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Nov 102011

India is a nation with two deeply hostile neighbors, a nation with people dying of starvation, a nation wracked by internal rebellion, a nation without toilets for over 600-million, a nation where hundreds of million struggle for survival every day, a nation where people are ‘encountered’ to death every day…..

And yet, what is the current national obsession of the chattering classes?

The impending birth of mediocre Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai’s first child.

Good Lord, there’s no hope for the benighted land.

Here are excerpts of the ‘Great Indian Delivery’ from leading Indian newspapers:

* Reports suggest that Rs 150 crore is riding on bets on whether Ash will deliver on November 11 or not.

“This date has come after hundreds of years and astrologers say it’s auspicious — that’s why it’s a hot favourite with most betters,” says a Delhi-based bookie.

“After 11.11.11, it’s Children’s Day that’s a favourite,” says a punter.

Reportedly, bets have also been placed on the gender of the child — 70 paise per rupee on a girl and 80 paise per rupee on a boy. The amount put up in the betting pool has allegedly reached the figures Indo-Pak cricket matches generally do.

Source: Hindustan Times

* According to media reports, the Broadcast Editors Association (BEA) has issued a 10-point advisory to its members on coverage of the birth of the veteran’s grandchild.

Source: Times of India

* And now for the most disgusting news of how other Indians are taking the extra step to ensure their delivery coincides with Aishwarya’s.

Speculation that the most awaited star kid, Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s first baby, could arrive on 11/11/11 has suddenly made the date extra special for city couples expecting a baby in November. Parents-to-be are hoping hard that both the Bachchan baby and their own little bundle would arrive on the magic date.

Going beyond just keeping their fingers crossed, some couples have even fixed appointments with their doctors to perform caesarean on the day if the baby is not born through normal delivery.

Source: Times of India

Hey, what was that wail?

Ah, that was Aishwarya’s soon-to-be-born chirping Mera Bharat Mahaan from the womb.