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SACHIN TENDULKAR Why a master can’t retire like the rest 12

LIT FEST SPECIAL Great put-downs and writers off duty 14

FESTIVAL Bangalore’s Christmas entreprenuers 16

The spotlight is once again on BS Yeddyurappa, threatening to change the very course of politics in Karnataka. But the early years he spent far away from the media glare make for a story that’s even more fascinating, finds BASU MEGALKERI 8-11


the intelligent bangalorean’s must-read weekly


Volume 1 | Issue 18 | December 13, 2012 | Rs 10

talk|13 dec 2012|

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Undoubtedly the intelligent Bangalorean's choice When my daughter asked me to subscribe to Talk, I thought she was just excited about it as her college seniors are part of the editorial team. But last week, I took the time to read the whole magazine to know what is so interesting about it, and truly felt that she had made the right choice. The magazine is unquestionably the mirror of Bengaluru, showcasing important issues in and around it. One of the stories that gripped me was about suicides (To hell and back, Issue 16) by Maria Laveena. It presented a complex issue in a simple manner, and also gave insight into the confusions and conflicts that today's youth face. The article by MK Raghavendra on Life of Pi brought up a new critical angle of a movie that has been applauded by most viewers, myself included. All the sections of Talk are well edited and smartly written but

now that I have started reading the old editions as well, the only drawback seems to me to be the humour column Funny Side Up, which isn't really funny. Nevertheless, Ayyotoons makes up for it—it has some of the best ever cartoons I have come across. Together, Satish Acharya's illustrations and editor Ramkrishna's story makes for almost perfect political satire. Talk is really a paisa vasool magazine and undoubtedly the intelligent Bangalorean's choice, as your tagline says. I wish you the best! Lalitha K by email Keep it up It's a great job that you guys are doing with the mag. Keep up the good show. H Waleed by email

Sensitive story on suicides The story To hell and back on suicides in the city was well researched. It was good to see facts, figures and quotes from the people concerned. Usually journalists tend to sensationalise suicides, but your article was sensitive. It was also useful, since it included ways to help a person contemplating suicide. Amrita Lobo by email Small-budget victories The article on suicides was an eyeopener because I used to think that Bangalore leads India in the rate of suicides. It was also useful to know about helplines active in the city that save many lives. The article Small is bountiful, in the same issue, also made for a good read. It was nice to read about low-budget films making it big, for once. Khubi Sharma by mail What do you think of this edition? Write to



SR Ramakrishna Editor Sridhar Chari Consulting Editor Prashanth GN Senior Editor Sajai Jose Chief Copy Editor Savie Karnel Principal Correspondent Basu Megalkeri Principal Correspondent Prachi Sibal Senior Features Writer Sandra Fernandes and Maria Laveena Reporters and Copy Editors Anand Kumar K Chief of Design Shridhar G Kulkarni Graphic Designer Ramesh Hunsur Senior Photographer Vivek Arun Graphics Artist

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Printed and published by Sumith Kombra on behalf of Shakthi Media Ventures India Pvt Ltd - FF70, Gold Towers, Residency Road, Bangalore -560025 and printed at Lavanya Mudranalaya, Chamarajpet, Bangalore-560018. Editor: SR Ramakrishna. Editorial Office: FF70, Gold Towers, Residency Road, Bangalore -560025 Email: Phone: 08049332100, 08040926658. Š All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited.



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editor talk

Who hijacked the language cause? RAMESH HUNSUR

Many outfits claim they are guardians of Kannada culture—but their use of threats indicates that their real objective is the uplift of themselves


SHOW OF FORCE Karnataka Rakshana Vedike leaders, supported by some swamijis, at a rally to protest the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu

All of November, and sometimes December, Kannada becomes the cause in many Bangalore neighbourhoods. You will hardly find a Bangalorean who doesn’t recognise the Kannada flag. The yellow and red flag inspires reverence in some, and strikes fear in others. Kannada nationalism did not always have an aggressive hue. When the movement began, about a century ago, it had the heartfelt support of literary intellectuals. Over the years, though, the movement attained a more violent form and intellectuals have been anxious to distance themselves from it. Today, many leaders championing the Kannada cause aggressively have political ambitions, although language-based parties have never fared well in Karnataka. Before independence, the regions in Karnataka state were divided among the Bombay Presidency, the princely state of Mysore and the Nizam of Hyderabad. There was a need to unify all Kannada-speaking regions and bring them under one administration. The Karnataka unification movement started as early as the 1850s. It gained momentum fifty years later, with the arrival of Aluru Venkata Rao. He took it upon himself to encourage Kannada literature and enrich its history. In 1912, Rao wrote Karnataka Gatha Vaibhava, a book which spoke of the glorious history of Karnataka. The book inspired people to demand the unification of Kannada

BS Yeddyurappa’s life story is on our cover this week. Basu Megalkeri, who covers politics for Talk, went out and tracked down friends from Yeddyurappa’s youth. Even Yeddyurappa’s enemies spoke warmly of his younger days, when he struggled to make a living and simultaneously educate himself. Today, as he prepares for a big bash at Haveri in northern Karnataka, Yeddyurappa is talking tearfully about how he was dumped by a party he had built up over 40 years. There’s some truth and a lot of melodrama in what we see. Through all this, one thing is clear: he is going to split the BJP vote, and that will help the Congress. With his organisational skills, Yeddyurappa may again change the course of this state, but this time, he will have to do it on the strength of his personal charisma. The charisma has eroded ever since he was indicted in the illegal minings scandal. Little regional parties have never appealed to the Karnataka voter. But the 2013 election to the state assembly will be interesting because small parties (such as Yeddyurappa’s KJP and Sriramulu’s BSR Congress) could hold the key to who will finally rule the state. On another note: I had occasion to visit Puducherry (Pondicherry) earlier this week. This is a famed destination for Bangaloreans who drive cars, but those trips may soon be a thing of the past. On one stretch, between Tindivanam and Arni, the road is so full of potholes you’ll be grateful if you average 30 km. They blame the rains, but it is also the poor quality of road-building. Tamil Nadu and Puducherry live in the dark, with daily power cuts stretching to 14 hours. Auroville, a township established in the 1960s, stands out with its beautiful contradictions. More about that, by and by. SR Ramakrishna

speaking regions. The movement had the support of writers like NS Rajpurohit, DR Bendre, Shantakavi, Pandit Taranath and Hardekar Manjappa. The unification dream was realised only after independence in 1956 and the new state was called Mysore. In the meanwhile, Bangalore was developing as an industrial town. In the pre-independence days, there were mainly garment factories. Post-independence, it became the home to many public sector companies like HAL, BEML


and MICO. With this there was an influx of non-Kannadigas. Besides the neglect of Kannada in public sector companies, there was also a fear that the jobs would go to migrants from other states. Kannadigas working here formed Kannada sanghas to promote the language. Tamils dominated the antiHindi protests in the city in the middle of the last century. “The geographies of violence during the mid1960s anti-Hindi movement in Bangalore revealed a clear pattern of

ethnicity Tamil-led street protests: apocryphal stories still circulate of Kannadigas being “shamed” into resisting Hindi imposition by the “gift of bangles” from Tamil activists,” says historian Janaki Nair in her paper, Battles for Bangalore: Reterritorising the City. The large population of Tamils in the city only made Kannadigas feel more neglected. Bureaucrats were Tamil. The cultural scene was also dominated by Tamils. In 1962, Kannada litterateur Aa Na Krishna Rao protested against MS Subbalaskhmi’s concert during Ramanavami. He said that while a Tamil SAVIOURS ALL? ‘Pro-Kannada’ leaders Muthappa Rai, Narayana Gowda and Praveen Shetty singer was performing in Bangalore, Kannada artists were being neglected. “Idu that the flags in Tamil dominated areas of non-Kannada speaking trading communiRamotsava alla, Tamilotsava,” he said, the city do not denote linguistic domi- ty. Perhaps, it’s again fear that is working. meaning this is not a festival of Rama, but nance, but compensate for the auditory While critics say that KRV gets its funding absence of Kannada. from “roll-calls” or extortion, Gowda a festival of Tamils. From those years onwards, the move- chooses to use the words “donations” and It was also a time when the Kannada film industry was trying to break free from ment did not restrict itself to the cause of “membership fees.” “We have a traders’ Chennai and make Mysore its base. Until Kannada. Instead, the activists began ques- association. Some make donations, some then, Kannada films were shot in studios in tioning government policies and develop- give yearly membership fees and some traders give lifetime fees,” he says. Chennai. Most often, since the Kannada ment strategies. The 1991 Cauvery riots saw intellecThe rise of KRV began around the viewership was low compared to Tamil, the Kannada film industry suffered. Even in tuals distancing themselves from the time that Bangalore witnessed the IT Bangalore, many cinema halls preferred Kannada movement. Even matinee idol boom. Gowda recalls that the year was non-Kannada films, or dubbed ones. In Rajkumar, who was in the forefront of the 1999. “It has been 12 years now,” he says. 1963, Tamil film Kanchi Thalaivan, showed Gokak agitation, moved away and said that Perhaps, he did not know then that he the defeat of the Chalukya kings of the he had nothing to do with his fans associa- would grow so big and be feared. “We first protested against 22 Tamils who were postKannada region against the Pallavas of the tions. ed in the Advocate General’s office. We Northern Tamil region. This agitated were 42 of us who protested outside their Kannada activists. Led by Vatal Nagraj, Kannada movement today activists threatened to shut down theatres Now, what we see is a Kannada movement office. The BJP government was at the censcreening Tamil films. where activists are accused of blatantly ter- tre and LK Advani was the Home Minister. Krishna Rao founded rorising non-Kannadigas. We wrote to him and all the 22 Tamils were the Kannada Samyukta TA Narayana transferred. It was our first victory,” he Ranga in 1962, to promote Gowda, the founder of recalls. KRV’s ‘enemies’ One of KRV’s main agendas is reservalove for Kannada. The Kannada Rakshana include those organisation initiated the Vedike (KRV) has no tion for jobs for Kannadigas in central govwho fail to learn celebration of Kannada qualms about his style. ernment institutions and private compato speak Rajyotsava on November 1, “We use both love and nies. With many IT/ITES companies openthe day the state was Kannada or even fear to bring people in ing in Bangalore in the last decade, there formed. line. Only traitors and was also the influx of non-Kannadigas into promote it Tamil activists would enemies have to fear us. the city. Constant protests and demands hoist the black and red flag Those who respect for jobs for Kannadigas, was one of the reaof the Dravida Kazhagam party. Ma Kannada and the flag need not fear,” he sons for them to gain popularity as well as Ramamurthy, founded the Kannada told Talk. “All those who live in Karnataka notoriety. With this fan following and criticism, Paksha and designed the red and yellow but do not stand by the issues of the state; flag, which is now popularly known as the all those who support Tamil Nadu during also came power. Gowda’s power has no Kannada flag. Though his political party, the Cauvery problem; all who say that official stamp on it. It is well know that he started in 1966, failed, the flag has devel- Belgavi should go to Maharasthra are ene- can bring the state to a standstill, create riots and vandalise. His 62 lakh followers oped into the symbol of the state language. mies,” he elaborates. In 1982, the state saw the Gokak agiIt is no secret that those who dare to include auto drivers, cab drivers and stutation, which demanded first language sta- defy him are threatened or have had their dents. KRV members are always ready to impose their beliefs through violent tus to Kannada. Though the agitation stores and other property vandalised. started in the Hubli-Dharwad area, it In October, the KRV called for a means. Inspired by Gowda’s success many quickly engulfed the entire state. Matinee statewide bandh against the Supreme idol Rajkumar became the face of the Court directive to release Cauvery water to similar groups have come up. An aide of movement. He also moved his base from Tamil Nadu. Almost the entire state wore a Gowda, Praveen Shetty, broke away from Chennai to Bangalore. deserted look with even medical stores KRV to start his own organisation with the “Poles sporting the Kannada flag shutdown. Some shops that remained same name. Gowda is fighting a case mounted on tiled platforms that showed open had KRV members forcibly pulling against Shetty to stop him from using the Kannada Bhuvaneswari, have proliferated their shutters down. People daring to com- same name. What is surprising is that even a foracross the city in the years since 1982, at mute were stopped by members wearing mer don could not stop himself from being street corners, circles, and road dividers as red and yellow scarves. signs of the mobilising efforts of small With so much hatred for non- lured by Gowda’s hold in the state. neighbourhood youth groups and Kannada Kannadigas, it is surprising that the KRV Muthappa Rai, who calls himself a “social sanghas,” says Janaki Nair. She further says gets the majority of its funding from the worker”, founded Jai Karnataka, another

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The old guard speaks

Scholars and activists who were active during the 80s in Kannada movements do not have a good opinion of the current movement. "I do not call it a movement at all," says researcher Chidananda Murthy. He says that movements should have a specific aim, which the group strives to achieve. "The so called Kannada movement now has no aim at all. Their only agenda is to make money illegally," he told Talk. He recalls that originally the Kannada movement began to resolve specific issues. There was the issue of state unification, and then of the medium of instruction. Those active in the movement included writers, artists and intellectuals. "Now there are only those who want to instill fear," he said. Senior journalist and writer Janagere Venkatramaiah too voices the same view. "I do not have a good opinion of the current Kannada movement. It has been hijacked by dishonest people. I have been away from it for over 10 years," he says. He feels that the Kannada movement is used by leaders to satisfy their egos, and is without any values. "They have no beliefs, no love for Kannada. They only want power and want to amass wealth," he said. Kannada organization on the same lines as KRV. The president of Jai Karnataka too rattles out the same agendas as KRV: reservation of jobs for Kannadigas in IT/BPOs, resolving the Cauvery issue in favour of Karnataka, Kannada education in schools, and promotion of local arts. Protest against corruption and creating better infrastructure have been thrown in. Started five years ago, the organization already claims to have about 20 lakh members. It claims that it gets all its money from these members. “Our members pay Rs 100 as membership fees every month. Some pay Rs 1000 to become life members. We also have sponsors and we keep account of everything,” says BN Jagadish, state president of Jai Karnataka. This organisation tries to conceal the past of its founder. When Talk asked about Muthappa Rai being a former underworld don, Jagadish angrily retorted, “What do you know of Muthappa Rai? He has been ensuring the safety of the country by helping RAW. He provides them with intelligence inputs to help secure the nation. As for being a don, he is not indicted in any cases. He has been acquitted of all charges levelled against him.” Rai, however is yet to gain the following of Gowda, as far as being pro-Kannada is concerned.

fun lines

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political diary

talk|13 dec 2012|


Mining then, real estate now


The major political parties all seem to have the same fund-raising strategy—field cash-rich real estate barons as candidates As the elections approach, the scramble for mobilisation of funds by political parties has begun in earnest.

