Do I have to suffer till I get an answer to why I suffer?

I was listening to an audible (an audio book for the modern lingo uninitiated) with an edible – my favourite pastime – which said life by another name is suffering. You are alive – which means blood flows through your veins still and coagulates as required, but you don’t live – which means enjoy life – which means? Well, if you sit under a tree or on the commode, you might be enlightened.

I have tried both, but I’m still on that discovery of purpose journey – enjoying life means serving rather than having a purpose, right? Giving back vs Survival! Which means? I can sit for longer periods to ponder over this paradox! It’s the only time I am free from suffering. Because I am thinking. But, on the other hand because I think, I suffer!

The rest of the time, like they say on an edible oil container – cholesterol free – its time to freely suffer free! That’s what the Audible said, and I was worried that till I agree, I might suffer with doubt, so I agreed immediately. Now I’m left trying to convince you – that that’s what life is all about. Alignment! Imagine my suffering if we are non-aligned. Imagine Biden’s and Zelensky’s suffering because India is Non-Aligned to Putin!

The Audible went on to tell me about suffering – What it is etc. Apparently, it has nothing much to do with the ring (unless it is too tight around the finger), though many think it so! It is universal but has nothing to do with Universal Suffrage! and yet, the very word, rings alarm bells in your ears especially as you grow older and become a walking medicine cabinet or work out harder to avoid being one!

Audible says we are always in some kind of pain or the other. That’s where the suffering comes from. From the time we are born; that’s why the first thing we do is cry or are made to cry! – till we die. It never stops. Physical, Mental, Emotional, Socio-economic, which possibly is the most important of all, or all four combined. NOTA is not an option. If we don’t have any, we manufacture it. It’s what keeps us alive – the worry, the doubt, the competition, the interaction, the hope, the aspiration – we suffer all of that and we say aloud we are enjoying life! So that others think we are better off than them. Its relative and very much dependent on what the relatives think!

Check out our selfie’s, it’s a cover up made for a Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism if ever there was one. It’s how we live. Complicated? no simple actually – trying to understand is part of the suffering. And you think that once you understand, you will find your purpose, and will be suffering free; Oh yes. That’s free. Once enlightened, you cannot go back to being unsure. It’s different then you have to suffer the expectations of others and yourself! Understanding life is a lifelong exercise, which keeps you fit until death. The Kung Fu in the head never ceases!

So, the Audible said, the way to live – when you are alive – is to enjoy your suffering and be productive. Means? Even if you have had a stroke – not a positive one ala Eric Berne, but the other one, the one that strokes you to sleep with a violent lullaby and then wakes you up in la la land,  or if you have lost a loved one and are full of pain, or if you already in La La land sitting on your own personal volume of Coleman’s abnormal psychology, you must still ensure you make yourself useful to yourself and others. Its expected of you. That will ease your suffering and those of others which is even more important. Audible told me how to do that too. You smile, make others smile, like I try to do without much success – Imagine the suffering involved! and live life till you are alive. But first ensure you are alive and stay that way until you are very dead – Very important. Only if you are alive, can you live life!

My edible is almost over, but I hang on as Audible gives me the example of two linesmen powering up an entire city with their work on the electricity transmission lines – One who was in a severe accident that required him to undergo multiple surgeries that left him largely damaged and another who had an early onset of Parkinson’s working in tandem! Both don’t use the word suffered to describe their condition. They just had what they had. They didn’t suffer it. They don’t suffer it. Not even when they there is black-out! The French say “C’est la vie!” — which means “That’s life!” I would say that’s being a-live!

As the audible ended, so did my suffering! For the time being. I understood how I was suffering, but not why! I knew what to do about it, but not how. A tear came to my eye. I grabbed a tissue, wiped it off before it left a stain, lest anyone should see it. Sometimes I let another see it, so they may offer me a tissue to ease the suffering. We do that to ease our own, don’t we? We feel good as soon as we grab the tissue and hand it over. That’s how we wipe our hands of the issue. With a tissue. The tissue had come to my rescue. But the head Kung Fu continued! And I contemplated a new problem, and so must you as you read this – that’s what living a life is all about – a series of problems you solve with a smile, or you re-solve with a cry!

