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My Friend Sancho

My first novel, My Friend Sancho, is now on the stands across India. It is a contemporary love story set in Mumbai, and was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2008. To learn more about the book, click here.

To buy it online from the US, click here.

I am currently on a book tour to promote the book. Please check out our schedule of city launches. India Uncut readers are invited to all of them, no pass required, so do drop in and say hello.

If you're interested, do join the Facebook group for My Friend Sancho

Click here for more about my publisher, Hachette India.

And ah, my posts on India Uncut about My Friend Sancho can be found here.

Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Security Blanket

I have blogged before about how the malls in Mumbai tend to have security at the front entrance, and a terrorist could easily drive in to the parking lot in a car full of explosives and use the lift from there to enter the mall, strapped full of explosives. Well, front entrances aren’t much better.

Every time I go to Infiniti, my favourite mall because it contains the bookstore Landmark, the dude with the handheld metal detector does two things. One, he runs the detector over my left pocket, where I keep my cellphone and my keys—it beeps. Then he runs it over my right pocket, where I carry my wallet—it beeps. He then waves me through—no questions asked, no other part of my body checked.

In the Malad mall, In Orbit, they make me pass through a metal detector, and it always beeps. No matter, I am waved on through. Ditto at the Marriott in Juhu, where I once spotted Salman Khan—I’m guessing chinkaras would be stopped at the gate, so that’s okay.

And what about airports, where security should be highest? Well, there’s no checking of baggage all the way until the security check, so you could walk in with a bag full of explosives all the way till there. After that point, one would hope, we passengers are safe.

Or are we? Check out Jeffrey Goldberg’s splendid piece in The Atlantic, “The Things He Carried”, in which Goldberg describes how, with the help of security expert Bruce Schnei­er, he tested the USA’s airport security system in almost every detail—and found it wanting. As the introduction to the article says:

Airport security in America is a sham—“security theater” designed to make travelers feel better and catch stupid terrorists. Smart ones can get through security with fake boarding passes and all manner of prohibited items—as our correspondent did with ease.

Indeed, smart terrorists could also run circles around authorities in India with ease. Either the terrorists who’ve targeted us so far are not too smart—or we’ve been lucky. How long will that last, I wonder.

Also read: Bruce Schneier’s piece in Wired, “The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Terrorists”, which challenges conventional wisdom about “what motivates terrorists in the first place.” (And while on the subject...)

(Links via emails from Neel and Udhay respectively.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 20 October, 2008 in India | Miscellaneous

Husbands On Rent

I wonder if men should consider this a problem or an opportunity.

(Link via email from Arun John.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 14 October, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Membership Open

Kind Friend writes in to point me to an annual fertility festival in Japan, with some spectacular phalluses on display. Check them out.

I’m wondering whether I should contribute an international entry. India Uncut?

Posted by Amit Varma on 14 October, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Needless And Redundant

I’m bewildered and confused by Abu Salem’s legal notice to Monica Bedi, which seems to be written by his lawyer, for its inclination and tendency to use two words where one would do. From the three news reports about it (1, 2, 3), I find that:

1] Salem is “deeply hurt and distressed” by Monica’s denial of their marriage. He is unable to “comprehend or fathom” why she would do such a thing.

2] He had “actively encouraged and supported” Bedi’s acting career.

3] He finds “peace, solace and comfort” from reading the letters she sends him.

4] His love for her shall never “diminish or fade away” even if she wants to “split up or sever their marital ties”.

5] If their marriage is an “obstruction, hardship or obstacle” to her acting career, he is ready to divorce her so that she is “free, happy and at liberty.”

Phew, whew. If I was a judge reading this, I would book Salem and his lawyer for contempt of court for wasting my time in such a manner, in this way.

Many of our journalists are no better, of course.

Posted by Amit Varma on 08 October, 2008 in India | Journalism | Media | Miscellaneous | News

The Bag Lady

Mudra Mehta reveals the different attitudes men and women bring to buying bags. I wonder how many bags she bought as research for her post.

I’ll add to her observations by pointing out that most men only care about how functional a bag is, while women look at bags as fashion accessories. For a man, having one bag for daily use is just fine; for a woman, that would be equivalent to owning just one t-shirt, or one pair of shoes.

I suspect that these attitudes might just be reversed when it comes to cars. Unfortunately for us men, bags are much cheaper than cars. Lucky chicas.

Posted by Amit Varma on 04 October, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Savita Bhabhi For President

Barack Obama, John McCain—watch out!

