MISHA – Nostalgia and conditioning

What is your most Nostalgia evoking possession which shaped your childhood/teen ? Let me know.

I have whole bunch of stuff, I own hundreds of Audio Cassettes with that magical devise which can RECORD; I have a PC with 20GB HD and 56 MB RAM running in WIN95; But one things beats them all is a collection of Soviet Magazines!! Okay, who remembers MISHA ?

For those who are puzzled, MISHA was a free Soviet Magazines for kids dispatched directly from Moscow. Emphasis is on key word FREE. Tell me now, which kid did with his collective sanity does not want a free magazine every month. That, especially when other Indian alternatives such as Champak costed nothing less a fortune – probably a week’s worth of pocket money.

MISHA was our window to the external world everything was so happy and colourful.

But we’ve already established “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” . MISHA was a pure propaganda Magazine. The Moscow wanted a generation of kids to grow up with the notion on how cool Soviet Union is(was). That explains why all the pages sold happiness and colour.

Apparently, the Soviet Government kept separate budget to “Deliver the joy of CCCP to the third world Country” I was also told that MISHA was targeted the kids in Kerala and West Bengal for obvious reasons, let me know if that is correct.

BTW The Magazine went out of circulation once Soviet Union collapsed.

Come 2020, there is already a cult following to these and collectors hold Internet bidding war on remaining copies. I am pretty sure creators of  MISHA did not see this coming. The Irony is, magazines which were delivered free to sell Soviet Utopia is being sold for of dollars in bids. [Hint : Bids are capitalistic]

Bollywood, the casting couch and narratives

Question :  According to you, what is the most corrupt entity in Independent India ? Please ignore all the 100 bucks you slipped under the table for a file to be moved to next table. I am talking about big stuff. The Corruption at a level of complete collapse of the moral values and  entire entity has become so dysfunctional and desperately needs clean-up from external forces ? Anything comes to your mind ?

Generally the Political Parties comes top of everyone’s list (cause they get caught); then cops or officers ; then, may be Hospitals (who arm-twist you for some extra tests); finally Schools who rob you with your life long saving and so on..

But never Bollywood.! It does not even appear in “corrupt” lists, frustratingly never!. They can

  • Party shoulder to shoulder with India’s most wanted Terrorist’s!
  • Kill endangered species or Drive SUV on not so endangered ‘being humans’!!
  • Appeasement of Paki-land talents; the list goes on and on…

But our general response is a large “Meh..!!” And then we go on and buy ticket subsequent Friday. You know, for that movie which has Chunky’s daughter and Jackie’s Son.

I would argue that Bollywood is probably one of the most corrupt mafia there is ! And entire Blame is should be assigned to us – the Audience, we created this monster. We tolerated the deep-rooted evil practises and let it grow. There are too many things to taka about, but in this post I will stick to two of them. More to come..

1/ The casting Couch : I am surprised that people are surprised. This practise is as old as Bollywood itself. See the images below and follow the link and these scenes are from late 40s. My best guess is that her role in the movie was nothing to do with swim-suit and probably was fully-saree-wrapped woman. But for some reasons the Director was very particular.

2/ : The Approved Library of stories : Bollywood is very particular on scripts and the narratives. They will iteratively stick to a set of topics, continuously remixed. They never churn unless there is a new collectively agreed narrative.

Let me give you one example : Hatim Tai was a 6th century Yemeni prince allegedly known for his generosity. But, that bloke never came to India and has no India connection. But Bollywood has made 7 movie/series on him !!. Pakistan made 2 NONE made by Yemen or any other nearby countries. You can search in Movie database and challenge me on this.

  1. Sakhi Hatim (1955) – Nanubhai Vakil
  2. Hatim Tai (1956), directed by Homi Wadia
  3. Saat Sawal (1971), directed by Babubhai Mistry
  4. Hatim Tai (1990), directed by Babubhai Mistry        
  5. Dastaan-e-Hatimtai(1994-1995) – Indian TV Series aired on DD National
  6. Hatim (2003-04) – Indian TV Series on Star Plus in
  7. The Adventures of Hatim (2013) – Indian TV Series on Life OK

Can someone explain what is going on here..? Even Gandhi did not have so many movies made on him !!. What about Bose & Patel ? On TATAs ? Or where are the movies on real-life Heroes we had.?

