Will Write For Coffee

and food and vacations, too.

Month: May 2016

Gujarat Lies: A collection of personal vendetta


Rana Ayyub, a ‘journalist’ most popularly associated with Tehelka.com, a ‘news outlet’ most popularly known to use ‘sting operation’ as a mode to collect news, has come out with a book. “Gujarat Files”. It is supposed to be a tell all book on alleged state sponsored political murders and ‘fake encounters’ which are supposed to pin Amit Shah, the then Home Minister of Gujarat and current national president of ruling party, and Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat and currently the Prime Minister.

I finished reading the book, which I paid for from my own hard earned money, and I have come to the conclusion that it is nothing but a sermon of personal hate and vendetta against the people she wants to ‘nail.’

Not only is the book full of grammatical errors and badly narrated, it lacks consistency. At best it should have been filed under a hate speech on her personal blog. She talks how her report sent Amit Shah to jail and hence to find truth about Sohrabuddin, she would have to assume an identity.

First of all, she should stay away from WebMD. She had self diagnosed that she was suffering from depression (yea, mental health awareness crusaders, please come forward, a ‘journalist’ just used the serious condition loosely to describe her boredom) and the only thing that helped her came out of it was when she took up project Sohrabuddin. (wikipedia link)

She makes sure that she describes her undercover act in great detail. She wears chunky jewellery, skirts and colourful bandana to show how she is a documentary film maker from the US, making a film on the famous people from Gujarat. She stayed at Nehru Foundation and within first few days her room was ‘searched’.

Incidentally, other than Naresh Kanodia, the SRK of Gujarati cinema, the only people she meets for the ‘documentary’ are top cops and ministers. Interestingly, the transcripts of all these sting operations all talk about 2002 riots. Sohrabuddin wasn’t even involved there. Amit Shah (whom she very proudly sent to jail on basis of her investigative ‘journalism’) was not the Home Minister during riots. 80% of her book focuses of 2002 riots and how the top cops feel ‘used and thrown’ by the CM and HM (who was not even HM then).

The transcript of her sting was extremely confusing. The only things I understood from her writeup was:

  1. Top cops of Gujarat are easily accessible if you are documentary filmmaker from the US.
  2. You can pass off as documentary filmmaker from the US if you wear denim skirts, chunky jewellery and colourful bandanas. And if you have a firang along, it just adds to the effect.
  3. Top cops of Gujarat don’t find it suspicious when a filmmaker randomly probes about 2002 riots and their involvement or lack of it.
  4. Top cops of Gujarat play the blame game quite nicely.
  5. She mentions how her room at Nehru Foundation (set up by the Sarabhais, which she chose to disclose), where she stayed, was ‘searched’ just a day before G L Singhal, the cop involved in alleged fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan, agreed to meet her.
  6. She spotted a car outside where she lived in morning and in evening. But when she asked a friend to pick her up to go to a college festival, the car wasn’t there next day. Basically, Gujarat top cops are easy to fool when you wear a bandana and attend college festivals.
  7. She stayed at a friend’s friend’s bungalow where a cobra was living too, since a year. Surprised she didn’t crack a joke, ‘not sure what was more poisonous, the reptile or me? lol’.
  8. Gujarat top cops are whiny and will talk to anyone and everyone who asks about the riots. No one really questions or doubts why the random bandana clad woman (yea, she mentions the bandanas quite a lot) who has been in the US, and making a film on important people of Gujarat, knows the right questions to ask about the riots and the ‘fake encounters’. Like, seriously. None of these men even doubted her for a second. If that’s true, we clearly need better set of cops.
  9. She liked eating Gujarati thaali at Pakvan (it sucks) and she taught Geeta Saar to Maya Kodnani, former minister who was accused of leading a mob during 2002 riots, while having lunch at her place, which involved aam ras.
  10. But what is the point she was trying to make? Just making people read her sting trascript? What am I supposed to do?

Behen, tum aakhir kehna kya chaahti ho?

All these sting tapes were not released until now. That is in the ‘book’ she self published. These tapes are not authenticated. She says she will give these tapes to investigative agencies if they ask for them. Why not make them public for everyone to see and hear? Trial by media is one of Tehelka’s strong points anyway!

Hope she gets prize in fiction for the lizard on the cover page book.

Update 1: Ayyub ends her ‘book’ by saying that Tehelka didn’t publish her ‘story’ because there was political pressure. As back as 2010, she and Tehelka team had deduced Narendra Modi will become the Prime Minister in 2014 and hence they were under political pressure not to publish it. Ayyub remained silent, in a dramatic way, ‘until now’. Shoma Chaudhury, former editor at Tehelka and Rana Ayyub’s boss at Tehelka has spoken up on Twitter.

Well, if Tehelka, which is not particularly known for its high standards, does not consider your stuff up to editorial standards, we know the grapes are sour!

Surviving Heatwave


Every summer Amdavadis brace themselves up for a couple of heatwaves. Yeah, we are used to temperature touching 45 degrees every year in summers. This year, however, nothing could have prepared us for the 50 degrees.

Even if you are mentally prepared for the heatwave (because you have lived all your life here and it is nothing new), nothing could prepare you for the time when the mercury actually soars past the acceptable heatwave temperature.

Few days back when it crossed 50, we all laughed. You know, first sign that you have accepted a tragedy is when you start joking about it.