From where did the tissue come and whither will it go? Did it suffer to hide my suffering? Or was it built soft and tender on the back of someone else’s suffering. Another tear escaped my eye. But the tissue box was empty. It will take until next week to find another one. So more about that next week.

Till then keep buffering. Now-a-days, buffering is one of the main causes of suffering! Because it interrupts our life’s stream! Like when you suddenly from a feel-good dream?


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Photo by Carolina Heza on Unsplash

Your toothpaste tube knows you by your squeeze!

From Menthol in Cigarettes to Mint in Toothpaste, over the years, we have discovered and enjoyed new ways of being cool in myriad ways. Its another matter, that you used the toothpaste at odd times of the day to root out of the canal (without the pain) the smell of burnt nicotine from your mouth, when you were young and doing it surreptitiously, or a little older and going out on a date or to match a proposal – you wouldn’t want to light a match to it would you? Once you are married, I guess it does not matter, or does it? That, only the harried can say!

The Cigarette maybe of no consequence, but the toothpaste tube is. It’s your best friend. It knows how you feel from the way you handle it! it can make or break your marriage as it did in the case of a couple in Malaysia. Not the tube itself, but how you handle it. But that can be said of each other too in a marriage – can it not?

One liked to squeeze it from bottom up and the other from the middle. The husband was a bottoms up guy – precise, mindful of waste, if not of his waist, – and the wife was an at my convenience sort of gal – any which way was convenient – which generally meant the middle. So, there were pressing matters that they needed to deal with early morning and late night before they went about their daily lives. And they needed urgently to put the lid back on. But occasionally they forgot that essential and the paste spilled over!

Unfortunately, still they stuck to using only one toothpaste tube when they could have used two – they used two toothbrushes didn’t they? but it seemed that they weren’t that keen on staying married.

If the shape of a toothpaste tube can make or break your marriage, imagine what your own shape can do! What do you do stay in shape is left to you – but which part of your body you start with, may be the key to your marriage! Remember Ed Sheeran’s “The Shape of you! Not sure if he had the TP tube in mind when he wrote the lyrics.

But I can understand and do honestly commiserate with the couple; have you seen a modern toothpaste tube, the plastic one, the single use plastic one, squeezed from the middle? Its shape is so twisted, that it is difficult to imagine its majesty when it is first unboxed. And can you imagine its feelings? Having its life squeezed out of it right from its middle, knowing it can never get it back, no matter how much it tried; Sounds familiar? must be the same as when the government squeezes us. How do we feel? The same? Then we must be the middle class unmindful of waste, always in a hurry to get things done – by hook or by crook – more often the latter, at our convenience.

Sadly, no one unboxes a toothpaste on YouTube (you’ve got to have white shiny teeth); but when you rant, please use the h in toothpaste, without that you may be hauled up and in by the NCB! I know you are still decoding that, but that’s ok, because it means you are cautious in your approach!

This is not actually true if you squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle. It only indicates that you are scared of being abandoned like the toothpaste at the bottom of the tube; so much so, you want to hold on to the meatiest part of the tube and squeeze it hard, like you would your loved one! But your fear of abandonment, also means that you are practical and don’t like to waste time feeling abandoned – why start at the bottom, when you can get the best outcome in the shortest possible time by applying pressure in the middle? Besides, you can do it with one hand – that is the key to the whole exercise, frugality be damned. Fastest finger first! Practical, Logical and the best way forward, but not for the tube or your significant other! For the Government it’s the best possible. Starting from the bottom may yield nothing for some time, and the top is sacred. Once pressed, it could press back! So, the middle; they just muddle through and sometimes drown in their own puddle!

