Here are my Four Stray Thoughts for the day:
1. The Festival of Noise is over (not really): It has become a habit for us to sneak out of Mumbai for the week of Diwali. Several folks are confused since Diwali is a festival of lights and crackers, and what better way than to celebrate it as boisterously as possible. Sadly speaking we do not subscribe to that view and prefer a quieter neighborhood that knows how to behave itself. And since Mumbai and its residents throw all laws out of the window during the week of Diwali, it is better to leave the city and descend into quieter villages rather than spoil your health by cursing people, who are stone headed in their desire to make noise. Even a week after Diwali has passed by, the lanterns and lights are still out on people’s balconies, thereby eating up precious amount of electricity. In a state where electricity generation has all but stopped and countless people go without it, it is a shame that people still waste electricity in the name of a festival. God said “Let there be light”. Sadly, the Mumbai residents are taking it to seriously.
2. Rail Travel: Since the last two years, we have been traveling to our vacation destination by train. We travel comfortably by 2-Tier AC and the experience has been positive so far. There are so many other things that one can experience through a rail journey that is sadly missing when you fly. Some of them include a more closer bonding with the people traveling with you and your co-passengers, the vendors coming in (very less and more organized as compared to maybe the general class), the passing landscapes, the ever persistent question of which station has arrived (especially if your journey is long and you do not know the station names), etc. Sadly, flying removes all these experiences and tries to justify the same by creating an illusion of saving time ofcourse at the cost of money. And boy does it hurt your pocket! Conservative estimates that we have carried out has shown us that we have actually spent less on the whole vacation than what it would have cost us to simply fly to our vacation spot. Of course, in our society it would have helped me earn a few points with our folks if I told them that I fly to my destination and do not prefer going by cattle class (rail travel) but then keeping up with appearances is not of interest to me. Rail Travel in the last two years has proved to me that it beats air travel in all respects including food, experience, timing and money!
3. The Frog is a lucky animal: The Maharashtra election results are out and the Congress-NCP combine has managed a simple majority. The party that has made most inroads in metropolitan Mumbai is Raj Thackeray’s MNS. A few weeks earlier I had remarked how our politicians were calling each other by names of certain animals. It almost resembled an Animal Kingdom and it looked like a modern day version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Raj Thackeray was called a frog by our Chief Minister. It most fairy tales too, we have often come across a frog who gets kissed by a princess and turns into a handsome prince and then everyone lives happily after. In this case, the Chief Minister did refer to Raj as a frog and cursed him instead of kissing him (Thankfully for us and Raj). But in any case, the frog still came out trumps and is almost the prince now. Let us hope that as in every other fairy tale, the people of the Animal Kingdom (i.e. us) will live happily ever after.
4. It all ends with Hindi Film Item Songs: I have noticed a trend that is amusing but irritating. Whether it is a birthday party, a function, a festival being celebrated, an office event, an occasion to remember – they all end in the same way. And that way is “Play loud and catchy Hindi Film Songs to which all people start dancing on the floor”. Just look around and observe. And you will notice the same thing. I have organized a couple of functions and they have descended into the same pattern too (so I am not excusing myself). Another example was of the resort that I went to for vacation last week, they had a small event to celebrate Diwali. They started off with some traditional stuff,etc but in an hour or so, the event transformed itself completely. A local DJ set the floor alive with dance numbers to which all people (young and old) dressed in their traditional clothes started gyrating in moves in wild frenzy (Michael Jackson would be proud of some of their hip movements). This pattern seems to be everywhere. Always end with the Hindi dance item numbers and that gets the crowd going . Do not bother about what the occasion was about. Just blast the item numbers and see how the event comes alive. A Japanese proverb says “We are fools, whether we dance or not. So we might as well dance”. I have no doubt about the proverb now.