Had the presidential debate been in Bollywood, it may well have turned out this way…..Read on…
(Background score: “Aaa dekhe zara, kismein kitna hai dum…..”)

Introduction:
Obama: Barack…. Barack naam hai mera, Barack Obama
McCain: Saree country mujhe maverick ke name se jaanti hai.
Obama: Main is Geeta per haath rakhkar yeh saugandh leta hoon ki jo bhi kahoonga sach kahoonga, aur sach ke siva kuch nahin kahoonga."
McCain (thinking and chuckling): “Tu geeta par haath rakh kar kasam kha, main sarah palin par haath rakh kar kasam khaunga”.
Obama: Mere paas style hai, substance hai, Harvard education hai, tumhaare pass kya hai?
McCain (with a twinkle in his eyes): Mere paas Sarah Palin hai. HAHAHA! (Also does a Dharmendra style victory dance here)

On ECONOMY:
Obama: “Ab hum kisi ko muh dikhaane ke layak nahin rahe". Kya issi din ke liye 8 saal tak Bush ko White House mein rakha tha?"
McCain: Bhagwaan errr Paulson and Bernanke pe bharosa rakho. Sab theek ho jayega. Aur agar nahin hua to main apni campaign suspend kar doonga.

ON IRAQ:
McCain: Main wahi karoonga jo Bush Sr ne kiya hai aur Bush Jr ne kiya hai - WAR, WAR and WAR
Moderator: Yeh WAR kya hota hai?
McCain: Jab humein economic downturn nazar aane lagta hai to hum public ko distract karne ke liye, WAR par jaate hain.
Obama: Maine Iraq mein war continue karne ka idea drop kar diya hai. Ab humein immediately apni economy aur Afghanistan par focus karna hai.
McCain: Abey oye, tu kaun hota hai bolne waala. Hum bhi to oil company mein shareholder hain.

On AFGHANISTAN and Al Qaeda:
McCain: “Osama, Agar Maa ka doodh piya hai to saamne aa.” “Chun Chun ke maaroonga, ek-ek ko chun chun ke maroonga”
Obama: “USA ne tumhe charon taraf se gher liya hain - apne aap ko kannon ke haawale kar do”

On IRAN:
McCain: “Goli se udaa do usse”
Obama: “Shaant gadardari Beem errr McCain, shaant” We have to engage in dialogue. I will say - ”Jurm ki duniya ka betaaj badshah ... Ahmadijenad ", " Apne hathiyaar phenk do "
Moderator (in a Tikku Talsaniya pose/tone): " Ouff! Yeh kya ho raha hai "

On PAKISTAN:
McCain: Obama ne bola ki woh Pakistan mein military strikes launch karega. President Gaddari errr Zardari “hairaan pareshaan ho jaayenge”.
Obama: Zabaan ko lagaam do .."Maine aisa nahin kaha tha”. “Kash tum mera yakin kar sakte.”

On RUSSIA:
Obama: Yeh sauda (Georgia) unhe bahut mehnga padega". Agar tumhe maine yeh karne diya, to mera naam Obama nahin"
McCain: Obama, “abhi tum doodh peete bachche ho”. “Maine Putin ki aankh mein jhaank kar dekha hai. Usmein likha tha KGB” Usi tarah maine Sarah Palin ki aankhon mein jhaank kar dekha tha, usme likha tha “Bridge to nowhere”. HAHAHA! (Another victory dance here – this time Dilip Kumar style)

RESULT:
Moderator: Tamaam gawaahon aur sabooton ko maddhe nazar rakhte hue is adaalat ka faisla hai ki Obama ko haraana mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai.

Debate ends with the camera focussing on a beaming Obama and the background score, “Arre deewanoon, mujhe pehchanoon, kahan se aaya, main hoon kaun….”

Dear Senator McCain,

Please accept my humble request to assist you in your resolve to lead this great nation. I cite the following credentials for my application to be the Vice President of the United States of America.

