Monday, December 26, 2005
New Delhi (T2N2) The Indian government has authorised the use of umbrellas inside government offices even on non-rainy days.
The Perennial Umbrellas in Government Offices (PUGO) Act 2005 is set to come into force by February after the bill was passed by a majority in both Houses of Parliament yesterday.
According to official sources, people all over India had been eagerly awaiting the Act which has been in the offing for several long years.
"Instead of waiting for government officials to wake up from their siestas and finish pending work, colleagues can now merely poke them with umbrellas. It's a great relief for our throats which had turned hoarse from shouting."
All umbrellas be it parasols or toy versions of all hues would come under the purview of the PUGO Act.
However, the Act will not be enforced in private sector offices as the workaholic ambience coupled with the boss's high blood pressure is considered sufficient antidote to any propensity for falling asleep on the job. (T2N2)
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Two years ago, when Bush met Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, Abbas had seemed ready to do anything to procure lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, says an excerpt from a CIA document.
"Unfortunately, just as Abbas was about to sign on the US-brokered roadmap, Bush hiccupped - loudly. A startled Abbas looked up even as the president hiccupped again...and again. When Bush started on his fourteenth hiccup, a visibly-irritated Abbas left the room."
Though under heavy pressure at home to make concrete progress with Bush on the roadmap, Abbas never returned to sign the document. Following a joint news conference where the matter was not discussed, the Palestinian prime minister left for the airport.
White House aides told T2N2 that Bush frequently falls prey to bouts of hiccupping. Many of these have unfortunately struck him during important meetings and who knows - may have inevitably changed the course of history as we know it.
And how does the President get cured? We got our answer, albeit on condition of anonymity, from one of his aides.
"We have tried everything. But he seems to react best to eating peanut butter. So, we have stocked up every possible room here with the president's favourite brand."
Still, that's a temporary solution. Who knows how many more world leaders will Dubya irritate with his untimely hiccups?
After all, Welshman John Francis Crosland has been hiccupping for more than 40 years.(T2N2)
Saturday, October 22, 2005
London (T2N2) A post-modernist rendition of Shakespeare's immortal play Hamlet, running to packed houses here, has enraged literary purists who say the new version is 'disgusting' and 'unpalatable'.
Unruly Kid productions started performing the kitschy Bollywood-style Hamlet at Queen's Hall on October 15.
According to director Kelton John, elements of tragedy have been deliberately suppressed to make way for what audiences of the 21st century want - Happy Endings.
Deviating from the Shakespearian plot, the play depicts Hamlet as an ambitious prince who kills tyrant Claudius the minute he gets the message from his father's ghost.
Though Ophelia and Gertrude are very much present, the roles of Laertes and Polonius have been cut to accommodate dance sequences set to music by rock band Metallica and India's Shankar-Ehsan-Loy.
"People were getting bored with the concept of the tragic hero. They needed a new hero who takes revenge and enjoys his life too," says John.Hamlet's celebrated aporia, including his To be or not to be speech, is totally missing from the new production.
In the biggest twist, Hamlet does not die at the end of the play, which sees him cavorting with beloved Ophelia in a 'happily ever after' dream sequence set to Nach Baliye from the Hindi blockbuster Bunty aur Babli.(T2N2)
Thursday, October 20, 2005
While we sort out this mammoth mess, we can only assuage the feelings of our sympathisers with one teeny-weeny promise a la Arnie - We'll be back. (T2N2)
Friday, October 07, 2005
New Delhi (T2N2) Political circles were agog this week with news that mosquitoes had been detected in the servant quarters of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's residence. But not everyone knows there's a love story behind it all.
Mystikata, an Aedes Aegypti mosquito interviewed by T2N2, has professed her undying love for the daughter of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Apparently a regular at Vadra's VIP residence, Mystikata has been smitten by Priyanka's charms, fair skin and of course "yummy blood."
On Wednesday, a news agency quoted an New Delhi Municipal Council employee as saying that Priyanka had been warned to take precautions and check the breeding of dengue mosquitoes at her home.
But Mystikata remains unperturbed and vows not to leave the place.