DANCE WITH ME? Yelahanka MLA SR Vishwanath (green kurta), a real estate baron with assets worth hundreds of crores, with then chief minister BS Yeddyurappa. Vishwanath is being wooed by all parties.

Recent developments now suggest that political parties are now going to The people of the state have seen the be held hostage by yet another powerful lobby – the real estate one. liquor lobby, the education lobby, the mining lobby and the real estate lobby All political parties – Congress, BJP, JDS and KJP (Yeddy's new party) grow to exercise significant control seem excessively dependent on real over democratically elected estate bosses for funds in this governments. No party or leader is elections. outside the charmed circle of these lobbies. A good example to illustrate this is Yelahanka MLA SR Vishwanath. SR Many feel that these lobbies control Vishwanth is one of the big real and topple governments at will. estate barons, said to be worth In the 2008 elections, the mining lobby hundreds of crores of rupees, with led by Janardhan Reddy was key to the large tracts of land in Bangalore's current government coming to power. It outskirts. All the four major parties was their clout that roped in have been wooing him to join their independent MLAs when the BJP fell fold. All this attention for a person short of members to form the whose house was raided by the government. Of course, when the lid Lokayukta and has been facing a was blown off the politician-mining court proceeding against him!

Doublespeak After Yeddyurappa left the BJP, the party is facing a severe dearth of leaders. Jagadish Shettar, the chief minister, is no mass leader. HN Ananth Kumar, though considered a national leader, is no crowd-puller on the local front. That leaves state chief KS Eshwarappa. But he is yet to display any real leadership qualities. Pressmen who encountered Eshwarappa at a function recently, questioned him: “You repeatedly said Yeddyurappa won’t leave the party, but he has left.” Eshwarappa shot back: “Good thing too! He was not really our leader.” He added that Shobha Karandlaje, a close confidant of Yeddyurappa, “won’t leave the party.”

nexus, then CM Yeddyurappa had to go.

Blame it on the officers! Katta Subramanya Naidu is out on bail citing health grounds. He was arrested for receiving a bribe of Rs 80 crore for giving away valuable government land cheap, and is now claiming his officers were responsible for the ‘mistake.’

“But we didn’t ask you about her. And you said the same thing about Yeddyurappa,” protested the scribes. “You don’t have to ask, I can say what I want. And I am saying this so that she leaves too. That will also be a good thing!” Politicians have always been known for their doublespeak and flip-flops, but this, we thought, takes the cake.

Katta Subramanya Naidu

Speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of a new building of the Seed Corporation of Karnataka at Hebbal. he said, “if officers

mislead us we are bound to be mislead. It is the officers who are responsible for the mistakes that we commit. It is them who have to be held accountable for the red tape and also for the files that mysteriously go missing. I have committed no mistakes. It is the officers who did it. If they had corrected me and properly guided me when I was making a mistake, would I have done it?”

Saying it with flowers KS Eshwarappa

In the film Lage Raho Munnabhai, the hero doesn’t beat up the villain, but floors him with flowers. The people of Hassan district, which elected former prime minister HD Deve Gowda to the Lok Sabha, only to lose sight of him for the next four years, decided to try this approach with their recalcitrant MP. With the assembly elections round the corner, Deve Gowda made a visit to Hassan last week. The people were thrilled to see their MP. They garlanded him, and welcomed him

HD Deve Gowda

with folk music and dance. But the slogans they were shouting? “Victory to Deve Gowdaji who has come to the district with the assembly elections fast

approaching!” However, unlike in “reel life” the Gandhigiri didn’t appear to have the slightest effect.


life story

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The Yeddy you didn't know He rose from being a lemon seller and rice-mill clerk to become chief minister. Once hailed as a leader who would brook no injustice, his fall was quick and unexpected. Talk brings you a portrait, rich in untold detail, of the man who could change the destiny of Karnataka again


or the uninitiated, 69-yearold BS Yeddyurappa is the man who almost singlehandedly built the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka: he was the party’s first MLA in the state who steered it through its spectacular rise to power. He is the man responsible for the first ever BJP government in any southern state. Yeddyurappa’s story has often been cited as an example of how a poor man can make it to the citadels of power in a democracy. This is the story of an ordinary man from Bookanakere (near Yediyur in Tumkur district) who entered public life, led struggles (sometimes with grave consequences), forayed into politics, and eventually headed the state. The RSS-footsoldier-turned BJP strongman’s career has been one of the most fascinating political journeys of our time, not least because he is now poised to challenge the very organisation that made him, and that he helped make. Though it’s far from over, it’s a story that has in it an element of the fairytale, or perhaps more accurately, the parable.


The lemon-seller of Mandya Yeddyurappa was born on February 27, 1943, the second son of Puttatayamma and Siddalingappa, a destitute farmer in Bookanakere village in Mandya’s KR Pet taluk. They were Lingayats, and both his parents were strict vegetarians, and ardent devotees of the Shiva

temple built by the saint Siddalingeshwara at Yediyur in Tumkur district. The boy was named after the temple’s presiding deity. With two sons and two daughters, the family lived in a tiny house, and had a small farm, which could hardly sustain them. To add to their woes, Puttatayamma passed away when Yeddyurappa was just four years old. To shore up the family finances, Siddalingappa ran a small business on the side with help from his children. He bought grains from village farmers and sold it at a higher price in nearby towns. They regularly set up their makeshift shops in the markets of Chinakuruli, Tattekere and Pandavapura towns, where they also sold bananas, lemons and seasonal fruits. Siddalingappa wanted his younger son to study. He was worried that if Yeddyurappa remained in the village, he would end up like him. After Yeddyurappa finished middle school in the village, Siddalingappa sent him to Mandya for high school. In Mandya, Yeddyurappa lived with relatives he had hardly met before. Naturally, the young boy felt lonely, and mostly kept to himself, immersed in his studies and the parttime business he had started to support himself — selling lemons. Few people remember him in Mandya. One who does, who wishes to remain anonymous, recalled, “He would tie a sackful of lemons on a cycle and go around town. At the bus stand, he would balance four lemons between his five fingers, run from window to window, hawking them to people sitting in the buses.” Yeddyurappa graduated with a BA

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EARLY YEARS Yeddyurappa in his youth. (Right) With Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his RSS days. (Below) On the day of his wedding with Maitradevi, the daughter of his employer UNDEFEATED After a police lathi charge of a rally he led against bonded labour

DEBUTANT Filing nomination for his first ever election contest in 1983 from Shikaripura constituency

degree, and moved to Bangalore to look for a job. Staying in Seshadripuram, he came in touch the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and was immediately drawn to the organisation. He joined them, eventually becoming a vistaraka (promoter). In the meantime, he found a job as a clerk in the social welfare department at the Vidhana Soudha. At the time, Veerabhadra Shastri, a businessman from Shikaripura, near Shimoga, used to regularly visit the RSS office in Bangalore. He used to meet Yeddyurappa regularly, and was impressed with the young man’s intelligence and attitude. He offered him a clerical job in his rice mill, and offered him a higher pay.

A ‘writer’ at the rice mill That’s how Yeddyurappa first arrived in Shikaripura, in 1965. He found Veerabhadra Shastri to be a prominent citizen of the town, a rich businessman wellknown for his connections in Bangalore.

He joined work at the Shankar Rice Mill, where his designation was that of ‘writer,’ the term used in those days for a clerk. He would not have imagined it then, but Shikaripura would be the place from where he would one day win the assembly elections to become chief minister of Karnataka. If Shastri was impressed by Yeddyurappa to begin with, he became positively enamoured after observing the sincere, disciplined young man at work. So much so that the businessman soon offered him the hand of his only daughter, Maitradevi, in marriage. Yeddyurappa did not have to think much before accepting; it would not have failed to cross his mind that he was now effectively the sole heir to Shastri’s vast properties. Now that his life seemed settled, Yeddyurappa’s inclination to the RSS and its activities got a fresh lease of life. He was appointed secretary to the organisation’s Shikaripura shakha, a position he held

from 1970 to 74. Around the same time, Yeddyurappa and some friends started Raghavendra Finance, a money-lending firm. Their rather modest office was located in the attic of Rambhavan Hotel. His friend and partner Parameshwarappa recalls how in those days Yeddyurappa would share all his problems with his friends. The firm used to lend money to businessmen, and recover it through the pygmy system (daily collections). The business had just about begun to do well when new regulations were imposed on industry in 1974, forcing the firm to shut down. Around this time, Yeddyurappa started a shop in partnership with a friend called Pranesh. The small shop, which sold steel utensils, was not a success, and closed down soon after. “Yeddyurappa gradually rose higher. He used us as a ladder, and then forgot us,” Parameshwarappa told Talk, with some bitterness.

BSY the firebrand The ladder metaphor is one that is commonly applied to describe politicians’ careers. The biggest of all ladders Yeddyurappa used, perhaps, was the RSS itself. Always a ‘people’s person,’ he used his skills as an organiser to take an active part in the organisation. He was soon appointed the President of Shikaripura Ganapati Samiti, his first foray into public life. Later, he got elected as the director of Shikaripura Veerashaiva Society, and later held office as its president. His next step, naturally, was into politics. In no time, he became the taluk president of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the political arm of the RSS and the precursor to the BJP. He decided that the time was right for him to plunge into electoral politics as the nation was celebrating its 27th Independence Day. The following day, August 16, saw Yeddyurappa securing his first electoral victory at the Shikaripura

life story

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FIREBRAND Yeddyurappa (holding mic) addressing the crowd at a protest rally in Shimoga where he led 1700 bonded labourers, demanding their liberation. (Right) Jubilant supporters lift up their leader after their demands are met.

Municipal Council elections. It was an auspicious day to start a political career, but things took an unexpected turn. It was the year 1975, an exciting, if dangerous time to be in politics. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had declared a state of Emergency, imposed censorship on the press and cracked down on dissident politicians, activists and journalists everywhere. Many of them had clustered around the socialist Jayprakash Narayan, the tallest dissident leader in the country, who called for open revolt. Indira Gandhi targeted the Jana Sangh. A rebellious Yeddyurappa led a group of 1,700 bonded labourers to the Shimoga Deputy Commissioner’s Office, demanding their release and rehabilitation. He also took up the cause of ‘bagair hukum’ farmers, landless people who cultivated on government land, demanding that they be given the rights over the land. He was arrested, and spent 45 days in jail. On his return, Yeddyurappa was welcomed as a hero, and was so popular that having served just a year as member of the Municipal Council, he was elected as its president in 1977.

A friend remembers It was around this time that he met fellow political aspirant Shantaveerappa, the brother of Parameshwarappa, who he became thick friends with. Their friendship lasted nearly 32 years, though they parted ways over ideological differences, says Shantaveerappa, who recently joined the Congress. Here’s how he recalls the early days of his friend’s political career. “It was I who told him that a steel utensils shop was not the place for him. He connected easily with people and loved to

be surrounded by them. He was a good ly of his own caste, the Lingayats. “It isn’t organiser and could not stand any kind of right for me to tell what my people and I injustice. I invited him into active politics have done for him. But he doesn’t seem to because he had the qualities for it,” he says. remember anything now,” he says glumly. It was just as well. For, in the meantime, his zeal for politics had caused Rise and fall Yeddyurappa to fall out with his father-in- As president of the Jana Sangh in law. He had lost money and property Shikaripura, his migration to the BJP was because of his involvement with politics, to natural. In 1980, when the Jana Sangh the chagrin of Shastri. He was also short- withdrew from its alliance with the Janata tempered and easily got into fights. Once Party and convert itself into a new party he even broke his youngest daughter Uma’s backed by the RSS, Yeddyurappa was one of hand in anger, according to the obvious choices for a leader. Shantaveerappa. In 1983, the BJP won seats in the state Out of favour with his in-laws, he assembly elections for the first time. moved out of their house and started living Yeddyurappa was among the winners, and in a rented house in Haralennekeri in after that, there was no turning back for Shikaripura. “He was so him. He became the BJP broke that if any friends or district president, state associates came to visit ‘He was so broke president and later him, or if he visited them, national executive comhe would simply he would simply put his mittee member. He repput his hands in hand in their pockets and resented Shikaripura six the pockets of take some money,” times in the state assemShantaveerappa recalls. bly, where he was elected visitors,’ recalls Unlike today, when he the opposition leader, Shantaveerappa takes care to appear in pubdeputy chief minister and lic clad in his trademark eventually, chief minister. white safari suit, in those days he would be The rest of the story is well-known. In seen wearing coloured bush shirts, his 2009, a court in Shimoga ordered a reinvesfriend recalls. tigation into the 2004 death of his wife Yeddyurappa later managed to save Maitradevi. The police had earlier concludsome money and bought some land in ed that she died after accidentally falling nearby Channalli. He would cycle to his into a water tank in front of their house. farm, but as there was no road leading to The court order was based on a petition his property, he had to pass through other filed by an advocate, Sheshadri, who fields. This soon led to fights with other alleged that Yeddyurappa, with three of his farmers. At the time, the only people to children and two servants, had conspired support him were the Kuruba (shepherd) to kill her. community. Shantaveerappa mentions this The next year, his political fortunes to illustrate how ‘ungrateful’ Yeddyurappa too changed after he was put under the later was to style himself a leader exclusive- spotlight for abusing his position to allot

prime land in Bangalore to his sons Raghavendra and Vijayendra. A Lokayukta report indicted him for illegally profiteering from land deals in Bangalore and Shimoga, and also in connection with the illegal iron ore export scandal. The BJP high command decided that Yeddyurappa should give up the chief minister’s post. On July 31, he submitted his resignation. Yeddyurappa was arrested on October 15, 2011, and spent 23 days in jail, a first for any chief minister in the state. Senior BJP leader BB Shivappa, described his former colleague’s political career thus: “Yeddyurappa is an example of the victory of democracy. From being an ordinary man, he rose to become the chief minister. Not everyone is as lucky as him. But he did not know how to hold on to it and lost the post.” Last week, Yeddyurappa resigned from his post as MLA, and also gave up his primary membership in the BJP and broke all ties with the very party he had helped build in the state. It was the end of a 35year-old relationship. Since then, he has gone on to challenge the BJP with his own newly formed party, the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), which he hopes will allow him to play kingmaker, if not king, in the upcoming assembly elections. A huge rally is being organised at Haveri on December 9 to formally unveil the party. With elections coming up both at the state and the centre in the near future, Yeddyurappa expects his new party to help him bargain with the bigger parties. So far, though, the new party has shown itself mostly as an instrument of revenge towards all those Yeddyurappa feels have wronged him.

