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Desi Satire

July 2011
Desi Satire


1. The Indian-American population grew by almost 70 percent from 2000 to 2010.

2. A central minister in India had 323 telephone lines connected to his home in Chennai.

3. Shahrukh Khan made more money in 2010 performing at weddings than acting in movies.

4. Mick Jagger formed a new band called Super Heavy with A.R. Rahman as one of the members.

5. Michelle Obama wore a dress designed by an Indian-American to a State Dinner in honor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

(1, 2, 4 and 5 really happened.)


Bollywood actors enjoy great fame and adulation in India, but when they visit Western countries, they often go unrecognized. Such was the case for several who walked the red carpet at the recent Cannes Film Festival. According to the Hindustan Times, photographers ignored Saif Ali Khan completely and couldn’t identify (or misidentified) other Bollywood actors, as these captions indicate:

Reuters caption on Sonam Kapoor (May 15): ‘An unidentified guest’ arrives on the red carpet for the screening of the film The Artist by director Michel Hazanavicius.
Reuters on Mallika Sherawat (May 14): Actress ‘Stephanie Sigman’ arrives on the red carpet for the screening of the film Pirates Of The Caribbean.
Getty Images on Minissha Lamba (May 11): ‘Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’ attends the Opening Ceremony at the Palais des Festivals at 64th Cannes Film Festival.

Can you revive a political career after calling someone a ‘macaca’? George Allen certainly hopes so. The former senator from Virginia is trying to reclaim his seat and recover from the ignominious moment in 2006 when he directed the slur—believed to be a reference to a type of monkey—at S.R. Sidharth, an Indian-American who was tracking Allen’s campaign for Democrat Jim Webb.

“You don't brood over mistakes. You learn from 'em and you improve,” Allen said, speaking at a conference in Washington, D.C. “And during my last campaign, I never should have singled out that young man working for my opponent, calling him a name. He was just doing his job. I was wrong to do that to him, and it diverted our campaign away from the real issues that families care about.”

Allen was once considered a potential candidate for president, and as he tries to show his ‘sorry’ face and resuscitate his political career, one thing is clear: he isn’t going to monkey around anymore.


Take Five
A great synthesis of tabla, sitar, guitar and other instruments from Lahore-based Sachal Studios.

Curry Smugglers
A podcast featuring Bollywood remixes, bhangra and desi alternative pop/rock bands.

Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips and more]

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