Happy dancing Rakhi and the history of Rakshabandhan

Well here it is again and I find myself scurrying around trying to find lost addresses and envelopes to send off my rakhis- (better late than never :)) My brother-in-law lazily received his this morning as he scratched his head and asked for cornflakes. I managed to nag him and my better half to send flowers to their sisters but (hint hint) no flowers for me- alas. I’ll content myself with his gift a few days ago- a portable plastic joint carrier- (shaped something like a capped test tube- now you can smoke half a joint and hide it in your purse for later on- very cool actually and after all, you can’t smoke flowers can you?

Anyway here’s a little history on the whole Rakhi thing-

A story is told of Alexander’s wife approaching his mighty Hindu adversary Porus and tying Raakhi on his hand, seeking assurance from him for saving the life of her husband on the battlefield. And the great Hindu king, in the true traditional Kshatriya (those who belonged to the brave warrior class) style, responded; and as the legend goes, when Porus raised his hand to deliver a mortal blow to Alexander, he saw the Raakhi on his own hand and restrained from striking.

More poignant instance is the story of the princess of a small Rajput (those who belong to the state of Rajasthan) clan. It glorified the spell that the Raakhi had cast even on people of alien faiths. The princess sent a Raakhi to the Moghul Emperor Humayun to save her honor from the onslaught of the Gujarat Sultan who seized her kingdom. The emperor, then engaged in an expedition against Bengal, turned back and hastened to the rescue of his Raakhi-sister. But, alas, to his utmost sorrow, he found that the kingdom had already been perished by the invador and the princess had committed ‘Jauhaar’, i.e., leaped into the burning flames to save her honor.

The Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore used the occasion of the Raksha Bandhan as a community festival to spread the nationalist spirit among people from different ethnic backgrounds.

history from link

So there you are- and here’s another Rakhi Sawant dance following in last year’s tradition:

Happy Rakhi Sawant guys!


The item number’s called Dekhta Hai Tu Kya- Krazz4

R.I.P. Appu Ghar and Bhoot Bangla

Well, if you grew up in Delhi this has to come as a big blow. No more bumper cars. No more dragon roller coaster. No more room with the funny mirrors. No more cotton candy and popcorn and thumbs up. No more dangerous ferris wheels. No more spinning tea-cups. And most importantly, no more Bhoot Bangla, riding through the dark tunnel with all the shrieking bats and skeletons. sigh. Watching this clip actually brought tears to my eyes. This place had so much history. This was a landmark in the history of so many New Delhi childhoods. Sure- the rides were cheesy- and the junk food probably made you sick- but for a little kid getting led around by your parents with a hyperactive imagination running rampant- the place was like heaven- full of the thrill of new rides to test your little limbs on and to see how brave you could get yourself to be with adrenaline pumping through your little veins and a maniacal grin on your greedy little face. Can we ride that one again? Well, like Campa Cola Appu Ghar is going to be another one of those phantoms from a landscape that no longer exists…makes one feel prematurely old and nostalgic. I have heard they may rebuild it in a different part of the city or in Rajasthan, but they plan to dump all the vintage theme park gear and opt for more trendy rides. Lets see what happens…The times-they-are-a-changing- too fast for my liking. I’m not ready to think of my childhood as having existed “once-upon-a-time.” Oh and what about the hundreds of Appu Ghar employees who have worked there for their entire lives? One of these days not so far away we’re going to wake up in India and discover we’re living in one giant shopping mall/office building/courthouse/train station – And the rich of this country are in such a god damned hurry to get there, that once they arrive they’re going to realize we’ve lost all sense of where we’ve been. But everyone will have a nice shiny new car so who will really give a fuck if the landscape leads to nowhere.

Last Ride at Appu Ghar:

Anyway…here are a few last pictures…

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Appu Ghar, the country’s first amusement park, was opened on November 19, 1984. It got its name from the ‘Appu’ the mascot of the 1982 Asian Games. Beginning with 10 rides, it graduated to 24.