life story

talk|13 dec 2012|


‘I’m not shivering or shaking’ As Yeddyurappa goes all out to challenge—and possibly destroy—the very party he helped to build, a journalist who has followed his political career closely sums it up for Talk

fter severing his decadesold relationship with the BJP, BS Yeddyurappa landed in New Delhi on his way to Vaishno Devi, last Friday. It was very cold when I met him at his plush Chanakyapuri room around eight in the night. Except him, everyone in the room was wearing warm clothes. He was in his trademark half-sleeved white shirt and white trouser. “Are not you feeling cold”? I asked him. Pat came the reply: “If I can leave the BJP to be on my own, I can tolerate anything. I want to show them that I am not shivering or shaking.” From being in the BJP’s first lot of MLAs in the state assembly twenty-nine years ago to becoming the party’s first chief minister in the South, Yeddyurappa has seen it all. This powerful public orator and political organiser single-handedly built the saffron party in Karnataka over the past 30 years. Not a small achievement in a state which was completely opposed to right wing politics till the mid-1990s. When the BJP won 18 seats in the 1983 Karnataka Assembly polls Yeddyurappa was one of the lucky candidates. The party supported the Janata Party government headed by the late Ramakrishna Hegde. That government fell 18 months later and only two BJP MLAs managed to return to the Assembly in the 1985 polls. The other MLA defected to the Janata Party and Yeddyurappa became BJP’s lone MLA in the state. But it did not deter him from taking up issues concerning farmers and villagers. He was the most vocal critic of the Hegde government during the late 1980s. Yeddyurappa led the BJP to win 4 assembly seats in the 1989 polls. The Congress swept the polls with 181 seats. Even though the BJP was not the official opposition party, Yeddyurappa took on Congress gov-


DP Satish Senior editor with CNN-IBN. He is passionate about everything

I’M BACK Yeddyurappa arrives to announce his new party in Bangalore on November 30

ernments led by three successive unknown Congress candidate. His chief ministers Veerendra Patil, S arch rival in the party Ananth Kumar was a rising star in the state BJP and Bangarappa and M Veerappa Moily. He led several farmers’ move- Yeddyurappa was forced to make a ments to highlight their plight under tactical retreat. In the 2004 assembly polls, Congress rule. His stature as a leader grew, and the BJP won four Lok Yeddyurappa led the BJP to become Sabha seats in the 1991 general elec- the single largest party with 79 seats. tions, opening its account in the But the Congress with 64 seats and JDS with 58 seats South. The Ram came together to Janmabhoomi movement also helped the Whenever a mass form a coalition government that BJP to increase its leader has left lasted for just 20 vote share in the ruling party, months. Karnataka. that party has He had to wait He got his first till 2006 to occupy big break in 1994, lost power the coveted seats on when he took the BJP the treasury benchfrom four to 44 seats in the assembly polls. Naturally, he es. First as Deputy chief minister in a became leader of the opposition. He JDS-BJP coalition government and lost that post three years later. But he twenty months later as chief minister proved his worth once again when for just 7 days before he was toppled the BJP won 13 Lok Sabha seats in the by the scheming father and son team of the JDS, HD Deve Gowda and HD 1998 general elections. He hit a low point in 1999. The Kumaraswamy. BSY described it as a SM Krishna led Congress swept the betrayal and swore revenge. Riding on a sympathy wave, the polls and Yeddyurappa lost even his own assembly seat to a relatively Yeddyurappa led BJP scored a spec-

tacular victory in the 2008 assembly polls. It was the high point both for him and the party. The mission was accomplished. The first ever BJP government came to power in the South. Things started deteriorating a year after he took charge. Mining scams and land scams became a regular feature in his government. Never ending internal rebellions also spoiled his reputation. After a long drawn out public drama, he finally quit as chief minister in July 2011. Yeddyurappa watchers now believe that his single point agenda is the destruction of BJP. He is known for his vindictive nature. After spending over 40 years in the right wing, Yeddyurappa is now on his own with a plan to fight the coming assemly polls with his own Karnataka Janatha Party (KJP). He is expecting three types of post poll scenarios: A) The Congress will be the single largest party with 90-100 Assembly seats. Yeddyurappa, who is hoping to win at least 25-30 seats, will back the Congress to form a coalition government. He can later go to the Lok Sabha from Shimoga. He is expecting a non-Congress, non-BJP led coalition government at the Centre. If he manages to win at least four Lok Sabha seats, he can get a Cabinet berth for himself in Delhi. B) Congress will get a simple majority on its own. He will sit in the opposition, happy that both BJP and JDS are out of power and sharing the opposition space with him. C) The Gujarat CM and friend Narendra Modi will lead the party at the national level and Yeddyurappa can return to BJP on the condition that his rivals will be out of decision making fora of the party. Since 1983, whenever a mass leader left the ruling party, that party has lost power. The Congress lost power thrice because of the late S Bangarappa in 1983, 1994 and 2004. The Janata Parivar lost power twice because of Deve Gowda in 1989 and 1999. BSY is hoping that history will not prove him wrong this time. The party he built, the BJP in Karnataka, is now in shambles. The big question is—will he be able to decimate the BJP and will he win enough seats to remain relevant in state politics? For the BJP in Karnataka, he is both its creator and would-be destroyer.

retirement row

The Tendulkar question As India’s greatest batsman goes into the evening of his career, Dev S Sukumar examines the arguments being made for and against his retirement mul’s latest comic is on Sachin place for the next year too, and will Tendulkar. Fortunately for doubters be told to await another him, it urges Tendulkar to per- sudden return to form? But this isn’t to debate sist in the face of adversity, unlike many who have been whether Tendulkar will hinting that it’s time for him to rest his survive another seaweary feet after two decades of internation- son or not. That’s immaterial in the al cricket. What is one to make of the Sachin larger context. story Tendulkar saga? The question of his retire- The ment has occupied national headlines on instead is a and off for a while now, but with his pro- reflection of longed batting failures, which has extended how we, as a into the ongoing Test series against nation, someEngland, the questions have assumed a how seem to be higher pitch. This is Tendulkar’s most chal- occupied by the lenging phase in his long career - he has to endless debate of prove that a soon-to-be 40-year-old is still whether he should good enough to compete on the field with retire or not. What should men who weren’t born when he started to be relegated to the sports play. In that sense, he has to battle not just sections becomes a topic for cricketing problems, but widely-held per- prime time gossip on national ceptions about the lifespan of a competitive television. Underlying this is definitely a hint sportsman. That’s exactly what it boils down to - of ‘ageism’ — the suspicion of the abilities age. That is one adversary even Tendulkar of a sportsperson pushing 40. Tendulkar’s can’t defy endlessly, and critics — both form might be of concern to the Indian ordinary fans and former cricketers like Ian team, but by constantly seeking to equate Chappell—question whether age hasn’t his loss of form to his age, we are indulging finally started claiming the gifts he possess- in the sort of discriminatory behaviour that es. The record is a grim reminder. would be unacceptable in other realms. According to a Cricinforeport, in his last ten Once a sportsman in India enters the late innings (until the Kolkata Test), he has twenties, he is constantly asked about retirement. This week, scored just 153 runs (avg: badminton player Saina 15.3), failing to pass 30 Even 22-year-old Nehwal, just 22, was asked even once. While he has Saina Nehwal about life after her career! suffered slumps before and This is partly because come out of them, the has been asked reporters sometimes find scratchy way in which he about life after themselves too illhas played, and the manher career! informed to ask intelliner of his dismissals, suggent questions, and also gest that this slump is not due to a lack of form, but of deeper prob- because they might hope for a sudden revelems. Is he struggling because his reflexes lation that will pep up their newsday. No are not as quick as they used to be? Is his reporter wants to miss out on a Sachin Tendulkar retirement story, and that possihand-eye coordination awry? Even if he does work his way out of bly explains why he has been badgered with this slump with a fighting innings in the this question over the last six or seven years. A commentator once called Sachin third Test at Kolkata (he scored 76 in the first innings), what will it mean for the Tendulkar the child of liberalised India. future of Indian cricket? Will another good Sachin’s international career took off in the knock in the second innings insure his late eighties; his talent had plenty of scope


Dev S Sukumar Writer and biographer of badminton legend Prakash Padukone

talk|13 dec 2012|


retirement row to flower, and he knew no want of opportunity — these were supposed to be the markers of liberalised India. He became the poster-boy of a corporate India willing to splurge on advertising; the face that would help launch million-dollar campaigns in cities and small towns across India. Tendulkar almost remained unchanged as the favourite face of corporate India throughout his career, selling apparently contradictory things as colas and nutrition drinks. As Tendulkar goes into the evening of his career, one could possibly draw a parallel with the liberalised India that he perhaps unwittingly came to represent. The India of greater opportunity and wealth was supposed to be a happier India, but that hasn’t happened. Like Tendulkar struggling to find himself as a batsman, we struggle in unfamiliar cities which are barely recognisable as the ones we grew up in, before this exalted liberalisation came upon us. There is more wealth, surely, but is there more happiness? That might be reading too much into what is essentially a sportsman’s career, but Tendulkar’s story has always been much more than just sport. He encompasses eras. An entire generation has known no cricket without Tendulkar. He arrived on the scene when cricket was played in white, but it was rapidly transformed into a colourful affair, and he has been in our drawing rooms and our minds for two

talk|13 dec 2012|

NO FIZZ? Many brands that piggybacked on Sachin have withdrawn their campaigns

decades. For many, it will be impossible to conceive of cricket without him. Ironically, the very companies that piggybacked on his success seem to have withdrawn their campaigns now. An Economic Times story (5 December) reports that most of his 16-17 sponsors have withheld their TV campaigns based on him.

When Tendulkar was asked about retirement a couple of months ago, he stated that he would know when to call it a day. In other countries, this would have been a separate issue to his place in the team. A player earns his place on the merit of his current performances, and he is picked by the selection committee. He is


free to retire whenever he wants (or not announce retirement at all), but that shouldn’t be confused with the issue of whether the selectors deem him good enough to be part of the team. In India, however, things happen differently. The governing body of cricket in India, BCCI, has all along been an organisation that has stonewalled accountability. Repeated efforts to get it under the RTI have failed, and it has prided itself as an organisation that is answerable to no one. Tendulkar is the one personality around whom it will pussyfoot. If it believes Tendulkar cannot deliver any longer, it should be brave enough to drop him. There are broadly two sets of cricket fans today in India — those that believe in Tendulkar’s god-like status and that he can still win matches for India, and those that think he should vacate his place. There are compelling arguments for both sides. ‘Quitting on top’ is a much talked about concept in sport, but few get it right. That’s because a sportsman’s instinct is to not give in. A great sportsman’s instinct is to fight adversity, to prove his critics wrong. Tendulkar no doubt backs himself on this count, but will his pride cloud reason? After all, no man can be greater than nature which created him. Tendulkar’s great asset was his timing of strokes, his effortlessness in dispatching good balls to the boundary. Will he get his timing right on the biggest question of his career?

From official robes to the wealth of nations


or most people, the one word that bothers them the most is investment. While some worry that they don’t save enough to make any investment, others worry about the returns their investment might bring. If there are losses, it could spell doom for some. Of late, the opposition is taking pot shots at the UPA government for its advocacy of Foreign Direct Investment in W retail. Amusingly, the term originally had nothing to do with money. It meant putting on clothing, or vestments. In old Latin, two words were joined: The Talk in meaning into and column on word origins vestire meaning dress. The word investire


meant to dress. The term entered English first as invest in the 14th century. It became investment in the 1590s, and was used to mean putting on official robes. It also came to mean something like a promotion, or conferring of additional attributes. After sometime it was also used when someone was allowed to use the official or royal insignia on his clothing. For instance, if someone was knighted, we could say that he has been invested with knighthood. We see the usage of this meaning still in investiture, which comes from investment. An investiture ceremony is something where people are conferred with responsibilities or posts. Earlier, coronations and installing someone in power were called investitures. Now we see investiture ceremonies when officials take oath, and in schools when the student body is elected. Ceremonies where the gallantry awards are given are also called investiture ceremonies. In 1811, investment gained a new meaning. It meant besieging a military target. Though not in common use, the meaning is used in military parlance.



The most cominvestment that the meaning mon meaning today, i.e. got stuck. the commercial meanToday, the meaning ing, dates back to isn’t restricted to land 1610. When the East alone. We use it for India Company was anything which we setting up its base think will increase in India, they put our assets, including in their money in gold, silver and land with the paintings. We also intention of use it rampantly making profits for non-physical in future (not things like company much has shares and mutual changed since funds. Well, these then, has it?), and days anything called it investment. dealing with money By the 18th century, is called investment. Perhaps because investment was commoney and finance domimonly used to mean nates our culture so much, conversion of many people now use the money into properterm loosely. They talk of ty with hopes investing in clothing, shoes of profits. As we or home appliances. know, the East India Business people talk of Company made huge The word investment originally meant the wearing of official robes, which in medieval “investing in the right peoprofits in India. So Europe, might look like this one ple.” In another era, it much so that they owned almost the entire country. Perhaps, would have meant covering them with offiit was because of the success of that first cial robes!

lit fest special

talk|13 dec 2012|


Poet walks into a bar... Many Kannada writers are folk heroes, and stories around them gather currency quickly and acquire the quality of myths. Here is some gossip we have gathered for your delectation Poet's booze buddies A Dalit poet whose songs are widely loved and sung especially by revolutionary groups had a problem at home. His wife didn't like him coming home sozzled. Every time he went home after a couple of drinks, he was assailed by harsh words. He finally devised a strategy to deal with the problem. When his wife asked him why he was drunk, he would say, "Oh, let me explain. I got off the bus at Majestic and who should I see but the great poet Kuvempu. He said, 'Such a long time since we met. You must come with me for a drink'. And one drink led to another‌' His wife, an ardent literature lover unaware that Kuvempu was a teetotaller, would forgive

him instantly. He used this trick many times. Even dead poets like Bendre would invite him over for drinks. One day, he mentioned the name of Pu Ti Narasimhachar, a poet who wore a huge nama on his forehead and was orthodox in his ways. The Dalit poet's wife believed the story, but a few days later, met someone related to Pu Ti Na. The women got talking, and the Dalit poet's wife said, "Oh, you're related to Pu Ti Na? He writes well, but what more can I say about him? He often forces my husband to drink with him!" Pu Ti Na had never tasted a drop of liquor in his life, and the conversation left his relative reeling in shock.

