Four Stray Thoughts : November 2, 2009

Here are my Four Stray Thoughts for the day:

1. Modes of Transport: Most of us living in Mumbai share a love and hate relationship with it. The city clearly challenges all its citizens with problems daily. All of these problems are actually man made problems that we have ourselves created and there is nothing to blame the city for. Traveling from one part of the city to another is fast becoming a nightmare. In fact, depending on where you want to go, you might even have to plan it out well in advance. If you travel depending on your whims and fancies, then you are likely to get stuck up in a nasty traffic jam and miss out on the expected time on arrival. Take my example. I travel by car to my parents place in South Mumbai and when I need to get out of the city. I never drive the car for any other purpose because it will take me more time and give me loads of tension. Plus, there is no parking space available in case you are planning to park it somewhere on the road. I travel to and from work, on a 2 wheeler. I think a 2 wheeler is best suited for our city. It is dangerous at times but it saves you loads of time and I would not trade it for the so called comfort and status of a car. Within my residential area, I walk or use my bicycle to get stuff done. So in short, all modes of transport are used. And I would not be surprised if a lot of you folks in Mumbai do that too. Luckily, I do not have to take the local train but still you cannot beat it for getting you from point A to point B. In spite of all this, the average Mumbaikar still rises above and continues his life. I am not sure if there is a choice either. Like an advertisement once said “Mumbai mein rehna hai, toh yeh sab sehenna hi padega!”

2. Maharashtra Government Musical Chairs: It will soon be two weeks since the results have been declared for the Maharashtra assembly elections and there is no sign of the government, portfolio allocation, etc. Was it a fractured verdict? Hell, No. In fact it was a clear verdict given to the Congress-NCP combine for another 5 years. What more could anyone want? But alas, it is still no sufficient for our shameless bunch of politicians. Everyone is so greedy, that they want a lion’s share in everything starting from the Chief Ministership, to allocation of portfolios, to flat allocations facing the sea, etc. I think Gandhi had rightly said that India has enough for everyone, but it does not have enough to satisfy everyone’s greed. This is a classical example of everything being given on a platter and they can chew it away slowly for the next 5 years, but they wish to eat it all in one big mouthful. The Congress party looks like the only party at this point that can consolidate itself at the national level. I think it should simply bite the bullet and go it alone in all future elections. A man is known by the company he keeps. The Congress should realize what company it is in at this point. With company like this, who needs enemies!

3. The land of Holidays: Japan is known as the land of the rising sun. Norway, land of the midnight sun. Switzerland is known for its Alps. What is India known as? I am not sure but if there is something we can rightly attempt to claim a title to, it should be the “Land of the Holidays”. Just look at what is going on in the last 2 months, especially October. There were 7 dry days, almost a week of Diwali holidays, several long weekends, etc. We are anyways not known for productivity and to cap it all, we have all these holidays. Since we claim from the top of the mountain that we are secular nation, we end up with Holidays for almost every group we have in the country. And does anyone care about what the holidays are for? Ofcourse not, as long as there is a holiday. Holidays provide a triple whammy to all the workings in this country and this is why: A few days before the holidays, we end up working slowly, during the holidays we do no work and then after the holidays, we need a break to recover from the holidays.

4. It pays to be a priest: A report in the Times of India stated that priests who perform weddings are being showered with expensive gifts. There are reports they along with cash, there are times when they get Air Conditioners, Gold gifts, Televisions, etc. It is said that at times they are getting 51,000 Rs. to perform a wedding. I am not sure if anyone understands what they chant out there but then does it matter to either the priests or the people invoking his services. I am sure the priests must be overworked during the marriage season and might be running out of gift ideas for their house. Priesthood, atleast in some religions is fast becoming the least preferred career path for the youngsters, but with the kind of perks available now, it might be attractive to a lot of people. And to top it all, you could get a gift even for not being on time to perform the wedding. It seems that one of the parties gave a motorcycle as a gift to the priest because he was late in coming to perform the wedding. As a result of that, the opportune moment was lost but instead of getting angry on the priest, they gave him a motorcycle as a gift, so that he is not late in the future for other weddings. One more reason to become a priest : Even if you make a mistake, you still get rewarded!

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