If you are a bottom squeezer this is for you: “Bottom squeezers are obsessive-compulsive, thrifty and don’t like waste. They want to get the most out of all aspects of life” – Here it’s a reference to the toothpaste tube, mind you, though the truth can stretch in any direction – that is the beauty of the truth, but not truthfulness.

If you start at the bottom, the results will be slow to emerge, lots of pressure has to be applied, you know how it is when you put pressure on the bottom – but you ensure there will be no waste. Just perfect for a perfect world. But we live in an imperfect world. So how will you fit in? You won’t, and you don’t want to. So, the divorce; but bottom squeezers are the ones who get rich – the question is whether you make your money before the divorce or after! Because you detest wasting anything. You need everything to be tidy and organized. You are someone the Government can count on to obey its dictums!

And when you are selfish, you squeeze from the top. Sometimes when its urgent too, or you can’t see in the dark. Some may spill and that doesn’t really bother you because you’ve got what you want. Eventually you will have to go lower and lower, until you find that you’ve reached rock bottom, from where the only way is up. If you can trust yourself to get up.

So, is the middle best? Or is anywhere better. Anywhere is generally the middle – So you could be practical, logical, and creative all at once. It’s the only place you can wrap your hand around. It’s not the way the toothpaste expected to be expelled or expected its body to be handled, but it’s better than being curled up from the bottom or pressed against a table’s edge and rubbed with the back of a knife, isn’t it? That would mean a stab in back. And that’s not acceptable. But it happens. Remember was invented five thousand years ago by the Egyptians. May be by Mummy given the ingredients – Toothpaste, powder actually, Crushed rock salt, Mint, Iris Flowers, Pepper stored in a bottle actually, then in a tube from 1892 onwards – a metal tube that would leak at the sides when you rolled it like a cigarette to get the last vestiges of the paste out of it and then in the last century – 1975 –  single use plastic tubes that now are the cause of divorce.  And the intelligent are now working on reusable Toothpaste tubes – Tubes mind you, not the toothpaste.

Interestingly also, today we are back to the same ingredients! We have toothpaste full of salt and mint, and cloves and cinnamon that you can use in your curries. Everything changes and yet nothing does! All this Gyan came to me at the start of my morning ritual of brushing my teeth when I found the time to find that my toothpaste tube was no longer a tube; I must be creative; don’t you think?

I’m sure all this will make you mindful of the feelings of the toothpaste tube, and hopefully those of your spouse until next week. After that, it wont matter, because I’ll give you something else to think about!


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Image by Alexas

The Ambassador of the future – A bulldozer?

I bulldozed my way through last week, hoping to rest this week. But laurels are Hardy to come by when it comes to humour, and even more so when it comes to subtle humour. One that you have to search for to find if your sense of humour has decayed over the last 8 years.

I often humour myself with the thought that I can make people laugh, or least render a ghostly smile. You know what that is – visible only to those who see ghosts. It’s different from a ghastly smile which you might get when you watch some TV channels.

Sometimes I myself, find it difficult to comprehend my written humour, because I read it from the POV of the unfunny, and find myself tempering it to suit this serious audience that I also cater to. You know how caterers have to balance the Tamarind and Salt to suit the whole, and not just the few at a wedding feast? But, if you have got this far into my weekly column, then you are not one of them, unless curiosity got the better of the cat – which it does sometimes, and when it does, it doesn’t kill it, only others. Sometimes I have to subtly tickle my funny bone, so that I can tickle yours!

But, if one can’t find the energy to smile, even a ghastly one, it may require a Chintan Shivir to discover it. And there was one last week. Not sure if you joined it to re-discover your sense of humour or at least read about it to amuse yourself and give you hope for the future. For hope against hope is what the contemplation camp was all about!