Poet with huge responsibility A poet who lives near Padmanabha Nagar had an ardent admirer in a BJP leader, a former policeman with an interest in literature. Subtly encouraged by the poet, the leader used his persuasive powers to have the BBMP name a road after him. After a book release or talk, it was the poet's practice to go home in an auto with his literary friends. He usually stopped the auto near the big yellow plaque at the corner of the road proclaiming his name in big bold letters. The moment fellowwriters noticed the board, they would draw their breath in surprise, and ask, "What's this, sir? A road named after you?" The poet would savour the reaction. He regularly strolled up and down the street, proudly gazing at his name on the board. One day, when the BWSSB failed

Not tonight, sir! A poet and playwright who has served at the National School of Drama and won India's highest literary awards once returned home after a booze session with his friends. When the auto stopped in front of his house, and he was about to jump off, the driver held him back and asked him, "Hey, do you know where you are going?" When the writer mumbled something, the literature-worshipping driver flew into a rage. "Never in your life should you go into this house in this state. Do you know who lives there?"

to supply water, he called up its chairman and spoke with authority. "This is so-andso, and this road is named after me. I'd like to know what is happening on this street!" The chairman, in a funk thinking some VIP was furious with him, quickly sent his men to open the valves and restore water supply. The neighbours were impressed, and word got around. Soon, people started knocking on his doors with all kinds of complaints: their drains were blocked, the street lights were out, and the BBMP workers weren't clearing the garbage. Some even started taking him to task for their civic problems. The rudeness got to him, and he stopped strutting about on the street. One day, he said, "Why did they ever name the road after me? It has become a nuisance!"

Lankesh and a fishy tale Lankesh Patrike's founder-editor P Lankesh had a farmhouse on Bannerghatta Road. He would go there once a week, and on the way make a routine stop at a tea stall for a cup of tea and a smoke. After some visits, the woman who owned the stall discovered who he was. Thrilled, she started selling Lankesh Patrike at her stall, much to the delight of Lankesh. As her overall business grew, she opened another stall next to it, and started selling fish. She called it Lankesh Fish Stall. The usually harsh and outspoken writer was secretly happy, and took a picture of the stall and published it in his paper.

A young journalist who knew about his fight with YN Krishnamurthy, the famous humorist who had served as editor of Prajavani and Kannada Prabha, brought up his name at this juncture. Lankesh suspected YNK had stopped his column in Prajavani, and nursed a grudge against him. The two writers would take gibes at each other, employing word play. When the young journalist asked Lankesh, "Sir, what would YNK say if he saw this picture?" "He would call me a meen fellow, what else!" replied Lankesh. Meen(u), if you didn't know, is fish in Kannada.

lit fest special

talk|13 dec 2012|


Cheap shots With apologies to Voltaire, who called journalists “wretches who have made of literature an arena of gladiators, to earn a little money,” we present a selection of choice literary put-downs by some of the best-known writers of our time




ad be as de ll I’ e ls e tion/ Or l see just what I c e f in id st avo . You’l el is ten. I mu d his last novels cene./ The mod d, it b n e e obs orce I have b l’s fiction./ Rea hing the Their plots are f ean c a u o r a p ip p a ya rrib s./ as N A letharg um than Dicken obel-winning Ca goose mean:/ h N on more ho d silly. From the aul titled The M , m a h g aip an Mau e sedate iter’s poem on N the pros r w


“John le Carré's conduct… is like nothing so much as that of a man who, having relieved himself in his own hat, makes haste to clamp the brimming chapeau on his head.”



“Has he written anyt hing? The Nobel Com mittee is pissing on literature from a grea t height.” Naipaul's re action to Nigeria's W Soyinka winning the ole Nobel in 1986.

“An e x Salma treme form n o the ex Rushdie. f literary c riticism ecutio In 198 n of R 9 ushdi , the then .” When as e, acc I k using ranian sup ed for his v reme him o leade iews abou f blas r t phem y in h Ayatollah K the fatwa a i s gains h n omein ovel S t and Christopher ie i d a sh o u R t r a t an d m ea n al ered ic Ver gS s the gr d an h e os h w “Anyone readin s to es. in throne or well ask himself from Rushdie’s er h s et h ok Hitchens might W ro b n. it , lle te is absolu eech he has fa me: “Our cause sa cause of free sp e th is ge sa es , the m Hitchens’s gutter dom of speech in who ee fr g in n” us tio ab f ca o ifi al mic fanatIcs sed Rushdie no dissent or qu ing with the Isla hn le Carré critici is Jo h at en p h m w sy d f te o ar invited. accused him This brawl st ed into the fray un Rushdie in turn p m ile h ju w s s, en h se itc er V H Satanic 's friend der him. Rushdie ur m id call to ek se d ul wo read. It’s true I d to ow h ng ni ar te” could begin by le and “semi-litera ré t” ar C an le or n gn h “I Jo s. t, .” in an argumen e circumstance of removing them am re d “If he wants to w which I thought pretty mild in th t n' ld ou w I ass, own head. him a pompous fully fitted on his ill sk as h e h s p are dunces' ca



e anti-patriot super-patriot and th e Th ft. le e th of rie words ou choose to use a 100 i Roy as the Arun Sh th at Bo dh . un te hi Ar w e d se an to k g sively in blac who “It is temptin al certificates. Those hods. Both think exclu or et m m t e ou m sa nd e ha th to h ht uc use m es the rig ade out to be arrogate to themselv re take on Roy are m da ho w e os th l, na when 10 will do. Both cts.” acterised as anti-natio otion and indignation drowns out the fa ar ch e ar rie ou Sh e criticis cess of em In either case, an ex agents of the State.





I statisticians - Guha’s the third one that ket -cric cum icsdem aca se the and me a stalker who “I don't know what it is with my bad bowling action? He’s become like be it ld Cou it. orb d nse ince an into t ds and family, they all sen seem to have es alone. Some days he brings his frien com he s day e Som . day Sun er oth ry eve keening godshows up at my doorstep e sprung up around me. Like a bunch of hav to ms see t tha stry indu age cott ed me for years, Uncle chant and stamp... It’s an angry little er on - Aunt Slushy the novelist who's hat oth h eac egg and up e rag cou ir the of them p squadders, they link hands to kee my mouth. Actually, I’ve grown quite fond ch wat uld sho I ks thin who ffet Mu s Mis e and I’ll miss them when they’re gone.” Defence Ministry who loves big dams, Littl

festival special

The Christ

Come the festival season and sprightly women spring into creations much in demand a prefer their goodies home-m




baking and I lea of the year, Mic ing unit, along Baking cak from the case f ditional way. T together, starti fruits. Charmai rations in Mar soaking of the March itself. Th she says. On an av over 200 kgs of per batch. This she has already Michelle, w 10 kgs, too has bakes around 3 starts soaking t and begins her of December. Both Char cialists, who m fruit cake that charge the sam procure their ra and the Avenue also shops at a s Bakers needs.

t’s not for nothing that people wish each other a “Merry” Christmas. It really is the time to eat, drink, and well, make merry; something the weather too seems to insist on. In old days, the preparations would start early on: there’s wine to be bottled, dried fruits to be soaked in rum for the cake, the crib and decorations to be crafted. That, alas, is no longer the case, and increasingly it’s a ready-made, off-the-shelf celebration for most. But rushed Bangaloreans can still give a touch of the traditional to their Christmas, thanks to a host of ‘Christmas entrepreneurs’ in the city. Every year around this time, a bunch of women (and they’re almost all women) spring into action all over the city, and get busy baking cakes, bottling wine, making Christmas goodies and decorations, and so on. Most of them do this exclusively for this one month - some have inherited the practice from previous generations — and earn a decent enough sum for their efforts. Charmaine Saldanha, a Cake-makers corporate communications like Charmaine executive who works from home, bakes Christmas cakes, start preparing something she’s done from her as early as March childhood days. “I use the exact recipe handed down by my grandmother, who used to make the traditional turned-Christm fruit cakes every Christmas, before my mother She makes trad took over from her. She did it for 12 years, and mond cuts, kul now it’s my turn to carry it forward,” she says. to her, these ta Charmaine still uses the 35 year old oven in her made of all pur house to bake her cakes, which she says last as advance prepar Rajeena sa much as two years, despite not using any artifiher cakes woul cial preservatives. Michelle Gafoor is another third generation that complime ‘Christmas entrepreneur’, who also considers it a started making family tradition as much as a business. “I do not the ancestral re have any formal training in baking. My grand- in the year. “I mother used to do it. Then my mother started the first week

talk|13 dec 2012|


tmas entrepreneurs


d this bunch of action, their among those who made

arned from her,” she says. The rest chelle runs a children’s dressmakwith her mother. kes may sound easy, but that’s far for them, since they do it the traThe entire process takes months ing with the soaking of the dry ine says that she begins her preparch every year. “The cutting and fruits takes time and so I start in he baking itself starts in August,”

erage, she used to make a little cake every year, baking four cakes s year, her business has doubled; baked 400 kgs. who started with a small order of seen her business soar, and now 300 kgs of cakes every year. She the raisins in rum by September preparations from the first week

rmaine and Michelle are cake spemake only one variety: the classic is the staple for Christmas, and me amount: Rs 650 per kilo. Both aw materials from the city market e Road area. In addition, Michelle small shop on Oil Mill Road called Interestingly, both of them also refused to divulge their earnings, saying they invest “quite a lot” and manage to get decent returns. Increasingly, other Christmas goodies apart from cakes too are in demand, and Rajeena Jacob is a homemakermas entrepreneur who does both. ditional Christmas snacks like dialkuls and rose cookies. According ake much lesser less as they are rpose flour (maida) and need no rations, unlike the cakes. ays that people who came to buy ld ask for the traditional goodies nt the cake, and that’s how she them. For her cakes too, she uses cipe, and starts preparations early start preparing other goodies by of December, but for the cake, I

CAPTION KICKER (Above) Charmaine Saldanha is a third generation ‘Christmas entreprenuer,’ whose cakes follow the same classic recipe her grandmother did. (Left) Brazilian expat Lauriana Fronza with her handmade decorations. (Below) Louella Rogers started making traditional Christmas sweets like marzipans as a hobby

start as early as the Lent season (the months preceding Easter),” she says, adding that her family too takes part in the process, and helps her out with the work when it peaks in December. Louella Rogers, who works as a financial advisor, specialises in making Christmas sweets such as marzipan, rum balls, marshmallows and chocolates, apart from fruit cakes. She says it started as a hobby, and soon turned into a side business. “I am self-taught and used to make some of these sweets for my children. Then, people started showing interest and I learnt how to make other goodies as well,” says Louella. Her Christmas sweets cost anywhere between Rs 400 to 700 per kilo. Lauriana Fronza, a former teacher from Brazil who moved to Bangalore with her husband, first started to make Christmas wreaths and garlands when she was in university back home. “I was in college and always short of money. But I would still want to decorate my little flat beautifully with garlands, wreaths and sprays or drops and a big tree just like during my childhood, when I would celebrate Christmas with my grandparents. So I decided to do it in my own style, it was cheaper doing it on my own and I liked it more,” she says. Since then, her creations have found a growing number of takers, and Bangalore has

Get Christmassy For your share of Christmas goodies, ring them at: Charmaine Saldanha: 9845202181 Michelle Gafoor: 9845092630 Rajeena Jacob: 9342414747 Louella Rogers: 9845022811 Lauriana Fronza: 8861159806 Jessica Tucker: 9663927689 been no different. Though these Christmas decorations are time consuming to make, Lauriana says she has become a pro, and claims that she can make up to five centre piece wreaths in a day. However, she sometimes finds it difficult to source raw materials. “I usually get some stuff like pine cones from my country, the rest I get from Koramangala and some other places in Bangalore,” she says. Her garlands start at Rs 1,000 a piece and go up to as much as Rs 7000 for a particular flower garland which uses imported flowers. Jessica Tucker is an accountant, currently on a break from her career, who moved to Bangalore a year and a half ago from the US. She makes and sells crochet Christmas decorations to raise funds for charity. Last year she collected

around Rs 10,000 by selling crochet Christmas tree hangings, teddy bears, garlands etc (the prices start at Rs 200) through stalls at various Christmas Bazaars in the city. “I was inspired to start making crochet Christmas tree ornaments by some members of the Overseas Women’s Club of Bangalore,” she says.

back stage

talk|13 dec 2012|



Lost in translation Between The Lines, actress Nandita Das' foray into theatre, has a well-crafted story which mostly failed to translate on to stage


s a vehicle for the fullfledged theatre debut of Nandita Das, and a tagline like ‘A relationship on trial’, there was a lot of expectation surrounding Between The Lines even before the news of its premiere in Bangalore broke. The acclaimed screen actress who directs and acts in it, also cowrote the play with author-actor Divya Jagdale. The play tells the story of a couple, both lawyers. The man, Shekhar (played by Das’ husband Subodh Maskara) is successful, and has won many accolades, while his wife Maya (Nandita Das), a law school gold medalist, spends most of her time juggling home chores and her legal practice. There is mention of a son, Arjun who studies at a boarding school. The couple has what looks

A BEDROOM TO COURTROOM Between The Lines has Nandita Das and her real-life husband Subodh Maskara acting as a lawyer couple on opposite sides in a case

like a regular and happy married life, interspersed with typical arguments involving household chores which are always made up for at the dining table. But all that changes when they get pulled into a strange case. The case is that of Kavita, a victim of domestic violence who ends up shooting at her husband following a quarrel. Maya is unable to get Kavita out of her mind, and decides to fight her case, only to discover that her husband is the defence lawyer. Shekhar tries to convince her against taking up the case, but to no avail. Soon, arguments in the court make their way into the couple’s domestic life and expose the otherwise subtle inequalities in their relationship. Maya becomes increasingly obsessed with the case and begins identifying with Kavita more and more. Shekhar, on the other hand, is secretly hoping to win the case, even as he dishes out free advice to his wife. The relationship sours and the intimacy disappears. Conversations are restricted to the dining table. The case comes to a close, but leaves in the couple’s lives a deep void that they struggle to fill. If the story sounds interesting on paper, it is let down by the execution. Das and Maskara share an obvious comfort, but failed to engage the audience for too long. The stage, which was set for extended conversa-

tion and very little physicality, appeared stark, with the result that the viewer was distracted with things as inconsequential as the furniture. The conversations were meaty to begin with, but kept losing depth and focus so often as to almost sound trivial. Maskara is impressive for a first timer, but hardly delivers what one would call a memorable performance. Das looks her stunning self but fails to charm with expressions this once. More often than not, you get the feeling of being stuck in a bedroom fight which really doesn’t interest you all that much. The stage was used creatively, with a translucent centre stage separation that doubles up as the couple’s bedroom and kitchen. Silhouettes in this part of the stage were used effectively for most parts of the play, but not all. The second half saw Das wearing a flowing outfit not quite conducive to shadow play. Das and Maskara also double up as their respective clients—Kavita and Mahesh, which wasn’t exactly convincing. For instance, Das altered her accent and spouted a dialect, but her mannerism remained almost unchanged. As for Maskara, a shift in roles seemed to require no more changes than a shift in language, from English to Hindi. The play is subtle in most places,

but at times this is taken so far that you wonder if it has to do with Das’ approaching theatre with ‘cinematic’ eyes. The actors shied away from improvisation, and most of the lines seemed obviously cued. There were goof-ups too, like when Das stumbled into the wrong light spot and then repeated her line, and Maskara bumped into a piece of furniture which evoked a reaction from Das but none from him. With all this and more, we can’t be blamed if we looked at even a yellow Post-it note, pasted on the edge of the dining table, with suspicion. While Between The Lines disappoints in most areas, the strongest part of the play, its script, shines through. The few memorable moments are those where simple but remarkable lines illuminate the characters and their situation. Excerpts from an interview with Das, held after the performance: Was it a conscious move to get back, or rather, move to theatre now? I have not done much theatre previously, just two professional plays and some street theatre in college. I have never written and directed. My child was too small and film takes up too much time. Theatre seemed a more contained medium. I didn’t plan getting into theatre. I have never planned anything for that matter.

talk|13 dec 2012|

Also, it was a subject very close to my heart; I was in a place where Maya was. People think women are like their grandmothers and can do everything all the time. What attracted you to theatre? It is much more an actor’s medium than cinema. I always enjoyed whatever little theatre I did in the past. I like the challenges of the medium; it’s much more alive, and developing all the time. I’ve never really seen it as a profession though. With a play involving just you and your husband, how much of direction did it really take? Actually, it took a lot of direction. When you are acting in the play as well, it gets difficult. You are part of the play and you still have to have a third eye. A director has to have a larger vision. Subodh is a natural actor; but despite that, things do go wrong. Because the medium is live and the audience is on a journey with you, it becomes a big responsibility.

