Skip to main content

Butt-Get

Today is a big day. I come to an unusually packed office buzzing with activity and excitement early morning (our new boss is also at his enthusiastic best). Finance minister P. Chidambaram has done the annual honours of announcing the budget. In all newspaper and magazines of the country, budget is an occasion to remember. Reporters are busy chasing ministers, experts, analysts, corporate honchos for their views, asking them whether it is populist, anti-women, anti-poor, or common man friendly. It is also the time when in-house designers are competing with the rest in the industry to stand out among the myriad publications. Plus there is the 'edible' free dinner for all and sundry.

Former Economic Times editor Jojo (now the Times of India editor) is known for some of his best budget presentation in the newspaper. But I remember TOI, in the past, overdoing it. In one, they even had the whole Bollywood theme playing around the budget. You can imagine how funny that must have looked on a front page. But Vineet Jain loves Bollywood and love can be blind and dumb too.

Like any average individual, I understand very little of economics. In my endeavour to enlighten myself, I asked my friend Lotty what she thought of the budget. With a straight face, she told me she does not think of such irrelevant matters. That is funny. I think we think alike. My other friend Deepika is on the other end of the teether, spewing venom at poor Chidu. A typical ex-international studies student from the prestigious JNU, she is telling me over gmail chat how Chidambaram is the worst finance minister this country has had. “Without social security, how can one live?” I ask her no more questions… except “but he speaks so well!" There goes my inane argument again.

Now, of the budget highlights I see everywhere, three things catch my attention: reduction of duty on dog food, shoes and umbrella to become cheaper. I am happy for Dylan's nutrition. A colleague says “oh it is so women friendly.” But I am no Imelda Marcos and I don’t fancy opening a museum of footwear and show off 500-odd collection of shoes or more. Wonder what Chidambaram was thinking. Will this help the economy? I am no economist and I dont want to rack my brain. So it is back to work and bug reporters on their pieces before I can edit them, think of headlines, sit with design, look at the layout, sign off the pages and give my little brain some rest.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Mad Man Or A Boor

What does one do when one encounters a mad dog? Or what does one do when one encounters a man with pre-fixed notions about everything in life, most specifically of women who live alone and give him some importance? The two are equivalent to me and basic intelligence says avoid the paths they tread like plague. But I chose to tackle them head on. I almost got rabbies. The mad man said [sic] " You sound like a very desperate person. A single and frustrated woman who is looking for anyone to leave a comment on your blog so much so that you wouldn't even spare a spammer ." Spammer being, the first comment on the previous post is apparently a spam, an advert for T-shirts. Bummer! I thought it was a handsome Spaniard or Latino, so I had replied "Hi Rodrigo", hoping to take the conversation forward offline. Anyway! All this the mad man found out. I didnt. Sure, I dig comments because I love the spontaneity and intelligence of my friends. And I didn't invite the ma

O-B-A-M-A

Two million people at the National Mall in Washington alone. The world watched too as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. So did I. I rudely cut roomie's soap operas and switched to CNN to witness history being created. Some day I may live to tell the tale of how Barack, the much touted Afro-American President of the United States, stumbled with his swearing-in oath. I was a bit disappointed as I watched the man who had run the most successful of election campaigns, the man who Americans were pinning their hopes on, take his oath. Clearly, he was under too much of a pressure to be the best. So before Chief Justice John Roberts could complete the first sentence, there was Obama abruptly breaking out into his first names... " I Barack Hussein Obama.." and then waited for the judge to complete the sentence.. The next line was even taxing. He stopped short after two words... " That I will excute ..." and then Justice Roberts cont

Good Girls Don't Drink?

I have been disturbed by the news coming out of my region – the northeast of India - where a teenage girl coming out of a bar at 9:30 pm was molested and beaten by a group of 20 men. The news has even found its way down under for the shocking nature of it. Tabloids and even TV have carried the news. I have always prided myself in belonging to a region that is known for its high tolerance and where women are generally safe and independent. But I have always felt a bit squidgy about Guwahati unlike the rest of the seven sisters. The place is so like the rest of India in many ways, dirty and claustrophobic. That explains why bars are looked upon as sleazy places and women going there beaten up as with the recent case. Just 150 km away is Shillong, the place where I grew up. Night clubs thrive there and till date there has been no case of attacks against women. Reading the news, I am appalled by some of the reactions. “But the girl was drinking,” or “only prostitutes visit that