Four Stray Thoughts : November 3, 2009

Here are my Four Stray Thoughts for the day:

1.How much do they need to loot?: The latest report today on former CM, Madhu Koda shows how greedy our politicians have become. Reports indicate that he has probably got himself about 2,000 crore. And these are trails that the investigative agencies have been able to trace. No one knows how much more he has stashed away in other places. This brings me to a couple of points. One of them is how much money do our politicians need? I am using the word politician and not a human, since the two in our country are different things and second, a human does not need this amount of money to live. The other point is about how much our politicians are worth (whether black or white money is not the point here). If an independent MLA, who became a CM can manage financial scams of this kind, I wonder how much net worth the seasoned politicos in our country who have been around for 30-40 years have stashed away. Probably 10,000 crore and upwards might be a conservative estimate. In any case, I am confused what Mr. Madhu Koda was after in his pursuit of such huge amount of money? Or was he even aware what he was after. This reminds me of a quote from Thoreau, ” Many go fishing all their lives, without knowing it is not the fish they are after”.

2. Monorail – Here I come? : There does not pass a single day, when Mumbaikars are fed the latest transport project that will change their lives forever. There is some project or the other being discussed in the newspaper that will bring joy to our daily travel and transport Mumbai in another league altogether. Equally hilarious are estimates given for completion of the project. The estimates are sometimes like 20-30 years away. Which in other words means that the project will never see the light of the day. Today’s transport project is the monorail project, the first phase of which, they plan to complete by December 2010. What??? In the next year they will finish it. Ofcourse they were joking. If you see the fine print in the article itself, it says that the project will get complete only if the government speeds up right of way clearances. We now know that the departments will be falling all over each other to prevent issuances of the right of way and thereby making a good buck and introducing delay. In fact, several genious’ within the department will also advise the construction company to go slow, so that they can then claim that the costs have gone up and hence charge extra. Sigh! People are making a living by making sure that the commuters are a harassed lot. Only if you are harassed, will they project it as a requirement. If it is a requirement, then a proposal is made, tenders are invited, etc… and so the show goes on.

3. The Agassi soap opera: Andre Agassi has once again managed to hog the headlines recently. In a nicely marketed campaign schemed by the publishers of his forthcoming book, the public has been fed with one shocking piece of news every 2-3 days. It seems he wore a wig, took drugs, etc. Nice try but it is not really working. Several reasons for that. The first being that no matter what your opinion might be, Agassi was not a great player. Yes, he won a few titles but there was no consistency in his career except for a couple of years. Whether he wore a wig or did not, no one cares. We were interested in his tennis and not his hairdo or lack of it. And speaking of drugs, he did not dominate the game as much as to even suspect that he took some performance enhancing stuff. What is most pitiable in all this saga is that he has made a complete fool of himself and brought tons of embarassment to his wife/kids,  just for the sake of selling millions of copies. They used to call him a showman on court. It seems like he is trying to do that now off the court.

4. Long live the Bears: We all know that Jammu and Kashmir is a troubled state. Extremists have made it a difficult place not only for its residents, but even the army and its non-residents like us, who cannot visit it easily. In short, it is a frustrating feeling and speaking as a patriotic Indian, I wish we could all go there and do something because we are really tired of these extremists. It seems like we humans are not the only ones who are tired of them. Even the Animal Kingdom is tired of them. No, I am not speaking about the Taliban (they are worse and animals are noble indeed). A couple of wild bears got so fed up of the terrorists hiding in the caves and irritating them with their presence, that they took matters in their own hands. They mauled to death two terrorists. Read it here. I think even they could not tolerate them anymore. These extremists are anyways not educated. They failed to understand what a bear is and that is truly reflected in the following statement “The truth about bears is their unpredictability”. Maybe that is how India too needs to learn from these bears and be unpredictable but decisive in its dealings with rogue elements across the border.



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