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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: WTF

WTF quote of the day

How can you date a woman who is your sister’s (cousin) sautan?

That’s Neetu Kapoor telling her son Ranbir Kapoor why he shouldn’t be dating Nandita Mahtani. (She—Mahtani, not Neetu—was “married to Sanjay Kapur who is now married to Karisma, Ranbir’s cousin sister.”) All this according to HT Tabloid, who use words like “supposedly” in just the right places.

But it’s a great quote, and even if it wasn’t said, it deserves to have been.

Posted by Amit Varma on 13 July, 2007 in Journalism | WTF

WTF FAQ of the day

Who would have thought FAQs could provide entertainment? FAQ No. 21 on the website of the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board reads:

Q. Do we have to pay any bribe for getting work done in KIADB ?

A. No, If any Board Official demands bribe or inordinately delays processing of papers and /or misbehaves in any manner, the same should immediately be brought to the notice of CEO & EM either orally or in writing.

I really shouldn’t be so cynical, but my immediate reaction to that is, “Ya, right!”

(Link via email from Gautam John.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 12 July, 2007 in India | WTF

Dia Mirza, Bill Shakespeare and Brownie the Horse

Dia Mirza isn’t happy with men and she blames William Shakespeare. She says:

[Shakespeare] is the cause of most of women’s problems. He created such flowery, charming and beautiful men that women’s expectations went sky high. But the truth is that men are hardly like that.

Right. King Lear was flowery, charming and beautiful. Anyway, even if the men don’t live up to Ms Mirza’s expectations, horses do. She’s just good friends with a horse called Brownie, and has this to say about him:

Brownie is the most intimate part of my life these days. He is the most handsome thing I have seen till date. To complete the package, he is also very loving. He is the horse I am riding right now and I spend hours just talking to him.

A horse that is loving, and that Dia Mirza spends hours talking to? My day is made, friends, just imagining the sight. Have a good day.

PS: I hope the men reading this realise the secret of Brownie’s success: he’s a good listener. That, and the occasional nuzzle, is clearly the secret. Please don’t try to be flowery.

Posted by Amit Varma on 10 July, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | WTF

Vote for Sulabh Shauchalaya

Now that the beauty of the Taj Mahal has been validated by the West, it is time to get ready to vote for the next big international contest. India Uncut is planning to conduct an online poll to find the Seven Public Toilet Wonders of the World. This is an important celebration of our modernity—culture and music existed 1000 years ago, but hygienic latrines weren’t so commonplace.

Voting details will be announced later. For now, let me simply say that it is important for India’s national pride for Sulabh Shauchalaya to finish among the Seven Public Toilet Wonders. So please tell all your friends about it, and begin a personal campaign for this noble cause.

Needless to say, when the Sulabh Shauchalaya is included in the final list, I shall flush with joy.

Posted by Amit Varma on 09 July, 2007 in India | WTF

Abroad, paparazzi chase Britney Spears and Paris Hilton

Look what we get in India:


(Picture courtesy Mid Day; link via email from Gaurav.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 08 July, 2007 in WTF

Britney Spears likes her rolls

If I believed in God, this is how I would summarize the different stages of creation:

1] God made the universe, then this planet, then dinosaurs, then humans, and so on.

2] God got bored.

3] God made Britney Spears.

AP reports:

Britney Spears apologized for attacking a photographer’s car with an umbrella in February, saying that at the time she was preparing to try out for a movie part and got carried away. [...]

“I apologize to the pap for a stunt that was done 4 months ago regarding an umbrella,” Spears said in a statement posted Wednesday on her Web site. “I was preparing my character for a roll (sic) in a movie where the husband never plays his part so they switch places accidentally. I take all my rolls very seriously and got a little carried away. Unfortunately I didn’t get the part.”

Now all that’s left is for Salman Rushdie to apologize for that threat involving a baseball bat, and this planet will have peace again.

(Link via email from Sanjeev. Previous post on Britney: “Britney Spears does peepee from the sky.”)

Posted by Amit Varma on 07 July, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | WTF

WTF headline of the day

“Salem no longer a Marlboro man.”

Posted by Amit Varma on 06 July, 2007 in WTF

Worst Album Covers Ever

It hurts just to look at these.