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NEW DELHI: Nostalgia was the theme on the last day at Appu Ghar as people queued up to enjoy one last ride in the speeding roller coaster, amazing giant wheel, swinging Colombus Ship, Eerie Tunnel and the ghoulish delights on offer at the “Bhoot Bangla”.

Inaugurated on November 19, 1984 by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Appu Ghar, named after “Appu”, the dancing baby elephant mascot of the 1982 games, was dubbed the first amusement park in the country. At the expiry of its lease, it is now making way for a section of the Supreme Court that will house a library, lawyers’ chambers and offices. A part of it will be used by the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) to extend its metro station at Pragati Maidan as ordered by the apex court.

After Chanakya cinema, Appu Ghar is another landmark in the city closing down to pave way for new infrastructure. Visitors, especially kids and youngsters are heartbroken at the very thought of bidding farewell to their favourite haunt.

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”I can’t believe they are closing down Appu Ghar. It is really sad because this is my favourite place and I always love to freak out here with my family. Even today, I have come here to celebrate my birthday.” Puja Gautam, a manager in an export house said.

”First it was the Chanakya cinema and now Appu Ghar. These are the places we associate our childhood with. We have grown up in these places. They are a part of Delhi’s charm, its history,” she added.

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Five-year-old Tanvi, who came to the park with her parents, was surprised to know that Appu Ghar will be closed forever. ”Why is it closing Papa? This is such an entertaining place. Ask them not to close it.” she said innocently holding a pink candyfloss stick in her hand.

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Dhruv, a student of Holy Heart School at Vijay Nagar said, ”though I am coming here for the first time I really like the place. It should not be closed. I am enjoying all the rides here especially the Bhoot Bangla and if today is the last day I want to spend whole day here.”

The closure of the park was long in coming, ever since the lease of International Amusement Limited (IAL), under whose aegis Appu Ghar is running, expired in 1999. The company had got 14.74-acre land from India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) way back in 1984 to run the park.

The park, which started with few rides such as “Bhoot Bangla” and bumping cars, gradually gained popularity across the country that it became imperative to have something similar in other cities.

Apart from the 250-odd-employees who will be losing their livelihood with the parks closure there are professionals from outside who will be seriously affected.

Sahil Bhatt of Patel Nagar is not an employee of Appu Ghar but he has been entertaining the crowd here from past one and a half year with his puppet show. ” I earn 1,000 to 1500 Rs daily by my puppet show. Now as the park is closing it will be a loss for me,” he said ruefully.

K Raj, a magician said,” I get Rs 400 per day for my magic show but from tomorrow I have to look for some other place.”

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”There are about 300 employees in Appu Ghar – the people at the ticket counter, guards, those manning the rides. But nearly 1,000 people will be affected because the vendors here are dependent on Appu Ghar for their livelihood. What will we all do?” Ram Kumar, one of the guards at the entrance gate, said.

Nishant Misri, Assistant Manager at the Reebok outlet inside Appu Ghar said closure of this park will be a huge loss for them. ”With this outlet our income on week days is more than one lakh and on weekends it is between 30-40 thousand. Now, as we have to close this outlet we are offering a flat 50 per cent sale for clearing our stock.”

From the candyfloss being sold outside to the fearsome dragon rollercoaster to the swings of ‘My Fair Lady’, Appu Ghar forms part of fond memories for many a child and parent. Farewell, Appu Ghar.
appu-ghar.jpg

from DNA

oh and here…well you can’t really see what it looks like inside but you can hear the familiar clatter of the tracks and catch one last glimpse of the neon painted goblins on the last legs of the bhoot bangla ride….I wish this was a better clip or that I’d managed to get back to Delhi for one last ride…

Happy New Year! Hope you Got Laid!

hahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaahahhahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!

