Wednesday 29 October 2008


Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast,
Hameen ast-o hame
en ast-o hameen ast

By Mayabhushan Nagvenkar
The two celebrated progenitors of the biggest and perhaps the most brazen surrogate branding exercise in recent times, are set to be neighbours in casino-heaven too.
While the undisputed prince of bitters, Dr Vijay Mallya already owns a bewildering monstrosity in the sands of Sinquerim, the more circumspect man of letters, Dr Prannoy Roy of NDTV is all set to follow suit in the neighboring village of Calangute.
There's no disputing the fact that NDTV's Dr Prannoy Roy loves Goa. That he does. The poor doctor loves the place so much, he's ended up buying the 27,000 sq mts plot (approx) at Tivai waddo, Calangute. A plot that includes two massive sand dunes, one of which has already been flattened down under truck loads of mud, local residents claim.
Documents obtained under the Right To Information Act (RTI) show that the sea-side plot which has sparked controversy (unreported for obvious reasons) is owned by Dr Prannoy Roy and his wife Ms Radhika Roy. Come to think of it, you don't even need documents to prove it. Dr Roy in response to a questionnaire sent by PP, admits to owning the land. The unedited questionnaire and Dr Roy's response to it, has been published below in verbatim.

Compared to the bleary eyed, commercially ravaged chunks of Calangute, Tivai waddo appears to have gone off to sleep, when the tourism bus belched by. It continues to be a dozing ward with a spattering of homes belonging to local fishermen and others.
Even the narrow road which leads to Dr Roy's plot is just wide enough for one car to pass. The road ends near a house of tattoos which runs by the name Mike's tattoos.
This is the point, from where the road to paradise is lost.
Red soil dumped night after night using dumper trucks over a period of time, has now become hard-packed and has virtually replaced one large sand dune. The dune which has disappeared from sight, however continues to show on the development plans which can be perused through at the Calangute village panchayat office.
This dune, where villagers claims the construction activity was taking place, is at a much lesser distance than the stipulated 200 mts, within which all construction is banned under the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) norms. "Trucks used to come in night after night and dump mud on the already excavated sand dune. The panchayat does not know how it happened? We used to play football here on these two dunes when we were kids," claims Augustino Silveira, who lives a few minutes from the site. Augustino is a member of the Calangute United, which has been protesting against Dr Prannoy Roy's construction.
"We raised the issue on July 29, 2007 at the village panchayat meeting. After much delay, the panchayat then ordered an inspection of the site and has temporarily stopped the construction there," say Anthony D'Couza
secretary of Calangute United.
D'Souza claims, that Dr Roy had planned a lavish state-of-the-art studio at the site. "They were even constructing a swimming pool on the edge of the sand dune. After we protested the digging stopped. We only wonder for how long," he claimed. Bonnie, another local who has been involved in the protests against the construction, claimed that the owners had no right to either fence in or raise a compound wall around the sand dunes. "Once they raised the wall, stopping the construction work within, would have been impossible," he said, adding that a natural stream carrying rainwater into the sea had also been blocked during the construction.
Documents available with the panchayat show that a building licence for the construction of a beach resort in plot 159/3 had been issued to one Anthony Fonseca, who had started construction. The project was later sold to Dr Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy in 2007.
When contacted, Dr Roy claimed that he was concerned about environment and that there was 'no question of building on sand dunes'.
"Be assured, if we build anything it will be small, at the furthest point from the sea, totally within the regulations and totally within environmentally friendly norms," claims Dr Roy.
The truth is there for all to see.
All you need to do is drive to illuminated crossroad at Calangute, where the road ahead leads to the beach and the right heads for Baga. Turn left there and follow the road until a small tar tendril turns sharply towards your right. Follow the road until you see a house with Mike's tattoos etched on it. 159/3 is the plot right next to it.
And then, do write back.