"After all, I belong to a royal family. We have been serving the Gandhi family for generations. I even remember Rajiv...Ooh! he was so handsome and tasty...and I remember my great-great grandmother Kuchkata telling me just how delicious Nehru had been."
According to the mosquito, not every Tom, Dick and Harry can dare to bite a member of India's most famous family.
"We have dynasty rule here too. Only the most pure ones, claiming descent from Queen Hairekata (she tasted the blood of sepoy Mangal Pandey in 1857) can lay claim to serving the Gandhi family."
Mystikata is also proud of her clan's achievements this year - The national capital has reported 244 cases of dengue this year compared to 83 last year. (T2N2)
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
New Delhi (T2N2) India's crucial vote supporting the IAEA resolution against Iran has come back to haunt us.
Irritated by the Janus-faced politics of the ruling UPA government, Iran's Ambassador Zargar Yaghoubi today delivered an angry missive to President A P J Abdul Kalam from his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Sources told us Iran has decided to stop exporting its world-class series of Plastoran buckets to India.
Plastorans are known for their durability and are the favourites in the bucket category worldwide. In fact, India imports 2.5 lakh such buckets from Iran each year.
Although Yaghoubi declined to talk to the media, highly-placed sources told us Iran was miffed by India's attitude and has withdrawn the one item on its export list that would cause India "much pain" and "regret."
According to Congress leader and former Minister of State for External Affairs Salman Khurshid, efforts are being made to smoothen ruffled feathers and political expediency might just save the day for India.
"All are certainly missing the Plastoran buckets. But I am not saying all is lost. There is still time for discussions and India may still hang on to Iran's world-class buckets."
Experts agree that Iran might retract this harsh decision once India votes in favour of our 'bucket' friend at the November meet of the IAEA. (T2N2)
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Washington (T2N2) Did you know George W Bush has more in common with tequila and tortilla than he would ever care to admit? The Democrats have never had it this good before - A Republican President of the United States who is actually Mexican by birth.
Unbelievable? You better believe it. Former US president Bush Senior today admitted that son George does not carry an iota of either his or Barbara Bush's genes.
"George is actually the son of our Mexican help Frida who had a live-in relationship with our Mexican chauffeur Enrique. When Enrique dumped Frida, we offered to raise George and give him the security of an American surname. Even a McDonalds in India is more American than George is," he told T2N2 in an exclusive interview.
Bush Senior said that he had made this disclosure as he could no longer continue lying to the world.
"Somewhere in a village in Mexico lives a woman who knows her son is the President of the greatest country in the world but can't reveal it to anybody. My mission now is to help George meet his real mother," he added.
But wouldn't it be difficult to identify the true Frida from the millions who will come forward to claim George as their own?
"That won't be a problem. When she left George with us, Frida carried one half of his soiled diaper with her as a keepsake. The other half is with me. Only when the two halves match perfectly will we know who George's real mother is."
President Bush, however, refused to comment on his father's revelations and closeted himself at his Crawford ranch.
Meanwhile, Democrat Hillary Clinton is all set to cash in on the latest White House scandal and shore up support for her bid to become the first woman president of the United States.
"Forget Rita, forget Katrina. The Bush tequila is the one cocktail that will get Senator Hillary to power next time,"an aide close to her told us on condition of anonymity. (T2N2)
Saturday, September 24, 2005
New Delhi (T2N2) Bald men rejoice! It's time to get back your hair. Thanks to Indian scientist Prof Bala Nagappa and his team at the University of Hirsutology here, a receding hairline will soon be a thing of the past.
The miracle cure reportedly makes use of cowdung and liver of lizard but that may not deter millions worldwide from rushing to their nearby chemist.
"The liquid potion will be marketed as Hairy Fairy and will be available in stores by the end of this month," says Nagappa.
The wonder drug was developed after three months of back-breaking research by Nagappa and eleven of his undergraduate students.
"We first tested it on bald dogs, then bald pigs and finally our bald peon Ram Chander. It worked wonders on all of them. Especially Ram who has started dating once again after growing nearly three million new hairs on his scalp," says Nagappa.