(Manish is my fellow campaign manager.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 02 October, 2008 in Miscellaneous

A Girl In Winter

It’s hard not to click on a story with such a headline:

‘Female body more desirable in winter’

The study that reached that conclusion carried out “an experiment on 114 men who were asked to rate photos of women at different times of the year.” I wonder why they kept the sample size so ridiculously low—I’m sure there wouldn’t have been a shortage of men willing to look at photos of women.

And isn’t December the most popular month to get married in India? It all falls into place now…

Posted by Amit Varma on 29 September, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Truly Exotic Food

Sarah Palin comes to India and wants to visit a dhaba. Sonia Gandhi takes her to a dhaba on the road to UP. They order. The food comes. Palin takes a bite.

Palin: Eeks. Waiter, waiter, come here.

Sonia: Wait, he won’t come if you call. Let me call him. Manmohanji!

Waiter Manmohan: Yes madam. Is the food okay?

Palin: No, it isn’t. I ordered Moose Masala. This doesn’t taste like moose to me.

Waiter Manmohan: That’s right madam, moose not available here. Local food inspector Kamal Nathji won’t allow. This is a replacement. Very exotic dish, you will like.

Palin: But I wanted moose! Anyway, what meat is this then?

Waiter Manmohan: Madam, this is lightly braised human foetus, freshly sourced from a tribe threatened by extinction.

Palin: My god! How dare you?

Waiter Manmohan: But I thought you will like, Madam. Haven’t you read Nilanjana Roy’s latest column?

Posted by Amit Varma on 27 September, 2008 in Dialogue | Miscellaneous | Politics

Fannie And Freddie

Proposed Savita Bhabhi storyline: Fannie and Freddie are trapped in a boring marriage. Savita Bhabhi drops in to spice things up.

Update: She could cheer up the Lehman brothers after this.

Posted by Amit Varma on 19 September, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Apple Launches The iThing

Anand Ramachandran is in fine form:

World renowned cool company Apple Inc. has launched their latest product, the iThing – a strange, minimalistic handheld device with no apparent features or uses. Now available in stores globally, the iThing is unbelievable sleek, sexy, desirable and useless. While even Apple has admitted that they have no idea what it actually is, this hasn’t prevented millions of Mac fans from lining up outside retail outlets from the wee hours of the morning to be among the first to own one.

Meanwhile across the world people are dropping Microsoft’s MS Thing and finding that it… crashes. So there we go.

Posted by Amit Varma on 11 September, 2008 in Miscellaneous | Science and Technology

Salt And Sugar

If even MadMan makes mistakes, there’s clearly hope for lesser beings.

I’m off to make the perfect Maggi now.

Posted by Amit Varma on 07 September, 2008 in Miscellaneous

The Darwin Smudge

Cthulhu would laugh at this. In a non-Euclidean way.

(Link via email from Peter Griffin, who will be eaten first.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 06 September, 2008 in Miscellaneous

“You Are Beautiful, Like A Moon”

Mohit points me to this great flowchart (via) that guides us on what to say after sex, depending on how good or bad the experience was. The headline of this post is one of your options after good sex. Eeks.

I like the post-bad-sex lines much more, and could contribute a few myself:

‘Can you at least cook?’

‘I need to blog some pictures of this. Say cheeeeeese.’

‘Done. 100 girls in 100 days. I won the bet. I don’t need to do this any more.’

And so on. It’s so much fun being nasty, especially for wildly hypothetical occurrences. No?

Posted by Amit Varma on 05 September, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Red Lace Bra vs Black Thong

Red Lace Bra wins, according to a poll run by Mid Day. I wonder if the details matter here, and if Black Bra wouldn’t beat Red Lace Thong by exactly the same margin.

The WTF quote of the day comes from the same article, where someone called Harshad K is quoted as saying:

I think women look great in knee-high, black leather boots. A woman who sports boots, is in touch with her own desires.

That would certainly be true if she wore nothing else, I suppose. And why that ugly comma after ‘boots’? Does it indicate that the copy editor who made the page also likes women in boots, and had to pause in the middle of that sentence to catch his breath?

Posted by Amit Varma on 01 September, 2008 in Journalism | Media | Miscellaneous | WTF

Last And Final Boarding Call

Mark Sarvas is upset that airlines don’t understand redundancy.

Really, how did that meme ever start and begin?

Posted by Amit Varma on 28 August, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Extra Baggage

I feel bad for this lady. But thankful that she wasn’t flying Air Deccan, where the flying experience wouldn’t have been much of an improvement.

