Saturday, March 27, 2010


It's not the heathen in me, it's just that I've been bleeding lately. Internally.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Are you feeling what I'm feeling, King?"

I'm shivering with anticipation for Wrestlemania 26. Really, really shivering.

There's a great six match undercard (including a mouthwatering 10 man Money in the Bank featuring, inter alia, Shelton Benjamin, Kane, Kofi Kingston and my man Christian), a Divas match isn't one of them, there are no scheduled or advertised celebrity appearances for fake glamour. The storylines have been tight, the promos have been the best in years and everyone in the company seems to be hitting their performance peaks at just the right time. It should be just straight-up, good, old-fashioned rasslin'.

The consensus among the dirtsheets (no, not The Sun or even ProWrestling Illustrated) reckons that this could be as good as X-Seven. It's also the end of a personal journey. I've missed more pay-per-views in my time in law school than ever before, but I can think back to memories over the last five years that will forever be associated with some very special people and some utterly unforgettable wrestling matches.

There's a good chance that, if the University of Phoenix doesn't turn up something memorable this Sunday, I'll probably want to try and run down, if not forget, my last-ever law school Wrestlemania. But that's precisely why I'm writing this now. I want to be able to look back at this and remember how pumped I was.

Because it might not mean anything at all to the layman, but to me, for the next seventy-two hours (and very possibly for at least a couple of weeks after) not much else will matter.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Alibi Afternoon

I got the security guard to break open my room lock with a metal rod and a brick at 1.30 a.m. last night. And here I thought life would get boring in my last term in college.

I also learnt the virtues of the Non-Veg Pranzo today, in addition to realising that Indian cinema needs more experiments like Love, Sex Aur Dhoka.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Do you realise why I'm hugging you?"

It's at times like these that Moby's immortal line "don't nobody know my troubles but God" comes to mind.

And to think that I almost messed it up.

There's a lot of relief, gratitude and trepidation in my heart right now, all in equal measure. But for now, I will close my eyes and expect, like I've always done, that tomorrow is going to be made up of twenty-four hours I haven't seen yet.

Maybe the Shirdi Sai Baba is never wrong after all. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I'm back in Bangalore for my last ever term in college. I checked my timetable today and even with a compulsory course eight hours a week, I have two days off, two days when I have two hours of class from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and three other days when the earliest I have to make it in to class is 11.20 a.m.

And yet, somehow, the promised land of fifth year, third trimester seems utterly pointless.

I received a message from a friend two nights ago that talked about a foreboding, an impending sense of doom. And though, as usual, I did the best I could to assuage fears, a very soft but decisive voice in my head told me I was making it all up.

I can hear construction motors smoothing over the new floor tiles in the hostel, I can feel the tubelight above my head flickering in disappointment and I look out my window into the other hostel and find two rooms with lights on and nobody home.

That last bit is exactly how I feel right now.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Issued in the interest of Rin users

If there's one aspect of my approach to legal learning I'll happily take criticism for (aside from my sub-zero levels of knowledge of Indian public law) it's that my interest in intellectual property rights is too academic and not practical enough. I happily/illegally download music off the net, I liberally use products with obviously fake trademarks and, in general, am no more discerning than the average Indian couch potato (a category, sadly, that I'm not yet qualified/fat enough for).

However, having endured Spain hammer India 5-2 last night, I sat down in front of the telly with my mum and grandmum (with my brother playing WWE Raw v. Smackdown! 2010 on his PSP by the plug point on the side) waiting for them to finish watching 12/24 Karol Bagh on Zee TV so that I could take over at 11 to watch Apolo Ohno on The Tonight Show with a returning Jay Leno (okay fine, I was also curious about what song Avril Lavigne would sing. There. I said it.)

As you can imagine, trying to understand the complications of the relationships on the Zee show proved to be far too difficult for a person with little understanding of real relationships and I was about to turn to the fridge to get some guava juice when I was stopped in my tracks by an advertisement.

Two mothers are waiting at a bus-stop for their kids to return from school. They're carrying a basket each. Both baskets are full of clothes and one mother's basket has a Rin packet on top of it while the other mother's basket has a Tide packet on top of it, crucially, all in clear view (what mothers are doing with laundry at a bus-stop waiting to pick up their kids is besides the point, of course). The Tide mom's kid emerges first from the bus wearing what can generously be described as an incredibly soiled version of what used to be a white shirt. The Rin mom's kid appears from behind him in a flash, with the traditional blazing white which all detergent manufacturers promise us but which we all know doesn't exist in reality. The Rin kid asks his mom why Tide aunty is so stunned and that's when the one-two punch hits you. One, the voice-over guy says something along the lines of "kyunki Rin Tide se behtar hai" followed by the kicker--the last screen in the ad features a black screen with a Rin packet with the words "issued in the interest of Rin users" in white lettering.

Put up your hand if you think this is a violation of the objective test for product disparagement arrived at by a joint reading of Section 29(8) and 30(1) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999. That's right. Both my hands are up too. However, Indian Courts seem to have been reluctant to follow the line of cases that, in truth, begins from White v. Mellin in 1895 and seemed to have been put to bed beyond a shadow of a doubt in Erven Warnink (the Advocaat case) in the late 1970s.