According to a highly-placed source in Stockholm, Nagappa and his team are now in the running for this year's Nobel Prize for Medicine.
"It's obvious. All the guys in the Nobel Prize jury are bald and are hoping to get free samples from Nagappa," the source told T2N2.
The miracle drug has to be ingested once daily and starts showing results within a week, Nagappa says.
However, a sect of bald people in Italy are challenging the marketing of the hair potion.
"It's cool to be bald and we are proud of it. Many of our Bald and Beautiful members will be converted to the Hairy religion and we resent it," the head of the sect said in a message writen in blood to Nagappa, a copy of which was given to us.
However, Nagappa is going ahead with plans for a mega launch of the Hairy Fairy and has reportedly roped in film actors Bruce Willis and Anupam Kher for promoting the new drug. (T2N2)
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Islamabad (T2N2) Move over Pakistan. Terror mastermind Osama bin Laden has found a new ally in the Indian BPO industry.
Speaking to this correspondent from his secret hideout near the Pak-Afghan border, Laden today outlined his plans of hiring al-Qaeda liaison officers from India's leading call centres.
"The problem is that Pakistani recruits here are absolutely ignorant about everything. They don't even know the capital of the United States. What if I tell them to bomb Paris and they end up attacking Tokyo instead?"
Like many Western countries, Laden found a solution in India's low paid yet highly educated urban youth, especially those based in the desi version of Silicon Valley.
"These Bangalore-based guys are just great. The moment any of my Qaedis face any problem, they just call up the call-centre and are given specific instructions on what to bomb, where to bomb and how to bomb. Things are now running with clockwork precision and the next few weeks will see a new reign of terror."
With more and more high-profile customers waxing eloquent about the quality of their employees, Indian call-centres look set to dominate the BPO beat in the coming years.(T2N2)
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Police have cordoned off the area and all retail outlets of sandstone dealers are being raided by the CBI.
Meanwhile, an emergency meeting has been convened by the Ministry of Home Affairs to assess the situation. A Ministry official confirmed that the site where the tower once stood was now totally bare.
The hand of terror outfits like Al-Qaeda is not being ruled out, he said.
The loss was discovered by caretaker Ghumman who told reporters he had no clue where the heritage structure was.
"The Minar was there as usual when I went to sleep last night. This morning when I woke up it had vanished."Historians feel that it would be next to impossible to transport the Qutab Minar as it is. The only other alternative of taking it down brick-by-brick would have taken even a dedicated army months to accomplish.
According to an ASI official, all this might be the handiwork of a master illusionist like David Copperfield who has hypnotised people into "not seeing" the Qutab Minar. Investigations are on, he said, adding that the loss of the Minar "would be a great loss for India."
Sultan Qutb-ud-Din Aibak laid the foundation of the Minar in AD1199 and it was completed by his successor Iltutmish. At 72.5 metres, the red sandstone structure is, or rather was, the highest stone tower in India.(T2N2)
Mumbai (T2N2) The Maharashtra floods may have caused a lot of damage but a 41-year-old scientist is actually thanking God for opening Heaven's floodgates.
Meet Sadashiv Nene (no relation to Madhuri Dixit) who discovered a new species of eel previously unknown to mankind. It all happened right at his house during this week's flash floods.
"I had retreated to the upper floors of my Andheri apartment during the rains. When I came down to the ground floor to search for my dog, I found this magnificent golden-brown eel swimming nonchalantly above my submerged desk."The new species called 'Eelus Nenelus' after its finder, is said to belong to the non-poisonous variety. Experts suggest that the unprecedented rains in India's financial capital had literally fished out the eel from its hideout, and there might be more where this one came from.
The discovery has been validated by the London Society of Eels, and Nene is obviously on cloud nine.
"Of course, I am happy. Though my dog did not make it alive, I am very pleased to have found this new pet. I have even named it Tommy after my dog."Be that as it may, Nene might find it a tad difficult holding on to Tommy because his wife Rukmini refuses to come anywhere near his new pet.(T2N2)
Monday, June 27, 2005
New Delhi (T2N2) Indian stray dogs are set to give desi men a complex. A study released today by an international dog-lovers club 'We Love Animals' has rated them the world's sexiest.
