Thursday, December 31, 2009

Proverbial Chutney...

"Yes, Mrs. dog did my homework..."

Arkansas Store Owner Embraces Festivus as Official Store Holiday

An Indian Roller DUN exclusive...

Tracy Sharpner, the owner of a hardware store in Bedford, Arkansas, has declared that her workplace will forego the tradition of celebrating Christmas and commemorate Festivus during the holidays of 2010. Festivus is a secular holiday created by writer Dan O'Keefe and popularized by his son, Daniel O'Keefe, a screenwriter for the hit TV show, Seinfeld.

Sharpner, who grew up in a Christian household in Darwin, California, moved to Arkansas nearly nine years ago to set up a store that featured products from local suppliers in Arkansas and neighboring states of Mississippi and Tennessee. "It's entirely a coincidence," said Sharpner,"but I happen to have a diverse demographic of religious denominations who are either my employees, my vendors, or my customers. I also have Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and a few atheists who work here in permanent- or temporary-capacity. We have several global religions under one roof, right here."

As she looked around at other stores in Bedford, Sharpner admits that she was "shocked" to find that most stores observed only Christmas as part of the holiday festivities. "I thought it was very parochial and un-Christian to appropriate the holidays for one faith only,"said Sharpner. "Since I strongly felt that a change was in the air, I started with my workplace and talked to my employees." Sharpner says that she was "simply amazed" to find out that a majority of her staff felt especially alienated during the holidays.

"The holidays are supposed to bring everyone together, not just Christians." said Sharpner, adding that she put up the holiday celebrations at her store up for a vote."The majority of employees voted for Festivus because it was the most secular festival of all." Sharpner admits that she was "especially gratified" that her employees voted for a secular celebration.

"The United States is a secular nation,"noted Sharpner,"and it warms my heart that my employees are aware of our nation's founding principles and believe in sharing the holidays with people of all creeds. And an aluminum pole is the only accoutrement needed for the festivities. Now that's recyclable, green, and earth-friendly."

Friday, December 25, 2009

Proverbial Chutney

"It's your drink for free..."

Utah Group Stages John Wayne Redux to Protect Tech Jobs

An Indian Roller DUN exclusive...
An activist group from Salt Lake City, Utah, wants to revive the Hollywood persona of John Wayne from his Western-genre movies. The group, Duke in Person (DIP), hopes to embrace Wayne's on-screen persona to help stave off outsourcing of American technology jobs to India. Wayne's popular moniker was "Duke", a reference to his pet dog from his childhood days in Southern California.

Members of DIP, who are also called "dippies" in Salt Lake City area, mainly due to their John Wayne inspired swagger and diction, use a combination of braggadocio and sensationalism to drive home their message. Ranee Fox, the President of DIP, articulated the cause of his group: "Just like the Duke stood up against the Indians in our pioneering days, we need to stand up against the loss of tech jobs to Indians."

Fox argues that most Americans feel helpless against the spate of tech jobs moving from the U.S. to India. "You look at great pioneering cities like Orem and Provo where the software industry was once booming," said Fox, "But now, owing to Bangalore and Hyderabad, we have Indians taking over jobs that rightfully belongs here. We need a leader of the Duke's caliber to preserve what is ours."

Arguing that Indian were holding on to jobs that Americans deserve, DIPS Charter Secretary Marl Monody pointed to a 1971 Playboy interview in which Wayne was quoted as having said that "There were great numbers of people who needed new land the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves." Drawing a parallel with recent U.S. and its annexation of lands belonging to Indians, Monody said that DIPS is asking for something similar. "We want the jobs that the Indians are selfishly keeping for themselves and if we have to annex their companies, so be it," said Monody. "I think the Duke would agree with us."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Proverbial Chutney

"That little bit of spirit should uncork your emotions."

Religion and Real Estate Vie to Get Closer to God

==An Indian Roller Consider it DUN exclusive==

With real estate prices taking a plunge in Dubai, a Sunni group with ties to the Saudi Royal family has been lobbying to buy the top floor of the Burj in Dubai at an undisclosed bargain price. The group, Dar al Dubai (DAD), plans to build a mosque in the top floor of the Burj, the tallest building in the world today.

"The top floor will be a prayer site for those who want to feel closest to Allah for a few minutes," said Dawood Ghazali, the DAD Public Relations Manager. "This is a mosque with the highest urban elevation on earth." Ghazali added that since the floor is accessible only via elevators, the prayer times will be restricted to 10 minutes per individual. "However," he said,"we will consider special requests."

The efforts to erect this soaring sanctum follows a global trend in high-rise sanctuaries. Recently, an influential group of Sikhs in Sirijaya, Malaysia, lobbied to establish a gurdwara in the top floor of the Petrones Towers in Kuala Lumpur. The move for the Petrones gurudwara, which was widely hailed as a reflection of the ascendancy of Sikhism in Malaysia, was withdrawn after the religious group and the developers of the Petrones Towers failed to reach a deal on the lease for the towers.

"We aim high,"said Ghazali, citing the charter of DAD,"because God wants us to."

Monday, November 30, 2009

Proverbial Chutney...

"Okay, all your passwords's go time!"

Southern Church Decries Thanksgiving Dinners

== An Indian Roller Exclusive ==
A church in the Edonville, Arkansas has issued a statement that Thanksgiving dinners are sinful and blasphemous. The Church of Christian Knights (COCK), whose followers believe in a strict, literal interpretation of the Holy Bible, argue that the turkey did not feature as an edible bird in the Bible. "If God wanted us to eat turkey," said Tam Boding, wife of Rev. Boding, the head of COCK, "He would have put a turkey on the table for Jesus and his disciples and he did not. That says something about the bird." The church strongly believes that the only meat items featured in the original Thanksgiving dinner of 1621 were venison and wild fowl.

