Headlines : January 27, 2008

Hello everybody. Apologies for the extended absence. It’s just that I was kinda busy collecting the Padma Shree the govt has generously decided to award me.

Yep. No kidding. ‘Padma’ awards for everybody. 135 in all. In fact, the only ones in the country without a Padma Shree or Bhushan against their name are Himesh Reshammiya and the cast of the movie ‘Bheema’.

As expected, Sachin won the Padma Vibhushan award. He had been previously awared the Padma Shree and Khel Ratna. Worryingly, he is now collecting more of these compared to Man of the Match awards.

Astronaut Sunita Williams also a Padma Bhushan winner. She told reporters she was really happy and that it was an out of the world feeling. “It’s not like am not used to the feeling, though” she added, tongue-in-cheek.

The old life-on-Mars debate. Bizarre images from NASA have emerged showing a naked female figure walking down a hill on the arid red planet. And today, Nikolas Sarkozy made discreet enquiries with NASA officials if she was single or married.

Speaking of the flirtatious French President, he’s currently in India on an official trip. Yesterday, he visited the Taj Mahal and was very impressed. But maybe he dint really understand the story behind the magnificent monument. Before leaving, Sarkozy signed the visitor’s book with – ‘“Inoubliable. A bientot”, which roughly translates to ‘Sucker. Alimony cheaper’.

Sarkozy also found time to visit Laxmi Mittal to check with him about ArclelorMittal’s plans to lay off 600 employees in its plant in Eastern France. In his defense, Mittal argued that he needs the few million dollars saved to buy an outrageously over-priced IPL team.

On that topic, Shah Rukh Khan made a successful bid for the Kolkota team in the IPL cricket tournament. His initial investment – an astronomical 300 Crore rupees. Understandably, the motto of his team is ‘Buck De India’.

Actor Aamir Khan has lamented the fact that children today are taught in schools to race ahead in life by ‘hook or crook’. Alright then. Maybe Aamir could introduce them to his world of Bollywood instead – where the concepts of ruthless competition, jealousy and back-stabbing just do not exist.

The US Presidential elections. Barack Obama scored a resounding win in the South Carolina primary over Hillary Clinton. He went on to proclaim that the voice of the people of South Carolina was heard loud and clear. But if she represents the average voter in the state, maybe it’s not such a good thing to have their voices heard. In all likelihood, she believes that a caucus is a plant with needles n stuff.

Stock market watch. The random movement of the Sensex over the last week has left most experts bemused. It rebounded on Friday by over 1000 points. Incidentally, the day’s fortune as per the Vodafone alert for 30 Rs/Month was – ‘Buy stocks today you friggin moron!’. Spooky!

In related news, Dr.Reddy’s Labs netted a loss of 83 Crores for Q3, 2008. This is in spite of the best efforts of their single largest consumer, Britney Spears, who accounted for more than 50 percent of all their pills sold in the quarter.

This is mind-blowing. Doctors at the rehab clinic revealed that before she was admitted, Britney had ended up taking 20 Clenbuterol diet pills, 18 herbal speed tablets, 18 Piriton anti-histamine tablets, 12 Vicodin painkillers, 10 sleeping pills, 8 antacid reflux tablets, 10 anti-hangover drugs and 6 Ritalin tablets. Or as Keith Richards calls it – Lunch.

Nicole Richie and rocker Joel Madden were blessed with a baby daughter last week. They also managed to pull off an unlikely feat in the process. We now have a human with an IQ lower than that of Homer Simpson.

On the plus side, the attending doctor confirmed that the newborn baby was healthy and weighed around eight pounds and seven ounces. Ditto for Nicole.

Sports. Sania Mirza has suffered a hamstring injury on her way to the Mixed Doubles Final at the Aussie Open. Doctors have advised her to take a break from tennis and put her feet up for a while – preferably not against the national flag this time.

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