The lowly mongrel beat dogs from around the world, including pedigreed dogs from India, when it came to "prowess in bed," the report said.
"They may not be much to look at but female dogs around the world love them anyways,"a spokesperson for the NGO said.
The study found that Indian stray dogs romped home on the sexiness quotient both in terms of endurance power and ability to satisfy their "spouses."
During the study, 1756 bitches of various breeds were given leeway to consummate relationships with a dog of their choice. An overwhelming majority of 1301 zeroed in on the Indian mongrel, which top-scored in categories like 'body-odour, 'curvature of tail', 'shapeliness of the femural bone' and 'licking ability'.
Despite its small size, the Brazilian Chihuahua was adjudged the runner-up, garnering the affections of 91 bitches while the German Shepherd was the chosen mutt for 81. Interestingly, the British Bulldog remained the hapless bachelor with even the bitch of the same species refusing to entertain his woofs.(T2N2)
Sunday, June 26, 2005
"These Indians - they just colour their hair blonde - and disguise themselves as Americans to illegally migrate to the US,"US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters here today.
Rice, however, admitted that the ban is not expected to drastically reduce the number of illegal migrations to the US, given that 'blonde' hair dye is easily available even in India.
"But we are installing machines at airports and ports here which would scan Indians who used hair dye not made in the US. If those people don't have valid passports and visas, we'll just deport them back to India,"she said.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a top US diplomat said that more measures are in the pipeline to discourage Indians from moving to the US.
"There's an Indian onslaught here. Indians are even winning Spelling Bee contests here and making our kids look like retards,"he said. (T2N2)
New York (T2N2) Music critic Art Salinger today announced that his 6-year-old tabby cat by the name of 'Meow' is all set to debut on Broadway.
"A year ago, I was shocked to find this pussy in a roadside cafe meowing to the tune of 'We are the World',"he told T2N2 in an exclusive interview.
Salinger promptly paid the cafe owner a thousand dollars for the cat, which apparently picked up its singing skills after listening to musicians playing in the plaza opposite the cafe.
"Make no mistake, this is going to beat 'Cats'. This cat is gonna make it big. Real big,"he said.
Presently, Salinger is teaching Meow some new songs, including "some Britney Spears numbers". He says the wonder cat will make its debut sometime at the end of this year. (T2N2)
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Mumbai (T2N2) In what could signal her shifting lock, stock and barrel to Hollywood, actor Aishwarya Rai has announced her retirement from the Bollywood film industry.
"I do have a few projects on hand. But once I finish them, I will not be seen in any Indian film. I will not be signing any new projects here,"Rai told reporters here today.
The former Miss World revealed that she had been approached for a venture with Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg and said a film with Tom Cruise was also in the offing.
The diva's announcement came as a shock to many of the leading lights of the Mumbai film industry.
According to co-star Abhishek Bachchan, even though Aish could now help project Indian films at the international level, her absence here may also "prove detrimental to the film industry."
Lover-turned-foe Salman Khan chose to remain silent on the issue while current hearthrob Vivek Oberoi was circumspect in his comments to media.
"We won't be able to meet that often. But careerwise, things are looking up for Aish,"he said.
However, some critics interpret Rai's move as a move to get back at rival Rani Mukherjee who has been hogging the limelight recently with critically-acclaimed movies like 'Black' and the soon-to-be-released 'Paheli.' (T2N2)
Sunday, May 08, 2005
"It's really clean and tidy here. Plus, its so peaceful that I can actually hearthe Pope was quoted as saying by sources.
the clouds passing by,"
The popular pontiff, who could well be on the path of sainthood, is also reported to have had an audience with the Heavenly Father as also his son Jesus Christ.
According to sources, the Pope told Princess Diana -
"It was a great moment. God is such a great guy. It was wonderful talking to him and Jesus. I met Mother Teresa too, but only for a few minutes. She's busy taking care of the Heavenly hospital here. It seems many angels here stumble over clouds (being the same colour as themselves) and sustain injuries. Mother seems to as useful here as on Earth."Asked about his future plans, the Pope said he was looking forward to spend eternity in blissful retirement.
