Archive for March, 2009

Is Davies’ Leisure relevant today?

“What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows……”

 

By William Henry Davies

 

Remember these lines? It was just a piece of lovely poem to me, but now its meaning and its worth are getting more and more clear to me as I watch this tension-ridden world. People are always in a hurry or tensed up most of the time, even if they are watching cricket, soccer or other sports and games. If only they spare sometime everyday to watch this sunset, the evening sky and the riot of colors, they would feel relieved and less tempted to take to the street at the drop of a hat. It was not for nothing that the almighty gifted these wonderful colors along with other wonders. The supreme-being is in fact expecting great things from human beings, and to enable them to discover all the wonders of this universe He has to keep them in good humor. So Ladies and Gentlemen, come out of your narrow world and be a part of these wonders so as to make your lives more meaningful.

 

If winter comes ……….

We hear a lot about global warming these days. The serious people are of the opinion that no stones should be left unturned to lessen the effects of global warming. The first step was to identify the reasons for the soaring temperature. Holes in the ozone layer caused by an overdose of smoke emitted into the sky from thousands of factories all around the world, deforestation and so on are the real culprits.

 

Common man is ignorant of and indifferent to these developments. So naturally those concerned have been stressing the need for awareness campaign all over the world, even as remedial measures are being initiated.

 

Anyway, we are at liberty to imagine that awareness campaigns are taking place all over the world, including several villages in India, and how people would have reacted to such campaigns. People in general would’ve expressed their fear and anxiety, but the reaction of the inquisitive children or poetic youngsters would be different. For example, an inquisitive boy would’ve heated the globe hoping that climate change would occur immediately and a student with a literary bent of mind would’ve uttered, “ ‘if winter comes can spring be far behind’ ought to be replaced with ‘if winter comes God knows what follows’ ”.

Shh….Election commissioner is watching!!

While the fear of a hung parliament in India after the 15th general elections and the consequent confusions loom large, people are already confused.  As the drama unfolds, our attention is diverted from the main show to comic interludes of friends becoming foes and the reverse of this phenomenon. An average voter takes a decision to vote for a particular party but he is in for a surprise the next day when that party becomes a part of another front. Apart from this, what irritates a voter is that he is kept in the dark about what is in store for him if these parties capture the power, because most of the time these leaders are either accusing or making fun of the opponents.

 

But we can’t blame them, for they have to be very cautious of their utterances for fear of the violation of the model code of conduct. So, my advice to them is to simply repeat “vote for my party, vote for my party” and proceed to the next venue.

In Search of Greener Pastures

Except on rainy days, I go out for a walk in the evenings, all alone. I avoid busy and noisy streets and as I move along roads that are not frequented by human beings and well protected by a battalion of plants and trees on either side, I listen to birds which are at times noisy and restive, flying from one tree to the other apparently in protest against something. I was under the impression that the birds are just capable of making some sounds which are music to our ears. But no, I have learnt their language. They are in fact discussing serious matters and mainly on human encroachments. When trees and plants are cut down by human beings to build houses, now that there is a construction boom, the birds have to leave their places in search of greener pastures, which are very rare these days and over crowded. So they seem to say “cant help, we want a shelter. The human beings are destroying our shelters mercilessly and systematically…”

No English, No Service!

The other day, a Sri Lankan born postal worker in UK hit the headlines when it was brought to light that he refused to serve customers who did not speak English (though he was hailed by many, there were wide-spread protests too against his attitude and he was sacked). His stand was that he was born and raised in a different country and his language was different but he “obeyed the British way of life” and expected the same from other immigrants as well.

 

He would have served his employer better had he put in some extra effort to learn a couple of other languages to help those customers who did not speak English.

US Approach to Indo-Pakistan Relationship

 

It seems the US has only a superficial knowledge about India and Pakistan or rather, their approach to various issues which affect their mutual relationship. It is a well known fact that the root cause of all problems is the fundamentalists and their militant organizations, which are not in favor of a smooth relationship between the two countries. Be it Mumbai attacks or the perennial Kashmir problem, these forces play a vital role. But Pakistan makes it appear that the presence of Indian army in the border is the cause for tension.

 

The US readily accepts the Pakistan version as it is and advises India to deescalate on the border to ease tension and to enable Pakistan to divert its army to meet the challenges caused by terrorists. As far as Kashmir is concerned it is an integral part of India and the problem comes only when the militants from across the border are allowed to infiltrate into Kashmir. The US has to understand these minute problems before they advise India.

The Menace of Multi-party System in India

The 15th general election in India is round the corner and the electronic and print media have a hectic time covering the pre-poll developments, mainly seat adjustments, infightings, switching sides etc. Apart from the well-known UPA front and the NDA front led by two national parties, there is a third front (they prefer the term third alternative), which asserts that it has a bright chance to form the government. It may be a wishful thinking, but what appears to be certain is a hung parliament and utter confusion. The basic reason for this unhealthy situation is the rapid growth of smaller parties based on castes or linguistic and regional fanaticism.