PP questionnaire
Dear Dr Roy
We run a media-critiquing blog that can be accessed at Although we largely critique the Goan media, we do post stories which are of national consequence once in a way. In fact your channel featured us when we broke our Nazi-gate story on the blog.
We are now running a story on the beach-side property you purchased at Calangute sometime back. We would be running the story about 48 hours from now. We would appreciate if you respond to our queries before Thursday night.
You were one of the few reasons why we aspired to become journalists.
It is disturbs us to hear that you have planned to construct a studio on the property purchased by you. Most part of the property is actually a sand dune. You must have strolled on it, when you came down to inspect the plot.
Here's the small list of questions, which we would be glad if you could respond to.
1) Have you purchased a beach-side property in Calangute
2) What do you propose to construct at the site?
3) Do you realise that a major part of the property is a sand dune. And law forbids you to construct on sand dunes
4) How do you justify purchase of this huge chunk of land, especially when your channel organised a debate on the issue of commercial over kill of land in Goa.
The anonymous nature of this blog, makes it unable for us bloggers to sign off using our real names.
Expecting your response
forever yours
The Pen Pricks

Dr Prannoy Roy's response
Dear P P
Thank you for checking with me. I am afraid the 'facts'/rumours are totally wrong. There is absolutely no studio being planned there. I have no idea where that thought came from. It hasn't crossed our mind.
We are as, if not more concerned about the environment and there is no question of building on the sand dunes. We wouldn't dream of it. I am surprised you should even think of such a project.
Be assured, if we build anything it will be small, at the furthest point from the sea, totally within the regulations and totally within environmentally friendly norms. We are as concerned about Goa's environment as anyone.
Thank you once again for at least checking all these spurious rumours with us. I expect that you should not believe and certainly not print such nonsense.
Thank you
(received from

P.S. The story took too long coming, thanks to the by-lined prick who took about a month to crawl from his home in Anjuna and haul ass to Calangute next door, to figure out the ground reality... PP will try and update a couple of times each week, a week from now. Pray we don't fall asleep again...

Tuesday 28 October 2008


Hi guys, we've been away for a while.
There've been reasons. We've been fighting a battle of a different sort ourselves.
Our utmost concern has been our inability to provide you the one story which we promised. Because we havent been able to keep our word twice on deadlines before this, we wont make any promises this time round. We are just going to go public the story without giving u a deadline.
As for the blog, no its not dead, but the guys behind it were in not very good shape. And yes, there have been attempts to hack it. We have a good clue who the bugger is, but we are waiting for him to make a mistake.
Thanks for logging on guys and keeping the comments section alive and kicking. Yes, a few swear words did slip through the moderator, we apologise for that.
Here's an anagram to engage you guys until our story hits the blog. Chew on it.
And BTW hope you notice guys, we've gone black...

Monday 29 September 2008


We ran a post sometime back telling you guys, how the Goa Editor's Guild which met on July 11, 2008 at the Goa Marriott Resort, contemplated the extermination of Penpricks. Here's an invite issued by the GEG chairman and The Navhind Times editor Arun Sinha.
This scanned hard copy of the invite dispatched to the rest of the editors in Goa (barring the TOI resident editor, who did not attend the meeting, because he was made a last minute inclusion into this 'elite' club).
The point we are concerned about, is the second one on the agenda, where Arun Sinha wants the editors in the guild to "'discuss' the 'tirade' against guild members by blog spot Pen Pricks". Sinha wanted to fire at us, using the collective bulk of the guild-member's shoulders to steady his rifle. Read the last para. Sinha wanted have a 'collective decision on the above-mentioned issues'

Don't ask us how we got hold of the copy. We aren't gonna tell, but one thing's pretty clear guys. Over the last year and half, Penpricks does appear to have rattled these editor buggers a bit.
Our criticism of the media in Goa and the dysfunctional editorial leadership has begin hurting these guys. And we are not apologetic about it.
We will continue to hammer these guys down, when they err. Hammer them with a hope, that the next time they are on the verge of making that mistake again, they will remember the beating they got from this blog.
Like Arun Sinha... From what we hear, a major grudge he has against the Penpricks, was when we published his mobile number in his own newspaper, as a contact in one of those shady massage parlour ads, along with two other editors.
How dare they print these ads? And this guy Arun, has the gall to complain to the rest of the editors
at the Guild meeting, that people still call him for a massage. Why did your newspaper publish an ad in the first place Arun?
Didn't your newspaper have any objection to the fact that the classified ad was peddling 'minor children'. Or is entertainment with 'minor children' is the 'done' thing when it comes to The Navhind Times journos?
The Goa Editor's Guild as point number three on the agenda states, needs a place to function from. We really have no issues against these annual editorial orgies behind close-doors, but to have the government sponsor a place for it, is not really in the right spirit. How much more are these guys going to beg anyway?
We also have a problem with these guys meeting at the Marriot's for these GEG meetings, especially when employees at the Herald publication Pvt Ltd are getting paid after the 20th of every month because the management claims they are short of funds.
No no, we understand that the editors did not foot the bill themselves. They must have latched on to some industrialist to foot the Marriot bill. Most of these Goan editor sorts are pretty resourceful that way. That's the only way they can survive, like maggots feasting on journalism's carcass.

