Thoughts about the news out there

Posted on March 16, 2015


I hate it when they build statues for great men like Gandhi. This isn’t about the man, really, or what matters about him, what he left behind, what we should imbibe from his life. This is about you, showing that you are awesome enough to have a statue built for Gandhi. This is about a photo-op for millions of tourists who’ll stand in front with a smile and a V-sign and get a lot of likes.

I’m trying to think if I’ve eaten beef. Lamb, I remember very well. It was this dish called Kofta Bel Tahini. The lamb was soft as butter. But beef? Maybe in a hamburger? After all those Archie comics, you don’t classify burgers under “cow.” You classify them under “things cool American kids do.” And at some point, I think we all wanted to drive a jalopy, have a sundae, be a cool American kid.

But no. Despite all the Enid Blytons, I’ve never been tempted to try a tongue sandwich.

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The wordplay-loving part of my mind is quite delighted right now with the possibilities offered by a “tongue” sandwich. I’ll have one Hebrew to go please. On rye bread.

That part of my mind is also thinking about how we have a neighbour named Bangladesh and we’ve turned into this Ban-glad Desh.

All this news about rape. I admire the good people who go through these stories and write outraged columns about them, who take these issues up and talk about them and don’t let them die. I’m just a coward. I read a headline about a six-year-old and an iron rod and I can’t bring myself to read anymore.

How is it still possible to remain so interested in cricket despite so much of it, all the time? Somewhere in between all this, Saina Nehwal regained the No. 2 ranking. In the world. Somehow I feel we’re not making the kind of fuss we should be making. Someone should build a statue for her.

Every time I have a sore throat, I’m thinking of swine flu. All this while, apparently, there was this huge hypochondriac inside me just waiting to get out. I’m sorry, but Sonam Kapoor got it. It must really be serious.

I wonder, sometimes, about the people who read something and get all worked up and then decide they’re going to have to vent, get it off their chest, and the best way to do this is on… Twitter. 140 characters at a time.

I like to imagine people talking like this in real life, with an unseen Big Brotherly gadget monitoring their speech via satellite and cutt-

-ing them off after 140 characters.

I find it a little odd that this column is being written for a newspaper and it’s going to be read more on computer monitors and smartphone screens.

It’s not that I dislike social media. I do like Facebook when I get to see really cosmic things. Recently, I saw ultra-HD footage of the Himalayas and Mount Everest. I saw a stunning capture of a glacier melting in Greenland. The Ilulissat glacier was calving and for 75 minutes it retreated a full mile and collapsed an area of ice the size of Manhattan! I suppose some self-flagellating corner of me likes these videos because they remind me of how tiny I really am.

Metaphorically speaking, of course. Looking at me, the last word that’ll come to you is “tiny.”

In the early days of my Internet use, I used to subscribe to this group that would send me a poem a day. Now, of my own volition, I find I’m not seeking out anything that’s not prose. I miss poetry.

It’s scary sometimes, how things come back to you. I haven’t thought about that poetry group in more than a decade.

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