It offered the hope that the Ambassador Car once a symbol of Power and Prestige – only bureaucrats, politicians, and rich businessmen could afford one; the first two categories at the collective expense of those who could not afford to buy one individually, and the latter, also at the expense of those who bought their substandard cartelized products because there were few others – could reinvent itself and present itself in a new avatar in this 21st century for the benefit of the people of course.

Interestingly, if you were old enough, you would know the utility of an Ambassador Car; it could pack upto 10 inside and another 3 in the boot of all shapes, sizes and persuasions  – I’ve been there, done that;  it truly promoted integration rather than division which can’t be matched by any of today’s fancy cars with their 60 40 seating and air-conditioning; no doubt they are wired, move with stealth, quickly and look, oh so good! So much so, you love taking selfies with them. Repair costs were low, parts were swappable and available, and so were experienced mechanics. Now-a-days it is use and throw, though majorly the parts are still swappable for the right price.

It was for some time the national car – a true Ambassador of power and wealth; there was no other except a cute little fiat Padmini, flat bottomed, unlike the Ambassador and one had to bribe to get it on a last come first serve basis! Nothing has changed in that respect. Everything else has, except the shape of the wheel!

But before I digress further, back to the question, can you reinvent a wheel? how many other shapes a wheel can take, besides round? The logical answer is nil. You could try making it airless, tubeless, etc. It still rolls down a hill very quickly but never up a hill unless pushed with a stick – like we used to in the good ol’ days – or an engine! You can add a spoke to make it turn faster, remove a spoke to even out its roll, or put a spoke in the wheel to break its speed – that is quite common. Either way you still need a good spokesman – that’s a sign of the times.

There were 400 people at the Shivir I understand, and there was a lot of food for thought. literally; as they tried to figure out how the Ambassador Car can be revived, not, if it can be revived; and how – may be change the front grille a bit, increase the girth and circumference of the tyres, lower the ground clearance, so it is closer to the ground, and put an Android and IOS social media information system inside. An important innovation.

But the driver has to be same old guy. Only he knows how to shift the gears; because the engine and the transmission, the two most important parts of a vehicle have had to remain the same – there is no modern alternative available to the original manufacturers that will suit the shape and size of the Ambassador.

Can’t import it from outside, can’t modify it from inside. Even a mild hybrid engine, expected in the new Brezza from Suzuki is difficult, because the whole tooling system will have to be overhauled, and they can’t afford to do that, presumably because sales have been poor over the years, due to the intense competition and a poor product – in comparison. Doing a Bajaj needs thinking beyond the wheel, or more so thinking at the wheel and as I said before, a good spokesman!

What they could not contemplate at the contemplation camp, because it was beyond their contemplation, was that while there was no reinventing the wheel, the symbols of power have changed – from a vehicle without wheels –  the horse with a sword in hand – to one with wheels and one with bigger wheels; the Ambassador with a  red light on top, to a bull dozer, more often than not, a JCB without a red light on top! It does not need one. It’s got the same wheels, only bigger, stronger arms, and a fearless driver!  It has become the Ambassador of power, replacing even the sword! Though that still gets brandished about, in advance of the arrival of the JCB.

But like the horse, the sword, and the Ambassador, it is a symbol. A symbol of power that everyone is scrambling to appropriate which led me to do some research on symbolism. Carl Gustav Jung,  a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst wrote a book called the Man and His Symbols. Jung distinguishes between Signs and SymbolsSigns merely denote the objects to which they are attached; trademarks and names of patent medicines are good examples of them.

Symbols, however, are much more complex, vague, and unknown; they are terms, names, or pictures (of a JCB perhaps) which, even though sometimes familiar from daily life, possess “specific connotations in addition to its conventional and obvious meaning.”  Dreams communicate with us in terms of symbols.

Jung proposed that the collective unconscious is a layer of our unconscious mind we come into this world containing, that connects each one of to the history of thoughts and behaviours of all of mankind. The idea crystallised for Jung after a dream that the was in a house, with the first floor well decorated and organised (conscious personality), then the ground floor more medieval and darker (personal unconscious), and finally a basement with signs of primitive culture and with ancient skulls in it (collective unconscious). But today it is ancient culture with modern skulls!