P.S. The big story's still some days away

Sunday 28 September 2008


Damn... damn... damn... some of you guys are right, we should have judged the time needed right. The story we promised will take a few days more guys. We've learned out lesson. Next time round, we'll be more punctual.
But there's something to tell you guys. Ever since we put the teaser out, there's been two attempts to hack the blog's password. We have strong suspicion that it must have been one of those journos from Sujay's harem. But that's alright... but we have a feeling very few of you actually know who we're talking about? Let's see if anyone can get the right answer...
In the meantime, we leave you with this filler. Valanka Alemao, the only flower to blossom in the thorny, coarse Alemao scrub. This photo featured in the Herald sometime back. Look at the women around her. Tanned by the sun. Faces which have weathered different seasons. And Valanka with a coconut sapling in her hands. Face bleached beyond belief, in sharp contrast to her earth coloured hands, which hold the stalk, that sprouts from the nut.

Friday 19 September 2008


Hi guys... The story's almost ready guys... Let's say, we've struck a purple patch... Call these posts, a build up if you like. There will be one more teaser, before we come out with the story about this editor, who's become a symbol for the nouveau breed of journalists-turned-businessmen. Editors like these are a symptom of a wheezing, retching, stifled profession called journalism, which is in desperate need for a nice long honest breath of fresh air.
Here's our prayer... Don't fall for these kind of guys, who lead people into believing that their love for feni, is actually their love for Goa.
That's a very shallow peg these guys are trying to peddle.

Tuesday 16 September 2008


After being the first to bring the Herald sexual harassment issue to the fore, it's only fair that we inform the readers of this blog, about the decision taken at the Goa State Commission for Women vis a vis this case. The GSCW has told the media that a compromise/settlement has been worked out. That the Herald Publications Pvt Ltd general manager N Manjunath has apologized to the commission in writing and he is willing to take the victim back into employment in the same position she worked in earlier, provided the management agreed. The GSCW chairperson Pramod Salgaonkar has also claimed that she has received a favourable response from the Herald management on that front. We are thrilled. We are so damn excited. We told ourselves that we had to ‘thank’ all the players involved in this controversy individually. This post is an endeavor in that direction.


N Manjunath: It is thanks to N Manjunath that we finally got to learn that Sexual
Harassment At Work Place (SHAWP) actually exists. Damn…. all this while, we thought that like the mythical casting couch in Bollywood, SHAWP never occurred. But Manjunath mixed the script up. The poor chap virtually played martyr as the sexual aggressor, in order to expose this SHAWP evil to the rest of the media fraternity. Why, he has even admitted to doing it on record to the GSCW in the written apology he has submitted before them. He also told the Commission that he considered the victim his daughter. What!!! Does Manju actually have a daughter? If he does, then Child Rights Goa (CRG) should try and interview Manju’s family for a ‘sanity check’.
Should not be too difficult because Nishtha Dessai who runs CRG is Herald editor Ashwin Tombat’s wife. We’ll come to that later. So thank you Manju. But man… do make sure you do not shift the next receptionist you hire, back into your cabin. You’ve convinced us that SHAWP does exist, but don’t play martyr again please. One hand in your pockets, the other on the lips... Er... your lips.

Michael Pereira: Being Herald managing director Raul Fernandes’ PA is a tough job. But contrary to popular perception, Michael isn’t Raul right hand, instead he’s the MD left hand, which cleans up every conceivable mess for Raul. Why is Michael being featured in this Vote of Thanks?
Michael shared the scene of crime with the
person who was accused of sexual harassment i.e. general manager N Manjunath. Michael shared the cabin where the instances of sexual harassment actually occurred. Michael was also the guy who informed the GSCW in capacity as Herald's ‘Operations manager’ about Manjunath's unavailability, even when Manjunath was in town but was avoiding the GSCW hearing. We thank Michael for his role in 'managing' this scandal. Thank you Michael for not joining your colleague in this sexual harassment saga, especially when it happened in your own shared cabin. But now we know something we always suspected Mikey… naughty you... Boy, you love to watch, don’t you?

