February 18, 2007

shopping list

Mark Tully, the celebrated BBC correspondent, wrote a book and titled it, ‘No Full Stops in India’. According to me the country has no full stops but lacks comma, semi colons, colons and everything that would punctuate. There is something about us Indians that makes us want to go on and on. Every city is unique in this characteristic. Like in Mumbai in any gathering you would get one person who’d lay claims to playing a great role in every film that gets made or every TV show that manages to get on air. Similarly there’s always someone who’d know every model, designer, etc. In Delhi it’s the politicians who are on the preferred list. A friend of mine notices the number plate of a car before messing with someone; he has some strange discretion of knowing the kind of person one would be from the number that their vehicle has. So never mess around with someone who drives a fancy car and has a number like 8888!

Last night I was at a gig, my brother was playing with his band. By the way while we are at it the band is called SOAP and has some nice talented people in it. They play with passion and they know their stuff. Though, like everything else in this world, there’s a great deal of improvement that the band could undertake but this is not about them! I love the band and would love it more if I knew what they were playing, am not musically attuned you see. But they sound great and amongst many great tracks have one called, ‘Mahalakshmi Junction’ that is really great!

Anyway I was at the gig, the place was called Haze and that’s what shrouded the truth about the place. I have been there twice and have no clue weather it’s a pub or bar or god knows what. So I was at a table for four with a friend of mine and we had the band’s stuff lying on one of the chairs and one chair was vacant. Then came a group of some beautiful looking people and the waiter took one of our chairs without asking and was eying the other one when we got to know how he managed to have the audacity to do such a thing. You see the beautiful people knew the owner and the owner didn’t give a f##$ if some paying patrons were to be left chair less. Here I was paying for my drink and still I wasn’t half as important for the owner as he had some friends over. Not only that all the waiters were hovering around only that table and didn’t give a damn about anything or for that matter anyone else. In Delhi it really matters if you know someone and if that someone happens to know someone more important then buddy, you can have your cake and eat it too.

We have started believing that in India money and connections can buy you anything. The government and people who want you to invest and believe in this country don’t want you to think like that but that is not the real picture. You have the connections; you got anything that you want- from a gas connection to a election ticket. People kill people here and on the basis of connection and money get away. I think that’s fair after all what is money there for? To buy! So let’s buy everything; you pay for kids to get into good schools then you buy certificates if they turn out to be dumber than you and then you buy them a life. My father does it and I am sure as hell I might end up doing that for my child as well.

Someone thing tells me that if were still a British colony instead of fight for freedom we would have just bought the darn thing. We have the money why not put it to good use! We are one of the fastest growing economies and pretty soon we are going to be a super power (I don’t say that, the CIA did a darn study and no wonder they are pissing in their pants, must be true!) Let’s buy a permanent seat at the UN Security Council and while we are it how long can a country of one billion hearts beat continuously for an Olympic gold- let’s buy the darn medal! Why not buy the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and the land that China has and lemme see do we have some more land disputes!

One school of thought would say that one can only buy if there’s something to sell…oh yeah? Well I did economics in school and trust me I know a thing or two about it- I once sold a cigarette to a friend in the middle of the night for 100 bucks! If people have the green to make the scene there’s no price too high. That L.N. Mittal spent money like water on his daughter’s wedding and got Shah Rukh Khan to shake everyone’s leg. So yes, I think India is shining, smiling and counting…I’m not crying that I don’t have the money to spend frivolously but hey what example are you setting. This is a country of millionaires and everyone would try to out do that Mittal gentleman now. Almost like the time Zee TV had a game show with a prize money of 10 crores to counter the 1 given by KBC!

By now most of you must be thinking poor guy didn’t get his drink on time and see what he made us go through! But think about it. Did you know that one street in Delhi is called, ‘Chaudhary Jhando Singh Marg’ do you even know who the hell this guy is? According to people one of his relatives paid some money and got the name changed. And by the way this street is in the heart of the city!

Go figure!

It is good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good too, to check up once in a while and make sure you haven't lost the things money can't buy.

6 Responses to “shopping list”

  • in a similar fashion...in nyc the mta is planning to sell subway stations to various corporations...it would be interesting to find out if Chaudhary Jhando Singh is paying for the maintenance of "Chaudhary Jhando Singh Marg"...
  • That road is one of those that aren't overtly important but gain importance as it connects two main roads. I don't think anyone maintains roads in India unless the President or Sonia Gandhi frequents them. They only repair it once it becomes impossible for everyone (including humans) to use it!
  • 'We live in a cynical, cynical world'. Look at Mumbai- this city is a great equaliser, no matter who we are - film-star, TV star, designer, politician and his uncle /aunt - we all have to tread the same mutilated road. Even the roads don't get special treatment, no matter who these roads are named after. Anyway, one could write 'the Tale of Two Cities' all over again.
  • nice post. good you changed the background. i could read with out straining the eyes.- mum
  • The sorry state of our cities and things can be credited to the spirit of a happy Mumbaikar and the dil of the Dilliwallah.

    As long as those two places are in place everything else can go take a hike!
  • Thanks mum! Anything to make things easier for you in you old age!
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