How was the experience of directing Subodh, a debutant? Both easy and difficult. Many of our own conversations have made their way in to the script. It was easy in the sense that he wasn’t a 20-something taking to the stage. He is far more self-assured as a person. The work and personal lines between us got blurred though. Sometimes, I would be hard on him as a director. We took work home at most times, but it was nothing so hard that we wanted to give up the project for. Such things are good for a relationship; lots of things come up when you work together. How much of the play would you solve anything through argusay is based on your lives? I would say 50 per cent, but some- ments. That is why we are often called the chattering class. To times we forget which 50! keep away from physical expression was a conscious choice. The Was it a conscious decision to content of a play is primary, the keep the play as less physical as form comes later. It is all about possible? The play is about conversations. small ways in which inequality Our class of people, the educated exists in an urban household and working people, believes they can when there is a problem in a rela-


tionship the first thing that goes script, but couldn’t do it then. I out of the couple’s life is intimacy. revisited the play and got the rights from him and realised it doesn’t work in Hindi. I got What, according to you, will a another writer, Divya Jagdale man and a woman take back (who also played a small role in from this play? The knowledge that there are no Firaaq, the film that Das directed) easy answers. I say in the play and on board. We started working here that a relationship is a jour- together over mails and calls, ney without a destination. because we were in two different Everybody takes away different cities. All the changes made durthings from the play. Often, reac- ing rehearsals were mine, though. tions reflect more of the people than something about the play. From cinema to theatre, what did Some of the points on Maya’s list you learn and what did you have are on every woman’s list. Both to unlearn? men and women are struggling I have been exposed to the arts as with their own conditioning. a child, with a writer mother and That is why I never use the word a painter father. I realise all of that ‘empower’ in its past tense, it is a is stored somewhere in your mind and comes back. I spent a lot of constant process. time layering it like a film but the subtlety, subconsciously, came What were the challenges you faced while writing such a script? from cinema. I had to constantly think about how to make it ‘loudWhat did the process involve? Writing is a fairly organic process. er’ for stage. I am also learning on The kernel initially came from the the job. The fact that every show works of a Delhi-based professor, is different keeps you on your Purshottam Aggarwal. I was invit- toes. Theatre is an emotional ed to act in a play based on that exercise.

lit fest special

talk|13 dec 2012|


GENERATION GAP CS Lakshmi says students claim to admire her work on women’s issues, but they have other priorities.

‘Youngsters see me as a failure, and they even tell me that’ Writer and women's studies researcher CS Lakshmi believes ‘social work’ is as relevant and meaningful as ever in a competitive society, given the need to confront coercive stereotypes


iction writer and women’s studies researcher CS Lakshmi is a post-graduate from Bangalore and a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Her Tamil fiction (published under the nom de plume of Ambai) and her sociological studies have won her much acclaim. In 1988, she founded Sparrow (Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women) in Mumbai, a non-governmental organisation documenting and archiving the work of female writers and artistes. Lakshmi was in Bangalore last week to speak about Sparrow’s work, and Talk caught up with her before her lecture at the Centre for Internet and Society in Domlur.


dignified lives, but “what can we do to help How are youngsters in colleges responding to women’s studies courses in this? We have to get on with our lives.” But all the same, some committed, young stuuniversities and the work done by dents work with us. That gives me hope. I Sparrow? We’ve lost the younger generation to the had one youngster telling me he came to corporate world. They respond mostly to several of our workshops because we the corporate idiom, the universal idiom offered a very tasty lunch, free of cost, with any number of tea servfor youngsters in the metings free! ros. There is at best a A student said curiosity about women’s Did he learn anything at studies and the work he came to our all? being done by Sparrow. workshops for He said at first he was Students tell me they the free lunch! coming for the free admire our work and the lunch. But weeks after time and effort we put in the workshops ended, to document marginalised women’s lives, but say they can’t do one day he returned to say he was far more such work now. They have exams to pass, respectful of his mother and sister. He jobs to look for, salaries to earn, so they seemed to have done some thinking days don’t have the time. They say they have to after the workshops. We were telling stusurvive competition. They say they under- dents how we needed to value women in stand women have to live independent, all spheres including the home. Change

talk|13 dec 2012|

takes time, but it does happen. That gives me hope. Does it depress you that women’s issues and research does not receive adequate attention? I’m not cynical. I just understand. Youngsters live in a world of desire and consumption—in which a host of things are desired and consumed every minute in a day. A good, fast lifestyle is what you experience everyday and you want more of it. So you tend to be in the lifestyle frame —you want a good husband or wife, you want a good job, you want a high salary, you want a good designation. When this is the experience all around you, how can you not want this? We live in a highly competitive world—we compete for the best spouse, job, salary, status. It’s difficult to penetrate this shield. Everyone has the right to live a comfortable life. But I’m worried when a girl threatened to commit suicide over a ticket for the Michael Jackson show in Mumbai (a few years ago)... the ticket cost was Rs 3000. Her father said he couldn’t afford it. She told him, instead of spending on crackers and dresses during Diwali, let him buy her the ticket, and then, she said she would kill herself if he didn’t. The parents were forced

For her sociological studies, CS Lakshmi uses her real name. For Tamil fiction, she uses the pseudonym of Ambai

to buy her a ticket. How does one grapple with this intensity of desire and the nature of its articulation (suicide threat)? Be at Michael Jackson’s show, but at what cost? That worries me. By all means desire, live a good life, only help a bit to let others live good lives too. That’s all we ask at SPARROW. Is there a different way we need to draw in youngsters to social work? What about getting a Zoya Akhtar to talk to the new generation? The Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara sensibility was a hit... We would never be able to access Zoya. They live in a different world. I am not say-


ing that she won’t help, but you can’t even Ideally everybody should, though that may not happen. After 15-20 years in the corporeach her. rate world, people burn out, they look for What about a Shabana Azmi or a Jaya meaning and a meaningful life. That’s typically when people come to us. Burnt-out Bhaduri? Shabana Azmi is indeed responsive. She corporates find meaning here. takes up causes, especially women’s causes. She inaugurated a cultural event we had What about MSW (Master of Social Work) organised. Smita Patil gave time and students? money too. Smita was very conscious of MSW students want high salaries, too. We don’t offer bad salaries really, but we don’t women’s groups and their work. also offer corporate salaries. Given the curDoes the younger generation see you as an rent competitive lifestyle, what’s wrong icon? You are an established writer, have with that? Only we can’t afford that at this juncture. Later, may be. won awards, set up a research body... Not me, not my kind. Youngsters see me as a failure. They even tell me that. They say Are you on a collision course with lifestyle, I’m famous, but not so famous. They say desire and consumption? Is social work after all these years I’m still looking for out of place? funding. They say success is lifestyle and Certainly not collision. That would mean the end of things. Confrontation yes. We income, not ideas. Zoya must surely be an icon. Even want to confront — that’s how you are able Ekta Kapoor, even if she’s focussed only on to raise questions about status-quo, debate the saas-bahu idioms. There’s respect for stereotypes, probe established, coercive the kind of work done by Shabana, Jaya, positions, break new ground by creating visions and understanding. Smita. But life in Zoya’s Spain is also how new they like it. Ekta Kapoor is successful SPARROW is certainly not out of place. because she’s famous and she’s made lot of Many people have told us more research of our kind is necessary, that what we do isn’t money. I am not Ekta right? enough. That means people want more What kind of people come to SPARROW? SPARROWs. That gives me hope.

talk|13 dec 2012|


Rewind The week that was  FDI Vote: UPA government wins FDI vote in the Lok Sabha with 253 in favour and 218 against.  Cancelled: Maldives government cancels airport construction contract with Indian company GMR, plunges Indo-Maldives ties into crisis.  Protest: Protests in Egypt intensify with people asking for the ouster of the Mohammed Morsy government.  On the run: Anti-virus software entrepreneur John McAfee on the run in connection with murder of his neighbour in Florida has surfaced in Gautemala, plans asylum there.  Reprieve: Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta gets reprieve from court, will be on bail instead of serving prison sentence which was to begin from January 8.

Naresh Fernandes wins Shakti Bhatt Prize Journalist and writer Naresh Fernandes has won the 2012 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for Taj Mahal Foxtrot: The Story of Bombay's Jazz Age, an account of the city's thriving music scene for three decades from the 1930s. The shortlisted works were sent to the 2012 panel of judges: literary

Lustre/Roli Books Rs 1295 (Includes CD of original jazz recordings)

Intern at Rashtrapati Bhavan

 Dismissed: Supreme Court dismisses P Sangma’s petition challenging election of Pranab Mukherjee as President on grounds that he was holding office of profit on the day he filed his nomination.  Memorial: The Maharashtra government hands over 12.5 acre Indu mill land in Mumbai for a memorial for Dr B R Ambedkar.  Cauvery row: Supreme court asks Karnataka to release 10,000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu till Sunday, order triggers protest in Mandya region.  Malnutrition: State government has said 66,344 children suffer from malnutrition in the state with Belgaum, Raichur and Bidar among the highest.  Attached: The Directorate of Enforcement has attached properties worth Rs 884 crore belonging to the Obulapuram Mining Company.

The press wing of the Rashtrapati Bhavan has sought proposals from graduates of national and international universities for a three-month internship with the press wing, which disseminates news and information about the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Candidates with a first class graduate degree in journalism, law, history, political science and literature are eligible to apply. ‘Exceptional’ undergraduate students will also be considered, according to a press release. Selected interns get a stipend of Rs 5,000 a month and work with different sections of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

agent and author David Godwin, poet, dancer and novelist Tishani Doshi, and author Basharat Peer. Doshi says, “We unanimously agree that Naresh Fernandes should win for Taj Mahal Foxtrot. This year’s shortlist was strong and diverse, ranging from an account of the fall of the last King of Burma to a contemporary exploration of womanhood in Chennai. We decided on Taj Mahal Foxtrot,

not just because of the original subject matter, but also because of the huge talent that is Naresh Fernandes. He writes with warmth, humour and a great deal of perception about a city he clearly loves.” The prize will be presented on December 20 at the British Council Auditorium, New Delhi. Last year's winner was Jamil Ahmad's The Wandering Falcon. Longlist judges Jeet Thayil and Sanjay Iyer sifted through a record 96 books to come up with the final six.

Navy Day celebrations The Indian Navy held events across the nation to showcase its achievements. In Karnataka, the celebrations kick-started with a motorcycle expedition from Karwar to Bangalore and back, covering about 1,200 km. Flagged off from Karwar by Rear Admiral Atul Kumar Jain on December 3, the expedition passed through Ankola, Kumta, Haveri, Shimoga, and Tumkur before arriving at Bangalore on December 4, Navy Day. The bikers visited schools and colleges and spoke to students. The expedition was coordinated by Indian Naval Ship Jamuna, anchored at Karwar. The team comprised two officers and ten sailors from various units in Karwar, and was led by Lieutenant MM Rao.

Lisa, the artful dodger Lisa Haydon, a former Kingfisher model and sister of model Mallika Haydon (of item-song Pungi of Agent Vinod fame) was in the city recently, to promote her range of clothing on an online shopping portal. Since she also hosted the latest season of Kingfisher Calendar Model Hunt with Siddharth Mallya, Talk asked

her whether Kingfisher's payment crisis had affected the shoot. To which she replied, rather predictably, that she didn't want to comment about the issue as she didn't know how the company works at “a deeper level.” She instead proceeded to talk about how much fun she had hosting the show with Mallya Jr. Duh!

talk|13 dec 2012|


Forward The week ahead  Forces in Mali: The African Union has urged the United Nations to deploy forces in Mali as northern regions have been seized by smugglers and drug traffickers.

Day of Pride The city's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community came together in full force last Sunday for their annual Pride March, held from Tulsi Park at Majestic to Town Hall. While the majority of the marchers were members of the sexual minorities community, there was also a sizeable number of their supporters who marched along in solidarity. Organised by the Coalition of Sex Workers and Sexual Minorities and other groups, the parade was attended by more than 500 people. At Town Hall, the marchers shed their inhibitions, and many locked lips and posed with their partners for the shutterbugs, even as passersby gawked at them. In the meeting that followed, the community demanded to be included in pension, housing and voter ID card schemes.

How to check your own mobile number

 Airport contract: Singapore court to continue hearing on Indian company GMR’s plea to stay Maldives’ government’s decision to cancel airport contract with it.  Nasdaq: Facebook will replace Infosys on Nasdaq 100, a key US stock market index; Infosys is shifting to the New York Stock Exchange to enable better European leverage.

A no-nonsense look at the poet of nonsense


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Bengal, The Cold Weather, 1873, the quiet fiction debut by travel writer Joe Roberts is by turn funny, sad and disturbing, and worthy of more attention than it has received. It tells the story of Edward Lear, the Victorian era landscape painter who was once world-famous as the author of A Book of Nonsense, a collection of delightfully quirky limericks. An imaginative recreation of Lear's actual travels in colonial-era Bengal, Roberts’ book follows the poet-painter and his Albanian servant Giorgio as the pair journeys to Calcutta where the landscape painter and Nonsense poet has been invited to pass the Christmas holiday with his old friend Lord Northbrook, now the Viceroy of India.