To be continued…

P.s. Remember that Kamli Kamli song from Dhoom 3 where Amir Khan as a director conducts casting couch on Katrina’s character . Textbook ! But you know … “the Meh !”

Jack (Propaganda) Ryan

Question : Why do they name the protagonists protecting western interests as “JB”. There’s James Bond , Jason Bourne and even Jack Bauer and may be, just may be – Jack Black 🙂

Let me add Jack Ryan as well. Technically he is not a JB, but we can always change it to Jack Blatant (lies), or Jack Bullshit, cant we ?. I don’t have convincing “B” name handy as of yet. Not to worry, by the time you reach end if this post, I might come up with one. Let’s just call him Jack Propaganda Ryan for now.

You guessed it right. This post is about political propaganda of Jack Ryan Web series.

For those don’t know who I am talking about, Jack Ryan is a Movie and Web franchise named after its protagonist. Jack is an analyst turned CIA operative accused of gifted ability to identify financial frauds. You can watch seasons in Amazon, although my recommendation is limited only to the first season; and take the take second season with a pinch (or four) of salt.

Before we get into the point, let me remind you that making a series is not easy. There are massive challenges maintaining the coherence and consistency the story lines. It’s not like movies which are generally projects, TV series are programs. That’s the reason series generally loose the plot and end up disappointing the fans big time. Game of throne, Dexter are few good examples.

Read through the comment section in amazon for more honest comments of disgruntled fans

The season one is so amazing that I instantly became a fan. Finally an American series which calls spade, a spade; not diamonds. It had  Phenomenal production value, good casting, script etc. Plot is based on a Lebanese-French terrorist plotting to detonate a bio weapons in US soil. Series covers a large range of current affairs attended such as turkeys refugee crisis, Becca valley bombings, Liberian Ebola scare, French refugee ghettos, Yemen Crisis, overuse of predatory drones etc etc. Anyone who keeps in touch with current affairs of middle east will be very excited of this fiction.

For season 2 they picked Venezuelan power struggle as plot. Who would not like a story on last remaining relics of supposed Utopia imagined by Karl Marks himself. Its already written on stones on how socialistic policies and nationalisation caused irreversible damage to the country and the economy. I do not intend to cover all the horror stories of Venezuela in this post but lets just leave you with an image below where people picking food from garbage

Enter Jack (Propaganda) Ryan. The plot accuses the “right wing nationalist” government with its “Corruption” causing damage to the country. And there is no points in guessing – the opposition party leader is Left socialistic reformer !!! Its like calling Hitler the liberator of Europe ! Its like calling Pol Pot liberator of Cambodia ! Its like…. You get the point.

Under no version of the history this is true. No angles and no perspective will make the horrors of 21st century Venezuela, look any better. But still propaganda driven Hollywood made it happen. They chose to stand with wrong side of the history.

Makers of J(P)R should listen to their fellow socialist from Chernobyl :

P.S. I do not hate socialism, its essential to economics – add it like a tea spoon of spice. Never as main course.

Blue-light eyeglasses scam

Snake Oil (e.g. Homeopathy) the major theme of scams dominated our previous few centuries. However, during last couple of decades a new theme has emerged and trend is ‘Filtering scams’ ! The basic premise of these scam is “to filter good stuff and make it better”. And for some unfortunate reasons, ‘we the gullible’ can be convinced that products filtering essentials are good.

Take a look at these examples where good stuff removed:

  • Low Fat dairy products
  • Gluten free bread
  • Demineralised water (have written about it)
  • Blue Ray filter glasses !

Yes, Blue-ray filter is a new scam in the town. Its currently heavily advertised and has even bigger word-of-mouth campaign going on for them.