Himesh’s next album should have a cover with him in a burqa and cap. That should be memorable.

(Link via email from Lalbadshah.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 04 July, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | WTF

Don’t restrain Sherlyn Chopra’s sex appeal

Sherlyn Chopra, the artist formerly known as Mona Chopra, tells HT Tabloid:

Comparing me with Mallika [Sherawat] is like restraining my sex appeal. I am much more sexier than her. I think, her appearances are not bold enough and I can be far bolder that her. I target to be among the top actresses of the film industry in the coming years.

And in other breaking news, Salman Khan is not an android.

Posted by Amit Varma on 03 July, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | WTF

The WTF joy of Mid Day headlines

Oh boy, I love Mid Day. Their headlines are works of art, and they provide finer entertainment than Bollywood, cricket and APJ Abdul Kalam put together. Consider these specimens, all from today, reproduced below as I found them, typos and all:

HORROR: Peeping Toms in Rakhi’s dressing roo
Son in law
Your gold may have been stolen!
Classy dressing
Rain in the a***

Note that I am praising just the headlines, not the actual articles they lead to. (The picture and caption in the first one are priceless, actually.) The stories don’t matter—journalism is commonplace, but such marvellous entertainment is rare. Long live Mid Day.

Posted by Amit Varma on 28 June, 2007 in Journalism | WTF

WTF comment of the day

Panditji rocks.

Posted by Amit Varma on 28 June, 2007 in India | WTF

Himesh Reshammiya in a burqa?

Sadly, there are no pictures. I wonder if he also had his cap on.

Oh, and before Aap ka Surrrroooorrr has even released, Mr Reshammiya is already planning a sequel. Given the plot of Aap ka Surrrroooorrr, I’m shuddering violently.

(Burqa link via email from Scribbler. Sequel link via email from reader Shashank.)

Update: Here, courtesy ToI, is the picture:


(Link via separate emails from Confused and Gaspode. Gaspode also points out the similarity between Himesh and the dread one. Himeshious horror hibernates.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 27 June, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | WTF

WTF headline of the day

“I am the son of Punjab-da-puttar.”

That’s Bobby Deol quoted there, which makes him Punjab da Grandputtar. Lascivious lassi lactates languorously.

Posted by Amit Varma on 26 June, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | WTF

Ten more commandments from the Vatican

It reads like the Onion, but it’s actually an AP report published in the International Herald Tribune: It seems that the Vatican has “issued a set of the ‘Drivers’ Ten Commandments.’” The report tells us about this “unusual document”:

It urged motorists to obey traffic regulations, drive with a moral sense and to pray when behind the wheel.

Anyone who’s been held up behind a particularly slow vehicle because the driver is speaking on his mobile phone will know how bad men are at multi-tasking. My request to all those reading this report would be not to pray while driving. Just drive. Please.

The reporter was also at a news conference given by a gentleman at the Vatican named Cardinal Renato Martino.

He [Cardinal Martino] noted that the Bible was full of people on the move, including Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus - and that his office was responsible for dealing with all “itinerant” people - from refugees to prostitutes, truck drivers to the homeless.

Heh. Now how can the Onion possibly parody this?

(Link via email from Sanjeev Naik.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 25 June, 2007 in WTF

WTF headline of the day

“Abhi-Akshaye to star in lesbian drama?”

Posted by Amit Varma on 24 June, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | WTF

Somebody to love

Someone just came onto this site after running this search on Google.

Really, what to say now, this is most poignant. Our country, like every other country, certainly has plenty of people seeking love. And many of these people get successful: just consider our population.

In all this, if India Uncut can play a small part, it will be my privilege. Thank you for coming.

Posted by Amit Varma on 23 June, 2007 in India | WTF

Shoot from the crotch

Don’t you deny it, this is what every man dreams of:

And for more YouTube fun, below the fold check out a summation of Rajnikant’s magic, so you can forever rest assured that he is a “Boom Boom Boomer” with “a Colgate smile” and “stretchable underwear,” a “cow chewing gum” with a “fuck-fuck finger,” and much more. Tenacious trepidation thunders.