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Lear is ashamed of his epileptic condition, 'the demon' that has

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 Bank loan: Reliance Industries Ltd is set to receive a $ 2.1 billion loan and loan guarantee from the Export-Import Bank of the US.

pursued him all his life, and he keeps it secret with the help of Giorgio. The tropical landscape seems both alien and hauntingly familiar. Tranquebar Press The people Lear meets are almost as Rs 195 otherworldly as he is: a feverish hotelier, a scholarly Raja, a giant minstrel. When they reach Calcutta and find themselves among the upper social strata of the Raj, even among old friends, Lear cannot relax for a moment - the demon could ruin everything.

 Kingfisher: Kingfisher is expected to deposit tax money with the income tax department following a High Court order; a total of Rs 371 crore.

This funny and strangely moving book is the first novel by the English travel writer Joe Roberts, who has written about Calcutta before in his best-selling Abdul's Taxi to Kalighat.

 FDI Vote: UPA government will face difficulty in passing FDI proposal in the Rajya Sabha as it does not have the required numbers.

Writing workshop This one’s for those of you who harbour a secret ambition to be a writer - or, perhaps, simply want to tell your story competently. This weekend, Nisha Susan, author and former features editor of Tehelka magazine, along with Gaurav Jain, former literary editor of the magazine will conduct a writing

 Membership: India has told the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation it is ready to join the organisation as a full member to play a wider and active role.

workshop, What’s Your Story, where you can “learn how to write stories from your life.” The workshop will be held on December 8 and 9 at, 1 Shanthi-Road Studio Gallery, Shanthi Nagar, and costs Rs 2,500 per participant. For registration, write to

 Mining: Afghanistan is set to sign a major pact with an Indian firm for its investment in mining in Afghanistan, the largest by any country in the world.

 Memorial: Shiv Sena may make noise over location of Bal Thackeray memorial at Shivaji park as the Mumbai corporation wants the party to remove the makeshift one.  Probe: The High Court has sought investigation by CBI or CID into the murder of an RTI activist, Lingaraju, after it was presented to the Court that he had sought protection.  12-1 12-1 12: It’s just six days to the last repetitive date we’ll ever see.


talk|13 dec 2012|

retail therapy

performance Green Haat

MoonArra available in many colours including Cobalto and Mandarino. The shoes are priced at Rs 3490 and look best with casual outfits. Language, 7/1, Vittal Mallaya Road 32558400

 Flaunt that LBD: This Christmas dazzle in a Little Black Dress (LBD). Choose from 1090F latest offering the Little Black Dress Collection; buy a party dress or a cocktail dress, choose from styles like sequins, lace and shifts. Available at Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons, Central, Westside and Reliance Trends outlets  Get trendy this season: This Winter season give your wardrobe a makeover with Ritu

Kunar's collection comprising of tops, jackets and dresses. The apparel is made of wool, lycra and viscose. Prices start at Rs 3,500. Avaialable at all Ritu Kumar outlets  Bag it ladies: Ladies take note, as W presents its latest collection of bags. Choose from printed bags, canvas bags, taffeta bags or leather bags. Prices start at Rs 1,699. Available at all W outlets  The winter is here: Beat the winter blues this season by shopping

for stoles, scarves, shawla, patch rolls, sarees and more. The fabrics are made using different methods such as block printing, screen printing, roller textures, stencils, sprays, hand paint, surface ornamentation, hand embroidery, hand weaving and others. Basava Ambara, 93, Kanakpura Road, Basvangudi, from December 13 26561940  Have happy feet: Language introduces new shoes called Driving Mocassins that are

 Diamond frenzy: This festive season gift diamond jewellery to your dear one. Shop for diamond jewellery worth Rs 15,000 to 45,000 and get a pendant worth Rs 5,000 free. Gili World, Mantri Square

 MoonArra celebrates third anniversary: Celebrating three years, world fusion band MoonArra is performing this week. Their music mixes Indian classical, jazz and World fusion. They have performed at various international festivals and won rave reviews. Some of the festivals where they have performed are Delhi Jazz Festival 2012, Bangkok Jazz Festival 2010, Little India inaugural, Kuala Lumpur, 2010, Mad Fest in Ooty, Bengaluru Habba among others. Watch Madhuri Jagadeesh, Jagadeesh MR, Prakash Sontakke, Kartik Mani and Wilson Kenneth introduce a

jazz poet as their opening act. The production introduces the story of sound; how it travelled all the way from Africa to India. This includes narration and appearances from many actors, musicians, presenters, writers, contemporary dancers and others. The production is supported by AV visuals, props, costumes and lighting that enhances the set. Post this they are set to perform overseas. Tickets are available at and are priced at Rs 250. Jagriti, Varthur Road, Ramagondanahalli, Whitefield, December 8 41248298

food Baiju Dharmajan vocals, Pari Srirama Murthy on violins, TV Gopala Krishna on Mirudangam and CP Vyasa Vittala on kinjari perform this week. Gayanasamaja, Kamraj Road, December 8, 6 pm 9632372298

 Harmonious evenings: Witness a night of harmony and melody at the Cadence 2012. This retro

Mall, S-77, 2nd Floor, Sampige Road, Malleswaram, till December 12 22667027

 A green flea: At this flea market foodies can have a gala time by choosing between cupcakes, chocolate, pasta, salads and more. There will be apparels like scarves, digitally printed garments and t-shirts. You can also shop for accessories and spend some time with a tarot card reader. Head to the Green Haat and have a day full of fun, food and music. Green Theory, #15, Convent Road, off Residency Road, December 9, 12.30 pm 9880449401


 Guitar magic: Watch Baiju Dharmajan perform live with his band this week. He has collaborated with many playback singers from the Malayalam industry and has been the lead guitarist for the band Motherjane. Baiju's music is on the lines of rock, progressive rock and blues. Bflat #776, 2nd Floor, 100 ft Road Indiranagar, December 8, 8 pm 41739250


themed choir festival will feature Harmony Children's Choir directed by Sandra Oberoi, Hand bells choir and Boomwhacker ensemble. Some school choirs are also expected to be part of this festival. Jyothi Nivas College, Industrial Area, Hosur Main Road 5th Block, Koramangala, December 9, 5.30 pm 25506100  Carnatic music live: A night of harmony and melody is assured when carnatic artists such as Dr Shreekantham Nagendra Shastry on

 Get rapping: One of Canada's best rappers, Gangis Khan AKA Camouflage is here and all set to rock your weekend. Watch him perform along with DJ Gnosis, DJ Nash and DJ Raghu, Two Much and Shree Sen and others. Eclipse, The Leela Palace, Old Airport Road, Decembers 9, 6 pm  Get rocking this week: Spud in the Box, with their alternate rock music are here to perform this weekend. Catch Rohan Rajadhyaksha on vocals and keyboard, Siddharth Talwar on guitar, Ankit Dayal on vocals and guitar, Hartej Sawhney on guitars, Vivaan Kapoor on drums and Zubin Bhatena on bass. Opus, #4, Chakravarthy Layout, Sankey Road, December 7, 9 pm 23442580

 Lazy Sunday lunches: Non-vegetarians are in for a treat as they can choose from dishes such as shawarma, grilled prawns, kebabs and more. People with a sweet tooth can indulge in more tham 30 desserts. Priced at Rs 1,000 plus tax. Limelight, Airport Road, December 9 41783000  Italian fiesta in city: Savour recipes made out of vegetables, cured meats, sundried tomatoes, olives and fresh cheese like ricotta, burata and mozzarella and choose from dishes such as pecorino cheese with candied mango, focaccia of broccoli, sausages with provola cheese, fish soup, tagliatelle with fresh scampi sauce, black squid ink rice with artichokes, fried mozzarella with cauliflower and cheese cake. Caperberry Restaurant and Tapas Lounge, 48/1, Ground Floor, The Estate, Dickenson Road, till December 9 8105865364  Soak in Xmas festivities:

chicken with avocado salsa, sesame grilled chicken wings, mushroom skewers, glazed potato skin, spiced yoghurt fish, vermicelli crusted tofu, barbecued pork ribs and others. Shiro, UB City, 2nd Floor ,Vittal Mallya Road, till December 13 41738862 Santa's bag is loaded with goodies such as plum cake, ginger bread, panettone, cookies, puddings, chocolates and Christmas hampers. Go ahead and lay your hands on as many goodies as possible. Deli Counter, The Gateway Hotel, #66, Ground Floor, Residency Road, till December 13 66604545  Street food is here: Craving for street food? Head to this street food festival where you can eat Mumbai's vada pavs, Bengal's luchis, the Chinese momos or the traditional kotthu parathas and more. Radha Homotel, 136, EPIP Industrial Area, Whitefield, till December 12


 Sea food lovers head here: Savour a variety of prawns, lobsters, fish and crabs at this seafood festival that will send your taste buds in a tizzy. Treat yourself and your family to this delicious food extravaganza. Calypso, Richmond Road, till December 14 8971232671  Asian Grill Festival: Relish dishes like grilled chicken with citrus tamarind glaze, grilled

 Flavours of Chettinad: Choose from a variety of dishes like kozhi melagu curry, pepper chicken fry, mutton vellai korma, chettinad meen curry, chicken kozhi kara kolumbu, meen pal curry, ennai kathirikkai, chettinad poriyal, arisi pal paniyaram and more. Iaya, The President Hotel, 79/8, Diagonal Road, 3rd Block Jayanagar, December 8 and 9 9980909069


talk|13 dec 2012|



bangalore literature festival The 39 Steps

 The 39 Steps: This comedy play by Evam, shows four actors portray 140 characters. The play covers a ragbag of themes like sex appeal, The Scotland Yard, spies, love, betrayal, car and train chases, plane crashes, damsels in distress and murder. It allows quick changes of sets, costumes and characters thereby making it an interesting watch. It is directed by Bhargav Ramakrishnan and the cast includes Navin Balachandran, TM Karthik, Renu Abraham and Sunil Vishnu K. Ranga Shankara, #36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd phase, JP Nagar, December 8 and 9, 3.30 and 7.30 pm 26592777  Tales of Kutty: Set in the backdrop of a city in Tamil Nadu, the play is about the life and dreams of the Kutty family. The play reflects upon the dreams and aspirations that the elders have for the youth of that city and also tries to understand the youth’s expectations

and understanding of their place in the society. Directed by Ashwini Kumar Chakre, the cast includes Anish Saha, Ashok Vasudevan, Champa Saha, Laishram Romal Michael Singh, Meghna Srinivas among others. The Basement, Eagle Ridge, Begur Kappa Road, near Kamanahalli Main Road, December 8 and 9, 3 pm and 6 pm 9900543592  Rabdi: The play revolves around Saavantri and her mentally challenged child. Though her dreams of her child having a bright future remain unfulfilled she does not lose hope. In order to enroll him into a special school she offers to be a surrogate mother for an IT couple. Directed by Nithish S, the plays delves into the characteristics of motherhood, love, societal issues and human emotions. Tickets priced at Rs 50. KH Kala Soudha, Hanumanthanagar, December 9, 7.30 pm 42064969

 December 7, Friday Inauguration, launch of BLF Journal Beantown 4.30 pm Have you seen the Soul? The Craft Of Poetry: Conversation between Gulzar and Pavan Varma, 5.30 pm Crossfire: With Chetan Bhagat, 6.30 pm Strings Attached, music performance by Jayanthi Kumaresh and Vidwan Kumaresh, 7.15 pm  December 8, Saturday Srujana Sheelathe: Creativity in Writing with Baraguru Ramachandrappa, Chandrashekhara Kamabara, KS Nissar Ahmed, UR Ananthamurthy and Vaidehi moderated by Manu Chakravarthy,

9.30 am Subah subah ek khwaab ki dastak par: A conversation between Gulzar and Sanjana Roychoudhury, 10.30 am Chronicling LivesBiographies and Memoirs: Launch of Durbar by Tavleen Singh, discussion with Ajoy Bose, Bhawana Somaaya, Tavleen Singh and Vikram Sampath, 11.30 am The Business of Books: A session with publishers, 1.15 pm Ferment in West Asia: With Akbar Mirza Khaleeli, I P Khosla and John D Balian, 2.15 pm Playing the Write Game: launch of Boria Majumdar's 'Cooking on the Run: an average Indian man's encounters with food',


3.15 pm Literature in the Twitter Era: With Harish Bijoor and Sudheendra Kulkarni, 5.15 pm The World in Verse: With Jayant Kaikini, Khaleelur Rehman, Sampurna Chattarji and Shaista Yousuf, 6 pm Yakshagana - 'Vali Moksha' by Keremane Shivananda Hegde Troupe, 7.15 pm  December 9, Sunday Hosa Ale: New Waves in Kannada Literature with Banu Mushtaq, Jayant Kaikini, Kum Vee Bhadrappa and Mamta Sagar, 9.30 am Is Fiction losing its Magic?: With Jahnavi Barua, Jaishree Misra, Shashi Deshpande and Tarquin Hall,

talk picks

10.30 am Stage of Life: Mahesh Dattani and Ashish Sen in conversation, 11.30 am Tete-a-tete with Amish Tripathi, 1.30 pm Hark the New Brigade!: With Aroon Raman, Shefalee Vasudev, Sudeep Nagarkar, Vikrant Dutta and Yasmeen Premji, 2.15 pm Bangalore/Bengaluru Multiple City?: With Prakash Belawadi, Ramya, Shobhaa De, TV Mohandas Pai and UR Ananthamurthy, 3.15 pm Scripting India: Launch of Akash Banerjee's Tales from Shining and Sinking India and Akash Kapur's India Becoming. Discussion with Akash Banerjee, Akash Kapur, Nandan Nilekani, Sanjeev Sanyal and Sir Mark Tully, 4.15 pm Launch of Shobhaa De's Sethji . De in conversation with Sunil Sethi, 5.15 pm Bangarada Manushya - BLF tribute to Dr Rajkumar: Puneeth Rajkumar and Maya Chandra, 6 pm Jayamahal Palace, December 7 to 9, Log onto for registration

To get your event listed, write to us at

English bestsellers courtesy Sapna Book House

Khiladi 786

 Khiladi 786 Hindi: The Khiladi is back! Directed by Ashish R Mohan, the film is about Champak Lal Mansukh whose father is the owner of a marriage bureau. Champak has been a failure at everything. When he tries helping his father in his business, it backfires.To show his father that he's not useless, he tries to set up a match of an underworld don's sister, Indu with an inspector Bahattar Singh. In order for the match to finalise, he convinces the underworld don to pretend to be a cop. What follows

next is a series of unexpected events. Written by Himesh Reshamiya, the film stars Akshay Kumar, Asin and Himesh Reshamiya in the lead. Innovative Multiplex, Marathalli- 10.55 am, 1.30 pm, 4.15, 7, 9.50 Vision cinemas- 10 am, 1 pm, 4, 7, 9.45 Abhinay Theatre, Gandhinagar- 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30 Urvashi Digital 4K cinemas- 11 am, 2.30 pm, 6, 9.30 Manasa Digital, Konanakunte- 4.30 pm, 7, 9.45 Rockline Cinemas, Jalahalli Cross- 10.30 am, 4.25 pm, 10 Rex Theatre, Brigade Road- 12.05 pm,