The idea behind this product is to filter out any wavelength of light which is borderline Blue, by a large degree – basically Jaundice eyes. The campaign goes like this :

  1. In the beginning God created all light equal but then Blue made some wrong choices and became evil
  2. It impacts the retina back of the eyes and cause permanent damage. Macular degeneration impact central vision (Had to throw in few uncommon medical terms)
  3. It influences Circadian Rhythm (read sleep) by impacting hormone secretion or lack thereof. 
  4. Responsible for Computer vision syndrome

Now that many studies are out, truth if at your disposal:

  • Human eye is designed to withstand all wavelength of sunlight unless of course, some genius directly stares at sun. A Couple of devices are not going to cause enough blue light to cause any level of damage to eyes.
  • Apparently, problems like Macular degeneration needs an enormous amount of Blue light for very long period of time. Perhaps, Yellow light also could do the similar damage for that quantity and duration. So Blue light filter is not going to change anything at all.
  • Computer Vision Syndrome can not be blamed on Blue light alone, all wavelengths have equal responsibilities. For this obvious reasons, a filter will not solve this problem.
  • Only one claim checks out is its impact on “Circadian Rhythm“. But that’s by design. Human eyes, brain and biological clock of hormones (Melatonin)  are designed to make you sleep/wakeup based on how much light you are staring at, apparently blue. However you do not need filters to solve this problem. You can simply dim the lights or use the device settings rather than buying another product sits on your nose.

P.S. I am not more qualified than you to read and understand. So, if you decide to buy one anyway, please the specialists with above set of questions. Let me know how it goes.

Please go through this undercover study on Blue-light glasses:

On our History Books

Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid – Valary Legasov

I hated learning history when I was in school. It was one of the most pointless subject with its only aim to test my memorization skills. The chapters were absolute bullshit with highly incoherent storylines filled with unnecessary detailing on who ate, who fought and who died and most irritatingly “When”. Chapters had too many inconsistencies, unnecessary propaganda of few dynasties and of course two supermassive black holes right in middle !.

Let me summarize 12 years of History text books in one paragraph. It started with Harappa who are supposedly aliens with no connection to Indian civilisation. (Then comes the first black hole of 10 centuries). History then restarts during Mauryan period, Alexander, Kushans, Guptas and then a break! (The second black hole of about 10 more centuries). During this period Indians sat on beach, yawned and waited someone to make their life interesting. Apparently, our history wasn’t worth reading till  few bigoted crazies from Afghanistan conquered “north” of India and installed slave dynasties to Rule Delhi. From here, it gets more detailed reads as if you are reading the dairies of Sultans, Mughal and British-Raj.

I am not kidding you., there was a full page description on “Montagu Chelmsford” reforms – and I still remember horror of memorizing several such good stuff colonial rulers brought as part of their civilisation mission to India.

Imagine this

  • There was Ashoka the Great and Akbar the Great, but Chola was a paragraph. Chola’s ruled for 1500 years and had kingdom all the way till Java, Malaya and Sumatra. But that’s not good enough for them to be called the Great !
  • Absolutely no mention of Indianized kingdoms of South-east Asia and how India influenced the cultures around the world.
  • Most importantly, downplaying Indian contribution for World War I & II

I am sure you have many many more such examples. Its definitely not a secret that our History book writers did very sloppy job there. 

Once I graduated I leaned towards liking History and I have dozens of books in my library. I binge-read them (if that is a thing). History gets more and more interesting with every book I read. Now, I can literally list hundreds of inconsistencies, prejudice, and bias our official versions have. With this context, let me introduce you to two of the fantastic books I came across. Both of these books are by Sanjeev Sanyal.

I highly recommend you to read both of them in a sequence. History of India is split into two books and that by design. They  complement each other. The  “Land of the Seven Rivers: A Brief History of India’s Geography” explains India from the perspective of ‘Land’ and “Ocean of Churn: How the Indian Ocean Shaped Human History” from the perspective of oceans.

I am not giving up any more spoilers. Please go read them end to end and they are really worth it. You can read few sample pages below.