Replying to Saint Peter's questions about Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's ability to lead the Catholics, the Pope is said to have praised him highly.
"There's so much to do. Answering prayers of the faithful on earth is in itself a tiring task. When I have time, I prefer sitting in the library here."
"I feel Ratzinger was the best choice for being the Pope and I am happy with the decision of the cardinals. He was my right-hand man and he would perform his duties well,"
the former Pope was quoted as saying.
The Pope's recommendation is expected to squash murmurs among a section of the Catholic community about the "hardliner" attitude of newly-installed Pope Benedict XVI. (T2N2)
Friday, April 22, 2005
Lokman Hakim, the eleven-month-old who weighed in at an astonishing 22 kilos, has a penchant for gobbling down a kilo of rice and seven litres of milk at a single sitting.
Media reports had earlier cited doctors as saying that the abnormality had arisen from a hormonal imbalance but they have been unable to find any scientific explanation for the phenomenon.
Some of them now feel that the infant's voracious appetite cannot be ascribed to something on terra firma.
"It's sure to be an alien, Whether a good one like in 'Men in Black' or an evilsays Dr Bulls Banerjee.
one like in 'Omen,' it's too early to say,"
According to Dr Chills Chatterjee, India should start building a special ricket to zoom up the infant to wherever he belongs.
Meanwhile, villagers from miles away have started pouring into Lokman's village to catch a glimpse of the visitor from outer space.
Unscrupulous pundits have already set up a makeshift darshan tent wherein for a small fee, people can actually hold (if they can) the infant, which is an onerous task considering the kid starts emitting high-decibel screams if kept away from food for too long. (T2N2)
Thursday, April 21, 2005
In an exclusive telephonic interview to this correspondent from Moscow, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that Alaska was but a small price to pay for keeping India away from power at the UN.
"We just have snow and ice and Eskimos in Alaska. And a bit of oil too - but
then that cost we'll extract from India using other means. Anyways, it's a
really worth it to keep India away from the reins of power at the UN. Believe
me! It's worth it,"
Rice was in Moscow to conduct talks with Russian leaders and gloat over America's supremacy over the Kremlin.
Reactions from the ruling UPA government in New Delhi were on expected lines, even though a decision as to India's acceptance of the plan had not been taken till the time of filing this story. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailed the announcement as a new era in Indo-US ties -
"It's like we are now married. India is the husband and the US the wife and
Alaska is the dowry. What a wonderful life. God bless us both."
RSS supremo Sudershan, however, alleged that the gift was a double-edged one and part of a carefully thought-out strategy by the US.
"There will be millions of missionaries in Alaska, and they will all become
Indian citizens. This way the population of Christians here will increase and
they will start calling the shots in India."
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Renuka Choudhary was excited about the news, and has already unveiled a plethora of plans to be put into action in Alaska.
"I can't give you much details yet. But we'll certainly be having a night bazaar
and cultural festival in Alaska."
External Affairs spokesperson Navtej Sarna said that a befitting reply to the US offer will be drafted and sent to the US in the coming days, but hinted that in all probability the reply would be a "positive one". (T2N2)
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
"The Committee feels that such a move by Lady Bharati is bound to usher in peace and harmony in Indian political circles and heralds a new beginning for Indian democracy. We feel the need to honour the damsel for her peerless sacrifice in the interests of the people,"the Peace Prize panel said in a statement.
Although Ms Bharti was unavailable for comment, BJP President L K Advani was unequivocal in his immediate reaction to the announcement.
"I don't understand...I have offered to resign so many times. They never considered me for a prize."
Meanwhile, senior leader Vajpayee also seemed shocked by the news, considering that he burst out crying in front of reporters at his residence.
"Why...(sob)...Why can't she (sob) just leave without any controversy?"
Later in the evening, however, the party issued a perfunctory statement welcoming the announcement and added that it wished more of its notorious leaders could be conferred the coveted Prize, and help the party get rid of them in the process. (T2N2)
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