Commons questions that are intriguing in their scope!

Boris is still at No.10, drowning street. He has had a good run in several times with so many, including the police, who, after they fined him, for parties he held that they were not invited to, thought, and said, he was fine. Others did too. 60% of them. But he has had to refine that opinion and redefine his future away from the “best job in the world”, as he put it. A google search does not provide that answer though. He took Britain away from the EU and now he has had to take himself away from Britain. Who know if that old maxim is true? What goes around comes around?

But as an ordinary citizen he has a distinct advantage. He can have more people-to-people friendship with India, Indians, and more so British citizens with Indian DNA in the UK; friendships he has nurtured well during his tenure, and one of whom may even replace him in the “best job in the world”. Finally, the East India Company has an opportunity to return to home base! It can even revive itself with the Free trade Agreement – One that we had for 200 years prior to 1947 and one we may yet have in the future, this time, after protecting our interests, if not our interest in, and on Fixed Deposits! That should remind you that Income Tax returns are due to be filed. I don’t know why they call it returns, because rarely anything gets returned!

Anyway, though Boris is a name of Russian – Slavic origin, he was vocal in his opposition to Russia and in his support for Ukraine in the ongoing war, and they will lament losing a friend as will India. Boris was a good friend of India; he even climbed onto  a British Made Bulldozer in India during his visit just to experience perhaps, how it helped democracy survive and grow in a vast diverse country!  He was aiding the friendship, making every effort at making it abiding, unaware perhaps, that the British hymn, was dropped from India’s annual Republic Day celebrations, as part of what the government said is an “ongoing process of decolonising India”. 

Boris is only the latest in the long line of strong democrats to vacate office, or to have been vacated therefrom, from Netanyahu to Trump and Rajapaksa! Strong Democrats? Is that an oxymoron like Exact Estimate? or something more exact than that estimate?

We have always been told that democracy needs strong leaders to succeed. Strong leaders of their parties! (pun intended!) For they are the ones who make democracy come alive, when they demo – nstrate craci – ness! with their individuality and decisive actions. Otherwise, democracy is just like another boring game of bingo – that crazy number game where, when you have 15 boxes ticked or pricked, you’ve won what they call, the full house and the biggest prize on offer!

Howzzat, is a commons question that our neighbours are trying to figure out, each in their own way. Just as we are. In one of them, the President is no longer president, and by all accounts, not even resident! and the benefits of office are now being spread among the commons. It’s truly now the house of Commons! It will soon be uncommon again. Indeed, the true quality of a democracy is determined by its scale of inequality! 

But democracies are truly concerned about their citizens; we must give them that. If they are not, how will their proponents get voted in again? Of course, they could amend the constitution for that purpose, but that is a last resort! They may take the current generation for granted, because they are focussed on the health of the next generation! So now, Single Use Plastic has been banned and Paper is in vogue, like the Vogue Cover. All to ensure that we leave the planet (for mars or the moon, and very soon on a SpaceX flight reported on Twitter) in a reasonable shape for the next generation. We have to unlearn our habits of the last two decades before we learn new ones. Time to Skill Up! Is the ban truly the last straw, and the last supper?  For some, maybe, for others, it is the first straw in the pack!

Speaking of generations, because of the quality of our generators or the decline in the quality of Chinese ones, India is set to become the World’s Most Populous Country; it is set to surpass China by 2023, according to a United Nations Report even as the World Population reaches 8 billion in November this year! The Pandemic may have had something to do with this – there is no data analysis as yet – but democracies need populations to survive! And America, or at least its ageless supreme court, has just told its people, that adding, or subtracting life, is a personal choice!  That is democracy at its best, in which some sentiments are hurt, and some are glorified! And some have no sentiments at all!

All this we read in the newspapers, that are set to make a roaring comeback, beginning July 1, 2022! their circulation is set to increase, not because they have updated their design – from big headline and small story to small headline and big story – but because the newspaper is absolutely required for packing now. The twine industry too is set to grow and tie us in knots. Well, that’s what it is meant for isn’t it? Have you tried unravelling a knot tied by a shop keeper with twine? Before you are done, you would have used a rhyming word, more than once! Twine’s twin!

Now please don’t ask me what that is; go figure it out yourself! because someone somewhere, might experience hurt sentiments. Hurt sentiments can be triggered by anything or anyone including the parental denial of an Apple… not the fruit, but the phone! The fruit too, but that was long ago in the Garden of Eden, and we all know what that led to! So enough of that!

The dictionary view of the word sentiment is that it is  either a view or an opinion that is held or expressed or an exaggerated and self-indulgent feeling of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia. Exaggerated and Self Indulgent – like enjoying ice cream in hot weather! A truly melting moment! If it melts quicker than we envisaged, we get incensed – even if doesn’t make sense –  at the weather, at the ice cream maker, at everyone and everything, but ourselves! And they too have their own melting moments! It’s a meltdown in the making.

Maybe we are too sentient for our own good? Is that where the sentiment comes from? Maybe our IQ exceeds our EQ? “It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head — it is the unique intersection of both,” says David Caruso. Maybe we miss the intersection because of the potholes near it? Quite common on our intersecting roads!

