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Dude...Seriously?

So there I was, sitting at the dining table on a Sunday morning reading the jokes in the paper (say what you will… fat, lazy, orange cats are always hilarious) when I noticed the supplement. You know, the nonsense that gets printed on flashy paper with pictures of supposedly seductive looking B-grade actresses.
On said flashy paper, was a rather delightful (for lack of a better word) article named – ‘3 Mistakes of the Decade’ (Apparently a play on the name of some cheap, random book). The author’s name escapes me (predictably, a very forgettable one). I do remember reading about him in the past though. You know, the leader of the NEW breed of Indian authors. One of those IIT and IIM graduates who decided that being investment bankers just wasn’t good enough for them.
But I digress. The writer decided that at the end of the decade, it was time (and apparently loads of fun, because the article had a picture of him on the side smiling like a 1000 watt advertisement sign) to remind the country of its worst mistakes this decade. And the winners are - (If you like, you can picture Scarlett Johannson or some other blonde bombshell saying this… whatever gets you going)

1 - The Agra Summit (July 2001)
2 - The Godhra Riots (Feb 2002)
3 - The Commonwealth Games 2010  
For a variety of reasons, I’ve decided to comment mainly on the last one.
Take your pick from the list of reasons:
1- The first two occurred when I was too young to even know or care about what was happening to the country.
2- Generally when there are 3 mistakes/options...the author intends that the 3rd would be the biggest.
3- I’m lazy (read point 2).
The Commonwealth Games 2010  
A disaster all the way (Yeah... tell that to the 101 medals that we won, and all the new talent that sprang up) and enough has been said on why it is so (and yet you still keep writing about it). The games cost too much (Printing stuff like that previous line also costs quite a bit, did you know?), most of the world doesn’t even care about them… sure, the US, China, Japan and most of Europe is not part of the Commonwealth. (For someone who keeps writing about how we shouldn’t follow the western countries et al., you seem to really want to do stuff that grabs their attention).
There was rampant corruption, it didn’t change the sporting culture in the country (Again...101 medals, ring any bells?), there were quality and hygiene issues (As you have pointed out in all your books, this is India...what have you come to expect? FYI, Secunderabad railway station is supposed to be the cleanest railway station in India… ever been there?), India got its worst PR in decades internationally (No, the worst PR was when an IIT/IIM graduate decided that he could write well and should therefore... become an author. He actually managed to write 3 or 4 of them!), the government has still not punished the culprits and, frankly, the athletes would have won their medals abroad even if we didn’t host them (we won 101 medals in 2010, 50 in 2006....and since you’ve also mentioned that there has been no change in the sporting culture... I wonder how we managed it…?).
Under the garb of good intentions, one of the biggest scams in independent Indian history was executed (Try as I might, I can’t disagree. *sniff*). The only silver lining is that the scam was exposed and it somewhat changed the public’s passive attitude towards corruption. More scams have come out since, and people are following the story, waiting for the culprits to be punished this time. It is an expensive way to fix things, but may still be worth it. (I’m sorry...we’re making headway when it comes to curbing corruption... and it’s still a mistake? I’m sorry, I’ve lost track of time... since when has corruption NOT been the biggest problem in this country?)
Seriously, how do you call peace talks and communal riots ‘mistakes of the decade’?  That’s as bad as saying that Justin Bieber is the ‘Artist of the Century’!! (Ok... I’ll admit... it’s not that bad… but still!). True... they weren’t exactly the happiest times for the country... but to call them mistakes?
You want mistakes? I’ll give you some examples.
Government not legalizing marijuana. Mistake
Letting Himesh Reshammiya act. Mistake
Letting Rakhi ka Swayamvar infect our televisions. Mistake
Letting the Twilight series release in India. *BIG* Mistake
My point being this... you want to be critical of our country, do it in your books. Don’t let it take up precious space in the paper. Just so you know, they could easily have fit pictures of 2 hot models in the space that your article took up. Perhaps even three if they were size zero... Think about that.
 NOTE TO AUTHOR
While the tone of the above article might make you think I don’t like you, I should let you know I’m a huge fan. I’ve got a ‘smashingly’ original idea for a novel that you can write. It’s about a young pale looking girl who gets into IIT. On her first day she falls in love with this hot 10 pointer nerd who turns out to be a vampire.... I’m telling you.... It’s going to be legen.....Keep waiting for it...!!

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Vijay Narayan


 

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Let The Good Times Roll Magazine is an online youth magazine
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