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Comeback May 22, 2009

Posted by astralwicks in india, Indian Elections, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Random, World, Writing.
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4 comments

The comeback. It’s always difficult. Far too many examples around us to not see its relevance and I should add, the difficulty, if not the impossibility.

What should I write on? I had missed the most important and self-sustaining of all – the Indian Elections. Similarly with IPl.

Work takes a toll. I try to be the dedicated blogger – scouring my life and its elements to give me enough inspiration to forget that I am tired and and put some words to all the ideas. But I fail.

Coming back to the comeback theme. Ask Congress or BJP or Manmohan or Advani or Rahul or Prabhakaran.

Who would have thought that Mr. Singh will get what he got? Who would have given Rahul G the foresight to change the tables in UP.  Was Advani or the BJP over-confident? All of them wanted the grand comeback. To register themselves on the consciousness of the nation, but…

Prabhakjaran the man whom the cats envied finally ran out of lives. He thought that violence or his kind of violence will be greater than the miliraty/state violence of Sri Lanka but paid the ultimate price. Perhaps peace making a comeback his with death.

What does the comeback entail? Prescience or luck?

We of course can read the winds of change or status quo. We of course are also blinded by our own prejudices to either be indifferent to it or reject it outright. We of course being blinded read it any which way we like.

Some thought that strength is because of aggression, violence. And paid the price. That to if you reject one you automatically open the doors to the opposite. And failed on both counts.

Aam Aadmi or the Common Man or Woman – was it this much neglected entity who made a quiet comeback? Neglected, a lower citizen, perenially a seasonal electoral favourite it was this X factor that made a comeback – surprising everyone.

They pushed the youth, they sidelined violence and hate, rewarded the meek, silent one and tried to strike a balance – a middle path. It too shall be rocky. So lets hang on.

Mr.X in Bombay October 6, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Bombay, education, india, Mumbai, Opinion, People, Personal, Random.
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2 comments

Mr. X in Bombay

Hindu. Age – 55 or thereabouts. Occupation – auto driver. Hailing from – Uttar Pradesh in North India.

I met Mr. X a fortnight back. I had finished work and was looking for an auto when he stopped. I was accompanied by a colleague. We traveled a bit and as is the custom ended up cursing the traffic and bad driving habits of the majority. He too chipped in.

We stopped at a signal. This being the festival season various ceremonial arches have erupted all over Bombay. Each sponsored by a local politician, small – time firm or in some cases by MNC’s who want to be in the good books of the local goons.

Mr. X said something – an English word and then said – ‘good that its written in Hindi. Previously all English was Greek to us. It is India and we should use Hindi or even Marathi would do. After all, the script is the same, with some local variations.’

He was basically supportive of the recent MNS agitation to have signboards in Marathi. Whereas MNSs’ activism is purely parochial and not based on utilitarian objectives, Mr. X’s reasoning was purely functional. We can read the language so it should be in the language that most will understand. I agreed.

We moved on. More smoke, more horns, more jams. Mr. X who came to Bombay some 20 years back started complaining about the bad traffic and the reasons for it. He gave his detailed plan – which flyover would best reduce congestion; which future routes should be concentrated on; which routes are of no use etc.

Indians love politics and so in response to my colleague’s question about which political party he would favour he had this to say – if it is local, then it is the candidate with whom he shared some level of intimacy – either personal or with policies.

If it was the national election then what mattered was – will the party representing the candidate be able to win majority at the center? Who wants repeated election, he asked me. After all, elections cost us money. I agreed. Stability is what I am looking for, he added. He also threw light on the politics of development – how a politician can dump his or her core base and still win elections. Fascinating I thought.

All this while it was Mr. X who was talking.

I got an entry with his statement that even the US is abandoning Pakistan. He asked me if it is true. I told him about the recent Marriott bombing, which he had missed; he knew about the Yemeni bomb blast tough. I gave my side of the Waziristan problem and how the Taliban and the Al Qaida are messing with Pakistan.

Education – he said. They should read books and see the world. It will change them, said Mr. X.