Friday, October 31, 2008
Suddenly all those who denied their Marathi roots are brandishing them... yet trying to show that they are a cut above the "Typical Ghati"!
Cilla's post on this topic is really hilarious!
3M Quiz - Guess who made this cartoon?
3M finds it funny that a person who pronounces his own surname as सरदेसाय instead of सरदेसाई speaks about "preserving cultural identity of Maharashtrians". His usage of words describing himself as a "Goan Maharashtrian" almost gives an impression that he is apologetic about his roots. His anglicised Marathi introduction to the Tendulkar-Gavaskar interview that he "read out" on IBN-Lokmat (a Marathi news channel) almost sounded ShobhaaDesque!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
This day is also the day when the Marathi Manoos reemphasises his love for his Bayko (Wife) by giving her a gift (90% chances of it being a Sari) after the customary Owalni.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Given the global meltdown, we can expect a lot of people praying to Goddess Laxmi to shield them from the impending havoc! And if muhurat trading is any indicator, she seems to be hearing their prayers.
Traditionally unlike his Gujarati neighbours who do chopdi poojan , Marathi Manoos does not give top priority to this day amongst all the Diwali days… probably due to his lack of entrepreneurial nature. But a must on this day in every Marathi household is the traditional Rangoli. Most significant are the patterns of footsteps made at the entrance. They signify the entry of Goddess Laxmi in the household. Also, the gold jewelery in the house is worshiped in addition to the five deities -
- Ganesh, the god of intelligence and destroyer of impediments
- Mahalaxmi, the goddess of wealth
- Mahasaraswati, the goddess of learning
- Mahakali, the goddess of mystic powers
- Kuber, the treasurer of the gods
Monday, October 27, 2008
Owalni after Abhyanga Snan
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The Marathi tradition of releasing special magazines for Diwali (called Diwali Ank) is completing 100 years. Most Marathi families will buy at least one copy of the 400+ odd publications that hit the stand. You have "Pooja Issues" in Bengal and "Onam Specials" in Kerala... But nothing matches the width and depth of the Diwali Anks
Keeping this tradition alive is my mother who buys a few of these magazines every year. This year my father decided to surprise her by buying her a dozen of the best ones… So here is 3M’s father's experience of buying them from a typical Marathi dukaan. What better place to buy these magazines than Girgaon, the epicenter of Marathi culture in Mumbai. The obvious choice being a bookstore called M/s B D Bagwe & Co.
In the days of “Crossword” and “Landmark”, this trip was a re-exposure to the “old world charm” of traditional retailing. When dad enquired about the different Anks, he was curtly told that he will have to buy the list for 1 Rupee. Once the princely sum was handed over, a four-fold, two-colour list was handed over. The prices of the Anks varied from Rs. 10/- to Rs. 250/-. After shortlisting the 12 issues, he realized that half the prices did not match with those on the list! No concessions given… No person to pack the Anks in old newspaper… No plastic bags to carry the Anks home… They refused to deliver the Anks till the cab even though my father is a senior citizen! But the Dukaandar’s parting shot took the cake – “Which circulating library are you buying these mags for?”.
Welcome to the world of “Marathi Retailing”! For all those who do not want to undergo a similar grid can opt for the online option in dollar!
Diwali Ank recommendations by the other 3M (Middleclass Marathi Mom) strictly in alphabetical order:
- Maharashtra Times
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Rural women celebrating Vasu-Baras in "Marathmoli" tradition
3M regrets the fact that this tradition is slowly being forgotten in our modern (Tetrapack Milk) days.
Samajwadi View – This incident is more dangerous that all the Islamic terror in the world put together!
Left View – Deal with “Hindu Terror” more sternly than “Islamic terror”
Congress View – We need to investigate it further
BJP View – There is nothing called “Hindu Terror”
Bajrang Dal View – Finally, we have a “Hindu terrorist”!
DMK View – Only LTTE terror is acceptable!
MNS View – Actually, it’s “Uttar Bharatiya” Terror unleashed on Marathi Manoos… Pradnya Singh Thakur is a Bhaiyya and the blast took place in Maharashtra!
Friday, October 24, 2008
An integral part of the Diwali rituals in the household of a Marathi Manoos is Abhyanga Snan or the purifying bath. Before the bath, a fragrant herbal paste called Utna is applied to the body. It’s made out of special herbs which have therapeutic value. Traditionally the matriarch of the family would use the age old family recipe to make Utna. Sadly, all fine things from Diwali Faral (savouries) to Kandeels (lanterns) get outsourced… and the good old Utna meets the same fate. Most people grumble that this packaged Utna is not as fragrant and nourishing as their grandma’s concoction!