Family Values:

  • I am a soccer, swimming and an ice-skating mom. The latter activity could well lead to ice-hockey and then that will ALSO make me a hockey mom. That is 4 credentials against one.
  • I am also involved with my children’s school’s PTA.

Foreign Policy/ World Affairs Record:

  • I got my passport loooooooong before 2007 (the year in which your current veep nominee got hers). In fact, I have held passports from 2 different countries!!!
  • I travelled to 5 European countries, 3 Caribbean nations, 3 Asian countries and Canada.
  • I am married to a “traveler” (Yes, that is what my kids call their dad – someone who travels domestically and internationally 15 days in a month). And, the “dude” has travelled to innumerable countries.
  • This summer, I took my kids to the observatory at the Empire State Building and while pointing at the UN Headquearters, told them that that was the meeting ground for the "good guys" and the "bad guys" where the "good guys" ask the "bad guys" to not be "bad" anymore and turn into "good guys" while the "bad guys" tell the "good guys" that they got it wrong all this while; the "bad guys" were actually the "good guys" and the "good guys" were actually the "bad guys"!!! I admit I will be unable to match the standards of the current veep nominee when it comes to piercing stares while talking about the "good" and the "bad guys" but I can say with certitude that I shall give her a run for her money.
  • I have done photo ops with foreign leaders way back in 2001! I visited Madame Tussauds museum in New York and spent a good 2 hours with them (Yes, I did say 2 HOURS, and not 2 minutes).
  • My children have Diego telescopes which can be used to track Putin if he “rears his head and comes into the airspace of USA” (refer to Sarah Palin’s recent interview with Katie Couric http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/25/eveningnews/main4479062.shtml)

Domestic/Economic Policy experience:

  • I can NOT see Wall Street from my house.

Sundry:

  • I never hunt moose or any other animals but I do use a water gun.
  • I talk about “Good guys, Bad guys” (refer to the above mentioned interview) with my 4 year old twins if we happen to see a picture of a bombing/war while showing them the New York Times.
  • I also offer enough entertainment material by virtue of being a mother of 4 year old comics.
  • Even my children are conversant about issues such as global warming and alternative sources of energy. Check out my blog for the same.
  • Lastly, even my children know that Russia and Canada are not IN Alaska (refer to the above mentioned interview). The video below (taken in June 2008) demonstrates their knowledge of geography.

Since your current veep nominee is taking us on a "road to nowhere", it is imperative that you seriously consider my candidature and if you don't, then I shall vow to "suspend" blogging (of course, I will continue to update my blog periodically, just like you have suspended your campaign). While I understand that you have never heard of me or from me, I have full faith in your rather strict vetting process. I am certain, Senator, that this video will clinch the deal for me as this is far longer and thorough than your current vetting process. And, when you call me, Senator, even if it is at 3 AM, I will state without any hesitation, that I am honored and prepared to lead this great nation into a new era.

Thank you and God Bless America,
Nidhi idnani

video

Me: Taran, I called you 5 times and papa called you 3 times for your nebulizer but you did not listen. That means we called you 8 times. Will you like it if you and Roshan call me 8 times and I do not listen to you?

Taran: Ok, mummy, if we call you 5 and 3 times, it is ok if you do not listen. Maa, but if I call you 4 times and "bhaiya" calls you 4 times, then will you please listen? You know mummy, 4 and 4 also makes 8!!!

“Contrary to popular belief,” historian Daniel J. Boorstin once wrote, “Barnum’s great discovery was not how easy it was to deceive the public, but rather how much the public enjoyed being deceived. Especially if they could see how it was being done. They were flattered that anyone would use such ingenuity to entertain them.”

I read the above somewhere and I agree that when it comes to presidential debates, the candidates are certainly ingenious when it comes to entertaining us. They understand that debates are about theatrics and not necessarily content. No wonder Bush, under the baton of Karl Rove, sneaked into the White House. Sure, we can not discount Al Gore’s “I will bash you up” look and gait at the debate. But I shall not digress; I shall stick to the present – the 2008 Presidential debates. I am looking forward to the 1st presidential debate on Friday, September 26th at the University of Mississippi. I wonder which candidate shall hone his act to perfection, or will any? I am looking forward to each question asked and the response, which of course, would have been rehearsed several times, thanks to the anticipated list of questions and answers created by their campaign staff. But the showmanship will be revealed in each pregnant pause and each pondering look the candidate will project to reflect spontaneity and sincerity.