Most members of COCK, who are also against miscegenation of races, believe that modern retelling of the original Thanksgiving, is apocryphal. "The pilgrims were pure Christians who were chosen by the Lord to start a new world," said Tony Whiles, secretary of COCK,"and I don't believe they would be without food or shelter as the modern stories portray their predicament. If they needed help, they didn't need no Indians...God was right there to help them." Whiles argues that the stories of the Pilgrims having dinner with Native-American Indians is "pure fiction" and a figment of modern-day political correctness.

"Segregation was solidly in place under God's law in the United States until the Civil War,"noted Whiles,"and for the Pilgrims, our Christian forefathers, to sit down at a holy meal with non-believers of color is totally out of character. How would you even say grace at a meal where heathens are the meal providers?"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Proverbial Chutney

"Does this battery pack make me look fat?"

Palin Fans in Michigan Line Up for the Wrong Book

An Indian Roller DUN Report:
A scheduling mixup at a local book store in Ypsikawah, Michigan, led to an appearance by author, Sarah Palin, at the wrong book-signing engagement. The book store, Radiant Books, had scheduled a book signing event for local author, Audrey Silverman, whose book, "Going Rugelach", is one of Cookbook Stop 2009 bestsellers.

"Both Ms.Palin and Ms.Silverman discovered the engagement snafu,"said Valerie Knotts, Store Manager at Radiant Books. "We have since cleared the matter with the booking agents for both authors and rescheduled Ms. Palin's signing for a later date."

First-time author Silverman admits that the scheduling mix up did result in an unusual attendance at her signing. "My target audience is families looking to expand their cooking repertoire before Channukah and the holidays," she said, "and there were several members of the audience here that were holding up political signs and singing patriotic songs, which I thought was odd." When her booking agent explained the error to Ms. Silverman, she was quick to respond -- "Jewish-American cooking is patriotic!"

Fans of Palin, some of whom had waited more than five hours for the signing, were not as amused. "We are not here for cookbooks," said Obit Gold, a member of an advocacy group, Palinists for Action, Truth, Righteousness, Integrity, and Obedience to Trinity (PATRIOT). "This nation is being run by a black man who is as far away from Chistianity as our eyes can see. Our beautiful, European-Christian heritage is going to hell in a handcart." Gold added that Sarah Palin's fans are the "true Archie Bunkers of this nation" because "only Palin and Archie Bunker seems to have the material to rekindle the Great White Hope."

"We ain't worried about the Jews lined up here with us today," said Cash Wittier, President of the Ypsikawah PATRIOT chapter, "But, I sure have a good Archie Bunker quote for them Yamaha-wearing folks -- Beat your tambourines with the Hairy Knishes." Wittier added that he was at the signing to hear Palin speak about her proposal to reinstate racial profiling of American citizens. "We need to protect and preserve this great nation to serve under one God,"said Wittier.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Proverbial Chutney

Mullah Issues Fatwa Against Annoying Animal

Ali Kuckamameh, a mullah in Tehran, has been so vexed by the repeated calls of a rooster in his neighborhood that he has issued a fatwa calling for its death. The rooster, whose owner calls him Bilal, annoyed Kuckamameh because its crowing would interfere with the mullah's early morning salat. As a mullah for a local mosque, Kuckamameh's role has to issue the salat, a call for prayer, to the faithful five times a day. Like most modern mosques in Tehran, the muezzin has the benefit of an electronic amplification system but Kuckamameh claims that the rooster's voice is "devilishly loud". "The rooster is interfering in my work and Allah's decree," said Kuckamameh,"and, therefore, he must die."

Bilal's owner, Mehdi Hassan, is terrified that one of Kuckamameh's faithful will carry out the fateful decree. "It is the nature of the rooster to crow,"said Hassan,"Allah willed it that way and I cannot stop Bilal from acting out his God-given nature?" Hassan admitted that he has considered giving the rooster sleeping pills to prevent him from crowing at the crack of dawn. "I'll do anything to save him,"said Hassan,"But I just don't know how I can afford sleeping pills for him for the rest of his life." A rooster can live up to 12 years and Hassan ekes out a living as a day-worker in the limestone quarries in the southern outskirts of Tehran.

To drown out the crows of Bilal at dawn, Hassan has built a special enclosure using wool and a cotton quilt to sound proof the cage. "It's tough,"admits Hassan,"because Bilal doesn't want to stay cooped up in the cage. He's a free spirit." If the enclosure proves ineffective, Hassan's other plan is to corral the rooster into a dark room until the morning call to prayers have passed.

Hassan admits that he has made efforts to pacify the irate mullah. "I offered him 40,000 Rials (approx. $ 4 USD) to upgrade Ali Kuckamameh's speaker system, but he insisted that I get rid of my rooseter instead," said Hassan.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Proverbial Chutney...

"I see that you have all the qualities that we are seeking...When can you start?"

Kolkata Ragpicker Recooks Leftover Chicken to Win India's Major Culinary Award

Indian Roller Exclusive by:

Shanti Bhuj, a 12-year-old ragpicker from the Tangra locality of Kolkata, won the presitigious Rashoi Ruchi (Kitchen Taste) Award in a culinary competition held at Kolkata's landmark Park Street Luxury Hotel. The award competition, hosted every year by the Culinary Chefs Consortium of the Parganas (CCCP), was attended by a record 248 competitors from the India sub-continent including entrants from Bangladesh, Burma, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Bhuj's winning entry was a dish of chicken biryani and it garnered top honors from all but one of the nine judges and beat its nearest competitor by 28 points. "As far as we are concerned,"said Abhijit Roy, a local celebrity chef and one of the judges."Shanti's entry blew the competition away. In fact, there was no competing with her biryani."