Posted by Amit Varma on 23 June, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | WTF

Instructions for Pratibha Patil

WTF headline of the day: “Hang Modi: Afzal’s diktat to Pratibha.”

Uh, wait, actually it’s “Hang Afzal: Modi’s diktat to Pratibha.”

Same difference. Both Modi and Afzal have no business giving diktats to Patil. Though it is understandable that one of them should have delusions of grandeur. FSM save us all!

(Link via email from reader Nina.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 22 June, 2007 in India | Politics | WTF

Show me the tree!

First there was the whole saga about Aishwarya Rai marrying a tree. Then, recently, a denial from Aishwarya. Well, now Amitabh Bachchan himself has spoken:

Ash is not married to a tree! [...] It’s a challenge—please show me the tree she married! Bring that person who married her to the tree. Where did it happen?

Hmm. Perhaps they’ve killed off the tree and buried it. Or maybe they’ve kidnapped its saplings and warned the tree to deny everything or else…

Perhaps we should just take Mr Bachchan at his word. But why, I wonder, would so many people report the matter if there wasn’t something to it? Still, that’s our media…

(Link via email from Arjun Swarup.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 22 June, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | Journalism | Media | WTF

Quote of the day

He can’t even eat by himself. How will he throw stones at the police?

—Kamti Devi, the aunt of a two-year-old boy in Patna who has been “accused of leading rioters in an attack on policemen in Bihar.” Heh.

This kid may be innocent, but we really should teach them young, I say. Like they have the Spelling Bee in the US, we should have the Rioting Bee here. Then we can truly reap the demographic dividend when these kids grow up.

(First link via email from Prabhu.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 21 June, 2007 in India | WTF

Vibrating condoms and Indian culture

Everywhere there is joy and squealing. CNN-IBN reports:

The Madhya Pradesh government has banned the sale of Crezendo condom in the state saying it’s against Indian culture.

Public Works Minister in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh Kailash Vijayvargiya has taken up cudgels against Hindustan Latex Ltd’s condom on behalf of the government.

Vijayvargiya says the condom is a sex toy and will not be allowed to be sold in the state.

I’d argue that the penis is a sex toy and should be banned from Madhya Pradesh as well. And I’m also most curious to know what a public works minister is doing commenting on this matter. What public works?

CNN-IBN’s TV news report on this is also hilarious—I love the back-and-forth between the anchor and the reporter, and I’d take their tone as mock seriousness if they weren’t always like this. The vox pops are immense fun too. These reporters are going to put satirists out of work. Watch:

(Links via separate emails from Anand Krishnamoorthi, Gautam John and Ashutosh Jogalekar.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 21 June, 2007 in Freedom | India | Media | News | WTF

Rani Mukherjee, Aditya Chopra and crows

Headline of the day: ‘Rani Mukherjee is not engaged to Aditya Chopra’.

And in other news:

Crows flying above mayor’s bungalow has Dr Shubha Raul worried because she considers them an omen

Now, had it been cows…

Posted by Amit Varma on 20 June, 2007 in WTF

Got wheelchair? Can’t fly

A headline today in the Times of India: “Private airline offloads wheelchair-bound man.”

Maybe they figured he had his own transport. No, quips aside, this is quite stupid, and I hope the airlines in question figure that they can get a slight competitive advantage, at least in terms of image, by taking special care of the disabled. (I also hope they don’t do cheesy ad campaigns about it, with lines like “So what if you have wheels—we’ll help you fly!”)

And the rhetoric of that disability rights group is quite over the top.

Anyway, the last four paras of that story seem to be transplanted from somewhere else: what could the cost of living index have to do with airlines and wheelchairs? WTF?

(Link via email from Ojas Sabnis, who got it from Shailesh Tavate.)

Update: Those extra paras are gone!

Posted by Amit Varma on 19 June, 2007 in India | WTF

Headline of the day

“I am not married to a tree.”

Meanwhile far away, a lonesome tree sheds its leaves.


Posted by Amit Varma on 19 June, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | WTF

Starbucks on Mount Everest?

After this, that’s the logical next step. The espresso should keep us awake on the way to the summit, in case all that snow gets boring.