Incidentally, while the bulldozer is an American invention, understandably, the JCB, the most common form found in India, is an English Machine. The JCB was founded by Joseph Cyril Bamford (JCB) in October 1945 in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England.  The British Prime Minister even hopped on to one during his recent visit to India – Another symbol of our collective unconscious?

So, has General Dwyer mutated like the Corona Virus? maybe he will never go away as the East India Company returns with a free trade agreement that harks back to an era 300 years ago! Then it was compulsory, now it will be voluntary! And, why not, when our collective unconscious is giving us, symbols buried deep in our past to explore via our dreams for the future?

In the days to come, keep your hand on the wheel, and dream about the future, a future where the sum of the past is greater than the discoveries of the present or the promise of a future free of the past, where what’s under is more important than what’s above! That’s why we ask the question – Under-stand?

Until next week, stay amused.


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Image by richbclark

Mother’s Day has come and gone and mum’s still the word!

On Mother’s Day, the day before yesterday, MUM was the word! On Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp – the app for the Digitally challenged – it was the Word of the Day! It was trending and in some cases heart rending, and heart bending. But not heart mending!

For #metoo! I know a lot about her because she is, sorry, she was me mum, but mum’s the word! And I’ll tell you why! I can tell the world about her, but they will not understand; what I felt about her, how I felt about what she did for me, and I can tell her too – but I didn’t and she’s not around. Not anymore. I yearn to change that, but I can’t say it aloud – so mum’s the word. In more ways than one! As you will see! Stay mum and read on!

It’s but a word, but it conjures up everything a magician can bring out of his hat. And it’s best not to be mum about it. But I am. I am MUM struck! Just as I was, when I did something wrong but rightly so – in my opinion! I would say, “but Mum, it didn’t strike me, to look at it that way,” and then she would strike me, so
I could look at it that way!

Was Mum dumb to have me? Sometimes I thought so! But she never thought so! I presume! She didn’t tell me that I was her first choice – but then neither did I; till she died! She endured the pain of my birth and would have endured / enjoyed the yield from my girth, because it was my prosperity she betted on – there was no IPL in those days – and promoted always.

Nursing and nurture came naturally to her till she was consigned to nature. She stood by me always, though in my teenage years, at a distance; but she was there at every instance – she was my Constance, my conscience, eager to forgive, to support, to build rapport and sometimes, rarely, report me too, and I didn’t even say thank you, except at her funeral service. By then it was too late and there was no 5G in heaven, though Huawei tried. Till then Mum was the word!

“Mum, where is this; Mum, where is that. Mum, why are you asking me; Mum, I don’t know, don’t irritate me; Mum, what’s for breakfast; Mum its paining; Mum, can you bring me a coffee? I’m falling asleep! Mum, I’m getting Married!” And when I had mumps, all I could say was MUM, because she was what I had!

Mum was the word when it came to asking her how she felt or a simple how was your day? can I help you with anything? Or just saying thank you for being there; mum was indeed the word! And now that she’s gone. Mum is a word I can no longer use, so mum’s the word.

Mum’s the word, when you feel pain, when you feel there is no gain, when you see the world differently from others. Not square; not round, but slightly elliptical? When glum’s more like it. What do you say? What can you say? Mum’s the word any which way!

Mum’s the word when you read the newspapers. It has to be. Dumb can be the word but saying it would be dumb. So, mum’s the word – but you don’t say it. You stay it. The headlines come in doses fit to snooze, snare, and even bamboozle a bull. And sometimes so much is Bull!! That’s why. Is this where the word Bulldoze came from? Or did it come from an actual Bulldozer – the machine invented by James Cummings and J. Earl McLeod in Morrowville, Kansas in 1923 that made construction easy because it could ensure destruction preceded it! It’s always on the front / Home page these days in the form of Joseph Cyril Bamford (JCB) branded machine! He’s an English man by the way and we Indians just love his machines for what they can do for us! Destroy our colonial baggage!