Local and national media rushed to cover the details when Bhuj's family revealed that the chicken and the rice used in the biryani were actually from leftovers rummaged from a trash bin following a wedding reception in Kolkata. A biryani is a spiced rice pilaf made with meats or vegetables.

Bhuj and her family manage to survive on an income of less than $1 a day by recycling the plastics, glass, and paper that they rummage out of local dumpsters and trash sites in and around Tangra. "There is a wedding hall on Lower Circus Road,"said Amiya Bhuj, Shanti's father, "and we often get to eat the leftovers after the wedding reception. We get by because there are a lot of receptions every week at this hall and the owners don't mind us eating out of their trash."

The news that the judges at the Rashoi Ruchi awards, an event telecast live throughout India, ate a winning meal made of leftovers has sent shockwaves through the media. This year the competition, as part of its outreach program, opened the entries to inner-city, economically-disadvantaged communities. A Tangra-area social worker had urged Shanti to enter her name in the contest. The Selection Committee, anticipating a profusion of entries from the public, set up a lottery scheme to pick a single entry. Shanti, who entered the competition with the help of Yasmeen Rahman, a social worker, had the winning entry in the lottery.

"Shanti has a knack for cooking,"said Rahman, who works with teens in the disadvantaged neighborhoods of Tangra."She was always asking me to try out some of her culinary creations that she created on her mother's coal stove. She lives close to the squalor and the foul stench of the local garbage dumps but her cooking is inspired by flavours that remind you of the legendary Mughlai cuisines. I believed it in my heart that Shanti could win."

Shanti would like to use the Award money to "rent a flat with a real kitchen" for her mother. Several TV sponsors, including JeeMedia, a cooking channel, have approached her with offers. Rahman noted that Shanti and her family deserved "a break" from their indigent conditions and that Shanti should entertain some of the offers coming her way but that she should "stay in school" to get an education. "She might be the first person in her immediate family to have a chance to get a high-school education, and perhaps, a higher degree in a field of her choice,"said Rahman,"And she should make full use of this opportunity."

"Shanti's runaway success could make Kolkata residents think twice about what to do with their leftovers," added Rahman.

Proverbial Chutney...

"No, lieutenant...first, we label 'em 'Enemy Combatants'...then, we keep 'em forever..."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

U.S. Right Wingers Embrace Air Travel E-Device that Detects Arabs

An ILLE exclusive:

A right wing group from Kentucky, Citizens United for Limbaugh and Coulter (CULT), has announced a device that, the group claims, will help air passengers identify Arab-born citizens before a flight. The electronic device, ArabBorn, is being assembled at an undisclosed CULT facility in Kentucky with components imported from China.

"This e-device offers us an opportunity to heed the words of Limbaugh and Coulter,"said Rube Naitbell, Grand Vazir of CULT in Morrisvale, Kentucky. "It allows us to detect if an Arab is flying with us and thereby gives us a choice to either notify the flight crew or deplane the aircraft altogether," added Naitbell. The ArabBorn device is the size of a digital golf caddy.

"I love the name, ArabBorn,"said Rosy McAllister,"because like the pill, Airborne, this clever doohickey was invented by a local school teacher, who I shall not name. He invented it because he wanted to find out how many students in his class were Arabs without breaking any state laws." According to McAllister, the device contains profiles and a lexicon of mannerisms that allows her to "instantly" detect Arabs at an airport or in a flight.

"Now, whenever, I fly,"said McAllister,"I make sure to take both my Airborne and ArabBorn...that is the healthy and friendly way to fly."

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Proverbial Chutney...

"I can never be an Early Bird, son...I'm a Night Owl..."

Father Names His Sons Moehamud to Dissuade Them from Flying

An Indian Roller Exclusive...

A father who suffers from aviophobia, has rechristened his two sons, Moehamud, in an effort to discourage them from flying in commercial airlines. Bradley Lauer, a resident of Caseville, Wisconsin, had been diagnosed with chronic aviophobia, a fear of flying, about five years ago and has kept his anxiety disorder under control by not flying.

"I am sure that it runs in the family," said Lauer,"and I don't want my two sons to suffer from the hassle that I have had to go through." He argued that by rechristening his two children, Moehamad, he was hoping to discourage them from flying ever. "Nowadays, flying commercial airlines with a name like Moehamud is very difficult," said Lauer,"and I hope that it convinces my children to avoid flying altogether." He added that in America, there are plenty of alternative forms of transportation where the name "Moehamud" is not an impediment. "Commercial aircrafts are one of the greatest polluters of the environment, and I hope their name change encourages my kids to consider alternative forms of transportation that is cheaper and greener,"added Lauer.

The father hopes to make his son's transition to their new names as smooth as possible. "I just pre-pended their names with Moehamud,"said Lauer."They can retain the rest of their original names, so that their friends can still call them Chris, Nick or even, Moe Sr. and Moe Jr." As a result of this change, the sons are named Moehamud Chris Lauer and Moehamud Nick Lauer. "I dig the name, Moe,"said Lauer, admitting that the he identified with the eponymous bartender from the hit TV show, The Simpsons.