We were sitting on the rooftop, with a shade, for lunch, at around 2 pm, when the weather app said the temperature is 47 degrees. Wow, haha, it is so hot, we all exclaimed.

On the 6th floor, the breeze felt like there is a dragon breathing fire down your neck. It was windy, sure, but it was hot. The lunch packed since morning had turned ‘warm’ even as we were eating. Not even kidding.

Water at room temperature had turned warm. Heck, even the hair felt warmer even when we were sitting in a shade. The air conditioners felt ineffective as the day passed and temperature reached the peak of 50 degrees. Everything metal was more than warm to touch. Plastic, wood – things which are bad conductors of heat, even they felt warm to touch.

This must be how deepest realms of hell must feel like.

As I sit and type this, at 8 am on a Saturday, I am sweating profusely. And only physical effort I’ve made since I woke up at 6:30 (because too hot to sleep) is breathe. It is so bright and sunny outside that I am blinded even by the reflection of sun rays on the floor. The flowers which bloom already have their edges on their petals burnt because of the heat. Even at 7 am when you go for a shower, the water is warm. The water in overhead tank has not cooled down though the night.

How is it even humanly possible?

I guess over years we all will just mutate and adapt ourselves to the heat.

Human 2.0

Twitter Analysis

Few years ago, every Twitter user worth his follower count wrote blogs on types of tweeters you’d come across. Some were copy-pasters, some funny people, some posted songs. A lot of magazines and newspapers also wrote features on ‘must follow’ tweeters. Us old timers witnessed how people fought over not being featured. Over time, the political Twitter took over and the fun element was lost. I miss those times.

While today, everyone on Twitter has a political opinion, if you dig under the dark, deep corners of Twitter, you’ll come across a treasure trove of psychopathy, which my friend @reviewero rightly calls a lead generating place for all pagalkhanas. Call me misogynist, but after extensive research (I am just observant, sue me!) I have concluded that most of these loonies are women. Not men behind women DPs. They are just there for fun. For some perverse fun they get out of pretending to be a woman over the Internet. These women are real.

Men, usually abuse a bunch of people from anonymous handles and move on with their lives. Unless you’re the argumentative Indian who is on a solitary war against the Aadhaar card, if you have tend to display vindictive behaviour on Twitter, you are more likely to be a woman.

Allow me to explain.

97.3% of women over the Internet want some sort of validation. Remaining are lying.

Now that we have established we all like validation and attention, let’s go little further and see what kind of women you are likely to encounter. (saving the best for the last.) (non-political only.)

This woman would be shy, introverted and socially awkward. A keen observant, she would have an amazing sense of humour. She would be otherwise awesome. This woman would be me.

Then there would be sub 25 year olds who are on a perpetual I am so lonely, nobody loves me, I want to die trip. They like to hang out with other sad people who tell them no, they are God’s great creatures and should not think so. While in reality, they are not really thinking like that. They are just here for the retweets and validation. They will tweet at 3 am and say how they’re insomniac. No, they are just utterly jobless and they need to deal with a few bad bosses to know what they have is not ‘depression’ but just boredom.

Then there are really, really, reaaaaaallly stupid women who don’t really have a mind of their own. They retweet random shit without reading the entire article. They will also post shit tons of memes, emojis, and irrelevant gifs. They really, REALLY need to get a grip on their lives. They also post lame lyrics because they are perpetually longing for their imaginary lover.

Then there are ‘mera period chal raha hai, please read how I bleed’. Yeah, well, most of us get this monthly acche din. Get over it. You are not special. We are not ‘hiding’ being on period. But just how I don’t live tweet when I pee or poop or sneeze or fart, I don’t see the point in letting the world know about it. And monthly discussion on menstrual cups vs tampons vs napkins vs reusable napkins, yaar, har mahine yaad aata hai, that you want to discuss this? So if anyone tells you to get over yourself, you could bring your feminism weapon out?

And then there are the most psychotic, vindictive ones. They scour the internet for the sad and emotionally vulnerable people. They pretend to be extremely understanding and cheerful people, but are vicious underneath. They would like to cling on to you if you are miserable, because they get high when you’re low. But essentially, they’re supremely nasty. They are venomous. They are a pro at playing a victim card. Since they are so busy living a lie, they have created an imaginary world around themselves. Worst is they have started believing this lie to an extent that they go about convincing themselves and everyone else about this lie. In this, they end up sending out negative vibes out to people and going out of their way to spread lies. This involves, but is not limited to, creating fake ‘abusive’ accounts so that they could ‘abuse’ themselves and gain sympathy, sharing out of context screenshots, deactivating and reactivating and serial sly tweeting. Good lord, the sly tweets. Sometimes you could figure out who they are about, sometimes not. But even reading them could give someone cancer! They stalk, they sly tweet, they get into fights on Twitter, they take remarks made on others as personal insults on them, they get blocked, they create other accounts to specifically stalk and sly tweet and continue playing victim because poor me, this person made me cry because I was being creepy to that person. They are never happy because they feed off other people’s miseries. If you’re upset, they’ll be your best friend because they lend you a kind ear even as they feel immensely happy that they’re not alone in their misery. Extreme level of emotional instability.

Twitter, my friends, is a brilliant platform to analyse human behaviour.

Yes, I do have a lot of time on hand.