Capex. It will help in eradicating corruption and will also root out the unnecessary evil of lal-Battis.

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#OSHO INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION CROSSES LAXMAN REKHA BY DEMEANING INDIAN FREEDOM FIGHTERS-shouldn’t they apologise to the nation?

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#OSHO INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION CROSSES LAXMAN REKHA BY DEMEANING INDIAN FREEDOM FIGHTERS-shouldn’t they apologise to the nation?

index    We all know what Chandra Mohan Jain (11December 1931-19 January 1990) aka Acharya Rajneesh from 1960s onwards, aka Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh during 1970s and 1980s, and aka Osho from 1989 stood for:

ss    As a professor of philosophy he drew enough polemics while he traveled throughout India during 1960s as a public speaker. And his outspokenness and out-of-turn criticism of politicians and the political mind space, that included Mahatma Gandhi and the institutionalized religion made him controversial of the irreparable sort. And the legacy goes on even after his death. But this time the Osho International Foundation has crossed the holy Laxman Rekha as this is what they wrote in #The speaking tree on February 7th 2015.

Quote

Why Politicians Create Chaos In The Country

Osho

    ‘Freedom came to India very suddenly, without any preparation. All the so called leaders were only efficient in creating a little bit of chaos here and there, and when freedom came they were absolutely at a loss as to what to do because all their efficiency was in creating chaos.

    So even though freedom did come, those leaders still know only one thing; how to create chaos. They go on doing the same. And those leaders know perfectly well that the only way to be in power is to go on creating chaos. The whole concern of those who are in power is to remain in power, and they can only remain in power if the country remains in chaos. So people go on fighting and they go on managing somehow, proving to the world that they are very much needed, otherwise the country will fall apart. And the interest of the people who are not in power is also in creating chaos because that is the only way to come back into power or to come into power.’

Unquote

osho_international_pune_20111015    While the column targets the Indian Politicians and rulers. The first paragraph cited above, targets even the freedom fighters of India. Perhaps, the author tried to continue moving in the shoes of Chandra Mohan Jain alias Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh alias Osho without realizing the battle for freedom had started way back in 1857 with the 1st mutiny, and so, to say “freedom came to India very suddenly, without any preparation. All the so-called leaders were only efficient in creating a little bit of chaos here and there, and when freedom came they were absolutely at a loss as to what to do because all their efficiency was in creating chaos” is completely wrong and ill willed.

ll    Secondly, freedom struggle and gaining of Independence was not the brain child of any single Politician. Rather, it was the aspiration of approximately 30-35 crore Indians that was ably driven by father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi, together with Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel to name a few, and many more freedom fighters who even died for the cause of Independent India.

And, moreover the first breed of Politicians, were actually freedom-fighters who definitely did not want chaos for the nation; and took up to the role of Politicians only to steer India out of the woods and therefore to paint freedom fighters with same brush as Politicians is criminal.

Self-styled Gurus and foundations, who have hallucinated all their lives about love and sex, should be well advised not to touch upon certain hallow chords of the nation which are beyond them, and especially for a foundation that has a sobriquet of “sex guru.”

For make no mistake Freedom-Fighters are above any self-styled God-man; so please watch out.

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