Ashwin To
The once firebrand editor has metamorphosed into a stale, half smoked parrot chaap beedi, in his new avatar as Herald editor. But then in doing so, Ashwin lived up to the reputation, which Herald's editors have had, since the newspaper's inception. Great going Ashwin, you are really filling up a model Herald editor’s boots, pretty much quick. We have a small suggestion though. Ashwin should not rest on his past glory now. After publishing an authoritative book on menstrual cycles, Ashwin should also pen down his thoughts on selective amnesia. When the Arun Sinha allegedly molested his minor maid, one of those who made the most amount of hue and cry about it, was Ashwin’s wife Nishtha and now there’s absolute silence! Ashwin should certainly try and unravel the mysteries of selective amnesia in his next book.
Damn… damn… damn… we were completely off the point up there. The victim in this case was not a minor. She was couple of y
ears above the cut off age, we think. Damn there’s no reason why Nishta or Ashwin should have been even interested in this case, now that the basic facts are clearer. Conviction to a cause, is secondary to nuances of age.

Raul Fernandes: Where would the Herald be, if it weren’t for its owner Raul Fernandes. While answering this one, some would have insisted in saying that the Herald would have been much better paper, better managed, better ethical standards, better leadership, etc… but we certainly don’t think so. You need a guy like Raul to ‘manage’ such controversies. See how he managed this one? Everything’s back to square one. And no one’s hurt… except for some kid who was fondled in the same cabin, which Raul himself used to occupy much earlier. And that kid too has been promised a job back again. That’s great isn’t it? Raul, my man… you are the one for the occasion. In fact so kicked are we about Raul that we want to propose his name for King Momo, this coming Carnival. Raul ought to be made the Goa equivalent of the King of Good Times. Someone tell his mother that…

Dr Pramod Salgaokar: The unfettered Pramod Salgaokar aptly proved why she is at the helm of affairs at the GSCW for such a long time. Her legendary ability to compromise, came to the fore not a moment too soon, in the Herald SHAWP incident. Wasn’t that a touch of class? In one stroke… the lady dispensed justice in one single god-damned stroke. Here was a girl who complained that she was SHAWP and there was the accused general manager N Manjunath who was consistently avoiding GSCW hearings. And what does Pramod do? She makes him sign an apology. And what is an apology? Admission of guilt! That means Manjunath has admitted before her that he ‘did’ sexually harass the victim in the workplace. And then, she even managed to ensure ‘positive feedback’ from the Herald management vis a vis getting the girl a job back. Damn are we kicked? You guys should open your eyes a bit before you read between the lines. Those of you who think that there was a deal done here, are so, so wrong.
What Pramod has done is simplify the process of justice dispensation. Say for example, tomorrow X rapes Y. The legal system would ensure that Y would get justice in a minimum of say, what 3 years. The amount of time you whittle from a judicial process using Pramod’s formula is not at all funny.
Here’s a revised scenario. X rapes Y. Z steps in as a mediator. Z ensures that X apologises for raping Y. And apologise in writing, mind you. Z also makes X promise that he would give Y a monthly stipend and worse comes to worse, marry Y. You don’t need to involve the police or anyone. Compromise. Compromise Pramod… What a mantra you have taught us. Someone ought to tell Indira Jaisingh about this development, she’d come running down to Goa again to conduct a seminar all over again.