(Link via email from Sumant Srivathsan.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 19 June, 2007 in WTF

WTF quote of the day

Only Mr Bachchan can play God convincingly.

—Filmmaker Robby Grewal, who reportedly wants Amitabh Bachchan to play Lord Krishna in his next film. Haysoos!

Posted by Amit Varma on 16 June, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | WTF

The relationship police

AP reports:

A Canadian man won’t be available for a relationship over the next three years—by court order.

An Ontario judge has ruled that Steven Cranley cannot have a girlfriend until 2010.

He can, however, start masturbating in 2009.

Ok, fine, I made that third line up. But not the first two!

(Link via email from Shruti.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 15 June, 2007 in Miscellaneous | WTF

Headline of the day

Multi-penised, six-legged, two-anused piglet given silly name.

Now, this is news.

(Link via email from MadMan.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 14 June, 2007 in Miscellaneous | WTF

Paris Hilton’s spirit or soul

Move over Osho—Paris Hilton is here. The Guardian reports on how jail has affected Ms Hilton:

She said she had been guided in her transformation by a spiritual adviser who told her: “My spirit or soul did not like the way I was being seen and that is why I was sent to jail.” But redemption was at hand. “God has released me. I feel that the purpose of my life is to be where I am.”

Indeed. Such a pity, though, that “the absence of face cream had left her skin parched.” Prison is supposed to reform people, not deform them.

(Link via email from Rahul Bhatia.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 12 June, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | WTF

Mahima Chaudhary for president

I withdraw my nomination of Mango. Mahima Chaudhary should be India’s next president. Her candidacy sprung to mind after I read this insightful quote by her:

Giving birth is like running a nation! And women who go through it, are truly angels.

So for all practical purposes, Mahima has experience in governance, and also the character that the job requires. Mahima for president!

(Disclaimer: I don’t know if I should confess this, but when I joined Channel [V] in 1995, Mahima, then known as Ritu Chaudhary, was the first VJ I wrote for. If she is elected, I shall offer her my speech-writing services for free. I can’t match Mr Kalam’s poems, but I do have the requisite appreciation of purplocity.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 12 June, 2007 in WTF

WTF fact of the day

China has “strategic pork reserves.”

I demand the UN look into this matter. Great hunger comes.

(Link via email from Gautam John.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 09 June, 2007 in WTF

Worst logo ever


Sigh. Isn’t the logo above, unveiled recently for the 2012 Olympics, in a class of its own for badness? Have the gentlemen who selected this design never heard of the virtues of simplicity? How they must all hate the Swoosh.

And can you believe they paid £400,000 for this? (That’s about Rs 3.2 crore.) Pestilential parakeets plunder.

(Link via email from Aspi Havewala, who also points me to a discussion on BBC here.)

Update: Anon Tipster points me to Tim Worstall’s revelation that the logo shows Lisa Simpson giving a blow job. The two gifs below, created by Theo Spark, illustrate that and go a bit further.



Now I like it!

Update 2: Scribbler points me to Andrew Orlowski’s post on how the BBC, showcasing user-generated logos, ran a parody of the infamous Goatse on their website. Heh.

Posted by Amit Varma on 05 June, 2007 in Miscellaneous | Sport | WTF

A daughter, a gun

Immense WTFness happens as I read this interview of Arshad Warsi, in which he says:

I always wanted a girl. She is an angel, at least till now. As she grows up, I will give her a gun, if need be.

Well, we always did know that Circuit was under Munnabhai’s spell, didn’t we? What to say now?

Posted by Amit Varma on 03 June, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | WTF

WTF quotes of the day

First, from CD Gopinath of Air Deccan (via email from Gautam):

Because of greater efficiency, we will be able to price our tickets higher.

And then, Venus Williams, after losing in the French Open to Jelena Jankovic:

I actually feel like I’m playing well. I just made errors before her.

It reminds me of the time Don Bradman said, “I saw much better batsmen than I was. Lots of them… they just kept getting out.” Bradman, of course, was being modest, or maybe naughtily funny. Williams, I think, just misses the point entirely.

And for more WTF action, here’s someone complaining about her allegedly gay bunnies. (Via email from MadMan.) What to say now?

Posted by Amit Varma on 03 June, 2007 in WTF

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