January 16, 2010

Work in Progress


It’s a little crazy that every New Year’s we hope for things to change. I was at a cigarette kiosk the other day picking up a pack of smokes for my father. The guy behind the counter knew me since my cigarette smoking days so I ended up indulging in a conversation.


I asked the guy if things were good. He shrugged. Continuing to go along his routine he smiled and said that it’s just the 9th of the first month of the New Year. I was allowed to think during the brief period of silence that ensued. Unable to comprehend what the hell did the 9th of January signify I gave up. He decided to end the torture and told me that people make resolutions of giving up smoking every year but by the third week of January things get back to normal.


I realized that the done deal of trying and changing…make a serious effort and even if you failed you can be happy that you tried will never leave us. Last year I thought that getting a chance to reset some thing to factory settings is a nice way of telling one’s self that things will return to innocence. But hoping to turn a new leaf every time a new year commences is perhaps only more normal than things getting back to routine, however good or bad.


If last year thing time it were the Satyam Rajus who were forced to get off the tiger that they weren’t meant to ride, this year it’s the Prime Minister who is doing strange things with your money. For those who are not in the loop the grand daddy of Bengal Jyoti Basu is fighting the battle of his life. No it’s Mamta Banerjee who is at it again; Mr. Basu’s health is deteriorating with each word that I type. The Prime Minister not only flew down to Kolkata to ‘call on’ the Big Kahuna of the Indian Communists using the tax payer’s money, he took the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee along. The PM spent 20 minutes in the hospital and left only when the doctors treating the 95 year old patriarch of Indian politics (sic) assured him that they would act upon the PM’s offer to fly in experts from other parts of the nation to treat Mr. Basu, if the need be. The PM also wished for Mr. Basu’s speedy recovery when he was speaking to the ex-CM’s son.


Is this a joke?


At the cost of coming across as someone who is unmoved by human hardships didn’t the PM having some more pressing matters of the state to attend to instead of flying to Kolkata? Mr. Basu is 95 years old and as far as things go people are bound to face health problems at that age unless you are Dev Anand. I’m sure the PM would have loved to chat up with Mr. Basu and learn a thing or two about politics but Mr. Basu was in coma when the PM dropped in.


I was so surprised by this visit of the PM that it took me some days to get over it. I thought about it for hours and tried to figure out why the PM would do such a thing? I think that the PM, a man of excellent scientific reasoning, loves the idea of time travel. For anyone who has visited Kolkata in the recent past or eons ago loves that the city is stuck in the 1980’s while the politicians of the state called it Kolkata’s ‘character’! The state is in shambles, the industry there is dying, the future of their films depends on Rituporno Ghosh but that still doesn’t make the powers be in Bengal to do some thing for the common man. I am sure that many official decisions would have to wait till ahem…you know what I mean…for people are busy.



PS: I just got to know that play list for the Indian Air Force One include the latest hits of KL Saigal and Kishore Kuamr’s Koi Lauta De Mujhe Mere Beete Hue Din. My feeble attempt at translation- Oh how I wish someone got back my glory days…


PPS: If anyone of you is offended by the post and would lovingly sign any letter of apology as soon as you get the same from the 8 people who left a comment on the article mentioned above.


Image Courtesy: www.wondermark.com


11 Responses to “Work in Progress”

  • Knowing Manmohan (and his man-mohini), i doubt he was really sending a message to the left or the nation per se. I would assume he probably looked up to the veteran politician, and wanted to pay his "respects"...
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