Dec 31, 2013

While you were gone: November / December 2013

Vanity of vanities.

Life is futile. Case in point - The last 'real' king of the erstwhile princely State of Mysore, art connoisseur and overall pompous guy, Srikanta Datta Wodeyar, passed away after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. This comes a week after he won a hard-fought election at the all powerful Karnataka Cricket Club. For a guy who had seemingly limitless wealth and power, the irony of his end amuses me.

And then when the time comes, we all have to go. Nelson Mandela, arguably the most loved human being on the planet after Mother Theresa, died . And we all mourned. Some in their unique ways. Obama took selfies and we all sat on our moral high horses and tut tuted. Aw c'mon! How many of us can honestly say we haven't done something similar at an inappropriate time?

As Indians, we are used to politicians who speak with their feet in their mouths. After many weeks of seeing Rahul Gandhi in action, we must now appoint him as the head chieftain of our village politics. You want change? You want progressive change? Rahul G is the man!
Don't make him PM, get Modi in power, and have G at the opposition and that could be the start of something good.

Our SC decided to undo any of the good deeds it did over the last year (maybe Santa didn't make it in time) did a double take and put our 'unwanted' back into the dark ages.
Lalu was freed and thanked all for the 'gross injustice that has been undone'. Rabri can now go back to her kitchen.
In one swipe, we have wiped away any sign that we are a free and progressive nation. Rahul might say otherwise, but I doubt if he has the gumption to take initiatives unless we protest.

In an absolute shocking (in a nice way, ofcourse) turn of events, Arvind Kejriwal won the elections at the national Capital and became its newest Chief Minister. That he ousted a chief minister who stayed in power for decades is not the highlight. That he achieved something that was virtually unimaginable just 365 days ago is what gives us the hope that we are not a nation of pushovers.
Kejriwal may not need a certificate from his blindsided rivals, but he got dumped by his former compatriot and that will hurt him for some time to come.
Voters have fought back after years of apathy and this is just the beginning. The torch has been lit and the bonfire is ready. For the first time in history, we are truly ready to be known as a nation of the young who can't wait to set right the wrongs our past has done to us.
We are ready!

But what we are not ready for is when we get stiffed abroad. Ever since 9/11, when Uncle Sam has been suspicious about our curious brown skin and curiouser names. Our celebrities have been fondled at various US airports and we have cried blue murder.
So when an Indian Diplomat was arrested, hand-cuffed and thrown into a cell with murderers, rapists and other white-skinned ruffians, we took offense. And how!

Quick flashback: Devyani Khobragade, acting Consul General and seriously hot PYT, committed visa fraud by misrepresenting facts while hiring a domestic maid from India. She underpaid the maid too and allegedly changed the terms of contract after hiring her.
Well, taken from an Indian context, this is not out of the ordinary. I can name atleast 5 people I know who treat their maids/man-servants worse.
What followed was diplomatic Armageddon. India retaliated so fast that it spun Uncle Sam's head. It was so rare, swift and profound that even our neighbors would've sat up.
What bothers me is how a diplomat from the land of Gandhi, decided to hire a nanny for her children and then treated her as a lesser mortal and how we take offense. See, what rankled our chains is that we are a nation of people where we cannot perceive our middle class being arrested and tried with impartiality. We are so used to being treated with kid-gloves, even when we know we have have done something wrong. Thus the 'anything goes' attitude we are renown for.

And then the skeletons came tumbling out of the cupboard. Apparently, with the way rules were bent during while she was training as a young IFS officer, Devyani is in the league of incredibly powerful Indian women.
Or perhaps we just wanted Uncle Sam to scratch our backs back.
So inspite of breaking the law of the land, and instead of penalizing her, we just moved her to a notch below God. We promoted her to the UN. Aren't we amazing?!

And while we exult our lawbreakers, Kim Jr executes them.
China asserted itself on international waters. Shouldn't come as a shock or a surprise to Americans who have been doing the same for decades since the last World War.

Hrithik Roshan did the split. Van Damme too.

About a year ago, when India was the epicenter of outrage against violence towards women, we all thought it would be the last time, we hear about heinous crimes. Not much has changed. In the months since, we saw grievous criminals go scot-free and others get the wink.

Singapore burned in slow flame. For a city country that seemed so perfect, the riots only proved that people can and will rise against even the most subtle forms of oppression.

For those who have everything in their lives, let's learn to give.

The past year we did have some advertisements that touched our chords, and some hard truths that we have conveniently glazed over..

If you thought education opened man's horizon of thought, think again.
True love? Here's one man's attempt to recreate the magic of his long lost wife
Have some time to kill? Here's the page to be.

Yo Yo Honey Singh, is clearly the flavor of the season. Good for him. And Beiber retired. What?! I know what you're thinking? When did he ever work? Even a semi-trained parakeet could croon better. 



 

For every blockbuster  Bollywood made, we had two duds (Read Dhoom 3).
For every well dressed celebrity, we had 3 nipple slips and convenient other peeps. 


I hope you all have a responsible New Year eve drinking responsibly, introspecting about your achievements and misses for the year that just passed, ready to accept a new year that is filled with the same hope and promise that every new morning brings.

And while you are at it, here's some food for thought -

Make all you can
Save all you can
Give all you can
Happy New Year, folks!
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