Friday, December 22, 2006

Two poems by Badri Raina

To the readers, if any, of this humble blog, many wishes for a Happy New Year.
I am off the airwaves until next year and so I will bid goodbye with these two wonderful
poems by Badri Raina which I read many years ago, and recently obtained hard copies
from my brother-in-law Ajay Ranjan Singh, his colleague. It is very acid and is not
for the faint-hearted, but gives one something to think about. It sums up what reams of
printed pages published in the Frontline and EPW cannot, atleast in my humble opinion.
The new Indian middle class
is full of pelf and prayer;
it ogles at the fop in front,
and quarantines its rear.

The new Indian middle class
is full of potato chip;
it hogs away at restaurant,
but is careful with the tip.

The new Indian middle class
means business every way;
it will have the atom bomb,
whatever you may say.

The new Indian middle class
is cross at population;
it simply cannot undersatnd
why people live in the nation.

The new Indian middle class
is bored by argument;
argumnet so upsets
its vacuous content.

The new Indian middle class
connects with tradition;
it often needs to fly abroad
to propagate that fashion.

The new Indian middle class
is a hippopotamus;
it fattens on protected feed,
and yawns at politics.
Hippopotamus revisited

The new Indian middle class
is into Channel V,
where V stands for vertifo
and viscerality.

The new Indian middle class
drives to disco tune,
It sees nothing upon the road
except its good fortune.

The new Indian middle class
is full of stock and share;
it packs globalised machismo
in Philips underwear.

The new Indian middle class
is Pentium perfect;
Its E-Mail carries latest news
of when and where to eat.

The new Indian middle class
is glued to one-dayer;
it despises Parliament
but is buoyed by Tendulkar.

The new Indian middle class
marries in farm houses,
where poor relations never reach,
and whisky drowns all grouses.

The new Indian middle class
is too busy wot visit;
when parents lie in ICU
Archies Card does it.

The new Indian middle class
uses language like hammer,
it has no use for critical thought,
nuance, complexity, grammar.

The new Indian middle class
will surely take us far,
from hauteur, humbug, heartlessness
to bloody civil war.

Ball-point pen

Over at Nanopolitan my friend Abi had this intersesting post on the space-pen giving links a story in Scientific American. I found a more down-to-earth (so to speak) story on the ball-point pen that appeared recently on BBC quite fascinating. Which always brings to me to the question as to why in the history of our country (atleast the recent history) we have been so short on innovations, small or great?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Captain Mulla

As a kid, I had been in the NCC and had heard the story of
the sinking of the INS Khukri. An officer had told us briefly
about Captian M. N. Mulla who went down with the
ship. I had never heard of him since, and today's Hindu
carried a story on the 35th anniversary of its sinking and
how this hero went down with his ship. Very touching.

I often wonder about how about country treats its armed
forces. Indeed, it is kept in an unpleasant situation of keeping
the union through the AFSP Act., etc., which are all laws
passed by civilian Governments. Yet, so little is really known
about its activities, its heroes, etc.. I have often wondered
why it took the BJP Government (and not so many earlier
ones) to promote Arjan Singh to Marshal of the Air Force.
Comments are welcome on this subject.