Showing posts from February, 2010

Self Service

In the good old days, there was selfless service. And there was no self service. Now, we have only selfish (commercial) service- sorry, Gandhiji. And we have a lot of self service. If we have to do anything at all, we need to be an expert on computers, or something else.

I will illustrate. In the good old days, if we needed to play, we just went out. At the most, you needed a ball of any size, or some makeshift stuff like a gilli danda, or some stones or marbles or a top (the wooden, spinning variety). Now, if you are a self-respecting kid who wants to play a game, you need a Sony Playstation, with games that mimic a James Bond movie- by implication, you are saving the world, so it's no longer just a game.

Self service was invented by a genius, and perfected by McDonald's. But all online stuff is also the work of a genius. Want to transfer money? Do it yourself, after remembering half a dozen passwords. Want to get married? Run around and do everything yourself-parents are no…


There was a fierce and brief hailstorm in Nagpur last evening. I was reminded of one at IIM Lucknow campus a few years ago. A storm reminds you that you are otherwise going steady, and may be lets you appreciate it-stability, I mean. The story of Sindbad the sailor that we heard in childhood reminds us that some of us get restless with predictable lives. Sindbad actually sought out adventure, though he often faced life-threatening situations on his many voyages.

So should we go around looking for storms? I don't think it's necessary, as we are naturally going to face some anyhow. Life is full of ups and downs, and interesting precisely due to the ups and downs. According to some spiritual guys, "swarg" or heaven would be incredibly boring. I agree with them after comparing life in India to that in the US where I lived a few years. Everything in the US works- or used to- while everything here is unpredictable. Of course, the shootings in US colleges are taking some of …

Marathi Manoos

I am confused. I was born in Andhra to Maharashtrian parents from Belgaum and Jalgaon, and have lived in Orissa, Delhi, Lucknow, Calicut, Bangalore and Harihar apart from Hyderabad. I speak Telugu, understand Kannada, speak Marathi at home, understand and read some literary stuff in the mother tongue, and have hardly worked or lived in Maharashtra- though I am in Nagpur now but that is neither here nor there (Vidarbha or not?). My confusion is- am I a Marathi manoos or not? At the rate at which the definition of one keeps changing, I may never know.

Am I an Indian? Probably, as I have lived in India a majority of my 50 years, but at various points of time, I feel affinity towards America (where I have friends, relatives etc like every other Indian), or European nations for their contributions to society, or African nations because they are where we were a few hundred years ago, with the potential to be a lot different, and so on.

But the confusion is ever present. Who am I?