We’re watching the third ODI between India and West Indies when my grandfather comes up with this gem of a question: “I’ve heard that the Caribbean is a wonderful place to be, clean and disease-free. Why then are those people there still black?” I love my grandfather, but sometimes, he makes me relish the mortality of humankind.

*

It must be interesting to be Parthiv Patel. Imagine being given a chance to play for the national side on the occasion that Captain Cool needs a rest or is injured, and then imagine NOT being able to stake his claim by way of a good batting performance. A hardcore cricketing fan must be enjoying the idea of a strong reserve such as India has, but as Parthiv Patel, it must be painful to watch MS Dhoni come in to play, score a duck, somehow negotiate a victory from the bottom of Tartarus, and still be retained indefinitely for the main XI.

*

Here’s a piece from the June 11, 2011, issue of the Deccan Chronicle, Chennai edition.

“DMK has its roots in the self-respect movement; but now it seems that it has lost all its self-respect in the UPA.”

This statement by a reporter, at the media interaction after the party’s high-level committee meet, described in a nutshell party president M. Karunanidhi’s poor predicament at that moment: a rout in elections, daughter in jail and a belligerent rival in the chief minister’s chair ordering a probe into projects initiated under his rule.

And when cornered in such situations, the DMK patriarch invariably resorted to what always seemed to him as the easiest escape route: Brahmin-bashing.

Did the spectrum scam cause the DMK defeat in the polls, asked a scribe. Pat came the reply: “It’s not spectrum that defeated the DMK in the elections; it’s due to attempts by some Brahmins.”

Good one, Mr. K, good one.

*

I’ve always wondered what some scholars were getting at who deconstructed works of art and literature and wrote whole books on their interpretations. Inner contradictions and conflicts ruled the roost, some said, while others waxed on about postmodernism – which I still don’t get fully – and its manifestations. More often than not, I’m only led to believe people are trying to make money because the constructive content is very, very little. Or am I missing something? Prove me wrong, anyone!

*

How viable is peace as a long-term goal of diplomacy? While wars are socially harmful and economically abrasive, peace is, insensitively speaking, boring. In the absence of conflict and strife, the purpose of progress becomes substantive and, eventually, lost. Then again, it is hard to explain such an emotion when surrounded by at least two wars at all points of time. Seeking to explore the possibility of a perma-peace situation betokens a moment’s thought on why really there is production, consumption, trade and contract and if their purpose is altered if isolated from their participation in progress.

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