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Showing posts from July, 2014

Socha kya tha, kya ho gaya

If I'd started a blog on social or infrastructural issues plaguing this country, there would have been more than enough posts to write. But I generally avoid it because I don't want to criticize anything or anyone without offering a concrete, plausible solution to the problem.

However, I have to ask - What's the deal with rainwater harvesting? Or, more accurately, the lack of it? Bombay is inundated with rain every year. The city's population is rising like a rocket. I'm reasonably confident the dams supplying water to the city aren't upgrading nearly as fast as the number of people. It's not like rainwater harvesting is some magical new technology that visiting aliens have gifted us; the Wikipedia article on it says that our ancient countrymen practiced it. Madras has successfully implemented it some years ago and other states have held it up as a model way of implementing the system. Heck, even Bangladesh has had some success with it. So when and why did…

Children of this time

Then

In college, he was a voracious late-night reader, staying up till 3 and 4 am with books, the beloved desk lamp covered with a yellow dust cloth to dim the light to a soft glow. The strongest memory he has of those nights are trying and failing to stifle the helpless giggles he'd break into over lines and passages in '3 Men in a Boat'. He would read night after night, doze off and still make it in time for early morning Psych lectures at Fergusson.

He remembers the winter morning classes best, kick-starting the Kinetic and riding off into the cutting wind, enjoying the cold emptiness of Ganeshkhind Road, which was narrower then, with neem trees shading a whole lane that is now empty concrete. He deigned to wear a sweater because the cold made him feel alive. He has a permanent memory of riding past the Ambassador Hotel in Model Colony and marveling at how the black tar road changed from gold to silver as the sun rose higher and higher.

He remembers many things from col…

The frayed ends of sanity

In any situation that requires order, discipline and efficiency, we as Indians tend to fail. Yes, not everyone would qualify, but this is a country of 1.5 billion and counting, so that's pretty obvious. Most do qualify and that's where the problem lies. At heart, Indians are a peculiar kind of barbarian.

I use that word carefully because I ran through a whole gamut of them including ignorant country bumpkin, animal, savage, and so on and so forth, but using any of those tags would be unfair. Plenty of villagers in India understand order, discipline and efficiency. They're smart, self-sacrificing and hard-working. Similarly, animals have their own rules so to compare the typical unruly Indian mob to animals is pretty stupid. Even barbarians could very well have imbibed any of the characteristics I believe we as Indians purposefully choose to ignore. The word 'savage' is distasteful and again, stupid because indigenous people follow their own laws and that's the…

Evening Prayer

It happened today.

The past month has been incredibly torrid, work-wise. I've usually caught the last train, reached home at 2 am, pretended to eat something and fallen into a dreamless sleep. I worked weekends and even a couple of overnight sessions, including one at the start of this week. And all the time, I have not stopped looking.

There were many opportunities of course. Silent nights as I've trudged tiredly towards the station, the only person on the road; at 3 am, my eyes stinging, staring at the screen, wondering what line would be appropriate for some press ad; on the trains and in the taxis, looking out into the nothingness of the Mumbai night, feeling the wind and rain howl their symphony; the moments I've spent, wearily sitting on my bed, wondering whether my work & my current lifestyle are worth whatever I'm accepting.

But no. There wasn't even an iota of it. Till today. I was home, having taken a rare holiday for personal work. There's no su…