Or did it come from when Mum ransacked my cupboard for clues to my behaviour and all you could do was say MUM! That sounded seditious and there is a law against it – Section 124A in The Indian Penal Codeor stay mum!

Let me quote it for a better understanding in context! I don’t want to bulldoze or even put you in a doze!

Sedition.—Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, 102 [***] the Government estab­lished by law in 103 [India], [***] shall be punished with 104 [im­prisonment for life], to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine. Explanation 1.—The expression “disaffection” includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity. Explanation 2.—Comments expressing disapprobation of the meas­ures of the Government with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means, without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt, or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section. Explanation 3.—Comments expressing disapprobation of the admin­istrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt, or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.”

And MUM was the government! She handled the reins of power; she made the rules, no matter what Dad said. The other option was to stay mum. I often chose the latter so as not to be seditious. I couldn’t be disaffected, when all she did, was for me, my prosperity, out of affection! Even if she used the bulldozer to show it! See how I’ve prospered because she used it?

So, mum’s the word my friend. And I’ll stay that way until next week

But let me leave you with some food for thought so that you can stay mum too!

The ‘mum’ in the expression ‘mum’s the word’ is derived from the humming sound a closed mouth makes, indicating an inability or unwillingness to speak. The word ‘mum’ was first used by William Langland in his 1376 work Piers Plowman, and the expression itself became popular in the 16th century. You’ll find it in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2: “Seal up your lips and give no words but mum.”

Or MUM! If she’s still around!


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Image by Tiểu Bảo Trương

On this Mother’s day, say “thank you mum”

When was the last time you said Thank You to your mother?  Can’t remember? Possible. Because for most, if not all of us, the thought never crossed our mind. Also perhaps, it was not necessary. After all do you say thank you for something that you have come to expect as a right on your part and a duty on someone else’s?

My own mother died 28 years ago, and I recall I delivered a tearful thank you during her eulogy, one I still remember. Yet I still can’t remember saying a thank you directly to her, while she was alive. In my time, it was just not done and I regret it to this day.

Some of us are lucky that our mothers are alive, for we still have that opportunity. The rest, it’s an opportunity that has passed us by. Unfortunate, because our mothers deserve all our thanks, said simply, with sincerity and with a hug that says a thousand words. There’s an opportunity to do it tomorrow – on International Mother’s Day – celebrated in most countries on the second Sunday in May, and its best that it be made use of, if we do not want to let it pass us by.

Mothers are the ones, we are born to, the one on whom we first lay our eyes, the one to whom we run, in times of pain, shame, hurt, and injury, but sadly, very rarely in times of happiness or joy – that we take elsewhere – we celebrate with friends and perhaps our own nuclear families.

They don’t complain though, because there is no one to take their hurt to – for by that time their mothers would have been long gone, also perhaps without a take home thank you. That’s the way the world works, and will continue to work. But we can break that cycle and its time we did.

Mothers, bear the brunt of their children from womb to tomb, with sagacity, determination and courage against many many odds, especially in a country like ours, where family, public support and facilities are limited, despite the theoretical worship of the “Mother” figure. Their work at home is demeaned, they have very little social standing as don’t have any official “title” and earn nothing for their 24 x7 work to create citizens that our Bharat Mata can be proud of.

Indeed as the lure of foreign lands increase among Indian youth, perhaps because of the inadequacies, inconsistencies and inequities of our own land, many of our mothers, as they age have no companionship, no support system and are, if they are lucky, confined to a geriatric facility, which is no comparison to the ones in the western countries from where the concept originated.  We ape the west every which way, but this perhaps takes the cake.