So for all those nostalgia cravers who want to recreate the magic of an era gone by, here is the method to make a perfect utna -
Take fine powders of the following herbs -
1 Tbsp Chandan (Santalum Album)
1 Tbsp Aambe Halad (Curcuma longa Linn)
1 Tbsp Khus (Andropogan Muricatus)
1 Tbsp Gulab (Rosa Centifolia)
1 Tbsp Santra Saal (Citrus Aurantium)
1 Tbsp Multani Mati (Fuller’s Earth)
1 Tbsp Nagarmotha (Cyperus Rotundus)
1 Tbsp Bawachi (Psoralea Corylifolia)
1 Tbsp Besan (Chickpea flour)
1 Tbsp Gawla Kachri (Kaempferia Galanga)
Click on this link to know more about these herbs.
You can buy these herbs @ Gora Gandhi in Parel and Patwardhan in Dadar.
Mix all the powders evenly to make a homogenous mixture. Store the mixture in an air-tight jar so that the powder does not loose its fragrance.
Add warm whole milk the utna powder to make a thin paste in a silver vessel. Apply all over the body 15 minutes before the bath. Gently rub on skin to exfoliate.
Hope you enjoy your fragrant Abhyangha Snan!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
So why has Maharashtra govt filed so many cases against Raj Thackeray? Lalu’s pressure tactics?
3M’s Theory of PPW (PAWAR PROTECTIVE WEB) – A Jharkhand Court has issued a non-bailable warrant against Raj. Pawar knows that if Raj is handed over to the Jharkhand Police, Maharashtra law & order situation will hurtle into an unprecedented abyss. So he is creating a “protective web” of police cases across Maharashtra to buy time. Eventually the Chanakya of Maharashtra politics will ensure that he has his cake and eat it too!
It’s almost as if Pawar is telling Raj “Mee marlya sarkha karto… Tu radlya sarkha kar…” Translation - "I will act as if I am beating you… You act as if you are crying!"
As one Mumbaikar mentioned to 3M “Yeh sab paapi vote ka sawaal hai!”
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Jaane do na… you will say. Indian Railways is an aberration… or is it? Monday’s Navbharat Times (Mumbai Edition) carried a 2 page ad on Pages 8 & 9 for employment opportunities in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Pune… 450 posts. So what is wrong with this ad? Has it not been released in Maharashtra? The answer is yes… and no!
This ad has been released only in a Hindi newspaper so that only “Uttar Bharatiyas” in Mumbai can read and apply… Why was this ad not given in any of the Marathi or English newspapers?
Abhi maloom pada… Marathi Manoos ko Gussa kyon aata hai!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Lalu Yadav says that due to violence by Raj Thackeray future Railway Recruitment Board exams will not take place in Maharashtra.
Look at the benefits of this move -
1) Poor Bihari people wont have to come all the way to Maharashtra for the exams
2) So... They wont sleep on Mumbai platforms
3) So... MNS wont beat them up
4) So... Raj Thackeray would not be arrested
5) So... There will no rioting in Maharashtra
Lalujeeee... You are a genius!
Zee 24 Taas talks of Lalu's "Bhaltech Vidhan" (Wierd Statement)... while Zee News shows how Lalu stands up against Raj.
Preventive arrests of over 3000 MNS activist across Maharashtra had made it evident that their President's arrest is iminent...
Finally, Raj was arrested @ 2:45 am in the Ratnagiri Circuit House... being brought to Mumbai in a convoy to be presented in the Bandra Court...
Violence has erupted across the state with over 350 taxis damaged in Mumbai alone...
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sadly, National media just sensationalises the story without trying to understand the root cause… The most prejudiced headline over the MNS violence was in Economic Times… Can’t beat them in exams, so beat them up… Guys do you think all non-Hindi people in India are bird brains?
I know that this advice is going to fall on deaf ears and Raj would have his standard response – “Laton ke Bhoot… Baaton se nahi maante!” or “Gandhigiri only worked with educated Brits”!!!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Let’s look at Mumbai – Maharashtra - India equivalents in the world…
Montreal – Quebec – Canada
Munich – Bavaria – Germany
Barcelona – Catalonia – Spain
All are cities of commerce in provinces that do not speak the “national language” of their nation. These cities assert their different character from the national mainstream (even antagonistic at times) and yet have not lost the attractiveness as commercial centres or tourist magnets… In fact all three have been host to the much coveted Olympic Games, arguably the ultimate symbol of a global city. This shows that a regional identity does not mean “bad for business and tourism”.