Sunday 14 September 2008


Hi, don't think you guys know it, but this blog receives an average of 15 comments on a normal day. When we run stories, the number of comments run in multiples of the number. Unfortunately we can reproduce only some of these comments. We have to delete several of these comments, because they contain extremely creative slander and such fantastic claims which we are unable to either verify nor substantiate.
But we really intend to thank the guys who send these kind of comments to us. They are our readers too u know. They have every right to write back to us. We owe them a favour because they are a section of our readership, who keep this blog alive. But then we don't like keeping favours. What we've decided to do, is return these favours every now and then, from here on. Its so unfair that these potent glands which juice up such original and more often than not, fictional bullshit, should remain unsung.
We take this opportunity to thank one such prolific commentator on our blog, whose comments more often than not we cannot feature our blog because of the vulgar content and wild-goose-chase-leads they are indicative of. Thank you Peter.
Oh.... you guys don't know Peter is? He's the guy who 'pans' for psychedelic gold once the rave party season gets going. Peter's comments on the goings on in newspapers (he comments most on folks in Gomantak times... we really do not know why, do you guys know?) are as vulgar as they come. We tried to verify some of his comments, but there's not much you can pan through.
But more often than not Peter's comments on Derek, Ashley, Thapa the top-heavy tits of the Gomantak Times are so raunchy, that the writer should actually consider contributing some pages for the re-invented hardcore Mills and Boons series. Raunchiness apart, Peter has this obsession about how Derek's spouse has been illegally running a school. We are mentioning it here, so that we can also put it on record, that we have tried to verify the story, but there doesn't seem to be any truth in it.

Here's a latest sample of Peter's chicanery, a comment we received from him....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "COMING UP SOON...":
Is NESHWIN ALMEIDA related to DERRICK ALMEIDA? Looks like a family affair with the Almeida family being part of the Sakal Parivar. Mrs Almeida has a problem with her school and Derrick is blackmailing the education minister on his qualifications.

Wonder what's Peter's grouse against these hoity-toits in Goa's least selling English language newspaper. But then Peter has also been threatening to spill the beans about some babes called Alpana and Dominica too? Do you guys know them? We've no clue!!! But it does look like our friend Peter has too many beans to spill. He'd better sack them up for the coming winter.
Here's the comment he sent to us a while back.

Respected staff of GT,

Let me put it this way….. in GT, guys work for peanuts and wait for the big bosses of Sakaal in pune to give you guys some nuts during festival season. Let’s face it…. Many of you guys claimed that you got other offers but still stuck to the lowest circulated newspaper in Goa. Your scores “last grade”…. That’s where you stand. And when you speak about others…know something….. Talk according to your own grade and standards…. Yes, Preetu was approached by network 18 but she refused and so was ahwa by NDTV… and rumors are that Andrew will be moving with HT… Now compare the difference Ashley was jobless…. Derrick gave him a job….so he got to lick that a**e. open your eyes my friend…… see the light…poor thapa…he travels all the way from vasco and back…why??? GT is the worlds number one newspaper….how is the rains thapa….use some good rain coat may be you will not catch any cold…hedge that’s a free bug…. Pops up at most of the press conference to see what’s on offer…. Mmmm did I forget someone…. Derrick…god father of himself….. needs to put on more balls and stop riding on Sujoy’s back….Mr. Gupta changed the way how GT worked… now is all down the drain…. More to come about….Dominica and Alpana
please publish this.... thanks PP

But don't let us discourage you Peter, but you must try harder. You must keep sending more stuff to us. You never know, one day, you might just come up with an honest comment. And please, please for the sake of love do not write a comment and then respond to it yourself immediately, like you have been doing, so often. Give it some delay. The time counter in the comments section gives away the game away. Wait just wait a while, ok.
There's another reader we really wanna talk to you about.
Again, we don't know him. But we know this is him. Its this guy called Lionel. Not Rithcie, this is a very bitchy Lionel we are talking about... This guy seems to be the king of megalomania. In the last 3 to 4 months we've got at least 40 to 50 comments from one source which say this time and again, 'Great job Lionel!', 'What a blog Lionel', 'Great going Lionel'... The commentator obviously wants to ensure that the readers feel that this guy, Lionel or whoever he is, runs this blog.
This is a very Lionel modus operandi. The guy who's commenting is Lionel himself. We cant say for sure, but Lionel's probably some guy, who's sleepwalked most of his career and now wants to appropriate credit for this anonymously run blog.
Poor chap, mid career andropause does this to you. Does any one of you know this Lionel guy? If you know any cure for this kind of an andropause, do give this guy a call. Do that for us will you chaps?
There's several more jokers who love to have fun in the way these two do. But we love these two the most, because of the regularity with which these guys do it. We'll run this series on and off... In the meantime keep having fun you two.