"I am buying Amtrak tickets for the family this summer,"noted Lauer."My sons and I will be travelling cross-country, hassle-free, using just trains and perhaps, automobiles."

Indian Roller Exclusive by:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Proverbial Chutney

The Bible Voted "Most Popular Fairy Tale"

An Indian Roller Exclusive...

A recent poll conducted by the International Association of Myths and Folklores (IAMF), an organization of folklore scholars and researchers, concluded that the Bible is the most popular fairy tale ever. "The Bible trumps any other other religious or popular tale by nearly 8 percent in every category," noted Jude Abhramson,"but it scored highest in popularity in the "miracle" categories."

The poll featured several religious books -- the Koran, the Bible, The Torah, the Gita -- and popular fairy tales from several nations. The criteria used in the polls were: miracles, heroes, plots, violence, sex, suspense, and moral content. According to the pollsters, the Bible beat the other fairy tales in popularity in all but one category -- suspense.

"Most respondents noted that they were turned off by Jesus' and Moses' repeated acts of clairvoyance thereby spoiling the suspense in the stories of the Bible,"said Laihm Durkaim, a researcher at IAMF."For example, in Red Riding Hood, a reader has no idea that the big, bad wolf is going to disguise himself as the girl's grandmother and that clearly adds to the gripping suspense." Durkaim added that in the polls, the talking snake in the Bible beat the talking ants in the Koran in popularity.

"This poll is evidence that fairy godmothers fare right up there with God,"noted Steve Broad, author of the best-selling book, Faery Travelogue. "This polls shows that the miracle of turning a pumpkin into a stagecoach in Cinderella is nearly as popular as the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine in the Bible." Broad says that he was not surprised to find that, according to the poll, the authors of the Bible, the Gita, and the Koran were as popular as the famous European author of fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen. "It shows, that just like H.C.Andersen, the authors of the so-called, 'holy books', were creative, inventive, and had a fertile imagination."

Later this year, IAMF plans to release a special edition of the Bible featuring the title, "Best Fairy Tale Ever."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ashoka the Great Bedevils BJP Annual Convention

An Indian Roller exclusive...

The ghost of Ashoka the Great, the Indian Emperor who ruled the subcontinents from 273 BCE to 232 BCE, is alleged to have disrupted the annual convention of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Ahmedabad, India. Several members of BJP, India's Hindutva and centre-right party, reported to the media yesterday that the apparition of Ashoka the Great had made numerous overtures unleashing panic and fear among the convention attendees.

Several segments of the Indian media interpreted the news as an appeal by Ashoka the Great towards religious tolerance and multiculturalism. "It appears to be a fulfillment of a prophecy,"said Nikhil Ojha, the editorial columnist of Ranchi Tribune, a news daily with wide circulation in the eastern state of Jharkhand, "Ashoka's visitation was preordained by karma." Ojha was referring to a prediction earlier this year by Jyotish Kumarmangalam, a renowned astrologer, that the "spirit of Ashoka" would make itself "available" to curb Hindu nationalism in India. Kumarmangalam could not be reached for comment.

Joseph Kutty, news reporter for India Now, one of India's premier news-weekly, explained Ashoka's apparition as "long time coming" while pointing out that Ashoka the Great, a Buddhist Emperor, was India's foremost regent. "You can see Ashoka's legacy everywhere," he noted, "in Indian currency, in dharma chakra, in our national flag, and in the great Buddhist stupas throughout the nation." Kutty feels that Ashoka's appearance at the BJP annual convention is not a coincidence. "It's a reminder to all the Hindu, right-wing, nationalists in BJP that India is not a Hindu nation despite what BJP might claim," he added, "The greatest ruler of India, in our rich and diverse history, was a Buddhist and his message was one of non-violence and religious tolerance."

The organizing committee of the annual BJP convention branded Ashoka's ghost as an "unwelcome distraction." "If he appears again, we will be ready for him,"said, Lalu Advani, a BJP functionary, adding that the party had several professional exorcists among its rank and file."We'll make sure that Ashoka thinks twice before disrupting our proceedings again." Advani remarked that, owing to the recent events, involving the ghost of Ashoka, the party is considering moving its headquarters from Ashoka Road, New Delhi to another "suitable" location.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Turning a New Leaf on India Before 1947

An Indian Roller/JIG exclusive...

A tea leaf picked by a tea labourer in plantation in Assam, India reveals a map of united India before the partition of 1947. Lapsong Namchek, a tea labourer in the Daradhili Tea Estate in the north-eastern region of India, said that she chanced upon the "special" tea leaf on a routine tea-plucking session on April 6, 2009. She promptly informed her manager, Sushil Bordoloi, who informed the local media of this "once-in-a-lifetime" discovery.

"In these parts, we believe that each etiolated pattern on a tea leaf is unique and a harbinger of the future," said Bordoloi, "and this leaf predicts that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh is going to reunite." The news of the "reunifying" tea leaf has made headlines in the Indian media.

"This is a sign to all denizens of the Indian continent that we must undo the wrong done by the Colonial British in India," remarked Mohsin Kidwai, a renowned political activist based in Ranchi, India, "The British split us up into three nations 62 years ago and now it's time for us to turn back time."

The tea leaf has been moved to National Tea Museum in Guwahiti, India, where patrons have flocked to watch the leaf which is being preserved in a hermetically-sealed glass container. "This proves that political divisions are all man made," said Arati Nag, a local visitor, as she jostled with other onlookers to catch a fleeting glimpse of the leaf, "It took a tea leaf to reunite us all."