(Link via email from Rony.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 28 August, 2008 in Miscellaneous | News

Far From The Madding Wank

Reader Vivek Kodira points me to a joyful WTF page that explains how masturbation is evil. I especially love the section that aims to shatter the ‘myths’ around masturbation. Samples:

Myth: There are bigger problems than Masturbation, like drugs and AIDS.

Reality: Experts estimate that there are at least 150,000 Americans masturbating RIGHT NOW! Masturbation costs American businesses at least $3.14 billion in lost productivity every month!

Myth: Masturbation is a “Victimless Crime.”

Reality: Theological experts on Masturbation have come to the conclusion that Masturbation is what is known as a “gateway” sin. This means that Masturbation leads to more serious offenses. In fact, practically all rapists, Sodomites, child molesters and pornography addicts started out as Masturbators.

From anecdotal evidence that may or may not relate to my own self, I can attest that even bloggers started out as Masturbators, with an eloquent capital ‘M’. Clearly that means that blogging is a serious offense, but having written a few thousand posts already, I must be beyond redemption. Sigh.

And I’d dearly like to know how the experts cited above came to their estimation of 150,000 Americans masturbating “RIGHT NOW!” The methodology intrigues me. Also, what do you think the figure would be for India, with its vastly larger population?

Enough now. I have work to do.

Update: Reader Oindri Mitra writes in that this site must surely be a parody—after all, no one can write things like this seriously. A little research indicates she’s probably right.

Posted by Amit Varma on 28 August, 2008 in Miscellaneous | WTF

The Patience of Monks

The quote of the day comes from a Welsh monk who has shifted to broadband from a dial-up connection:

Patience is one of the characteristics of monastic life, but even the patience of the Brothers was tested by our slow internet.

I suspect their patience would also be tested if ICICI Bank called them 600 times a day offering them a loan to buy a toaster, or suchlike. ‘I’m a monk,’ I can imagine one of them telling the call center guy, ‘I don’t need a toaster.’

‘Are you sure, sir?’ the reply comes. ‘It’s a zero-interest loan.’

‘I’m sure.’

‘Okay, what about a free credit card then? We’ll give free add-on cards to your family as well.’

(Link via email from Sanjeev.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 20 August, 2008 in Dialogue | Miscellaneous | News

Charles Van Doren’s Gyroscope

This is a terrific story.

And here’s Stanley Fish’s analysis of Van Doren’s piece, in which he talks of Wordsworth crossing the Alps without even knowing it, as did Van Doren, and, perhaps, as do we all.

Posted by Amit Varma on 12 August, 2008 in Miscellaneous

The Road To Serfdom?

Hayek discovers bondage.

Posted by Amit Varma on 10 August, 2008 in Miscellaneous

I’m Probably Male

What do you do when you want to find out whether you’re male or female? You click here. My results:

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 3%
Likelihood of you being MALE is 97%

The program in question does its analysis based on one’s browsing history. You do the test and see what you are.

As for me, I will now delete my cache and try to be female for an hour. Then I’ll do this test again. L’that only.

(Link via Andrew Sullivan via MR.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 08 August, 2008 in Miscellaneous | Personal


Elsewhere in the world, this is a funny story.

In India, it’s the view from a local train in Mumbai.

(Link via email from Arun Simha.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 08 August, 2008 in India | Miscellaneous

The Meat Kit

All my vegetarian readers are hereby advised to click on this.


PS. Sorry. It’s Nilanjana’s fault. She showed me this picture after dinner at her and DD’s place—I’m passing through Delhi on the way to Chandigarh—and as I was unable to eat it, I thought I’d blog it.

Posted by Amit Varma on 06 August, 2008 in Miscellaneous | Personal

Chodenge Or Chhodenge?

The difference a missing ‘h’ can make is enormous. This is why I read the Times of India.

In other news, young Aadisht points us to this well-intentioned (and undoubtedly wise) owl:

Reminds me of that classic CSNY song, “Broil Your Children.” Or s’thing like that.

Posted by Amit Varma on 04 August, 2008 in Journalism | Media | Miscellaneous

What An Idea, Sirjee

Playboy For The Blind.

Before you quip about how it’s only the articles, let me point out that I first discovered Haruki Murakami, many years ago, on the pages of Playboy. And no, he wasn’t the centrefold. The magazine is worth reading just for the articles.

So there.

(Link via Marginal Revolution.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 04 August, 2008 in Arts and entertainment | Miscellaneous

His Noodliness


The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster offers us yet more photographic evidence of the existence of the FSM.