7.25 INOX, JP Nagar- 10 am, 12.50 pm, 2.20, 3.40 6.30,8.40, 9.20 INOX, Magrath Road- 10 am, 12.50 pm, 2.25, 3.40, 4.40, 6.30, 7.15, 9.20 INOX, Jayanagar, Swagath Garuda- 10am, 12.50 pm, 3.40, 6.30, 9.20 INOX, Mantri Mall, Malleshwaram- 10 am, 12.50 pm, 3.40, 6.30, 8.30, 9.20  Hotel Translyvania English: Dracula owns a lavish five star resort where monsters and their families live freely without any human interference.On

one special weekend, Dracula invites some of the world's most famous monsters including Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, Invisible Man, a family of Werewolves and others to celebrate his daughter, Mavis' 118th birthday. He however is in for a surprise when a human finds out about the hotel and falls for Mavis. Starring Adam Sandler, Cee- Lo Green, David Spade, Molly Shannon in the lead. Rockline Cinemas, Jalahalli Cross- 2.25 pm, 7.10 Innovative Multiplex, Marathalli- 5.30 pm INOX, JP Nagar- 10 am, 7.40 pm INOX, Magrath Road- 10 am, 2.40 pm, 7.30 INOX, Swagath Garuda- 12.30 pm, 4.55  Prem Adda Kannada: This action film directed by Mahesh Babu,

Kriti Kharbanda in Prem Adda

stars Prem, Murali Krishna, Kriti Kharbanda in the lead roles. It is a remake of the Tamil film Subramaniapuram. Sri Vinayaka Cinema, Varthur- 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30 INOX, JP Nagar- 12.40 pm, 4 INOX, Swagath Garuda Mall- 6.15 pm Rockline Cinemas, Jalahalli Cross- 10.45 am, 3.45 pm, 6.15 Manasa Digital, Konanakunte- 11 am, 2 pm Kapali- 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30 Navarang-10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30 Vishal10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30 Govardhan- 10.30 am 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30 Kamakya 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30s

The New Collected Short Stories Author: Jeffrey Archer Publisher: Pan Books Ltd Price: Rs 399

1 2 3 4 5

Sethji Author: Shobhaa De Publisher: Penguin Books India Price: Rs 250

Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Third Wheel Author: Jeff Kinney Publisher: Penguin Books UK Price: Rs 325

Heroes of Olympus Mark of Athena Author: Rick Riordan Publisher: Penguin Books Price: Rs 499

If I Die Today Author: Shashi Deshpande Publisher: Rupa Books India Price: Rs 395

web stop

talk|13 dec 2012|


Crowdsourced creativity With the launch of, Shekhar Kapoor and ARRahman offer a platform for new artistic talent to collaborate with one and another in an online community SRIDHAR K CHARI

xciting and democratising as the new digital technologies and social media platforms are, they can also be scary in their ability to exclude, disrupt, and overwhelm. It is this fear that filmmaker Shekhar Kapoor points to as the pri- one with the right resources (a few mary push behind creating his ‘social friends, a cell-phone camera) shoots it, edits it, adds some music. A lyricist expression’ platform, Qyuki has been running in beta pens a beautiful song, which inspires since July, and was launched officially a musician to set it to tune and gets that girl, who just posted a beautiful on December 5. "It was born of fear, of becoming cover rendition of whatever, to sing it a dinosaur, when thinking about for him…. you get the idea. At the end which way story-telling was headed. of all that, hey, that is a nice film! And Will people continue to be interested in the Qyuki ‘marketplace’, somebody in the two-hour/three-hour movie, even “buys it”. Not everything need work out was the question in my mind,” he that way, end to end. “It is a myth that said. Shekhar is also not convinced everybody creates to make money. there is something sacrosanct about People sometimes create because the standard three-act structure of they just want to,” Kapoor says. In any case, there is a general most movies and stories. “All stories are about contradic- understanding that social media is tions,” he declared, at a Cisco-enabled primarily about ‘branding.’ You turn telepresence press conference on yourself into a brand, and eventually Wednesday. And there are as many monetise that both online and ways to tell a story as there are story- offline. He believes that on a platform like Qyuki, with its collaborative, tellers. From there, it is only a short step crowd-sourced ecosystem, “the best talent will rise to to the ‘realisation’ the top,” naturally. that everybody is a Creativity is for There might storyteller. “Who is a everyone, also be some active filmmaker? All of us, curating, and rating with cellphone cambelieves systems at work, eras, are filmmakers. Shekhar Kapoor from a body of In Mumbai, where I experts on Qyuki. live, I got lucky. But there are atleast a 1,000 other Co-founder AR Rahman says Qyuki is different from other platforms on the Shekhar Kapoors there.” Qyuki, the team hopes, will web, where people post text, audio, become a platform for “creative col- and video, as here rating systems will laboration” which will eventually pro- work in some as yet undefined way. duce a community of talented people “There is a lot of junk on the Net,” who will come together on it to create Rahman declared. “People need a way to get to quality content.” stories, music, pictures and movies. Shekhar Kapoor and Rahman It might work something like this: Someone posts a story. Another are showcasing some ‘premium conturns it into a screenplay. Then some- tent’ of their own.


THE MAESTROS Filmmaker Shekhar Kapoor and musician AR Rahman share a friendship, partnership and a mentor-mentee relationship

Shekhar has Warlord, Animalocity and Moments in Motion. Warlord is about the almost universal myth of the second coming of a messiah or savior, who will redeem mankind, and the story will “unravel only on, exploring new techniques in animation and visual story-telling.” Animalocity is a love story with animals, and one of the aims is to provide people with the tools for what he calls “grunge animation.” Moments in Motion is intended to curate video footage submitted by users and co-create short ‘slice of life’ videos. As for Rahman, he will present Melange, an album of Indian language renditions of classical Western tunes. Already up is a Hindi language rendition of Scarborough fair and a Tamil one of Greensleeves. The founders do not see copyright as a major issue. “Where it matters, there are established models of working things out,” Shekhar says. Technology MNC Cisco is an investor. While the amount has not been disclosed, Hilton Romanski, Vice President and head of corporate business development, speaking from San Franscisco, told the media that while “Cisco doesn’t usually invest in early stage start-ups,” this venture was “very here and now, and seems just right given the state of technology today.” Qyuki will use Cisco’s datacentre, networking and cloud technologies to service the platform. Qyuki CEO Poonacha Machaiah believes Qyuki could stand out from other social media platforms because

The four ‘C’s premise of  Creativity: Users upload their own writing, music, pictures and videos  Collaboration: They partner to take it to the next level  Content: They enjoy original and co-created ‘premium’content from the ‘masters’  Celebration: Recognition, and hopefully, even monetisation, follow collaboration, “so fundamental to art, is not based on friendship”. Presumably, what he means is that it will be based on the creative logic and arc of the project as it evolves in a collaborative ecosystem, with a “recommendation engine” helping the process along. What Qyuki will turn into is anybody’s guess. Clearly, the founders and investors are expecting pay-offs of different kinds at various levels. If creative individuals looking for a dynamic new channel to express themselves find that it actually works for them, it might gain some traction. Crowds can produce wisdom, or so they tell us – but can they also produce artistic masterpieces? The jury is still out on that on, but in any case, the founders will hope the activity will pull in eyeballs, on a ‘freemium’ model (some free services with some paid for premium services). For Shekhar, creativity is for everyone as it is ultimately about catharsis, for both the producer and consumer. “It is a way of unburdening yourself.”


talk|13 dec 2012|


The murder of lawyer Rashid creates a political storm, and home minister Jalappa is in the dock. The CBI diligently goes after policemen accused of torturing and killing Rashid Last week: Rashid, lawyer from Kerala and associate of a businessman, is found dead on the rail tracks. The needle of suspicion points to none other than the Bangalore police and RL Jalappa, then Karnataka’s home minister and a business rival of Rashid’s boss. Lawyers in Bangalore are outraged by the murder. The author takes up Rashid’s case, as conflict between the lawyers and the police escalates. he special DIG of Karnataka handed over the investigation to special Superintendent of Police Mahadevappa, who worked under him. However, the case against the police had left the entire police department angry. Some policemen started grumbling that the case had been filed to victimise innocent policemen and save the skin of Home Minister Jalappa. They were determined to expose him, too. A rattled Jalappa perhaps realised his mistake, and instructed the special DIG differently. The next day, Mahadevappa made an aboutturn and said booking the High Grounds police for murder had been a mistake, and the case had been



withdrawn as subsequent investigation had revealed they had nothing to do with the murder. He submitted a fresh report to this effect. The lawyers erupted against his new stand in just 24 hours, and senior advocates including K Narayanappa, and PP Muthanna suggested we protest publicly. I was ready. On August 31, 1987, lawyers boycotted all courts in Bangalore and launched demonstrations. We gave a memorandum to the Governor on September 1, and met Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde the same day to press for an unbiased investigation. Hegde and his senior cabinet colleague Deve Gowda asked us to be patient, but that hardly helped. Meanwhile, Hegde said, “I know who the murderers are, and I will let the public know at an appropriate time.” This statement put him in a fix. I started criticising him. “If the chief minister knows who the culprits are, then it would be wrong on his part to conceal the truth,” I argued. Even Janardana Poojary, the state Congress president, lauded my reaction to the chief minister’s statement. He said the lawyers’ strike had been more effective than the opposition’s onslaught in the assembly, and he sought to meet the leaders of the agitation to discuss how we should take it forward. With my colleagues Narayanappa and Muthanna, I went to the Kumara Krupa guest house to meet Poojary. He complimented us on our agitation. Just then, someone told

him about the arrival of KS Nagratnamma, leader of the Opposition in the Assembly. Poojary left in a hurry, leaving his coffee unfinished. I had imagined his post was big, but was disillusioned he was so servile to a fellow party member. As the government investigation lost credibility, the case was handed over to the CBI. K Raghotham, who hailed from Tamil Nadu, was the investigating officer. He came to my office in Bangalore. When I placed the information I had gathered before him, he praised me, saying I had conducted a parallel investigation. He was certain the police was involved in the murder. The police came to know CBI officials had been in touch with me, and constables in civilian clothes started spying around my office. Raghotham was an active officer. He arrested DCP Narayan and other policemen following a two-month investigation. I knew about the arrests a week before they were executed, but remained tight-lipped. The entire police force was stunned, and Jalappa was more shaken than before. His arrest seemed imminent, and he was running scared. The CBI made the owner of Satyaprakash Lodge, one of the accused, an approver. The lawyers were saying Raghotham had obtained a statement from the lodge owner that Rashid had been murdered at the lodge under the supervision of High Grounds police inspector Uttappa.

crime folio

Threats over the phone Fabled ranconteur and Bangalore’s top-notch criminal lawyer brings you moving, sensational and bizarre stories from 40 years of his practice


Jalappa’s political rivals, especially leaders from his home town of Dodballapur, started taking advantage of his situation. Some leaders tried to give a political colour to my efforts, but I wasn’t bothered. The police and the home minister thought that I had helped the CBI fix them. But I was not afraid. CBI sleuths tortured DCP Narayan. I had given them details of his involvement in the murder of the editor of the newspaper Kranti. Narayan was produced before a court, and policemen went berserk when they saw he had been tortured. Some policemen got into a scuffle with the CBI investigators. I remember one of them was called Lavakumar. The director of the CBI, who works from Delhi, asked the DGP of Karnataka and the Bangalore police commissioner to call their men back from the court hall, or, he warned, they would all be summoned to

memoir Delhi. The DGP and the commissioner rushed to the spot to pacify their staff. The CBI vowed to teach the Karnataka police a lesson. The friction threatened to snowball into a major political crisis as the Congress was in power at the centre, while the Janata Party was ruling here. The chief minister was a worried man. He had taken the lawyers’ strike lightly, but as it assumed bigger dimensions, he started calling on the agitators and responding positively to their demands. He reportedly received some intelligence reports that Jalappa was nursing chief ministererial ambitions, and the murder case came in handy to corner him. Jalappa and Deve Gowda were rivals, too, and the latter took political advantage of the situation. Retired Judge C Shivappa was the CBI counsel at the High Court. There was a legal hurdle for him to appear for the CBI at a magistrate court, and as a legal remedy, he was made special prosecutor. I was asked to assist him, and I agreed. Showing his injuries to the magistrate, Narayan accused the CBI of torturing him in custody and sought permission to get medical treatment. Magistrate Shambhulingappa was apparently sympathetic to the state police, and ordered the doctors of Victoria Hospital to conduct a check-up on Narayan. I surmised it would

talk|13 dec 2012|

be advantageous for Narayan, and nudged and therefore didn’t question the district Shivappa to demand a preliminary check- surgeon’s report on his injuries. The CBI up by the district civil surgeon, as mandat- officials lauded my efforts. Jalappa started ed by the rules. Shivappa followed the sug- floating rumours that I had political ambigestion promptly, and the magistrate tions and wanted to contest elections from Dodballapur. When Lankesh Patrike interagreed. Deve Gowda’s relative Dr Seetharam viewed me, I made it clear I had no such was the district surgeon then. Gowda was in intentions. Meanwhile, I became close to favour of the lawyers’ struggle against Janardana Poojary. He Jalappa, and Seetharam used to call me and had reportedly been Jalappa held it other representatives of harassed by Jalappa when personally against the legal fraternity to he was working at the me, and my wife discuss the case. We government hospital in innocently revealed Dodballapur. Knowing and I started everything to him. We all this, I went to Gowda, receiving threat later came to know that with VS Ugrappa, once phone calls he had been informing my junior and now a conJalappa about our plans. fidant of Gowda. Gowda received us warmly. I request- That was out of caste affinity. We even ed him to ask Dr Seetharam to give a report heard the news that Poojary had prevailed saying the injuries were older, and sus- upon central Home Minister Buta Singh to tained even before the CBI police had help Jalappa out. Jalappa held the case personally arrested Narayan and his colleagues. Gowda agreed, and immediately called Dr against me, and my wife and I started Seetharam over phone in our presence and receiving threatening calls. VR Krishna requested him to give such a report. Dr Rao, Congress MP from Chikballapura, Seetharam, from his end, replied that since arranged for a police escort for me. It it was anyway true he had no problems giv- embarrassed my wife, who urged me to ing such a report. With this, we had an refuse the escort. When I explained this to Raghotham, he deputed CBI men in civilupper hand. Narayan was worried about his bail, ian clothes to guard me. I suspect Jalappa