This debate will be about foreign policy which apparently is McCain’s sweet spot. This automatically makes Obama an underdog who needs to hold his own and not necessarily serve a blow at each response McCain gives. He has to win by not losing. But I am disappointed that this debate on foreign policy will not include the vice presidential nominees ‘coz I am so keen to hear Sarah Palin’s foreign policy record and her response to each question with a smile that Tina Fey so appropriately donned on the SNL sketch when she uttered the golden words “I can see Russia from my house”. On the same note, she might state that she has great economic policy record because she can NOT see Wall Street from her house.

I am also eager to track the various channels that will analyze the debates. I can already visualize Bill O’Reilly of Fox News praising McCain and badgering Obama for any response he gives. He will differ with the latter for the sake of differing. And MSNBC’s Keith Olberman contributing several hundred dollars to each lie uttered by grandpa McCain (yeah, I know he actually donates a 100 for each lie mouthed by Palin but then they are the same i.e. Bush, Palin, and McSame … err …. a Freudian slip … I mean McCain). Just a word of caution, and I do not underestimate your net worth but Mr. Olberman, at the rate at which Sarah Palin is going, I hope she does not empty your coffers by the time this historic race gets over.

But then this is politics and stretching the facts is a part of the game. Sure, raising millions for campaign finance, a big chunk of which is going towards advertising aimed at making people scared of a certain candidate, his credentials and policies/plans makes this election different from the previous ones in the scale of “nastiness” but for the undecided there are non-partisan organizations such as factcheck.org which, as the name suggests, only provide the facts as they are. Yet again, logic is a poor weapon against fear. So all I hope for is “May the best man win” and my definition of a best man - Barack Obama. Go Obama GO!

video

Taran and Roshan welcome their dad back from Europe!

Once again, I am back with an update about my progress in my training for the Avon walk for breast cancer. I will be walking on October 4th and 5th. I have a choice of covering the distance of a marathon i.e. 26.2 miles or a marathon and a half i.e. 39.3 miles. This has been the biggest physical undertaking I have attempted and there has been no doubt in mind as to how challenging it has been for me. The constantly screaming muscles (especially my hamstrings – OUCH!) are a testimony to that :>) But this is for a cause I believe in and a constant reminder that with every step I take, we come closer to eradicating this devastating disease.

Many of you have supported me in several ways along this beautiful journey. A few of my friends, Aditi, Pooja and Priya, have walked with me while I trained. I always look forward to walking with them as that makes my training so much fun. My family – parents, Ritesh and my children have been very supportive of my walk. My parents particularly, have been a tremendous pillar of strength. They have patiently taken care of Taran and Roshan while I have been training, giving them a horseback ride or playing scrabble with them.

I started training towards the end of April. I started off with a 4 mile walk and have gradually built up to an 18 mile walk in a single day which I managed recently. I have also completed a training walk of 26.2 miles over a period of 2 days. A constant companion on my walks has been my iPod. And a huge thanks to my friend, Priya, for downloading songs on my iPod and giving me the much needed boost. Whether it is my all time favorite, Israel Kamakawiwo Ole's “Somewhere over the rainbow” or Atif Aslam’s mind-blowing “Pehli Nazar Mein”, music has definitely added a beautiful dimension to my walk.

I have also been very happy with the amount I have been able to raise so far. A big thanks to those of you who contributed. While in the vast scheme of things, it may look miniscule, but I am certain it will help others who remain hopeful for a cure. I have crossed my goal of $1800 but those of you who still wish to contribute, please donate towards the fundraising goal of my friend, Shruti who is flying all the way from Atlanta to walk with me. She and I are walking as a team and we both need to reach our individual goals of $1800. Please click on the link below to support the cause. Remember that anything you give will make a difference in fighting this dreadful disease because everyone deserves a lifetime.