Yo believers of other religions: Do you have any pictures of your God god to show?

Posted by Amit Varma on 16 July, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Your Coffee is Not Aroused

One of the pieces of advice many writing guides will give you is to keep it simple, and to prefer short words over long ones. Well, Pointy Haired Dilbert, via email,  points me to a resource that helps you do just this: Thsrs—The Shorter Thesaurus.

Knowing what the typical India Uncut reader is likely to feed in there, I searched for shorter synonyms of ‘aroused’. One of the options I was offered was ‘horny’. So I looked at shorter options for ‘horny’ and got ‘sexy’. (This assumes all sexy people are horny; every day I learn new things.) I fed in ‘sexy’, and got ‘hot’.

The lesson to learn from this is that one should never say: “I like my coffee aroused.” Instead, always say: “I like my coffee hot.” Keep it simple.

PS: The half-Bengali in me is proud that Thsrs could not find shorter alternatives to ‘lobongolotika’. It


shows that we already keep it as simple as possible.

Posted by Amit Varma on 10 July, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Hormonal Changes

I found the WTF quote of the month in the latest issue of Time Out Mumbai. (Their 100th issue: congrats, N&N!) Shilpa Shetty, speaking about a dog that bit her, says:

It was an unfriendly dog, but I later heard that it was going through some hormonal changes.

So if you boys bite a pretty chica and she gets upset, just look helpless and say: “I can’t help it, it’s hormonal.” And then if her attention goes downwards, point out: “I can’t help that either, that’s hormonal too!”


Chhee, I’m disgusting. I’m just going to stop reading my own blog if I keep writing like this.

Posted by Amit Varma on 05 July, 2008 in Arts and entertainment | Miscellaneous | WTF

Horny Kya?

The Times of India informs us, with a suitable exclamation mark at the end of the headline: “Watermelon is nature’s Viagra!”

Now, lest you boys go rushing out to eat some healthy fruit, as your momma always told you to (naughty momma!), note that the article also says that “[w]atermelon may not be as organ specific as Viagra.” So don’t stare at your crotch in anger after every bite. And enjoy the taste, it isn’t medicine.

Posted by Amit Varma on 03 July, 2008 in Miscellaneous

The Exciting Life of Christopher Hitchens

First he gets waxed. Then he is waterboarded.

The picture in that first piece is horrifying, perhaps even a legitimate torture device by itself. (“If you do not make us your Facebook friends, we will hold your eyes open with calipers and make you look at this picture. Hoo ha ha ha hoo ha.”) And speaking of torture, here’s what Hitchens has to say in the second piece:

I apply the Abraham Lincoln test for moral casuistry: “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” Well, then, if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture.

It’s a relief that both John McCain and Barack Obama agree with that view, with McCain having stuck to a principled stand against torture in the primaries despite that position being unpopular in his party’s base. Perhaps it helped that he had first-hand knowledge of the subject. And now Hitch has it as well, having been waterboarded and waxed. To think he volunteered for both…

(Links via email from Manish Vij.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 03 July, 2008 in Miscellaneous


For some reason, this story moves me:

Police: Woman Held Cat For Ransom After Losing Dog

I feel sorry for both the woman and the cat, actually. There’s sadness all around in the story, and there wouldn’t have been any if the blasted woman just got herself a teddy bear instead of a dog in the first place. You know what I mean. Still, we’re human…

(Link via email from The Not So Talkative Man.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 03 July, 2008 in Miscellaneous | WTF

How Horny Are Indians?

A question like that makes absolutely no sense, but it must be asked—because I say so. Here’s the evidence:

Exhibit 1: According to this survey by, India is not one of the ten horniest countries in the world. The nationalists among you should be distraught at the news—what has the country of the Kama Sutra come to (no pun intended)?

Exhibit 2: On the other hand, Google does no evil and Google Trends does not lie. Indian cities top the list when it comes to searching for ‘sex’, ‘naked’, ‘boobs’, ‘fuck’ and ‘Salma Hayek’.

My expert conclusion: We lag behind when it comes to overt horniness, but are No. 1 at repressed horniness. This calls for a freedom movement. (Jokes about a Danda March will not be tolerated. Don’t even think about it.) No?

( link via email from Krishna Prasad.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 21 June, 2008 in Freedom | India | Miscellaneous

Blow It Up Or Knock It Down

I love this girl’s spirit. Haven’t we all been there?