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120 Days of Boredom…

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WEll ROTD is officially, mind-numbingly, batter my head against a brick wall bored…and don’t go giving me that “only boring people get bored crap” because from the minute before and after I’m in this insipid landscape the world is a kaleidoscopic tunnel of brilliant insanity…

such is office life. So here’s a random list of things to do if you’re in need of some distraction from the insufferable torture of having nothing to do and still being confined to the inside of a hellish box of capitalist tedium…the best options I could find while attempting to browse my boredom away…

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Bored things to do list…best options off the web (hey I’m bored…too bored to come up with stuff myself)

1. Stack items in cabinets so that they fall out on people when opened.
2. Move specific items to specific places everyday. (I.e. move the boss’ favorite pen from his desk to the floor every day if asked about it blame it on ghosts.)
3. See how many bathrooms you can defile in one day.
4. Make blow darts out of the plastic tips of your shoelaces a straight pin and a Bic pen.
5. Search e-Bay for illegal substances
6.Work on coming up with really good scams or practical jokes.
7. Go through people’s desks to see if you can find liquor in any of them. (drink what you find)
8. Digitally edit photos of monkeys to hold knives/swords
9. Create a fictional background of said photos including names and upbringings of said monkeys.
10. Create large scale fantastic delusions of grandeur.
11. Check for porn in the internet cache of people who leave their systems logged in.
12. Take revenge against people who you don’t like. For instance, tape an anchovy (or bombay duck) under their desk. Their office will smell like ass.
13.Try to make the longest paperclip chain, or largest rubber band ball.
14. Put a bootable Linux CD in your boss’ drive and watch him freak out the next morning.
15. Leave random voicemails for random people.
16.Come up with a plan of world domination.
17. Shoot down your own plans of world domination.
18. Try to find someplace where you can take a nap
19. Stick a thumb tack into the eraser on a pencil stand it on your desk, attempt to shoot rubber bands off of the ceiling and down around the pencil.
20. Super glue random objects together, use your imagination.
21. Change the speed dial on other peoples phones
22. Think about how fucked up you are going to get tonight.
23.Write a ridiculously long list of things to do while bored at work and post it online.
24. take an inane online quiz
25. Plan an ideal suicide.
26. blog.

from ubersite.com

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“I Love You”- (Mithun Chakrabory) Happy 7th Anniversary to my Demonic Counterpart

