Thursday, 20 September, 2007

R.J and the N-Deal

Since 6Th Aug 2007, all we have been hearing about is the Nuclear Deal between India and U.S.A. Every newspaper, T.V channel,discusses, debates and airs ever changing opinions on it.What amazes me is that in spite of constantly being in the limelight, how little information has been actually conveyed about it by the media to the layperson, and how little the public have understood about something that will have a huge impact on the future development and security of India. Which just goes to show how free and fair our press really is. One TOI poll showed that 64% of the population did not even know what it was all about. An inter city, college level, quiz competition held in Pune had the contestants blank about the N deal too. Most people i try to talk to look bewildered or give their opinion for or against it without any reason to back their claim. So this weekend when i heard that Mr. Ram Jethmalani himself was going to be in Pune to give a lecture on the N Deal, i made it a point to be there and hopefully get some answers. I returned not only sorely disappointed but nearing a rage.A bigger sell-out, i have yet to see. R.J. thinks the Ndeal is the best thing to have happened to India in the past 60 years.Apart from that one statement, the talk was not so much about the Ndeal as about R.J trying to promote his image as Gandhian principle follower (hah! anyone remember Jessica Lal?) and being particularly crass and rude about his ongoing feud with Mr.Karat.The compere who introduced him and the NDEAL issue in brief was more informative than R.J. The first part of the lecture was a rambling useless history of the nuclear countries and the NPT, liberally peppered with his ideologies, (which have no name), and outpouring of his wrath against communism.Then followed his reasons as to why the NDEAL was so important to India.According to him, "because of growing energy requirements and scarcity of resources." Yes WE KNOW that much, what about Statistics? Figures? Proof? Examples? Alternatives? Maybe an elaboration of what exactly the terms of the 123 Agreement and the Hyde Act are now? Like every other media outlet, R.J managed to remain brilliantly ambiguous,strongly opinionated and eager to sell an idea. Other than exhorting how deplorable communists, communists states are, abusing Indian scientists, journalist and nuclear achievements, he had nothing to offer as enlightenment on the NDEAL, as verified by me, when i talked to 12 students , one journalist and a photographer, who were as ignorant about the issue, after the lecture as before. It makes me wonder what sort of a democracy we are. Uninformed and unaware, these are the sort of people we look up to, to get answers and information. I'm not talking about R.J only , but people in his capacity and stature, who have the power and influence to form opinions for thousands. When they set an example of this sort,what do the masses do other than blindly ape? I do not say this because some one has a different view on an issue than mine, but because i feel the people have not been given enough of a fair opportunity to form a view of their own.Whatever little knowledge i acquired was not through newspapers and news channels, but through different Internet sites, and fortunately for me, some well informed people.( I will elaborate in the next post.) What I'm basically trying to say in a much rambled way is that after the lecture the only thing i felt was that if you cannot trust the media and leaders of your own country anymore to give you unbiased information, who the hell do you trust?

Monday, 3 September, 2007

Globe across the Globe

"Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the cauldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt and toe of frog,

Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,

Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble..."

William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I

Its taken 4 yrs travel over two continents,4 cities and changed hands many a time.. but Genius kept her promise and i collected THE SNOW GLOBE this morning from an apartment just five min away from my house. Funny, considering the 6000 odd miles its travelled.

For those who did not understand what a snow globe is... its a round glass with glitter or white flakes which rise and then fall like snow when you shake the globe. Its generally got beautiful tiny models inside, house, dancing figures, lovers, whole cities. And the special ones have tinkling music that plays when you wind the globe up.

My snow globe is B-E-A-U tiful.

Shiny silver base,glittering golden moon

next to which, is a shiny silver witch( hehehe)

on a tiny silver broom.

She has bright green hands and a face. Everything is a metallic shade.When you shake the globe, thousands of sparkles, of every hue, between violet and green in the rainbow, flutter around like butterflies, and then remain suspended in space for a flurry of a second, like an illusion, and disappear like ghosts , as if the witch had clapped her hands. The best part is the music!!!It pours out a silvery, haunting sound. When you press your nose against the glass, it seems to disappear and you can see eye to eye with the witch, who is suprisingly all smiley and twinkling!

And why am i so excited this seemingly simple object? The memories it brings... Our favourite pastime in school days was winding the globe, shaking it and hanging upside down on a big couch, the blood rushing to our head, bringing along with it a torrent of thoughts and ideas,questioning and curious. As the music faded and the sparkles disappeared, so did the tumult in our brain. Setting ourselves the right side up, swaying like drunken sailors we'd rush up to her room to put into practise our newest brainwave.

Like the time we broke household implements and wooden boxes and she almost cut of my fingers with an old screwdriver and hammer to create a telephone. The time we had an Algebra test the next day and fed up of trying to teach me we just hung upside down, silent, for hours till it was time for me to go home.Flunked as usual. Or the time we started developing a language of our own, based on olde englishe, with symbols, inspired by Tolkien. For that matter all the times we rushed up to decipher the Tolkien runes and wrote out family trees for Hobbits, and traced ancestors for the rest of Middle Earth inhabitants.

The time we tried eating tomatoes with a concoction made of salt , mustard, ten thousand islands dressing, ketchup, mayonaise, and lots of other sauces we stole from a huge shelf holding cool looking American style packaged bottles with exotic sauces and stuff id never heard the names of.It was DISGUSTING,immunized me to the first taste of alcohol, to follow soon after. Like the time when, at 3 a.m in winter, we climbed to the terrace, then climbed on the water tank and she walked around a narrow parapet, without a railing, five storeys above, with me egging her on, balancing on a metal ladder.

The times we'd tell our fortune with Tarrot cards. The time we rushed out of the house and scoured the city for test tubes, petri dishes, U tubes, sheeps bladder and parchment paper... bio experiment. The times we got books on Wicca and Paganism,built shrines and practised rituals, thinking we were witches. The time we got obsessed with the Black hole theory, covinced that it was the answer to how stuff in our rooms ended up missing, by falling into black holes.

The globe contributed to the most productive part of my life !It was also an unlikely enhancer to set us tripping, with its eerie music while we viewed it upside down,although since then we have found other substances to replace it! We tried to find a globe for me, but none came close to the magical quality of that one. When Genius left, as i always knew she would one day, she took the globe with her, promising to send me another. And today, on just one of those few blue days, by Witchy Coincidence the globe was there, to see me through those couple of hours. I just lay there again, upside down, with the witch cooing in my ear.