I would like to present some lessons from Barcelona, the city of commerce in Spain and also the capital of Catalonian Province. The region has always reflected pride in having an independent language and culture from the main Spanish stream. In 1939, after the Spanish civil war, General Franco usurped the power and started suppressing regional identities like Basque and Catalan. Franco’s “Nationalistic” drive ensured that Catalan culture and language was suppressed to a large extent giving rise to a resistance movement. Catalan was prohibited in schools and babies could not be given Catalan names! After Franco’s death in 1975, Catalan pride resurged with a great bang and the new constitution had to accept Catalonia as a separate “nationality”. Within 10 years, Spanish was almost wiped out from street signages to school textbook. Today all the government communication is in Catalan and you have to “request” for a Spanish version. Please note that half the population of Catalonia claims their mother tongue to be Spanish and not Catalan!
So what’s the point I am making? Many a times, the “National majority” fails to understand the regional sentiments and imposes what they feel is right. Biggest example is of Han Chauvinism in China. We have seen how forced imposition of Hindi in the 1960s led to Tamil backlash. Today, I see that Marathi Manoos is feeling swamped by others… especially people from UP and Bihar. He is sniggered at when he speaks in his mother tongue in public. Earlier, it was considered to be a Mumbai phenomenon where "assimilating with other cultures" is a way of life… but with semi-urban and rural centres feeling the heat, there suddenly seems to be an anti-Hindi sentiment spreading in Maharashtra. Statement by the Yadavs and Mayawatis of the world like “UP to ek jhaanki hai… Maharashtra abhi baanki hai” has fuelled the current Marathi vs Hindi spat. Raj Thackeray is using this plank to establish himself in Maharashtra politics and seems to be succeeding in his goal.
It is high time the central government looks into the matter seriously to understand the ground realities and takes steps to assuage the fear of Marathi Manoos.
3M is worried that the undercurrents of this anti-Hindi movement in Maharashtra are stronger than what most people would like to believe. If the pressure builds up, a "Catalonian backlash" could be felt in Maharashtra.
3M Trivia – Catalan has only 66 Lac native speakers while Marathi is estimated to be spoken as a primary language by over 800 Lac people across the globe.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Conversation between 3M (Middleclass Marathi Manoos) and his MMW (Modern Marathi Wife)
MMW: Today’s Karwa Chauth
MMW: Isn’t it romantic?
MMW: All these rituals of waiting for the moon to rise… and…
3M: What so romantic about it?
MMW: Tum nahi samjhoge... They are showing the ceremony live from Bachchans' terrace!
3M: But isn’t Amitabh a Ganga-ghat-ka-chora married to Bengali and their daughter-in-law a Tuluva?
MMW: What’s the point, honey?
3M: I mean Karwa Chauth is a Punjabi festival
MMW: No! It’s a Bollywood festival...
3M: Oh... now I get it... Yash Chopra’s creation! The Punjabification of Bollywood…
MMW: We should give it a shot next year... Wot sayz u?
3M: But before that Vat Pornima will come in August…
MMW: Wot’s that?
3M: The Marathi/ Kannada equivalent of Karwa Chauth... Will have to ask Marathi directors like Amol Palekar, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Mahesh Majrekar, Sai Parajape, Jabbar Patel etc to incorporate Vat Pornima in some of their movies so that you start finding it romantic!
#@*&^$%!.... MMW is certainly not amused!
Friday, October 17, 2008
The Great U-turn by Jet Airways
Mr. Naresh Goyal claims no one pressurised him…
Mr. Raj Thackeray claims he did it…
Mr. Praful Patel says he did it…
Shiv Senechi bolti band!
3M Quiz – Who forced him?
Option A – Goyal ki Swargwasi Mummy aka his conscience
Option B – MNS threats
Option C – Central Government
Option D - Barack Obama
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Even though, Balbharti made very boring history textbooks, history was my favourite subject in school… Thanks to Sushila Raghavan, our history teacher who made the subject lively for us. These textbooks emphasised and reemphasised that Shivaji was our “national hero”… something that I dint understand clearly then. I knew that our army jawans who protected us from the “evil” Pakistani army were “National Heros”… So Shivaji must have fought against all the “anti-national elements” to get this title!
Class 6… history lessons… about Shivaji’s fight with the Portuguese… lovely! Nice to know that Shivaji gave a “bloody nose” to these guys who had persecuted my ancestors… I started liking Shivaji even more!
And then came the heart wrenching part in the history book. In the war between Shivaji and the Portuguese, the Raja of Sawantwadi allied with the later. Oh………… my……… god! The Raja of Sawantwadi was an “anti-national” and my family sustained under his tutelage for 3 centuries… I belong to an Anti-national family!