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image from link

October 22nd…a day famous for many events, including ours…

* 4004 BC – The universe is created. This is according to the 17th-century chronology of the history of the world formulated by James Ussher the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh.
* 362 – The temple of Apollo at Daphne, outside of Antioch, is destroyed in a mysterious fire.
* 794 – Emperor Kanmu relocates Japanese capital to Heiankyo (now Kyoto).
* 1383 – The 1383-1385 Crisis in Portugal: A period of civil war and disorder began when King Fernando died without a male heir to the Portuguese throne.
* 1575 – Foundation of Aguascalientes.
* 1692 – Last hanging for witchcraft in the United States.
* 1746 – The College of New Jersey (later renamed Princeton University) receives its charter.
* 1784 – Russia founds a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska.
* 1797 – One thousand meters (3,200 feet) above Paris, André-Jacques Garnerin makes the first recorded parachute jump.
* 1836 – Sam Houston is inaugurated as the first President of the Republic of Texas.
* 1844 – The Great Anticipation: Millerites, followers of William Miller, anticipated the end of the world in conjunction with the Second Advent of Christ. The following day became known as the Great Disappointment.
* 1866 – Paraguay: Battle of Curupaytí against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.
* 1867 – Foundation of the National University of Colombia.
* 1875 – First telegraphic connection in Argentina.
* 1877 – The Blantyre mining disaster in Scotland kills 207 miners. Those widows and orphans who were unable to support themselves were evicted by the mine owners and likely sent to the Poor House.
* 1878 – The first rugby match under floodlights takes place in Salford, between Broughton and Swinton.
* 1883 – The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City opens with a performance of Gounod’s Faust (opera).
* 1895 – In Paris an express train overruns a buffer stop and crosses more than 30 metres of concourse before plummeting through a window at Gare Montparnasse.
* 1907 – Panic of 1907: A run on Knickerbocker Trust Company stock sets events in motion that will lead to a depression.
* 1910 – Dr. Crippen is convicted at the Old Bailey of poisoning his wife and was subsequently hanged at Pentonville Prison in London.
* 1919 – Doris Lessing, British writer, Nobel Prize laureate is born
* 1920 – Timothy Leary, American writer and professor is born (d. 1996)
* 1924 – Toastmasters International is founded.
* 1926 – J. Gordon Whitehead sucker punches magician Harry Houdini in the stomach in Montreal.
* 1934 – In East Liverpool, Ohio, notorious bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd is shot and killed by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.
* 1935 – Establishment of the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union.
* 1943 – World War II: Kassel: RAF conducts an air raid on the city of 236,000 people, killing 10,000, rendering 150,000 homeless. Second firestorm raid in Germany
* 1943 – Catherine Deneuve, French actress is born
* 1946 – Forty four British sailors die when two British warships hit mines off the coast of Albania.
* 1949 – Soviet Union detonates its first nuclear bomb.
* 1952 – Jeff Goldblum, American actor is born
* 1953 – Laos gains independence from France.
* 1956 – A concrete girder weighing 200 tons kills 48 in Karachi, Pakistan.
* 1957 – Vietnam War: First United States casualties in Vietnam.
* 1960 – Independence of Mali from France.
* 1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis: US President John F. Kennedy announces that American spy planes have discovered Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, and that he has ordered a naval “quarantine” of the island nation.
* 1964 – Jean-Paul Sartre is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but turns down the honour.
* 1964 – Canada: A Multi-Party Parliamentary Committee selects the design which becomes the new official Flag of Canada.
* 1965 – End of the Second Kashmir War between India and Pakistan.
* 1966 – The Supremes become the first all-female music group to attain a No. 1 selling album (The Supremes A’ Go-Go).
* 1966: Double-agent breaks out of jail- One of Britain’s most notorious double-agents, George Blake, escapes from prison in a daring break-out believed to have been masterminded by the Soviet Union.
* 1968 – Apollo program: Apollo 7 safely splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean after orbiting the Earth 163 times.
* 1968 – Shaggy, Jamaican musician is born
* 1969 – Spike Jonze, American director and film producer is born
* 1970 – Tunku Abdul Rahman resign from Prime Minister of Malaysia.
* 1972 – Vietnam War: In Saigon, Henry Kissinger and South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu meet to discuss a proposed cease-fire that had been worked out between Americans and North Vietnamese in Paris. Thieu rejects the proposal and accused the United States of conspiring to undermine his regime
* 1976 – Red Dye No. 4 is banned by the US Food and Drug Administration after it is discovered that it causes tumors in the bladders of dogs. The dye is still used in Canada.
* 1981 – The United States Federal Labor Relations Authority votes to decertify the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization for its strike the previous August.
* 1981 – The founding congress of the Nepal Workers and Peasants Organisation faction led by Hareram Sharma and D.P. Singh begins.
* 1981 – The TGV railway service Paris-Lyon is inaugurated.
* 1983 – Two correctional officers are killed by inmates in Marion, Illinois. The incident inspired the Supermax model of prisons.
* 1986 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs the Tax Reform Act of 1986 into law.
* 1986 – WNBC traffic reporter Jane Dornacker is killed when the helicopter she is riding in stalls and crashes into the Hudson River.
* 1987 – John Adams’s opera Nixon in China debuts at the Houston Grand Opera in Houston, Texas.
* 1987 – The pinnacle rock “Gendarme” falls at Seneca Rocks.
* 1989 – Katie Eber Pope of the Church of Samuel L. Jackson of Latter-Day Snakes, and the world’s first cynical philanthropist born.
* 1991 – Dimitrios Arhondonis, metropolitan of Chalcedon elected 270th Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch as Patriarch Bartholomew I of the Orthodox church.
* 1999 – Maurice Papon, an official in the Vichy France government during World War II, is jailed for crimes against humanity.
* 2000- Jewish Festival of Simchach Torah…we meet later this day…
* 2005 – Tropical Storm Alpha forms in the Atlantic Basin, making the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record with 22 named storms.
* 2005 – Crash of Bellview Airlines Flight 210 in Nigeria kills all 117 on board.
* 2005 – The first phase of Transantiago, the new public transport system of Santiago de Chile is implemented.
* 2006 – A Panama Canal expansion proposal is approved by 77.8% of voters in a National referendum held in Panama.
* 2006 – Michael Schumacher drives his last Formula 1 Race. The very same day the Spaniard Fernando Alonso wins the 2006 Formula 1 World Championship, becoming the 8th and youngest driver to win it twice in a row to emulate the achievements of Mika Häkkinen, Michael Schumacher and five other drivers.