Support my friend, Shruti in our Avon walk for breast cancer. Visit her homepage at:
http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/TR/Walk2008/NewYork?px=3922434&pg=personal&fr_id=1660

Back in the spring, I was looking forward to spending the summer with my kids, Taran and Roshan. I had this glorious notion that since they have turned four and are growing up to be “big boys”, we will have a lot of fun together including the moments that I will spend with them and the moments they will play by themselves. I was obviously hopeful that the latter would constitute most of the day. So when it actually happened, I was super-joyed to observe how Taran and Roshan play so well together, whether it is their make believe trips to India/ Africa/ California where they travel with their backpacks, take out their passports at the immigration counter etc or the construction trucks they are driving while they build their city with Lego blocks. How angelic they looked when they hugged each other while “traveling” or “building” their city.
But boy! Was I wrong?! I soon realized what a profound error of judgment this was! What was I thinking? Was I out of my mind? Sure, they played together but I never imagined that these journeys to various esoteric parts of the world (their latest destination of choice include Egypt and Algeria) would involve moving their entire suite of toys and books from their toy bins and book shelves to our living room sofa, coffee table and the rest of the living room because one piece of furniture was supposed to be the x-ray machine where the checked in luggage was being screened and the other was the overhead bin to keep their hand baggage. On occasions such as this, as hard it may be, I remind myself to take a deep breath before I utter a single word ‘coz if I do not, the mild protests from my side would turn into a yelling race where I am trying to beat my own record of decibel level but since I know that the after-effects would probably be a massive headache for me and zero effect on the boys, a no-win situation, I try to calm myself down before discussing the luggage overload.
Me: But sweetheart, you are only allowed 2 pieces of checked in baggage so you may want to keep all of these things back in their spot.
Taran: It’s okay, mommy. We will pretend that the coffee table is our cargo ship and that we are shipping our luggage.
Roshan: Since we are shipping, can we also pack our clothes? Maybe we can get the big suitcases from the basement!
Me: Uffff!
Now I got to admit that my boys aren’t really devils (at least for most part); they are just normal 4 year olds who like to jump around, run about the house, giggle, scream, shout and play. Now, isn’t that what most 4 year olds do? Yet, there are moments when I find myself get flustered with the day to day happenings. For example when while playing “airport, airport” (a term they have coined), often times each suddenly develops a fancy for a particular backpack or a “piece of luggage”. From beaming smiles to pushing/pulling/screaming battles, the situation deteriorates faster than you can say “STOP”. Their choice of vocabulary at such instances hovers around:
He started it.
He hit me first.
He pushed me.
It was my turn.
He did not share it with me.
He is not my brother.
I do not love him anymore.
I will NEVER play with him. NEVER! NEVER!
Just writing this makes me sigh (and at this moment they are fast asleep, hopefully not fighting with each other in their dream), imagine my plight at the moment when my house turns into a battle zone and no amount of refereeing by grandparents will help; it has to be me - a single UN peacekeeping task force! I try the “Work it out for yourself” formula but that does not always help either. After all this, imagine my plight when I receive a letter from their school stating that the first 2 days of their school when they were supposed to be gone for “full day” aka 6.5 hrs, they will only be going for 1 hr 15 minutes ‘coz it is a “phase-in” period. ARRRGH! My countdown to freedom just got elongated :<( Now, if that makes me sound like a terrible mom, so be it. I admit I was wrong in imagining that everything will be hunky-dory, picture perfect and we will be living in utopia. As much as I love my kids, I have to periodically remind myself that moms need their occasional breaks, chatting with their girlfriends once, twice ….ok, I will admit, maybe 10 times a day, without interruptions every 30 seconds. We deserve to enjoy sipping our cup of coffee and end our day without a headache. So here it is to all those moms who beat themselves up wondering if they have been perfect role models – remember, “Moms are humans too.”
5 more days to regular school hours! Phew! I am at the home stretch! Fortunately, T & R are as eager to go to school as I am to send them so no guilt trips here :>)

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