Posted by Amit Varma on 19 June, 2008 in Miscellaneous


It’s quite obvious what Google thinks of India Uncut from the contextual advertising: check out this screenshot of a post of mine sent to me by The Not So Talkative Man.

What to say now? If you were one of the people who clicked on that and made a purchase, feel free to send me a picture of how it looks on you.

Unless, um, you’re a man.

Posted by Amit Varma on 10 June, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Use Protection If You’re Doing It In The Ear

Otherwise you might get hearing AIDS.

Posted by Amit Varma on 05 June, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Genetically Modified Orgasms

I want to go down under.

(Link via email from Sanjeev Naik.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 05 June, 2008 in Miscellaneous | News

Writing Is Work; Reading Should Not Be

This is a great motto for a writer to have:

It’s up to me, not the reader, to do the work.

That’s Lee Child speaking in an article by Charles McGrath. I know literary types who would disagree with the sentiment—Let the readers do some work, they will say, it’s rewarding for them—but if reading feels like work, then it should not be done.

I’m not as good a writer as I’d like to be, so I do the smart thing and stick to short posts on India Uncut—by the time you get tired of them, they’re over.

Posted by Amit Varma on 04 June, 2008 in Arts and entertainment | Miscellaneous | Personal

Elephants Like Us

Jai Arjun Singh presents pictures of elephants that reveal the human condition. Consider the picture below, with its accompanying caption:

Lady elephants are better at public displays of affection, much the same way it is with humans. This one kept nuzzling her husband’s belly with her trunk. He seemed to enjoy it but he didn’t reciprocate - looked straight ahead.

I suppose he wanted his space. Maybe he’ll regret it some day.

Posted by Amit Varma on 02 June, 2008 in Miscellaneous | Personal | Small thoughts

Time Off

There’s been a death in the family and blogging will be infrequent over the next few days. Until then, three links sent to me by readers to help you through these difficult days:

1] A Gaybombay survey reveals the hottest players in the IPL. When I received Vikram Doctor’s SMS about it, I tried to guess, through my straight lens, who would top the poll. I was way off: Shane Watson figured low down in the list. Now you guess who won.

2] Jonathan Leake of The Sunday Times explains why “txting mks u clvr.” Do you think it could be said that txting is the Twenty20 of writing? If so, I guess I’m Aakash Chopra—and willfully so. (Link via email from VatsaL.)

3] And this is just Dam Funny. (Link via email from Mohit.)

Shabba khair now, and take good care of yourself.

Posted by Amit Varma on 28 May, 2008 in Miscellaneous | Personal

The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth

So writes David Brooks.

The question is, do we want it?

Posted by Amit Varma on 23 May, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Question of the Day

Is Telling the Truth About Religion a Crime?

(Link via email from Gaspode, himself a devotee of Cthulhu.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 23 May, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Leafy Food

Krishna Prasad, via Facebook message, points me to this rather strange advertisement below which I’m sure must be against our culture in some way:

It seems the Kannada words are a translation of the tagline: “Turn Over a New Leaf. Try Vegetarian.”

Honestly, in these circumstances that would be difficult even for a vegetarian, no?

Posted by Amit Varma on 23 May, 2008 in Media | Miscellaneous

All Hail Icelandic Sagas

Responding to my post about Icelandic happiness, Devangshu Datta writes in:

Iceland has 7 GMs and 14 IMs in a population of 3 lakhs, which makes it by far the best chess playing nation per capita. It also has a high percentage of tall blond women and sexy sagas, which generally involve burning people alive.

I should emigrate there, I think. I’m not a tall blond woman, but my chess is decent and I can burn. So there.

Posted by Amit Varma on 21 May, 2008 in Miscellaneous | Personal | Sport

Mild Delusions, Odd Obsessions

Responding to my post “A Conversation With God”, Udhay Shankar N points me to an essay by Mr Lizard which begins:

Presented for your consideration: Two gentlemen, both with what one might term a mild delusion—they are deeply involved with people who don’t exist. Both spend a lot of money on this obsession. Both can recite, at length, the putative words, thoughts, and deeds of their fictional obsessions. Both have allowed the ideals expressed by these non-existent beings to shape their lives, and both proudly proclaim their allegiance in a sect of followers. Despite this odd obsession, both men hold down jobs, have families, pay taxes, and commit no more than trivial crimes, such as jaywalking, or speeding, or ripping the tags off of mattresses.

One of these men, though, has a serious problem—he won’t acknowledge the fictitious nature of his fantasy friend. The other one has no such difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy.