Indeed, my pro-consumerism blood boiled long enough at the Rin fiasco for me to run to Manupatra and find 1999's Reckit & Colman v. VG Ramachandran (which I'd actually prepped to present during the IPR TAship) actually permits what Rin is doing. However, it also goes on to say that a trader, in trying to highlight that his goods are better than his competitor's, ever say that his competitor's goods are bad. Surely, Tide boy with the soiled brown shirt is a direct enough way of saying Tide sucks. Surely, it fits comfortably within any sane understanding of product disparagement with room to spare. Surely, Tide are going to take Rin to Court.

I laughed long and hard at the Rin ad and almost missed the irony of a Tide ad following immediately after and sticking to the good old-fashioned, straight-laced method of advertisement--showing that your product rules, in objective terms. My brother, who, for a twelve-year-old kid, has a remarkable eye for pop culture-related legal news, reliably informed me that a similar case of product mudslinging between Horlicks and Complan has, in fact, been taken to Court, based on disparaging cross-ads reminiscent of the Pepsi/Sprite and Hero Honda/Bajaj brand wars of the late 1990s.

To make things worse, I also saw an Asian Paints advert selling its 'Colour Stay' paint set to Ric Flair's decades-old theme song. There is no justice in this world!   

P.S. Karthik Calling Karthik isn't as bad as people say it is, though Farhan Akhtar (and I don't care what people say he is) is the biggest casting mistake in the movie. Imagine how good it could've been if a decent actor played that role.

Monday, March 01, 2010

"Bhai Sahab, aap bahar se aaye hain kya?"

I've never watched inter-college football in my life, so the instructive few hours I spent waiting for my mum at various points last week came as an absolute revelation.

Zakir Husain College hosts an inter-college football tournament every year, one which has traditionally been dominated by the hosts themselves. It's one of those traditions that outlasts the current avatar of the college itself, with many old-timers harbouring as much of a grudge about the renaming of the tournament as they did the renaming of the old Delhi College in memory of ex-President Dr. Zakir Husain.

This year too, the sentries at the gate informed me, the home team had been in irresistible form, sweeping all before them en route to the semi-finals. You can't really do better than a hundred percent win record and zero goals conceded, can you? On the other side of the bracket, however, is where the challenge for ZHC lay, as both Kirori Mal College and Motilal Nehru College had put together teams that had been playing together and regularly at least since the beginning of the academic year. Zakir Husain (Evening) completed the semi-final lineup, though all that could be really felt for them was sympathy, since they were bracketed with the irresistible mix of unstoppable force and immovable object that is the Zakir Husain College senior team.

However, it was the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Delhi which had a huge, if indirect, influence on this year's tournament. The Ambedkar Stadium, which usually hosts the tournament (or has been hosting the tournament since the mid-1980s at least, according to the chai-wallah) was put out of commission for this year's edition, owing to (by the looks of it) fairly urgent repair work needed ahead of showtime in October. That meant that the tournament had to be played on campus at ZHC, a most unfavourable proposition for everyone except ZHC. Due to the minefield of a ground and severe space constraints, the tournament was made nine-a-side, with throw-ins and corners rendered practically useless. As was any semblance of a passing game, of course.

That brought with it its own drama as Kirori Mal College, by far the superior side for long periods in their semi-final, got done by a looping shot into their net, as Motilal Nehru College advanced to an unlikely and distinctly flattering finals place. On the other side of the bracket, ZHC breezed past ZHC (Evening) in a complete mismatch.

However, the real mismatch, as it turned out, was in the final, as ZHC played the home turf advantage to perfection with cynical fouling, referee intimidation and a brutally direct and effective long ball game in front of a blue-plastic-chair-seated audience of twelve, including me and my driver. It wasn't until the introduction in the second half of a guy with a lower lip piercing that the tricks and flicks really came out and what seemed like a difficult but definitely doable two-nil deficit turned into three-, four-, five- and, finally, six-nil. It was a little too harsh on Motilal Nehru, who played some decent stuff, especially in midfield but their single forward strategy was doomed to failure since it seemed unlikely from the get-go that containment was ever going to work against the rampant home side.

So ZHC won and, in doing so, retained a title that they haven't lost since 1934. Now there's a stat you didn't think you see at the end of this post.  

I'm not sure if there's a point to this story but I'm going to tell it again.

My photo
I've been wilfully caught up in the self-defeating quest to get to know myself for years. I've never expected anything beneficial to result from such a quest. I tend to evoke extremely polarised reactions from people I get to know in passing. Consequently, only those people who know me inside-out would honestly claim that I'm a person who's just "alright." It's not a coincidence that the description I've laid out above has no fewer than, title included, eleven references to me (make that twelve). I'm affectionately referred to as "Ego." I think that last statement might have given away a tad too much. Welcome Aboard.

IHTRTRS ke pichle episode mein aapne dekha...


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