Then there is the ubiquitous Mother in law, the mother everyone loves to hate, and the subject matter of many a serial, from “Everybody loves Raymond” to “Saas bhi kabhi Bahu thi”. She too is a mother, and like any mother, she is perhaps a little biased towards her own children, in comparison to those who “become” her children by marriage. That is nature. All mothers believe their children are the best, though often they belie their hopes and expectations. But as a mother, her love is always unconditional and evident.

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers” said Rudyard Kipling, and both history and science tells us he was right. Once that truth was realized it called for a celebration, but it was not until the late 18th century that it began to be celebrated as a public event mainly due to the efforts of two American women Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis,

Subsequently, a Mother’s Day International Association was founded in 1912 to promote the holiday in other countries. Mother’s Day has grown increasingly popular since then and rightly so.

Now, we need not wait till tomorrow dawns to say thank you. Not with cards, not on WhatsApp or Facebook messages, but in person with a gentle hug. No flowers. It will mean a lot to her.

My mother’s favorite refrain was – don’t put off till tomorrow, what you can do today – for tomorrow never comes. As it dawns, it will become today. Like the tide, it waits for no man. If you don’t say it today, you may never ever, and you will forever live with regret, like me, and I certainly don’t wish that for any of you.

The heat is on, on the street, in your head, on every beat!

“The heat is on, on the street, inside your head, on every beat, And the beat’s so loud, deep inside; The pressure’s high, just to stay alive, ‘Cause the heat is on!” This is an extract from the lyrics of the song “the heat is on” from the “Beverly Hills Cop” Soundtrack. I quote it because it is spot on when it comes to our lives today!

The heat is on, every which way – whether, wonder, and wither – wealth, wisdom, war, work, weather, wiretapping, and wrath! Maybe the weather does bring out the wacko in some of us before we can whack it! Like a full moon, and that’s where the danger lies! Look in the mirror and check for signs – or read the newspapers…

They call it a heat wave, but there’s nothing wavy about it. Its relentless. It does not flow and ebb like the waves of the sea. It just flows; like at a rave? If you are in the coastal areas, then “SET WET” hair gel is redundant. If you are in the interior, where you have never seen the sea, then, “SET WET” hair gel must be abundant.

If unavailable, shave your head and fry an egg – if you can afford to buy one, forget the dozen you used to buy! With the prices of LPG, now entering the same weather zone that we are in, and commercial LPG crossing Rs: 2K, its best you do that if you need the protein, and in this weather, maybe you do!

Normally it’s the film stars and the models that are referred to as hot! That’s what we are used to! Now everyone has a chance. Equality is here! Because everyone’s feeling hot, everyone’s feeling the heat! There’s no need to worry about donning the wet look, or the open shirt look. All you need to do is tighten your belt, but that the government is doing for you; both the wet look and open shirt look are natural in this weather. Just take a selfie, share it on Instagram and you will be a Hot Star – Disney + Hotstar. That can get you started in life!

So, the heat is not all bad. Of course, you might get a fatal heat stroke if you are not careful. But that is perhaps a positive, when the heat is on, on the street, inside your head, and the pressure builds with every heartbeat! All you need is a positive stroke!

But there are different strokes for different folks even when the heat is on, equally, like it was with the Corona Virus. Some have their own air conditioners like they did hospital beds; some have the Taxpayer’s air conditioners. And they use them, while they can, when they can. It’s cool to do that. It’s also very cooling. Little do they realize, or maybe they realize a lot, and just don’t care, that they are stepping up the heat…outside…and for future generations. How can you expect anything different, when the Climate Change Strategy Conference itself is held in air-conditioned halls in a cold country?

Interestingly though, the powerful seem to have kept the cooling effect on climate change in mind; so good of them! Happiness is when wisdom does prevail or is forced to prevail! The powerful have not been able to provide power to power the air-conditioners of the powerful! Making them and RK Laxman’s Common Man absolutely powerless! Some use generators, when power, and the powerful fail them, but fueling them is another challenge altogether. Let’s not get into that, because that will fuel another article in its entirety, and mind you, it will be incremental. This line is just eighty paise’s worth!