Yet, in our society, the former is considered normal and healthy—while the latter is, at best, a figure of mockery, at worst, a reviled outcast.

The former man, you see, is a ‘Christian’, and the fictitious being he admires is called ‘God’. The latter is a ‘Trekker’ and his fictional focus is called ‘Mr. Spock’.

Read the full thing. Religious people should not get too upset about that essay—no doubt whichever God they believe in will punish both Mr Lizard and me for our heresy. Heh.

Posted by Amit Varma on 21 May, 2008 in Miscellaneous

How To Butter Your Gujju Friends

With butter. Vikram Doctor has a good piece in the Economic Times on why Maharashtrian food is not popular outside Maharashtra, and it contains a snippet of how Jumbo Vada Pav is going national:

Dheeraj Gupta, Jumbo’s owner, tells me that local tweaking is needed, like buttering the pav to get Gujaratis to buy it: “We made this simple change and volumes jumped 250% in one month!”

And what would they have to do to boost sales in Punjab? Put a tandoori chicken in the pav, that’s what. Seriously, they should try it.

(Link via Abi.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 20 May, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Goya’s Dark Nightmare World Is A Happy Place

Responding to my post “We Should Celebrate Rising Divorce Rates”, Krishna Prasad writes in to point me to this piece: No wonder Iceland has the happiest people on earth.

Looking away from the now-tiresome subject of divorce, here’s a paragraph from the piece that rather intrigued me:

Why is there such an abundance of artists in Iceland? What drives them? ‘We do it so as not to become mad,’ replied Haraldur, who is tall, nervy and thin with eyes that have the concentrated energy of a laser beam. Not to become mad? ‘Yes, to keep the beast at bay.’ The beast? ‘The beast is Iceland, this island on which we live with its terrifyingly harsh nature, its bitter ever-changing weather. It’s Goya’s dark nightmare world, beautiful but grotesque. This is the moody beast of Iceland. We cannot escape it. So we find ways to live with it, to tame it. I do it through my art,’ said Haraldur, whose attempts to pacify the monster have also included the writing of three books in which ‘there are no animals, no trees. We have to have a rich internal life to fill the empty spaces, to fill the silence with our own noise.’

Meanwhile the sapping heat of Mumbai prevents me from writing as productively as I’d like to. What to do about this beast?

Posted by Amit Varma on 20 May, 2008 in Arts and entertainment | Miscellaneous | Personal

Facebook and the IPL

Inspired by Brian Sack’s Facebook news feed from 1945, I’ve tried to imagine how Facebook would render the IPL. Some entries:

Harbhajan Singh has slapped S Sreesanth.

S Sreesanth and Matthew Hayden are now friends.

Vijay Mallya wrote on Giancarlo Fisichella’s wall:

“Gian, can you play cricket? I need you.”

Rahul Dravid is nostalgic for 2006.

Sourav Ganguly is updating Facebook while the opposing captain waits at the toss. Muhahaha!

Preity Zinta wrote on Shah Rukh Khan’s wall:

“Cheer up, it could be worse. Have you heard that Aamir’s dog is named after you and licks his feet?”

Ajay Jadeja added the Puppydog application and joined The Lekha Washington Fan Club

And so on. I’m not good with graphics, so I can’t actually recreate it, but if you want to fool around, feel free to use the entries above.

Update: The kind TA Abinandanan writes in to point me to Krish Ashok’s Facebook Mahabharatha. Funky farmgirls fumigate furiously!

Posted by Amit Varma on 18 May, 2008 in India | Miscellaneous | Sport

Das Bubblebath, LOL!

Check out this snapshot of Facebook from 1945, preserved lovingly by Brian Sack of


(Image via Facebook message from Salil Tripathi.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 18 May, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Top Motherfuckers

One of the first websites I visit when I begin surfing every day is Rediff. And without fail, they have a headline that says, “Top MFs.” They mean mutual funds, but you know just how I read it, don’t you? I wonder if it’s perversely deliberate (on their part).

That said, see its accompanying headline today:


Posted by Amit Varma on 16 May, 2008 in Media | Miscellaneous

Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer?

This is a fun test. I got 9/10, and was told at the end of it: “You’d spot Hannibal Lector in seconds at an Open Source conference. Your liver’s safe.”

Well, I’ve never been to an Open Source conference, but if there are livers on offer… muhahahaha.

(Link via email from Santosh of

Posted by Amit Varma on 15 May, 2008 in Miscellaneous

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