got to know about this, and the threatening calls stopped. Jalappa filed for anticipatory bail in the session’s court, and Judge Anwar rejected his plea. He got conditional bail from the High Court. A home minister getting conditional anticipatory bail was a first in the history of Karnataka. Meanwhile, we came to know some lawyers were attending court, defying our boycott call. A group rushed towards the High Court, and lawyer Vardhamanaiah pulled out lawyer Visweswara, who was entering the court, and spit on his face. When Vardhamanaiah was about to assault him, Visweswara locked himself in the cell of the security guard, and his lawyer CV Nagesh protected him. Chief Justice incharge Nesargi came to the spot with the police and sent Visweswara home with an escort. The Rashid murder case was heard in a Tamil Nadu court. Bhojraj Budhia and Sudhakar of Sathyapraksh Lodge, who had been CBI approvers, turned hostile. Jalappa and some others were discharged for lack of evidence. Others facing convictions appealed before the Madras High Court, and subsequently their pleas were upheld. Rashid murder story concluded Translated by BV Shivashankar

martial arts

talk|13 dec 2012|



Play multiple roles, perfectly Way of Budo 11 Treating other people, including your attendants, well is an essential part of the path of budo, says Sensei Avinash Subramanyam

hen a warrior walks the path of budo, he will carry its bearing across different walks of his life. Surely, other people too carry marks of their profession. A jockey possesses a lithe body, a seafarer a weathered look, a salesman a pushy attitude, an ice skater grace, a gymnast sprightliness, a forest-dweller animal-like stillness. Perhaps the only difference with budo is its spiritual content, where the warrior doesn’t merely learn to wield the sword, but becomes the sword itself. Now consider a short sword or a knife; it has multiple personalities. It can be used to hunt, cut, threaten and kill. It can also be used as a surgical instrument to heal, to open cans or in place of a screw driver. A well moulded person is like a sword—one who can play multiple roles and each to perfection. The use of the sword involves overcoming fear, developing a high threshold to pain, possessing grace, strength, skill, determination, hard work, focus, responsibility, stillness, reason, strategy, dignity and honour. The modern day warrior should acquire these traits in required quantities. Only then can he or she play to perfection different roles—superior-attendant, bosssubordinate, teacher-student, husband-son, friend and lover. Over this week and the next,


we will discuss some of these common roles, beginning with a superior’s behaviour with an attendant-waiter, office boy, maid. The attendant is someone down in the money chain, while you are positioned much higher. So the gap between the two is vast. A genuine human being should know the name of the attendant, who and what he or she is. It’s perfectly fine if an MD doesn’t know the VP’s name, but it is important that he knows the office boy’s name. You make him anonymous and undeserving of respect by calling him “Ay” or “Oy”. Isn’t it that we don’t know the names of only those who lack standing in society? Though the era of slavery is over and we now call people who serve us by fancy names, our behaviour however continues to be the same. We need to treat them with respect because they are individuals in their own right. Attendants need to be especially treated well because they live way below the required standards of life. More often than not, their annual salaries are less than what a VP or CEO will earn in a day. Likewise, a waiter will slog for 8 hrs for a small tip that has to be distributed among all. But he might know more than a manager, because he knows the customer intimately. The only way we can make up to such people is

to be generous with them financially and to treat them with love and affection. Remember that we cannot do without them and that they do more for us than we ever will for them. Take your house maid, for instance. We are so small that we hesitate to give her a 10 per cent raise over the low wages that she gets. Instead, try to treat her with dignity. Remember that if you care for your attendants, they will always be loyal to you. Know that you are socially better off not because you are more intelligent or spiritual but because of good luck. Isn’t it possible that they might understand more truths than a scientist or an IIM graduate? To grow spiritually, know that the sky and earth belongs exclusively to no one; they belong to all. More importantly, realise that your social status could have been worse off; so treat people with kindness. Another important role we pay scant attention to is as a guest in a restaurant or pub. Understand your surroundings and behave accordingly. You needn’t always be quiet and subdued; you can be boisterous provided you know how to do it. For eg., if there are fifteen of you having a corporate party at a pub, there might be occasions when you have a family at the next table. If you want to be loud, make

a request to the manager and the family to shift either your table or theirs. Tell them that you don’t want the kids to hear you scream, use abusive language and inhale smoke. They will surely appreciate the thought. If it’s a couple, apologise beforehand and ask them not to mind the loudness. It’ll put them at ease. Of course, ensure that you don’t leer at the girl or pass comments that will make the couple uncomfortable. If there are only girls, never stare at them. If you are just a couple of friends and tend to use abusive language, keep it low. Ensure that you convey implicitly or explicitly that you mean no harm. Remember when you are callous how it would be to have a similar group of men sitting and using bad language around your family. Realise that there are no different rules for your family and their family. Know that you don’t have to be loud to be heard. Remember that abusive language especially, can sometimes provoke people into a fight and lead to unhappy consequences. When we practice the art of the sword we learn to practice within our body such that no damage is caused to innocent lives. Your fun should not be at the cost of others. The one who walks the budo path knows himself and the surroundings he inhabits.


This technique relaxes your fingers, shoulders, wrist, elbow and chest and makes you feel refreshed. Starting posture: Clasp palms with fingers interlocked. Turn your palms to face the earth and push palms downwards as you straighten your elbows.

Keeping your palms clasped, now slowly lift your right hand and feel the left hand being drawn. Notice the stretch at your wrists. This and the movements to follow are like a blade of a propeller moving in a circular motion.

Keep moving your right hand up with right elbow pushing outward and creating a stretch at right and left wrist. Keep your palms clasped tightly.

Bring both elbows inward with your wrist relaxed.

Lift your left elbow up and push it outward again creating a stretch at the right and left wrist. Your palms remain clasped tightly.

Pull your left hand downwards with your right hand with palms clasped and wrist bent.

Return to starting posture. Keeping palms clasped push both palms downwards as you straighten your elbows.

Perform the technique 8 times on each side, left and right. Do it 3 times a day.


talk|13 dec 2012|

30 Prof Good Sense

 I stay in a paying-guest accommodation, where I am the only resident. My landlady gets drunk every evening and starts telling me about her woes, repeating herself endlessly. She is a nice person otherwise, but this is making me restless. I haven't slept well for a month. Please help. Anbu, Bommasandra

Living with a person who has an alcohol problem is a draining experience, especially when you don't drink. This can make things worse if you don't have family and friends living with you. Try telling her that she needs professional help to quit alcohol. But a word of caution: don’t sound self-righteous or moralistic. If she doesn’t heed your counsel, consider moving out. Your comfort is important. And so is your peace of mind. Prof M Sreedhara Murthy teaches psychology at NMKRV First Grade College. He is also a well-known photographer. Mail queries to

talk the intelligent bangalorean’s must-read weekly

1st Cross

Talk’s weekly crossword for Bangaloreans who know their way about town 15 What they call chicken in Kannada (4) 16 ____ Palace Hotel: Bangalore Literature Festival venue (9) 18 Sports body which stands to lose its lands if allegations made against it are proven (4)

1 2


DOWN Poly clinic which shares the name of the road it's on (7) Security body pulled up by the High Court for not paying compensation to a soldier (3) Cinema hall in Gandhinagar (5)

Last week’s solution Across: 1 Jyoti Nivas, 4 Woodstok, 7 Rex, 10 A R Rahman, 11 Nethrani, 12 Kardinal, 13 Nuclear, 14 Chidambaram, 16 Vinay Kumar, 18 Maha Prachanda, 19 Sonia Gandhi. 3



Across The Bangalore School of Music recently celebrated it's ____ jubilee (6) Weather phenomenon which has played havoc with the city's flight schedules (3) Famous educational institute which was in the news recently on

account of sexual harassment (4) 8 Bangalore's famous women's college (5,6) 9 Ms Sharma of Bollywood who was born in our beloved city (7) 13 Medical education minister S A Ramdas recently paid a surprise visit to the ____ Memorial Institute of Oncology (6)

Down: 2 Two, 3 SV Ranganath, 5 Daroji, 6 T J Abraham, 8 Kamakya, 9 Dowry, 14 Cannons, 15 BDA, 17 MCA.

5 7 10 11

12 14 17

Popular North Indian restaurant at Koramangala (7) Administrative headquarters of the Dakshina Kannada district (9) Theatre in Rajajinagar (7) Bangalore based group which play a fusion of folk, rock and Carnatic music (9) Beach near Udupi home to a ruined fort (4) Spiritual leader in the city recently (5,4) From now on you can only have one ____ connection per household (3)

How do advertisers talk to Bangalore’s most intelligent readers? They call these numbers Abhay 95388 92618 Aman 88844 11718 Mithun 88844 11720

When Melody meets Rhythm @ Manpho! The Indian Metal Festival is all set to rock Bangalore & other fellow metal heads on the 15th of December 2012. The festival will be an entire day of head banging metal music and no doubt it is going to be a unique one of a kind festival. There will be 4 international performances supported by 4 Indian performances with the French legends ‘Gojira’ headlining the Fest @ Manpho Convention Center near Manyata Tech Park at Hebbal, Bangalore. With a handful of iconic bands delivering their music & passion to the paradise garden city in 2012, now Gojira, well known for their environmentally-themed lyrics, have risen from greatest darkness during the first half of their career to widespread global recognition in the second. Gojira are from Ondres, France, a village close to Bayonne. Formed by brothers Joe Duplantier (guitar, vocals), drummer Mario Duplantier, guitarist Christian Andreu, and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie, Gojira’s music combines elements of Death metal, Groove metal, Thrash metal and Progressive metal coupled with environmentally-themed lyrics. In late 2007 they took part in the Radio Rebellion Tour, featuring co-headliners Behemoth and Job for a Cowboy, as well as Beneath the Massacre. Gojira’s sound is not easily classifiable as they blend several styles. Gojira have been influenced by metal artists such as Sepultura, Death, Morbid Angel, Meshuggah, Tool, Metallica, Pantera, and Neurosis. Regarding on what the new Gojira material sounds like, Joe Duplantier said: “It’s Gojira but wiser and heavier. Our music is always evolving. I hope there is more to come from us! I believe we can get heavier and deeper and more magical than before. I respect everything that’s been done before, but I hope we’re digging in another direction. It’s not a technical direction. It’s a more spiritual direction. I think we’re getting closer to the core of why we’re doing this music. It’s hard to describe it. Until I hear the new album it’s hard to have a clear vision of it. Fuck it, it’s just better!” L’Enfant Sauvage was announced as the title of their Roadrunner Records debut. The title translates to “The Wild Child.” featuring 11 tracks. “When you become a musician, you don’t have a boss telling you what to do so you have to be very responsible,” singer/guitarist/songwriter

Joe Duplantier said, shedding a little light on the title and its meaning. “With freedom comes responsibility so I’m asking myself, ‘What is freedom? What does it mean to me?’ L’Enfant Sauvage reflects on that. There’s no answer though. There’s just life and questions.” Along with Gojira at the Indian metal festival is Blood Shot Down, Xerath & Flayed Discipline all hailing from U.K., swarming the art of their melody with symphony, powerful guitar riffs & explosive drumming! Bloodshot Dawn is a Hampshire based Metal band from U.K who blend elements of Melodic Death Metal and Thrash Metal with a brutally technical approach consisting of Josh McMorran - Vocals/Lead Guitar, Benjamin Ellis - Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals, Doug Anderson Drums/Vocals, and Anthony Ridout - Bass. A must watch out for our Bengaluru boys Eccentric Pendulum, critically acclaimed progressive metal band and the first Indian band to play the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany and SWR Festival in Portugal. Formed in November 2008 owing to the amalgamation of musical Ideas exchanged by the founding members of the band Arun (ex Extinct Reflections), Vibhas (ex Spitfire), Ashish (ex Inner Sanctum) and Nikhil (ex Asylum). While maintaining progressive metal as their prime focus, the band composes songs combining elements from jazz, fusion and ambient resulting in an unconventional musical concoction. In March 2009, the band released their debut EP titled “The Sculptor of Negative Emotions” at Bangalore’s premier “All Original Music Fest” - Rock Ethos. Highlights of the band include winning and headlining at various college festivals and also sharing the stage with metal heavy weights such as Meshuggah, Opeth, Textures, Kreator, Amon Amarth, Tesseract, Enslaved and a host of killer Indian bands. Agnostic, influenced by legendary bands like Deicide & Cannibal Corpse hailing from Guwahati was formed by Guitarist Hemen & Vocalist Deep, at the far end of year 2009 to be later on joined by Mitul on Drums, Nitu on Guitars & David on Bass. Small or big, east or west, this festival is bound to invite a lot of metal lovers. The tickets are priced moderately by the producers, ‘Sweet Leaves’ keeping in mind the affordability & passion for Metal Music.

talk|13 dec 2012|

Three cheers to that! We’ve all been bored by people who get back from a European tour and start gushing about their latest discovery: the health benefits of wine. “Do you know red wine is rich in heart-friendly antioxidants? That’s why the French rarely have heart-attacks!” You can bet they have read the brochure at some French vineyard, but never mind that. If you really want to counter them, here’s some ammunition for you: good old beer comes with more health benefits than you realise. Beer can help you


Mike vs Brad lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, gall and kidney stones, and even help protect your bones, or so say nutrition experts. There’s a catch though—all this happens only if you drink beer in moderation, which means, 710 ml of beer per day for men, and 355 ml for women. In moderation or not, we’re glad someone finally spoke up for the absolute favourite drink of many millions in the world. Take a sip of that, wine-fiends.

We must say our opinion of Brad Pitt, better known as Mr Angelina Jolie these days, has changed for the better. In a recent talk show, the former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson revealed how he had caught Pitt in bed with his ex-wife Robin Givens, when they had filed for

divorce, in the late 1980s. This was not Pitt the star we all know, but an actor struggling to find his place in Hollywood. Tyson, who has a

Milking our boredom ‘Milking’, where students film themselves pouring four-pint cartons over their heads, preferably in public places, has been described as the “most pointless Internet craze yet.” Ever since a Milking video from Newcastle, became a hit on YouTube, drawing 30,000 views in a week, copycat acts have been reported across the UK. It has been called the new Planking—lying flat in unusual places—as a

craze. Going by the videos, no place is safe with ‘milkers’ doing their thing outside pubs, in busy roundabouts, in a tree and even in the middle of the road. But wait, do these nitwits realise that the practice, like most such things, was invented in ancient India? It’s called abhishekha, and continues to this day. Except, here it’s reserved exclusively for the Gods. And Rajnikanth.

reputation for violence in private life, quite apart from his status as one of the top boxers of all time, said he was “mad as hell” at the sight. “You should

have seen his face when he saw me,” he added. Apparently, Tyson resisted the temptation to use Pitt as a punching bag.


The intelligent Bangalorean's must read weekly


The intelligent Bangalorean's must read weekly