Some though, have nothing but the shade of a tree, not even a roof over their head to keep them from losing their cool. They scramble for a living selling lime juice to quench the thirst of fellow travelers. But the cost of limes has peaked at over Rs: 250 a kilo. So, no roof, no livelihood, but they are alive. They live, because they have to and because they have something to aspire to in their unequal world! They used to follow that old phantom saying – when Life throws lemons at you, make lemonade. They want to, but now they can’t; All they can do, is sit in the shade, and hope they won’t fade. Limes though, are the new target of thieves. They actually carry them on their getaway vehicles for good luck after stealing them!

So, some have air-conditioners, some hair conditioners, some both, and some are in no condition to have either. The universe is unequal; it is the order of the Universe that we humans have perfected into an art form! We like it that way. Inequality is the key to power. How can you exercise power if you don’t have anyone to exercise it on? The heat is on, always on, on those that cannot combat it!  A prime example is the seating arrangement at the PM’s independence Day address in the Capital of all places!

To quote the Borgen project, “India is the second most unequal country in the world, with 55 percent of income going to the top 10 percent of its population. According to the Homeless World Cup, there were about 1.8 million homeless individuals living in India as of 2019.” The Article goes on to say, “Despite the alarming numbers, the country is making progress to combat homelessness and poverty in India. Each day, forty-four people come out of poverty through the work of government initiatives.” They come out of poverty – but where do they go? They go up; In an unequal world, forty-four others take their place, hoping and trying by hook or by crook for a change of circumstances and when they are stuck in the rut longer than they had planned for, like a stuck record they sing the song, Count your blessings! Melodiously of course!

So, we are trying, the government is trying, but inequality will never go away, because we, and governments,’ need to perpetuate it, to enjoy its benefits. Those on the bottom end of the ladder too would not like it vanish, else what incentive is there for them to climb the ladder? And so often, we substitute equality with equity. It soothes our conscience. You have an aspiration; you are given an EQUAL opportunity. Whether you use it or waste it, it’s your call. Sometimes if it’s a recruitment fraud, someone else takes the call! Like the IPL, you prepare well, but lose out in the last over! That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

There was talk of uniform earlier, and what it entailed. Committees were formed to prescribe it, verbattle for it in court, and court arrest for it. Now that’s all well, that ends in the well, an ity has been added. Uniformity. Uniformity is the new battle cry. This is direct contrast to the law of inequality prescribed by the universe, and proscribed, albeit, through lip syncing by humans.

Uniformity in everything – Civil code, Education, Election, Employment, Evangelism, emotion even, but not in money. A uniform civil code aims to make a fish fly, a bird swim, and an elected representative stand in a queue! These are noble aims that are being aimed at. Only hope that nobody lands up in AIIMS, in pursuance of this objective.

In contrast, how nice it would perhaps be, if by law, we all had the same amount of money – both in terms of liquid and solid assets – in our pockets? Uniform Wallet Code I would call it and it will make all other calls for uniformity redundant, because money is the mother of all inequality! Let’s give it a try, if we truly want equality and not just equity that goes beyond the stock market!

Given man’s natural will to survive, not live, it may not be too much to expect you to be careful not to go out in the hot sun. Do so only if you must, to sustain your livelihood, your life, and perhaps, if you are called upon by the powerful to be a part of a procession, or to pelt stones, or maybe attend a political rally!  Heat is an element that is necessary to forge metals of caliber such as steel. But are we people of steel, who can withstand the heat? Or will we all melt like Cadbury’s silk? Well, the heat is on, let’s find out!

If you are down to reading the last paragraph of this article, then perhaps you might have found a cool place to read it. It’s a cool article too; also, a cool me down article. Necessary, when the heat is on!

Cool it Man!


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Image by Gerd Altmann & Isabela Isa