Sunday, October 03, 2010

For a Sunday a Few Generalisations and Jaundiced Viewpoints


A Sunset over the Mahabaleshwar Hills. Awesome isn't it?
It may be the coup-d'├ętat of the century this recouping of the Commonwealth Games after the initial shenanigans. Well, nothing in India goes according to plan, ask me. I have seen it all, from rotting grains, slum re-building, tsunami, earthquakes, damming the dams, holding elections, this country is a festival – indeed a Movable Feast – as Hemmingway said it long ago. Yes, Jugad it is. We have it in us but it is hiding somewhere. It's just like the story of my hidden talent. I know I am talented (smirk!) but I don't know why I am not getting published. Sigh! (Draw the sign of the cross to ward of the evil scoffers. )

Just came back from a trip to Mahabaleshwar and am still wondering at the beauty of it. Awesome, it took my breath away and I fell in love with it. If Mahabaleshwar can be free of plastic why can't the rest of India. Tell me. Yes, I didn't see plastic in Mahabaleshwar – probably because it is a tourist town and the municipality there knows they have to keep their town clean. Well, take that as a given. Why can't the rest of the country think their town is a resort town and keep themselves clean? Why?

In the same vein I think we should all move into the country and cash in on our crores. This is just a casual observation I heard from a financial wizard on the bus back from Mahabaleshwar. Our homes are worth nearly a crore and still we go to through the motions of navigating through dirty puddles, stepping over shit, hanging to the straps in bone-crunching train crowds, taking shit from our bosses, eat the dried and contaminated chapattis kept for hours in the tiffin, and then whine, whine, whine, whine, whine, whine... endlessly. Instead how about selling our homes and buying 20 acres in Mahabaleshwar and growing strawberries, keeping bees, making strawberry jam, whatever? The rest of our money we can invest in bonds and mutual funds and that will keep us safely till we die by accident or by design.

Why don't we do it? Because as human being – and Indians, too, a peculiar breed, I might add – we are worried about security, family, children's future, grandchildren's future, opportunities, competition, etc. Where else in the city to pull some filthy money from the already stinking moneyed, to lie, to fabricate, to grovel, to tease, to be teased, to ridicule, to be ridiculed, to spread rumours, to have rumours spread about ourselves, to write blogs that don't get read, to aspire for being writers, the list can go on except that I am dead tired and my fingers are sleepwalking on the keyboard, and need to rest after having boogied the night for two hours, non-stop. Yes, I discovered I can shake a leg with a bunch of much younger guys and gals from the office. We went through the whole pantheon of Hindi and Marathi songs and I – a supposedly writer, poet and songwriter – was humbled. There's a godawful amount of culture and humour out there! Some of the wisecracks were so subtle they were replaced with lightning speed before I could even write them down. Frankly I was stupefied. Honest. There is such talent and variety in us, we can do it, like we did the Commonwealth Games. That's sucking up isn't it? Oh, who bothers, as long as the Indian team wins a lot of medals? Well, I think – snort – the dirt toilets must have been our ploy to throw the competition off guard. He... he....

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