The embassies of all three nations, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, have refused to comment to the press on the swirling buzz around the "reunifying" tea leaf. The Guwahiti Sentinel, the largest daily in Assam, reports that an employee of the Daradhili Tea Estate had started a blog,, to report on the community groundswell surrounding the reunification of the Indian subcontinent. The newspaper also noted that the blog had been promptly shut down by the Assam government authorities.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Proverbial Chutney

"Wish I could revitalize as a stimulus package for Easter."

Small Nano Set for Big Fanfare

An Indian Roller Exclusive...

India's Tata Motoring Group (TMG) unveiled the world's cheapest car, Nano, billing it the "people's car." And like the legendary Volkswagen Beetle, from which the Nano draws its "people's car" moniker, it is rear-engined. TMG plans to ship the first orders of Nano in April 2009.

"The Nano is proof-positive that small is beautiful, affordable, and eco-friendly." remarked Rattan Tata, Chairman of TMG,"It's an Italian design created for the Indian people -- very much like the President of Indian National Congress." Tata was referring to Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born head of India's ruling political party. Tata added that while Gandhi had been working on the upliftment of economic conditions for the poor, TMG had been pursuing more transportation solutions for India's poor. "We have a duty to promote this car to the poor," he remarked.

Sunshine Media, the advertising & media company hired by TMG to promote the Nano announced this month that the company has finalized a three-part commercial featuring Robin Williams, the veteran Hollywood comedian and movie star. Williams, who starred as Mork, an anthropomorphic alien, in the 1970's hit-show, Mork and Mindy, made the alien character famous with his trademark alien greeting, "Nanu, Nanu!" In the new commercials for the Nano car, Williams is expected to reprise his alien impersonation but alter his greeting to say "Nano, Nano!"

Tata Motors is going ahead with initial production target of 250,000 Nanos a year despite concerns about its impact on the environment and its design limitations. The launch of Nano has alarmed the Go-Green movement in India which claims that Nano is just another "carbon-emitting, gas-powered vehicle". "It is not a solution,"said Rajivendra Preachauri,"the people of India need mass-transit, not gas-transit." He added that the sight of Nanos clogging up India's gridlocked streets will be akin to a horror movie, like the "Invasion of Tata Nanobots".

The Tall Clubs International (, a worldwide consortium of tall people, has issued a formal protest to Tata Motors claiming that the car's cabin space and lack of headroom discriminates against tall people. Billie Jeanette Maurisen, the 2008 Miss Tallest International remarked that this was another instance that tall people were not consulted at any stage of the design process. "Italy, where the Nano was designed, has a lot of tall people."Maurisen said,"You would think that Tata Motors would care to involve tall people in the design and development process."

Responding to criticism about the size of the car, Ratan Tata explained that the "Nano" means "less" in Gujarati. "The poor in India are short and thin." Tata added, "Making the Nano any bigger would turn the brand into an oxymoron. In fact, we have tried to make the Nano less of a car in every way possible."

According to Tata, staying true to TMG's goal for the Nano as "less of a car" was "paramount". The car has one less wing nut than the statutory four nuts. It has one windscreen wiper instead of the standard two wipers. It has one less sideview mirror and less welded parts than a regular car. Many of the external parts of the Nano are held together with glue.

"The Nano proves to the automobile aficionados that less is more." said Tata.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Proverbial Chutney

"That's nature's form of mergers and acquisitions, son..."

Bashir and Bush Issued Two-For-One Warrants For Crimes

Recently, an anonymous source has informed Indian Roller Correspondent, Itinerant Little Leprechaun (ILLE) of the following:


The Hague: In an unprecedented ruling this morning, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that its prosecutors will serve a two-for-one warrant indictment of Sudanese President Omar al Bashir and former U.S. President George W. Bush. The ICC argues that the charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes are nearly identical for both individuals and a warrant with the same proscriptions will be issued to both.

"It's a departure from our court's modus operandi,"admitted Hans Joergen, Chief Justice of ICC," but the more we looked at the cases of Omar al Bashir and George W. Bush, the greater the similarities were between the war crimes and the crimes against humanity perpetrated by both individuals." Joergen added that this new move by the court is aimed at speeding up the delivery of indictments and possible conviction of both "alleged" criminals.

The ICC has urged Bashir and Bush to surrender themselves to the court immediately to face trial. The trial will be held at the Hague and it is expected to draw significant scrutiny from the world media.

"It sends a message to the despots and tyrants of all nations," added Sharif Akbar, Chief Foreign Correspondent of India Tribune," that no one is above the law." Akbar was confident that both Bush and Bashir would be convicted on "all counts" for their war crimes and crimes humanity.

"It's plain to see," added Alexandra Stavros, senior fellow at Larkin Peace Institute, a Washington think tank, "Both Bashir and Bush committed grave atrocities against their own citizens and abused their power and position. Now, it's Judgement Day and we hope that justice will be served."

Bush was at an inaugural ceremony of Kahuna Waves, a Dallas-area family water park, where the media approached him with news of the ICC warrant. He seemed unfazed by the ICC decision and instead urged the media to "enjoy the moment" at the water park.

"Look, they have a Waterboarding ride in this park,"said Bush, pointing to a tour guide of Kahuna Waves park, "I keep telling y'all. Waterboarding is fun!"

A spokesman for Omar Bashir's office declined to comment on the ICC warrant.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Proverbial Chutney

"Looks like your soul has turned to steel...I'm reassigning you to the scrap-metal department."