all dis data from wiki

Sending a little Mithun Chakraborty and Rati to serenade you on a beach with “I Love You” …

Minimal Techno and Sexual Tourists

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Banana Brothers 2, Watercolour by Dileep Sharma

So I went to the closing party for an art exhibit in Bombay that was curated by a close friend of mine. The paintings had all been moved to the interior of a swanky night club, and the lighting was perfect…tables of stone floating between miniature rivers filled with rose petals…all the bohemians were out…flashing their butch hair cuts, their tribal hand bags, their 70’s beards, and the cameras flashed on cheshire-cat grins of hopeful artists and their cutting edge productions….in one painting there were some startling giant bananas painted with tiny dancing disembodied female legs….this was my favorite. It was priced way over my head but at least I got the brochure with mini photos inside. So all is going perfectly….wine is flowing….and so is the rather expensive beer…and its the right moment to grab someone who is a worse dancer than I am…and use them as a disguise while I jump around like a woman posessed…..hmmmm…..only one problem…..some idiotic fucker from France has been hired to play some gormet music….

it basically sounded like computers having surrepetitious abortions…only really really loudly. I said to the guy next to me…”how the hell am I supposed to dance to this music.” He raised an eyebrow. “Well its “minimal techno” darling” he tells me. I look at another Frenchman that seems like a nice guy. He’s absorbed by the sounds of the clunk clunk beep. I feel I must be getting old if this is really supposed to be the new “music.” Whatever. Enough beer and the computers sound like they are commiting suicide….another beer and I really don’t care…..me and my friends have resolved to jump up and down on the spot and another friend has gotten so drunk that he’s convinced he’s a Bolshevik and has been invented some kind of obsolete russian folk dance and is scaring all the nearby women away by clapping his hands at them and going “ahhhh”

I grab a gay friend of mine and twirl him around….all is well….all is good vibes….except….out of the corner of my eye I spy a little sleeeeaze…..He looks kind of like a wolf….only I actually like werewolves and this guy looks like the kind of werewolf that doesn’t want to bite anyone…he wants to hump everyone..more like a weasel…horny-weasel.jpg…..his poofy 80’s haircut is bobbing up and down….I can’t tell if he is European or American…whoever he is…..he is looking around with an expression that worries me….because somehow the sound of computers having abortions has made him want to breed….

The evening draws to a close and I am, luckily not introduced to him….

The next day, bleary-eyed and hidden behind my shades I go to say goodbye to a friend who is leaving town…the one who curated the exhibit…Suddenly the weasel arrives… I am introduced to him…the weasel says in a swaggering voice “I never forget a pretty face.” I cross my fingers and display my wedding ring to its best advantage while he continues to ask me questions in that “DO YOU FANCY ME? WANNA FUCK?” sort of voice….ugh…soon he is asking me where to get a nice massage….I answer politely…but soon I gather that it isn’t “THAT KIND” of massage he is looking for. He is also considering visiting the Osho Ashram and has even called them up to enquire after their “orgies.” They told him they couldn’t promise anything. The evening progresses….he lingers in our little group….I am getting unnerved….I try not to be rude….he seems like he must be a kid….just out of his BA probably…. first time in India? ….yes…try to be nice to the little turd….. after a number of uncomfortable exchanges that are really too pathetic to mention, he caps off the evening by leaning over to my husband and asking him if “YOU HAVE ANY WOMEN FOR ME?”

