alochana

yes Gods are crazy

Archive for July 2010

Brits with Gifts

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Almost four hundred years (395 to be exact) back representatives of the British crown visited Delhi in the hope of a commercial treaty while promising access of European goods. The previous time around Afghanistan, as we know it now, was yet to be born. The Russia-Turkey-Iran triangle would end up in the creation of Afghanistan. A side effect would stop the Sun from setting on the ’empire’…

Now, we have a representative from the same place, again talking of commercial treaties. Afghanistan is a hellhole that may end up in the creation of a couple of new countries. What are the odds that this time we will fare any better? Obviously there is no comparison in relative strengths between the two countries now with that when Jehangir was ruling. In fact the relation is almost the opposite. But again, then as now, the subcontinent never had any shortage of those who invite outsiders to settle local scores.

Random attempts at correlations aside, this is the first time that I am hearing about a British PM who appears to be trying to be nice to India (avoiding the K-word for example). I know that the bar is set rather low by the husband of the Queen and the Milliband guy, but at least some one has crossed it. Not every thing has changed though: the British press still refers to the terrorists who attacked Mumbai as ‘gunmen’, ‘related to Kashmir’ etc.

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Written by kowsik

July 28, 2010 at 09:21

Posted in life

Memory remains

with 2 comments

I have quoted Lady Bracknell in the past, and I will quote her again. In fact I am considering sticking to her sayings whenever I am in need of a quote. We live, as she pointed out, in the age of surfaces. The alarming behavior of the French on beaches in summer forces me to wonder if Lady Bracknell might have been optimistic about the surfaces. Or, may be it was her age. Or may be I am stupid. I should stop digressing so often.

Coming back to surfaces. Some one allowed someone else to drill an oil well in a place that no one should have gone to in the first place. The fish have a right to their privacy and we have violated it. As with the Empire, so with Karma; strike back they will. Now there is oil in the Atlantic and President Obama is pointing fingers. And he is running out of speeches. In the middle of all this, and also Pachauriji’s talent at writing and making Nobels out of typos, we have lost perspective. Pelicans were swimming in oil even back when the  then President Bush (41) asserted that “this aggression will not stand“. The dude approved of the attitude and was silent on the pelicans. We moved on then, we will move now. There are more important things in this world than that oil in the Atlantic (which will eventually float to the surface anyway) and we should (atleast) occasionally talk about some of those.

For example, I came across this video:

One of the commenters on this video claims that Metallica start their concerts with “Ecstasy for Gold” by Ennio Morricone. Turns out that they even had it in one of their albums. But that is just a digression. I should make a resolution about those…

The concert, called  “Monsters Of Rock ’91“, was in 1991 in Moscow during (but, hopefully, not related to) the dissolution of the Soviet Union, when Gorbachev was the president of USSR. Supposedly the first such concert in the USSR, this may also have been the last. just before the country fell from being a superpower to a net exporter of mail-order brides. And this is putting it rather mildly. Now that we know what happened in the years following this concert, this video inspires, for the want of a better word, gloom. The song itself, one does wonder whether there is a method to this madness.

In school, one of the few things that I could do better than most other students in my class was remember the names and locations of countries on the world map. What happened in those places was never of much interest, unless if it involved cricket. As with all things innocent, it had to end. News of the attempted coup against Gorbachev was one of the events that had generated an interest in the non-sports pages of the newspapers. I remember making an effort to staying awake late in the night to watch “The World this Week”, hearing of events vaguely related and often apparently unrelated; tanks rolling around in Afghanistan, dudes with rocket launchers on shoulders, Hekmatyar, Rabbani… long before we heard of the Taliban. By then even kids like me realized that those rocket launchers were not that cool. At about the same time, Kashmir had suddenly gone to hell. The connection was not so apparent for kids who had only recently started following news. A parallel thread resulted in our introduction to suicide bombers. Then masjids got demolished, stock markets got bombed and mafia was no more the innocent vehicle of Amitabh Bacchan’s stardom. One can list all the relevant interactions in one’s life and still don’t know what to make of it. Or, one can quote wiser men than oneself to convince ourselves we-know-no-what… I choose the latter, and choose not to disturb Lady Bracknell this time.

The sense of helplessness that history induces forces us to wonder, “what’s a man to do?” A few years back we recommended the growth of sidelocks to uninterested IIScians. Earnest that idea might be, but it has its limitations. What I need now is religion. I think I will watch a Bond movie tonight.

Written by kowsik

July 17, 2010 at 08:40

Posted in life