On this occasion of India’s 63rd Independence Day, or is it 64th, if you count 1947 itself — papers, channels and hoardings are filled with jingoistic messages speaking of our pride and glory. Well, I, for one, quite frankly can’t take it anymore. All over it’s India this and India that. As a mark of protest, I’ve even drunk one less beer this weekend! The last time I did that was for an equally genuine reason when Mohinder Amarnath was dropped from the cricketing team in 1989.
Don’t get me wrong! I love my country unconditionally, and there’s nowhere I’d rather be than here in India, except of course maybe Port of Spain, Trinadad, or Switzerland or the land of the White Cloud or Sweden and maybe Brazil, Argentina, Northern Italy, plus Ireland, but, only on weekends.
Now whilst everyone is basking in our collective... err... glory with the normal... or 6.3 great things about India etc, I think as people with a scientific bent of mind, we must explore the reverse as well. That is, 6.3 dumb things I detest about India. Here is my list and, may I say, it was an arduous, dumb task, as reaching 6.3 when you only have 10 fingers can be quite the challenge.
1. Oil In The Hair: What must have been a punishment in medieval times is now and always will be a fashion. Politicians are some of them. Their names, for reasons of hygiene and security, must remain unnamed.
2. Escorts And Car Cavalcades: For a poor country, we still can afford a five-car cavalcade accompanying the junior most of junior ministers. And what about those moronic bodyguards who wave all the dangerous old women and children aside, lest they assassinate the what’s his name!
3. TV Panelists: I’ve made a list of nine TV panelists who must be retired by TV channels immediately for over-exposure. If not, then I suggest the news channels hear them as regular anchors forthwith.
4. Men Who Thread Their Eyebrows: The decline of the Persian, Greek and Roman empires at their height started when their Generals started threading their eyebrows. In the Greek case, the men started experimenting with skirts simultaneously as well, a practice that is still prevalent in Western Greece.
5. People In Bars Who Don’t Drink: I’ve always said these are like people in libraries who don’t read. Of course the converse makes more sense. People in bars who don’t drink will be happier in libraries. People in libraries who don’t read may find solace in a bar.
6. Beauty Pageants: Winston Churchill predicted that one day our society will become so shallow that there will be more beauty pageants than flies. That has actually come true.
Construction Work: Even Shah Jahan’s guys completed construction work faster.
.2 Touching: Walk the streets of Colaba and see if you can avoid physical contact. We touch too much.
.3 Spitting: No country has contributed more to society saliva on public property. No country. Okay maybe Pakistan.
That brings the total to a grand 6.3. So all you patriots, before you run around screaming with joy, ask not what you love in the country, but rather what not you love in the same aforementioned country. And by the way, Jai Hind!