It took my dad 2 weeks of reasoning to get me out of the “shock”!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
3M INVESTIGATIVE REPORT
Aim – To check which Thackeray is creating the most noise on the internet
Experiments conducted -
Experiment #1: The word Thackeray was searched on Youtube (world's most popular video sharing website)… out of the top 20 videos, 17 are dedicated to Raj Thackeray, 2 to Balasaheb and 1 to Uddhav. Please note that not all videos were “pro-Thackeray”.
Experiment #2: Now let’s search the word Thackeray on Orkut (world's most popular social networking website)… We will consider fan club communities for this experiment. The top 5 Raj Thackeray fan clubs have 11991, 9245, 4672, 2454 & 1023 fans respectively… The largest Balasaheb fan club has 3811 members and Uddhav’s has 481 members. I could find only 3 other Marathi Manoos who have bigger fan clubs on Orkut than Raj… Lata Mangeshkar, Sachin Tendulkar and Shivaji Maharaj himself! (Hmm... Salman Khan may be considered, as he is ½ Marathi Manoos)
Experiment #3: Now let’s look @ Google Trends… This tool shows which word is searched more in a given timeframe on Google (world's most popular search engine). So words “Raj Thackeray”, “Bal Thackeray” & “Uddhav Thackeray” were searched and the results are seen in the diagram below.
The case rests with the readers!
3M Trivia – Surprisingly, Raj’s fan club on Orkut is the 2nd largest for any politician (alive) in India… way ahead of Sonia, Manmohan, Rahul, Advani, Vajpayee, Yadavs, Naidu and Mayawati…
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Article 19. Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc.
All citizens shall have the right—
(a) to freedom of speech and expression;
(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;
(c) to form associations or unions;
(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;
(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India;
(g) to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
Bingo… sub clause (e) clearly is a “slap of the face” for “parochial politicians” like Raj Thackeray… right? Hmmm… not exactly.
Suppose as an Indian Citizen, you want to buy land and reside in Kashmir… you actually cant! You would argue that this is a exception because of the special status of Jammu & Kashmir state.
Then, why do I have to take permits from Himachal Govt to pray in the Tabo Monastery of Lahaul valley?… sensitive area bordering Tibet they say!
Can I buy land in Nicobar Islands or the Union Territory Lakshadweep… hell, no!
Hmm… how’s that possible? What about my “Constitutional rights”? Because the subclause (e) has a rider and it reads as follows -
Nothing in sub-clauses (d) and (e) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of any of the rights conferred by the said sub-clauses either in the interests of the general public or for the protection of the interests of any Scheduled Tribe.
This means that the Central or State government can restrict an Indian citizen from residing in an area if it is against the “interests of the general public”. What if MNS comes to power in Maharashtra and passes a law preventing non-Marathi people from settling in Mumbai? Technically, it is possible. They can show that the infrastructure in Maharashtra is crumbling under the immigrant population.
Law experts can poke holes in this hypothesis. A healthy debate is most welcome!
Monday, October 13, 2008
So does that mean Times of India does not review Tamil movies in Chennai edition… Kannada movies in Bangalore edition… or Telugu movies in Hyderabad edition? Of course not! How can they ignore the local language movies? The people speaking the local language are 1st grade citizens in these cities. You might be amused to know that the percentage of Kannada speakers in Bangalore is lesser that Marathi speakers in Mumbai!
On two past occasions I have shown how Times of India cold shoulders Marathi manoos – 1 & 2
3M shares an thot – A friend argued that if Marathi Manoos wants to read the reviews of Marathi movies he should read Maharashtra Times… but with that logic Times of India should review only “English Movies” and Hindi movie reviews should appear only in Navbharat Times.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Mr. Minister… Your history seems to be weak… You have no clue what you are talking about! Like most non-Marathi people (and quite a few Marathi manoos too!), you too think that Hutatma Chowk is dedicated to Marathi freedom fighters that fought against the British. Right? Absolutely wrong!
In 1955, the States Reorganization Commission recommended that either Mumbai will be the capital of a bilingual state (Maharashtra +Gujarat) or will be made an independent city-state. Marathi manoos opposed both these options through Samyukta Maharashtra Chalwal. During one peaceful protest in 1956, under the auspices of Morarji Desai’s Congress government in Bombay state, police opened fire and killed 105 people. And finally on 1st May 1960, Maharashtra was declared as the Marathi state with Mumbai as its capital. A Soviet style memorial was erected in Fort area by Brihanmumbai Mahanagar Palika (BMC) in the memory of these martyrs and renamed Flora Fountain as Hutatma Chowk.