The Benchmarks of Celibacy

A recent article in the BBC News online, Priests to face 'sex drive tests', reports that the Catholic Church is about to screen future priests for their sexual urges. The goal here is to prevent further abuse of minors by religious figureheads and to protect the coffers of the Catholic church from further erosion by excessive lawsuits by past victims.

Our Indian Roller editorial correspondent, Right Orientation by Cause Krampus (ROCK), firmly believes that in order to put an end to the priests' sex scandals, the screening test for sexual urges should include this mandatory, 10-part questionnaire:

1. When you think of your masculine identity, whom do you relate to more: Harvey Milk, Dick Cheney, or Pope Benedict XVI?

2. Would you think that it is wrong to take the colors, pink, and turqouise, out of the rainbow?

3. Have you ever dreamt of Jesus as an altar boy?

4. When you hear the word, "celibacy" do you feel like "celebrating"?

5. Have you ever owned a tele-tubby or a pink Barbie?

6. When you hear the word "pride" what does it remind you of:
a) a parade of American patriots or
b) a parade of American queers?

7. Have you ever traveled to the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, and West Hollywood?

8. Have you ever caught yourself singing the tune, "Our Father who art fruity and gay, hallowed be thy game..."

9. Do you feel that Satan, not the Pope, is answerable for the Catholic priests' sexual abuse of children?

10. Have you ever been a GLAAD giver?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Proverbial Chutney...

"Got balls?"

Disaffected Women Gripe About Glass Ceiling in Mainstream Religion

An exclusive from Indian Roller Correspondent, ILLE.

"Could I ever be the Pope or the next Dalai Lama?"

During a class in comparative religion, Sophie posed this question to her teacher. She recalls that her teacher was dumbfounded by her query which, literally, came out of the blue.

"The teacher just froze, as if she had been struck by a thunderbolt," recalls Sophie. “I felt like I had asked an inappropriate question."

Is there a proverbial "glass ceiling" in mainstream religion?

According to one Rabbi, a woman who runs a reformed temple, "there is a strong glass ceiling, and every woman in today's mainstream religion will feel it and face it. People had inferred that the feminist movement would make a permanent dent in the sexism rampant in mainstream religion," she notes, "but the recent decades have proven that the male chauvinism in religion came out pretty-much unscathed. You compare the strides that women have made in the workplace and you try to extrapolate that to Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam or Buddhism and you realize that for the most part, all of you have is the status quo. Mainstream religion is stuck in the Middle Ages the chronological equivalent of using leeches as panacea.”

“Comparing the workplace and mainstream religion would be an exercise in disappointment for most women,” she added.

Recently, Fortune Magazine, a premier business and technology publication, noted that in 2008, there were 12 Women CEO's among the top FORTUNE 500 companies. Prominent among the list were names such as Indra Nooyi, Pepsico, Anne Mulcahy, Xerox, and Janet Robinson, New York Times.

I spoke with a local professor of Comparative Religion who stated that, "It's difficult to draw parallels with advancement of women in the workplace versus mainstream religion. Take Christianity, for instance, the top three positions in the board are occupied by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. There is no room for a woman there." She adds that search for the next Dalai Lama will be a "for-men-only" search.

"You look at the myths of Islam and Judaism and the main protagonists are all male," she also stated. "The Gods are all masculine and there is no room for a woman at the top. If you question that male order, you are branded a heretic, an infidel." She added that subjugation of women and relegation of women to inferior roles in society are often "institutionalized" in the holy books.

"I think that it is a wonder of our modern times that, despite the strong element of male chauvinism and misogyny prevalent in today's mainstream religions, that there are so many female adherents. I am amazed that conservative women, such as, Ann Coulter, go around extolling the virtues of Biblical lifestyle, whereas many passages in the Bible have major doses of sexism and misogyny embedded in the verbiage. If the Biblical lifestyles she espouses so vocally were to be actually enforced today, Ann Coulter would probably be stoned for having sex out of wedlock, sporting a mini skirt, and arguing with a man."

An astronomer whom I spoke with finds this debate about the star-crossed fate of women in religion "rather interesting."

"My advice to these women would be to blaze their own trail and create their own universe with their own rules" she said, "after all, that's exactly what the founding fathers of today's mainstream religions did. They concocted a paternal God and a male universe to suit their narrow, parochial visions."

She also added that people who feel disenchanted by sexism in mainstream religion should be able to find solace in the secular reaches of science, such as astronomy.

"It was Carl Sagan who said it best in the introduction to his Cosmos series. The universe is all that is or ever was or ever will be."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Pure Science of Segregation

Copyright 1959, by D.C. Heath and Company

These illustrations are from the book, "Science for Work and Play" by Herman and Nina Schneider. The book was part of the California State Series and published by the California State Department of Education, Sacramento, 1959. The illustrators are Cheslie D'Andrea, Malcom Harvey, and Marguerite Scott.

According to the Encylopedia of Chicago, "redlining" is the practice of arbitrarily denying or limiting financial services to specific neighborhoods, generally because its residents are people of color or are poor. Here's an example of state-sponsored "redlining" in science education.

It's a good thing that the civil rights movement and affirmative action were just around the bend from this book's publishing date in 1959. Otherwise, we might have been stuck in this doggerel for who knows how long...

Pure Science

Look at this community
All so tight
Inbuilt immunity
Science pure as white

Look at this school day
The Lord made it right
Among books none outweigh
The Bible pure as white

Was this the nineteen fifties
All smiles and delight
Only outskirts, far from cities
Burbs pure as white?