He leaves, finally…..after trying to seduce me, enquire after orgies with Osho and places to get “massage” and of course inviting my husband to pimp some women for him. And the whole thing just left me with this irritated feeling that I had when I was in London studying and ran into some Indian lads, fresh off the boat for their degrees “abraaad”.

Anyway I know its completely typical but I find it really disgusting when horny little boys go travelling to foreign countries and treat all the native women like a garden of all-you-can-eat “I love you long time” desperate deep-throating tarts…
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During my first week in London my husband (then fiance) had taken me to some university pot luck where he came accross another Punju who leaned over slyly, oggling all the white chicks, and spat “oye…gori patayi?” And when white boys come looking for a piece of ass in India they have the same expression. Testosterone poisoning turns boys into semen zombies…..I mean, what the hell is wrong with these guys? If they can’t get laid in their own countries (East and West) why do they think the female species is suddenly going to part their legs in a foreign country?

In the end, the fantasy of the exotic foreign punani is not what it appears to be. These guys aren’t really looking for women…they are trying desperately to reimagine themselves as potent sexual beings, which they obviously are not in their own countries. They are trying, in the sleaziest way possible, to “find” themselves, that is- to create a myth of debauchery and “hard core” experience for themselves. The real problem for these insects is that in their own countries there is social accountability, which, for all our post-feminist rhetoric, means that yes— there are men who will find it uncool in your own community if you start treating their women friends, sisters, girlfriends like sidewalk hookers. But hey— in other countries, among other ethnicities and even classes….women are fair game…this kind of attitude belies the fact that these are the kinds of men who respect women only through virtue of the fact that they are property of/ or protected by male social codes that deny random jerks access to them. In their own country a male gaze follows them, a gaze that censures, a gaze they accept as legitimate prohibition, a gaze that they imagine will not follow them to foreign locales.

THe moment they arrive in a foreign country their eyes grow wide and hungry….centuries of “rape and pillage” programing stirs in their cosmopolitan DNA….They go out and have brief, unsatisfying sexual encounters with women who they often do not even like very much….still…they have to….so that they can have that brief, even more satisfying, post-coital ciggarette and make a phone call “back home” to report….”hey bro……I just screwed a russian…” This is the moment where the hunt becomes worth while….where the young tribesman reports back to just one or two members of his clan that yes, he, has tasted the forbidden fruit, has marked himself a real man, and will safely be able to reconcile himself years later to a life of unhappy sexless marriage with the knowlege that one day, while sipping his scotch whisky, he might reminisce with his geriatric comrades about a foolhardy youth full of booze, prostitues, and minimal techno.

Here’s some minimal techno for ya. If you like it you are a sad little monkey. Ok it might sound good if Yoko ono were using it for some avante garde art installation involving albino bats and hanging forks but in a night club…its absurd. Besides if the French like it…well…you know the French… 🙂

Support Burmese Democracy on SMC

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image from nytimes.com

Listen guys, right now lets pool our efforts and help spread information about what is happening right now in Burma. The Indian government is acting slimy and is more concerned right now about protecting its oil interests in Burma than about all the people protesting peacefully in the streets who are getting murdered because they were inspired by how Indians won their independence. They’re our neighbors and they are screwed. We need to spread the word. They have shut down the Burmese internet connection so we need to do all we can to make sure information is spreading about these human atrocities. Go to Sacredmediacow, the Southasian media collective based out of SOAS, University of London, where updates are being pooled and posted. Please send any new information and links to angad dot chowdhry @ gmail dot com

A revolution is happening. Those who actually give a shit should get involved.

Here’s a bit of BBC footage of the beginning of the protest:

This is the BBC footage as of Sept 26, 2007

CNN Footage: