Help! The world’s going all cuckoo on me!

I will never understand this world. Taking the stairs up to my grandma’s place recently, I noticed that, at every bend on every stairwell was plastered a ceramic tile with a portrait of a Hindu god or goddess. This struck me as rather odd…a painted wall with just one tile on it? Why would people bother with something like that?

Turns out my granny knew why. Seems that paan-chewing Indians will spit in every corner they can find. And the only way to prevent the vista from going all red on you is to put the fear of God into those paan lovers.

Speaking of more oddball people, I think what the Aussies are doing Down Under looks pretty sad from Up Here. Here’s a bunch of people actually paying them for the privilege of filling the coffers at their universities – even as they eschew a whole world of opportunities in their native land (as well as in better-known campuses across the US and Europe). But is the native heart at peace? No! They want not just their money, but also their blood.

Now I agree that things are not as simple as that. But is it really so hard for people to just get along with each other? I can understand a certain amount of resentment in places where people just barge in and take hold of what rightfully belongs to the native. But in this situation, it’s the Australian government’s sustained ad campaigns in India, their depiction of their country as the next education and leisure destination, that’s caused the recent influx of Indians there.

Perhaps, before they come back to woo us again, they need to woo their own people with an ‘Incredible Indians in Amazing Australia’ ad campaign first.

Radha-Krishna: The greatest, unconsummated, love story ever

Did you know that, as per Indian mythology, Radha & Krishna never got married? Apparently, there are some intricate explanations for their unfulfilled – yet eternal – love. Non-religious that I am, I had never paid much attention to all those mythological stories that you tend to absorb no matter where you live, what you do and who you interact with, in India. If anything, these flotsam stories about divine love, about Krishna’s innumerable wives and his flirting around with all those gopis only pissed me off. Here was a guy we called God, I’d argue, and even he couldn’t stay faithful to one wife, one woman! And then we crib about the patriarchal society we live in!

After all, if you can block out the image of Ram asking his wash-his-feet-and-drink-the-water pativrata wife to take the Fidelity Fire Test, or of honourable Arjun wandering off and taking every beautiful woman he met as one of his wives, or of Krishna getting married to not one, two or three but to 16,000 women and fathering 16,000 children (!), well then I have very little to say to you. Except that you and I have nothing in common.

A few days ago, however, I attended a dear friend’s lavish wedding. The bride’s party had engaged a group of folk singers to keep the guests entertained as, onstage, the various rituals and pheras were being conducted. Though almost all the songs were in Gujarati with the vocals almost drowned out by the chanting of the priests or the chatter of the wedding guests, yet whatever little I heard of the music gave me goosebumps. Here and there I caught phrases about the various promises Radha makes to meet Krishna on the banks of the river, about how Krishna woos her with the music of his flute or about how nature rejoices at the union of these two divine souls, here on earth. Later, a Gujarati friend helpfully pointed out: “The music was so touching. All the vows, all the rituals of the wedding were being mirrored and enhanced by it. Each of the songs depicted the many moods of the Radha-Krishna pair – the greatest love story ever!”

After the wedding, I more or less forgot about the whole thing. Until recently when I happened to watch one episode of a TV series about Krishna. The characters were discussing how Radha and Krishna had been cursed by some saint (or someone of that sort) and would never be able to meet – post their childhood – for the duration of their earthly avatar. And it was a long duration – Krishna is believed to have lived to be approximately 125 years old!

5 minutes of googling told me this: In Indian tradition, Radha and Krishna are considered the most divine, the most passionate, of lovers. Yet they spent their lives never being able to consummate their love whether by sight or by touch. Apparently, at one point, Radha even asks Krishna to marry her (presumably before they were separated at around age 10). After making the request, when she turns around to face her lover, she finds another Radha standing in his place. And Krishna tells her: “Can you marry yourself? I am you, and you are me. We are one – how can anyone unite one entity?”

I admit I found this thought incredibly moving, deeply romantic. In a world where everything is so transient, where people divorce for reasons as trivial as you can imagine, can you also imagine a love so strong, so unshakeable, that 115 years of separation could do nothing to change that feeling?

Of course I do not believe that the people we worship as gods were anything more than the well-known, good or popular people of those times. By that token, I do not believe that Krishna and Radha were a god & goddess who came down to earth by divine plan. And if there is any truth to the stories, then whatever did happen, happened to normal earthly beings like you and me. Putting it in this perspective, I feel, only adds to the amazing dimensions of the Radha-Krishna love story (if it can be called that). Two average human beings, separated almost all their lives, yet carrying a torch for each other all through those long years. Now where do you find something of that quality anymore? 🙂

Old school anthem, new Mandira Bedi haircut (I wish!)

Whoa! Was this a windblaster or what?! Someone had left the window wide open and, as I took my customary seat on the bus, I felt my neatly-put-together hair (this is rare!) being pulled and pummeled from 20 directions at once. I reached out to shut the window but the fresh morning air felt too good to resist, though the crazy hairdo at the end of the ride did make me wish I had gone in for a verryyy short haircut over the summer.

Actually why not? I should get myself super-short super-sexy hair – a la Mandira Bedi. Speaking of which, doesn’t she carry off that cropped mane rather well? The problem is, I don’t know whether it will look that great on me. Especially since I intend to be wearing quite a few Indian ethnic clothes in the near future (family wedding coming up). Also, it’s sure to make me look taller than I already am – not something I need in my life at this moment. So I guess the sexy new look will just have to wait. *Sigh*

This morning I sang my old school anthem. I did it in my head and was ecstatic to realize that, in spite of it being a few months over a decade since I left school, I can still sing the whole long complicated version of the song! I do have some long-term memory left. Yay! And after that, I also sang ‘It must have been love’ by Roxette. Just to celebrate. Yes, I do know it’s a sad song but I like it. Especially since it sounds so damn good when I sing it in my head! 😉

So this marked the beginning of Tuesday for me. And just as I was hoping the day would go off equally as well as it had begun, someone came along to ruin my happy mood. T’was too good to last, what? 😦

Friday night, Chandler moments

My life is full of Chandler moments (non-fans of Friends, here’s where you get off this post).

Okay, so my life is full of Chandler moments. The sort where he makes a really smart wisecrack every time something even vaguely funny – or downright unfunny – happens. This makes him interesting, hilarious & popular (well, not as popular as Joey is with the ladies, but still fair-enough-popular). And my life is just like that – except, all those wisecracks only occur to me after they should have. Like yesterday.

Out for an evening of unwinding with friends, I spied a kitten under one of the tables (no, it’s not that I unwind at the local pet hotel; it’s just that the Press Club has a terrace sit-out with a long history of resident felines). So of course I went off to meet her & convince her to spend some quality time at (not under) our table as well. Though I generally am rather patient with this sort of thing, I guess I made a false move yesterday. Instead of hovering just close enough for her to either accept or reject my advances (at the most colouring her judgment with a saucer of milk), I made a rapid advance & tried to force her to see what nice people we were. Of course that had the exact opposite effect of the one intended & she scampered off into some dark recess where my probing fingers & entreating hands could not find her.

Anyhow, as I returned dejected to my chair, we saw her again! Technically, it was a pink inquisitive nose that we saw, but naturally we assumed that the rest of her was right behind. Since she was closer this time to A, I asked him to do the needful & entreat her, once more, to sit down to drinks (think milk!) with us. In retrospect, I don’t think he could have been quite too keen to have her around, coz he said: “You want me to get her? You mean, like, pounce on her?” (The reference, obviously, was to my previous unfruitful sortie into this territory). Now, what do you think any self-respecting Chandler would have said to this? (Yes, that’s the point of this story!)

So Chandler would have said: “No No! I already tried that once – and it doesn’t work! You try something new, bro!”

But – you guessed it – it never occurred to me. Not until I was on the train home when, just for consolation, I said it (aloud) to the woman next to me: “No no, it doesn’t work, you try something new!” Just for the record, she was scratching her head with her pen, trying to crack a crossword clue.

So now there are 7 people in this city who think I’m a complete nutcase (there’s got to be more but I’m not that good at keeping track of the numbers).

Illusion, reality & then some rather cheap labour!

Okay, so a lot did happen over the past 3 days – I just haven’t had the time to tell you all about it. Actually no, nothing really out of the ordinary happened. Except that I am a lot more excited about certain things on the personal-professional front. By this, I don’t mean the job front…it’s a wee bit more complicated that that.

However, this does remind me of my recent pay hike which, I admit, did feel good…for about 30 seconds. After which, I was back to being fired up about aforesaid personal-professional developments.

Anyhow, the moment I walked into my office lobby yesterday, I was completely swamped by nostalgia. Overwhelmed is the word. You know those times when you just can’t move for fear of losing your sudden grasp on a moment long past in time/ life? That’s what happened to me!

I guess it has something to do with my olfactory receptors. The place smelled just like the lobby of my hotel, back in time in Malaysia. Now, it’s been 4 years since I visited the country & I didn’t even know I remembered what fragrance they might have been using in the hotel. But there it was! And to think it was as simple as an office in India using the same/ similar brand of air freshener!

Speaking of such memory, by the way, I recently read about a study conducted on crime-scene witnesses. Turns out, we may distinctly remember something with utter conviction but – wait for it – it’s likely that the said event never occurred! Reminds me of the time my dad insisted that mum had called him on her way home one night. This would have been fine except: neither my mum nor I had any memory of her making the said phone call. And the catch was, I’d been sitting right next to him all that time. But so convinced was he that there had been “a mistake”, that he refused to believe the evidence even when the call did not show up in his or mom’s call logs. Worse, he could remember verbatim all that she had said to him over the phone – something about the menu for dinner, apparently.

At this point, I would have loved to have added that, when she did get home, she brought along the exact same items that he thought she had been talking about – but that’s not what happened. This is a story about faulty memory, not about ESP, remember? 😉

But this kind of thing makes you doubt the whole concept of reality, doesn’t it? What if all that you remember of your childhood is a trick being played by your mind? What if the guy you thought killed the woman right in front of your eyes is not the guy who should have been going to the gallows? What if – since everyone is likely to have a different version of it – there is no ‘real’ past or future & all that’s happening is in the here-and-now? Only that it’s happening in some parallel universe/ time zone perhaps? Weird weird weird!

I should tell you here I am really, really interested in discussions of this sort. I love reading about theories like the one Plato is supposed to have had. I don’t know the exact words, but apparently he believed that ‘reality’ was located behind you, somewhere in the space above your head. And all that you saw in the world around you was but an illusion, a reflection of that ‘actual’ world. Sounds cuckoo to me!

But perhaps it’s time I re-checked what he really meant by that. Just as an aside, even Hindu beliefs hold that reality is not what you see around you. The world is all ‘maya’ or illusion. Interesting how the ancients all believed similar stuff no?

Okay, on to more mundane stuff now. In other news, I am extremely pissed off by you, my fellow Indians. All this time, one used to hear all these stories about India being a ‘cheap labour market’. But when I saw for myself how deep the rot has set, I was stunned, to say the least!

Being a writer, I can give you an example from my domain, but I’m assured that this problem is everywhere, in almost every field. Over the past week alone, I have come across dozens of writers who offer their services for as low as 36 bucks for 500 words! That’s a ridiculously sad, low price I would never have accepted for my work. Not even when I was a college student moonlighting as a struggling freelance writer! What’s more, I was working for Indian publications whereas most of these people’s assignments come from the US! Aren’t they supposed to be raking in the dollars or something?! Apparently it’s more like only a dollar – or less – for a whole article!

So no wonder you come across all these gazillion bidding sites where cash-rich companies post projects expecting their work to be done for just $50 (if not less). But here’s the best (or worst) part. Say there is someone in London offering US $50 for 10 “well-written, web-optimized” articles of 500 words each. In itself, this price is ridiculous, if not downright insulting. However, right below this laughable ‘business offer’, you’ll find a serpentine list of dozens of supposed ‘writers’ offering to do the same 10 articles for as less as $10 – for all of them! Rest assured, next time you see a project posted by the same company, their bidding price will start at just about 20 bucks, if that.

It disgusts me to think that there are people out there who value their work so cheaply. As long as this continues, foreigners will continue to see India as the old ‘cheap labour destination’. And even talented Indians will get to work only on bottom-of-the-heap grunt jobs rather than get a chance to do worthwhile projects that can add to their skills & knowledge. Sad indeed! 

Sunday surprise!

Sunday evenings depress me like even Monday morning can’t. I mean, it’s The End of a Golden Age of Wasteful Lethargy, of indulging in all the Seven Deadly Sins, and then some. (Are there any non-deadly sins, by the way?)

So I met up with D & S last evening. It took quite an effort to convince my lazy, depressed self to Just Go, but the evening turned out to be rather fun! This, despite all the guy-bashing we indulged in before S arrived. Oh, and by ‘we’, I mean D & me (I would say ‘D & I’ but that would just confuse all you people who have to make do with initials in place of Christian names).

But before all that happened, she & I first checked out the action at Globus. Not coz we liked what the shop windows had to offer or anything; it’s just something of a ritual with us. If it’s Eternity Mall, it’s gotta be browsing-Globus first. (I had phrased this sentence differently but ‘browsing-Globus’ has such a nice ‘finding-Nemo’ ring to it, don’t you think?)

This time, the store pleasantly surprised us by offering discounts of “up to 50%” (which, as every shopper knows, means: “Remember that one utterly disgusting extinct-animal-printed scarf you saw here 3 years ago? Well, we’re giving that away at a super bargain price of just 5000 bucks! Is your Sunday made or what?!”)

Anyway, so D picked out this okish red kurti/ top with a black pattern around the neck (sorry, my descriptions for such things remain vague out of necessity…I don’t really know or care what the nice black pattern around the neck was). The piece seemed quite all right until we checked out the price tag. It was soo not worth it! That little bit of cardboard scared us right out of the Ethnics & propelled us straight into Accessories. The rest of the browsing went off without incident, though we eventually did leave with our wallets – and our indignity – intact.

Upstairs at the food court, over a plate of spring roll dosa (yum!), we got into the usual collective-introspection-into-our-life-and-relationships session. This part is something of a fixture, also known as: ‘Would-we make-the-guy-happier-by-just-dumping-him?’ session.

By the time we were done with the dosa & had downed one large cold coffee each (Barista, good as always), the mood had turned boisterous with loud giggling, stupid jokes, and hilarious (to us!) one-liners.

And then S joined in, taking the party to a whole new level. With him, there was much CAT, no-work-experience-but-MBA(!) & IIM bashing (for the record, he’s 22, has no work experience but has completed one year of his MBA at IIM Lucknow. And obviously, he got in by scoring rather well in the dreaded, math-oriented CAT). Talk about ammunition to attack! 

Anyway, among the memorable lines I came up with, was one I consider a gem:

D: Hey, order a coffee with ice cream already! You’re obviously lusting after it!

Me (sighing lustfully): Do you even know how many calories are in it?!

D: But you’re thin! You can afford it!

Me: But you don’t understand! I can because I don’t!

[Loud laughter, courtesy me, while the two of them just looked on with sullen faces]

So, to save the situation, I narrated a fantastic Stevie Wonder-in-China joke. It’s my current favorite – remind me to tell you sometime. The best part is, I do a great job of imitating a Chinese accent – no, really, I do – and it’s absolutely essential for this joke! Okay, I bet you really want to hear it right now! So, without further ado…here it is:

Stevie Wonder is playing his 1st gig in China and the place is packed to the rafters. In a bid to break the ice, he asks if anyone has a request.

One chap jumps out of his seat in the 1st row and shouts at the top of his voice: “Play a jazz chord! Play a jazz chord!”

Amazed that this guy knows about the jazz influences in Stevie’s career, the blind impresario starts to play an E Minor scale and then goes into a difficult jazz melody for about 10 minutes. When he finishes, the whole place goes wild.

The chap jumps out of his seat again and shouts: “No, no, play a jazz chord, play a jazz chord…!”

A bit cheesed off by this, Stevie, being the professional he is, dives straight into a jazz improvisation around the B Flat Minor chord and really tears the place apart. The crowd goes ballistic with this impromptu show of his musical expertise. But still the little Chinese man jumps up again and shouts: No, no! Play a jazz chord, play a jazz chord!”

Stevie is really peeved off now that this chap doesn’t seem to appreciate his playing ability and shouts to him from the stage: “OK smart a**, you get up here and do it!”

The little bloke climbs onto the stage, takes hold of the mike, and starts to sing:

“A jazz chord…to say…I ruv you…”

[Loud laughter, courtesy everyone around!]

And a funny koala bear joke as well…but that one can wait.

Anyway, so the evening passed rather unexpectedly well (considering I’d started off being a little apprehensive about D & S getting along). In the end, D even dropped me all the way home! And S came along for the ride. Nice of them, eh? 🙂

Where O Where do the weekends go?

It’s one thing to start a blog, quite another to sustain it. That’s my takeaway from the last few days’ neglect of this space. I mean, it’s great when you actually start writing, but before that, it takes loads of motivation for a lazy Virgo to get down to brass tacks (or to her laptop, as the case is).

Anyway, to recap. I’ve had a hectic week at work. And to top it, there are social commitments over the weekend as well! Why O why do people have to want to see me? Or to invite me to any important occasions in their life? Or wish to break bread or sip coffee with me?

Maybe I should indeed consider the reclusive life up in the Himalayas. Maybe I could paint or start a tiny patisserie on that pretty Mall Road in Mussoorie (actually, no – I can’t bake pots. Or bake anything else, for that matter).

I know! I could always teach English to kids in a monastery or write a book or something. Maybe I will, sometime soon.

Meanwhile, don’t get me wrong – I love having friends. As a close friend put it, “There are so many men whose minds I would like to mate with!” In my case, this extends to minds both male & female. I love the process of collaboratively creating pointless stories, endlessly debating issues of national and international importance (such as, the ‘love’ story of Napoleon & Josephine), and so on. Only thing, it should all be on good ole’ gtalk. Guess I do really belong to the nerdy, boring, wired generation.

Here’s the thing though. I love to spend time with almost all these people once I actually get there. Before that, however, it just seems like a chore to me (no, make that a Chore). The showering, the getting-dressed, the planning-what-to-wear…everything!

My ideal weekend will be one spent in a mountain range full of easy peaks to scale, which allows me plenty of solitude and greenery. There’s only one caveat: I should be magically transported to said place with no planning, packing or effort required at my end. Such things don’t really happen, do they? *Sigh* More’s the pity!

So, things being as they are, this weekend finds me gearing up to attend a friend-cum-colleague’s wedding all the way in Powai. Before that, there’s the mandatory salon visit lined up. And of course The Draping Of The Sari. Which is one process so utterly beyond me that I always need mommy to help me out. But tonight, that’s gonna be problematic too – she’s got a work meeting to attend and is likely to leave me high and dry (or alone and frustrated with 6 yards of shimmery, slippery and spinning-out-of-control fabric!) Sob!

To make it worse, N has declined an invitation to be my escort for the evening (yes, again! After years of wooing me, is he now playing hard-to-get or what?!).

Anyway, so let’s see now. I have no inclination to visit the salon on such a HOT afternoon, no one to dress me & no one to drive me in style to the venue and back! No wonder my mind is working out ways to avoid the whole thing altogether. Fall sick? Be honest, tell the truth, and back out gracefully? Tell the boss I won’t be there coz there’s no way I’m coming back alone so late? (A liberated, independent woman like me!) As always, I’m lost.

But somewhere deep within, I know I am gonna go today. Else, every time we’re out taking a post-lunch walk and she talks about her Big Day, I will feel about as big as my ‘Reasons for not making it’ are, today. Ah well, not such a good idea being a nice person, is it?

So that’s decided then. I am going. Somehow. Just called the salon lady to come over to my place instead. At least that’s one Chore off my mind.

But this is just Saturday! Tomorrow I have a brunch plan with S as well as a lunch date with D. There goes all my eagerly-awaited weekend 😦 

So, did I tell you A called? She tied the knot less than a month ago and is now back from her honeymoon in Italy. The hour-long phone call culminated in the setting-up of a lunch date. Well, that takes care of next Saturday then…

Update: Didn’t go. Nope, just did not.

The cat who loved hide-and-seek

Did I tell you I love cats? I love cats. And most other animals who don’t get a ‘She’s-the-next-meal’ grin when they see me.

Anyway, so I love cats. And they love me back too! (Haha, I wish! What I mean to say is, they have often come seeking refuge at my door. With cats, you can never claim they love you – unless, of course, you’re my mom).

Recently – in September 2008 – I lost my most recent and, perhaps, best-loved cat ever. His first name was Kittypaws and he seemed to know how effeminate it sounded coz he never answered to it. But then, he didn’t give any inkling of his gender identity until fairly late in the day (more on this some other time). As a compromise, he answered to the name of ‘Picky’ or ‘Picku’ – if you could do a decent imitation of my mother’s voice, that is. If not, he would still know he was being summoned – his ears would cock and relax in a ‘I-heard-ya’ fashion – but no way was he coming back to you.

Well, so Picky had arrived as a newly-rescued, teeny weeny kitten late one November night, shivering all over and refusing to sit anywhere but in people’s laps where he could lap up your body warmth. He hated driving – sorry, riding – in the car and would meow loudly (actually, it wasn’t loud to begin with. He would start with a soft meow and build it up to a crescendo if you kept ignoring it). Here’s a picture of him riding at the back of the car, thoroughly pissed off and refusing to say cheese for the camera. And there’s another one of him grabbing a nap in his favorite spot next to the window, with sunlight streaming right in at him.

The best thing about Picky, apart from his superfine well-groomed fur, was his intelligence. And I don’t say this as an attached pet owner; I say this as one MENSA member acknowledging the same traits in another (haha, MENSA indeed…but you get what I mean!). I kid you not, but he invented games and used tools. I mean, you and I know all about hide-and-seek but a kitten coming up with it on his own? Well, that’s how smart he was. Hell, he even used his claws as hooks, reeling in fish swimming in a gigantic bowl in the kitchen sink. Of course the fish were dead but if you got the faucet running and churned the water a little, no cat would be able to tell the difference. Given how much cats hate water, Picky’s fishing expeditions were a serious achievement, right up there with the cat that used toilet paper to wipe it’s a** (No, that didn’t really happen. See? I told you – no cat as intelligent as this one!)

Well, so the point is, we lost him. Most of all, my mum, who had come to be regarded as his mum (by him as well as by all the under-seven kids in the building). One windy evening, he sauntered into the garden for a ramble and was pounced upon by a large stray dog instead. No one saw it happen – except a lady who saw it from her balcony high up in another part of the building.

When I do think of it (all the time), I picture him sniffing a wildflower among the grass. He doesn’t know what’s creeping up behind him and I prefer not to visualize it either. The next moment, there he is, lying bleeding on the grass, thinking frantically about seeing his mother (mine too) for the last time ever. Of course it didn’t happen; she never saw him again.

But every time I pass the garden, I see him stuck high up in a tree, not sure whether to ascend further or descend with a thud. When I see his favorite car in its parking slot – one which he’d always sat on the roof of, but never rode – I softly call out to him, using my best imitate-thy-mother voice. And though I believe in rebirth and the moving-on of souls, I will still always picture him there, looking smugly down at the big scary dogs from his perch on top of the huge red car. Now that, he loved.

Population woes? Sterilize them all!

OK, so this is my first-ever blog post & I do admit I’m kinda late hopping on to the blog bandwagon (hey, I am a full-time writer, for god’s sake!)

Anyway, my logic all this while had been: I-get-paid-for-writing-so-why-make-it-a-freebie-giveaway-and-kill-the-exclusivity?

That was, until very recently. Until this very morning, if you really have to be so factual about it. But lately I’ve realized that most of my work is now done for the www & the Net being what it is, it leaves little scope for rambling or even for fully expressing those many budding thoughts in my head. It’s more like a takeaway counter than a restaurant in that sense, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, so coming back to it. Being my first post, this was supposed to be all light & waffley but then I thought better of it. Coz there’s something that’s been on my mind for a while now so maybe we’ll just keep the fun stuff for later & get right down to it this time.

Well, so what’s on my mind is: This country is wayyy too crowded for anyone’s good. I’ve been thinking of what can be done about it – apart from, of course, to not have kids of my own. (More on that in the next coupla posts).

China might have turned infanticide into a national success, but those who know India will know that that sort of drastic solution will never work here. For one thing, we are a Democracy…and democracies never openly kill people, do they?

Well then, why not cut the problem out at the grassroots? First, zero down on the section of populace most likely to be unable to afford a proper upbringing for their kids. To me, that means at least those people living BPL – people who have no control over their future on a day-to-day basis, forget being able to provide their offspring with proper food, care or education. Now – and this may sound drastic but just hear me out here – sterilize the whole lot of them. That’s right – simply take away their right to procreation, to perpetuate their misery down the generations.

Now, whenever I suggest this as a possible solution to India’s population woes, people give me that strange look, the one that says: “Now I know what Hitler’s thought patterns were like.” So yes, I know how harsh this sounds but do consider the facts for a moment. Most people below Poverty Line cannot put a full meal on their table; often, they cannot put a roof over their heads. What’s more, they cannot even grasp at threads of dignity (defecating in the open is about the surest way to ensure that at least!).

So what are we talking about here? These are a people with no right to life (no food, zero life), to liberty (working 7 days a week under grueling conditions? Or working not at all? Haha!), to education (government school or no school, same difference), or to dignity (we’ve already been over this part).

What I’m saying is, when there are so many rights that they cannot avail, why not take away their right to procreation as well? At least this will ensure that the cycle does not continue, that there are no naked sun-burnt infants wailing on our roads & railway stations who will one day grow up to be either beggars, thieves or poor daily wage labourers living in as pitiable a condition as their unfortunate parents before them.

Agree with this? No? Well, I’m open to valid arguments for/ against this contention. So do post your comments below. I will try & reply to each of them!      

That’s it from me for now. Look forward to the next one already! Ciaoish!