-- by "Blessed Am I?"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Proverbial Chutney

Mr.Goosen's gone windsurfing in Mali. I'm his PDA. How can I help you?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Islamophobia Rears its Ugly Head Again

An exclusive from Indian Roller Correspondent, Itinerant Little Leprechaun (ILLE)


Earlier this week, the news media was agog with the details of a prominent TV executive who beheaded his wife after an altercation in Orchard Park, NY. While it made sense to highlight this horrific crime of domestic abuse, was it really necessary to capitalize on the religion of the accused, which happened to be Islam? Indeed, before the specifics of the case were established by the courts, media headlines screamed out that he was a "Muslim" man. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Yahoo News
Muslim TV exec accused of beheading wife in NY

U.S. Muslim TV network founder charged with beheading wife
  • Miami Herald
Prominent Muslim man beheads wife

Using the same logic, if the media chose to emphasize the religious denomination of every newsworthy individual, here's an indication of how some prominent crime-news headlines of the past might have appeared...

  • Senator Ted Kennedy
Catholic Senator Escapes Manslaughter Charges for Drowning Incident
  • Timothy McVeigh
  • Bugsy Siegel
Jewish Casino Owner Accused of Murdering Police Informer
  • Joseph Smith
U.S. Mormon Founder Adds 14-Year Old Girl to His 30+ Wives
  • Dylan Bennet Klebold
Lutheran Minor Causes Columbine High School Massacre
  • Andrea Yates
U.S. Evangelical Christian Mother Drowns Her Five Children

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ILLE exclusive: Rumored list of top ten books

Recently, an anonymous source has informed Indian Roller Correspondent, Itinerant Little Leprechaun (ILLE)


of the rumored top ten book titles at the upcoming George W. Bush Presidential Center Library at SMU in Dallas. An exclusive just for Indian Roller readers:

10. The Ted Haggard Autobiography by Ted Haggard
9. Rand McNally's Book of World Geography and Proper Country Names
8. Singing Shut: The Rise and Fall of the Dixie Chicks by Rush Limbaugh
7. Jesus in Galapagos: The Missionary Exploits of Charles Darwin by Michael Behe
6. Milk and Honey: Gay Compassion for the Love of God by Rick Warren
5. Penguin Handbook of English Grammar and Sentence Structure
4. Mission Accomplished: The Blackwater Crusade by Donald Rumsfeld
3. Secretary of Straight: Global Detente and Queer Overtures by Dick Cheney
2. The Holy Bible and Other Folk Tales
1. The Holy Bible and Other Fairy Tales

"Ever wish a fish could fly?"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

GlobalAnanda's Globalogues

"The sound of the pound makes the world go 'round."
- Guru GlobalAnanda.

El Segundo Morning

Monday, January 19, 2009

Quote of the Week:

“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Check out our latest hybrid..."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Of Slumdogs and Success

Slumdog Millionaire Director, Danny Boyle

With the runaway success of Danny Boyle's rags-to-riches flick, Slumdog Millionaire, Hollywood is hungry for an encore. There are rumors that Will Smith is eager to collaborate with Danny Boyle in a future Bollywood-inspired drama. Also, Creative Artists Agency, whose clients include Kate Winslet, has signed a contract with "Slumdog" star, Freida Pinto.

This is a windfall for Bollywood, whose offerings of formulaic, melodramatic musicals, have been shunned by Hollywood for decades. Recently, Indian Roller Correspondent, Itinerant Little Leprechaun (ILLE)


had a chance to talk to Nikhil (Nick) Mukherjee, President of Amrutraj Films, a movie-production company with links to studios in Mumbai. His company recently signed a five-year contract with Features Development, Zeitgeist Beacon Group, a Hollywood entertainment studio based in Signal Hill, California to option Bollywood-style dramas to be marketed in the U.S.

ILLE: What do you make of the success of Slumdog Millionaire in the U.S.?

Mukherjee: In terms of unraveling the key to the success of Bollywood films in the U.S., Slumdog Millionaire is the Rosetta Stone of Bollywood films. It has given us the clues to translate Bollywood films into instant, Hollywood hits.

ILLE: What are those keys to the success if you can share it?

Mukherjee:'s simple, really. You take an ordinary, run-of-mill Bollywood masala movie, like Slumdog Millionaire, and make it with newbie actors like Dev Patel and Freida Pinto. This keeps the budget really low. But the key to success is hiring Westerners, such as Danny Boyle, to direct and Simon Beaufoy to write the script. Because, in order to appeal to Hollywood audiences, you have to have directors and writers who are more attuned to the taste of Hollywood audiences.

ILLE: So, you think that having Indians exercise creative control in a Bollywood film can actually hurt the success of the film in Hollywood?

Mukherjee: Exactly. Any Bollywood masala film has to have a Westerner at the helm if it expects to do well at the Hollywood box office. Bollywood fare with all-Indian crews, for example, such as Taare Zameen Par or Chak De India, have been blockbusters in India but they couldn't even manage to last more than a few weeks in the U.S. And while Slumdog Millionaire is being celebrated at the moment, Taare Zameen Par (which won numerous awards in India) was rejected from consideration as Best Foreign Film at the upcoming Oscars ceremony. You realize that these movies are doing poorly in the U.S. because they had no Westerner at the helm exercising creative control over the product.

ILLE: How does distribution and scope of release affect the success of a Bollywood film in the U.S?

Mukherjee: Well, distribution does affect the number of audiences who will see a film in the U.S. But a large, nationwide release of a Bollywood film is still no guarantee that it will reap the dividends at the U.S. box office. Take the example of the comedy, Chandni Chowk to China, which was distributed nationwide by Warner Bros. It was a dud because it had no Westerners directing it or writing the script. You see, an all-Indian film crew will carry little heft with the Hollywood audience or the Hollywood media. Even the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the agency behind the Golden Globes, is looking for names, such as, Danny Boyle, that they are familiar with. An all-Indian film crew carries no cachet among Hollywood media circles.

ILLE: What about the stories and the characters portrayed in Slumdog Millionaire? Do they tell us anything about the movie's success?

Mukherjee: What the success of Slumdog Millionaire tells us is that Bollywood movies must reinforce the impressions of India that Westerners already have -- a poverty-stricken, corruption-ridden, under-developed land that is also filled with colors, hope, mysticism, and exotica. And they have to be made by someone from the West as films such as Salaam Bombay! or Parinda were never as successful. Even films such as 1947 (released as Earth abroad) or Water, which were on serious topics and made for a global audience were never as popular because they had an Indian crew.

ILLE: So, is there a Bollywood story formula that works for Hollywood?

Mukherjee: Yes, that's what I meant by masala...A masala is an Indian word that means spices but it also could mean a "recipe", or a "formula." The Bollywood masala that would work in Hollywood is the Capra-esque triumph of a poor, hapless romantic over his star-crossed circumstances. Or the triumph of a great leader such as Gandhiji which was already the subject of the western film, Gandhi. Bollywood's interpretation of our great leader, the blockbuster Lage Raho Munna Bhai, remains unknown in Hollywood.

The work of the talented Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray comes to mind. His films were often without a happily-ever-after endings and although they did well in some parts of Europe, out here in Hollywood, all his films were never recognized even though many feel him to be one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century.

ILLE: Is there a sequel planned for Slumdog Millionaire?

Mukherjee: The details are sketchy now but whatever we do will be written and directed by Westerners with an all-Indian cast working to realize the director's creative vision.

ILLE: So, you see Western supervision as a prerequisite to success?

Mukherjee: Absolutely. No matter how you spin a Bollywood saga for Hollywood, if you want it to succeed, it will need a Westerner, like Danny Boyle, at the helm. No question about it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Guru GlobalAnanda's Globalogues

"Desist now, to coexist forever."
- Guru GlobalAnanda

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Turkey's Swan Song...

As he bides his time to the end of his line at the White House, George W. Bush, arguably, the most ineffective president of the U.S. in a century, still bears his trademark grin of smugness. Perhaps, an indictment of war crimes and aggression will wake him up from his self-induced reverie of eight years. No matter how you spin it, the verdict is plain to see -- Bush, in his eight years as commander-in-chief, has been a turkey.

As with the 2003 Thanksgiving event in Baghdad where he dished out a faux, decorative turkey to the American troops, Bush's approach to governing the nation has been similar: false promises, fear mongering, and a floundering economy. When asked by Wall Street Journal Columnist, Kimbery A. Strassel, about what he's learned from his time in office, this Turkey-of-a-President responded, "I've learned that God is good. All the time."(Bush on His Record). Tell that to the family members of the dead and the maimed whose tragedies are directly linked to a war that Bush unleashed upon two nations with doctored evidence and insufficient grounds.

Due to his lack of understanding of the separation between the church and the state, this Turkey-of-a-President has created an atmosphere where Christian fundamentalism is running rampant, while squashing tolerance and treading upon the traditional secular values in the U.S. Bush's legacy is now a nation where intolerance and religious bigotry is considered "okay" and tantamount to "national security," as illustrated by recent events at an airport in Washington, D.C. the nation's Capitol. It is alleged that some teenagers overheard a conversation between a Muslim group in an airplane and acting as vigilantes, they had the group evicted from the plane.

Read the CNN story: Safest seat remarks get Muslim family kicked off plane

Bush is strangely gung-ho about unilateralism and perhaps, owing to his sinister and underhanded approval of Christian religious unilateralism today, a vast majority of the citizens of the U.S. who are either atheists, non-Christians, or just-plain secular are often at the receiving end of religious bigotry.

Here's hoping that this one turkey stays in the bush for good.

Two for Peace and Unity

As the leaders of India and Pakistan engage in saber-rattling and political maneuvering, the Indian Roller turns the spotlight on to two people who defied conventional wisdom and worked towards unity and freedom from religious and racial biases.

Indar Jit Rikhye

General Indar Jit Rikhye (Photo Source:

Indar Jit Rikhye was born in Pakistan in 1920 and graduated from the Indian Military Academy of Unified Indian in 1939. He went on to command India's troops in Sinai and Gaza in 1957 as part of the U.N. peacekeeping force in that region. General Rikhye was a U.N. military adviser and after retiring from the U.N. he founded the International Peace Academy, now renamed, The International Peace Institute.

In its obituary for General Rikhye, The Economist states that, "In his last years, living contentedly in America, General Rikhye would often wish aloud that Pakistan and India could bridge their differences and combine their armies."

Obituary of General Rikhye,
Indar Jit Rikhye, an Indian peacekeeper

Helen Suzman

Helen Suzman and Nelson Mandela (Photo Source:

As a member of the Parliament in South Africa's apartheid era, Helen Suzman went against the grain of her pro-apartheid peers for 13 long years. Her detractors lashed out at her with anti-Semitic epithets and accused her of being a member of the Communist party. She persevered and worked to rid South Africa of the yoke of apartheid and ensure unity and freedom for all peoples in her country (a nation where Mahatma Gandhi incubated his movement for an Independent India, free of colonial hegemony).

Associated BBC article on Helen Suzman:
Suzman 'brave voice' on apartheid