John Mayer and Peter Salovey are of the opinion that “The emotionally intelligent person is skilled in four areas: identifying emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and regulating emotions”; there is a clear case for inclusion in the skill up program!

When sentiments are hurt, there is no visible external injury, that’s what makes it hard to discern and address, which again, if not done, might cause visible external injury to others, which hurts more sentiments; as this vicious cycle pedals away at an even faster pace, one becomes sentimental for the old days of peace and quiet. Whew, I’m feeling sentimental already just writing about it!

One way of handling this pain, currently, is to plant FIR trees, even though they are not suitable for our tropical climes, and given that paper is now our go to packaging, maybe it’s the best solution for our times? Will have to check out the Times on my grocery! You too may be able to check it out.

I’ll leave you to it, until next week, your sentiments notwithstanding! But with one parting thought: a paper package in these wet times, reminds me of dipping a Parle biscuit in tea. A joy not forgotten. Try it. Then parle!


This Article is written in the lighter vein with tongue-in-cheek. 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 or just a mirage!

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

When less is more and more is too much; more or less! 

This week less will be more!

The more you study…The more you know. The more you know, the more you forget, the more you forget, the less you know; So why study? The answer my friends is simple – the quest for more. There is even a Bollywood film by the name – Dil Maange More.

I always wanted to have more of everything. I remember the time when my mum used to bring potato chips from the CITI Bakery (they were the best then) and keep in the snack box at home. In that by-gone era, I was a voracious reader of thriller fiction. Often, that would occupy my time and with the best accompaniment that one could have in those days – A bag of Potato chips from the best bakery that was. I would grab the bag of chips and multitask, read, and munch, and when it was over – I would scrape the bag for more – You can’t eat just one? Well, I no longer wonder if that maxim is true.

When More begets More!

We are all made like that. We all want more of everything. Well, not everything, just the pleasurable bits – when our senses our tickled. Sometimes they are tricked, like when you wear a Dior Perfume, or a corset! But that is not the rule!

Natural I guess; we are born to avoid pain and grab whatever is pleasurable and forbidden – by God, nature, or fellow human beings. When it is forbidden, the pleasure is that much greater is it not? Is that why cheating, fraud, Robbery, is much more of a thrill than the routine and politically correct way of the world for the same outcomes?

Remember the story of Adam and Eve? Adam and Eve were allowed to roam free in the garden of Eden, in their birthday suits – though neither birthdays nor suits were in vogue – but forbidden to eat a fruit of the garden that is today Rs: 200 plus a kilo – the apple. The story goes, that Eve was tempted to eat one – and that’s not an easy feat – and then found a new kind of pleasure, which no human being has been able to resist since then or wanted less of.

It’s a universally acknowledged law of nature that the less you have of something pleasurable, the more you want. Strangely, when its pleasurable, more begets the desire for more – money, love, the other pleasures of the world and even something as abstract as peace of mind. A good example is money. It completely explains this paradox, the more you have, the more you want, but even the less you have the more you want.

There are other simple examples Like Tobacco, whisky, and hair – There is one exception that I see among generation Y! – It’s clothes – where less is more.  But I guess, there is a corollary – the naked eye only enjoys the sight of a half-naked body!  

When even less is too much!

None of us want anything that is painful – injections, fractures, sickness, emotional hurt, poverty, aggression, bullying, rejection or hate. I always wanted less of these. In fact, I wanted none or the barest feasible minimum. With anything that hurts our senses, even less is too much. Like when you have a tooth ache. Its unbearable for two reasons – you are deprived of gastronomic pleasure, and its an unbearable assault on your pain threshold. You really thrash about to hold it in. Then the Dentist tells you, you must do a root canal. Capisce? More pain is coming. But its ok. Because more can mean less. After. And I could return to my gastronomic pleasures. So, for the sake of Pleasure, is more pain acceptable?  Everything is relative. More or less! And a few are close relatives!

More of Life!

The rule of more to applies to life itself. When you have cancer, or a terminal illness that you are aware of, and you know your life is nearing the end, or when you are about to drown, your desire to live is the strongest, and you always want more of it, no matter how hard it is.  The strange paradox is suicide; when people consumed by their own distress can’t take more of life. Some paradoxes cannot be explained at all. Life wants to give you more, but you will have none of it!

So, is better? Or is less good? You may have heard the expression – there is no gain without pain. Everything you desire more of, has a benefit and a consequence. So, while the hope of reaping the pleasurable benefits of your desire may be temporarily paramount, the fear of the consequences of your indulgence will always act as a restraining force – unless you ignore it. These two opposite forces automatically create equilibrium, a balance, between more and less.

A friend and I had been to Manipal recently for a meeting. Fellowship followed the meeting at a cute little restaurant, many of which dot the Manipal landscape. Other friends too were present and some of us were amazed at the order he placed – grilled vegetarian sandwiches with double cheese, a plate of French fries with a liberal sprinkling of salt, an ice cream milk shake. The rest of us were more restrained in our orders, and after we explained our restrained ordering behavior, and the long-term hazards of such a rich order, he rationalized – I only indulge on the weekend – The hope of a benefit weighed more than the fear of a consequence! And he achieved his own weighted (pun intended) balance.

We now even have a supermarket called More. Once you go in, you come out with more… more than you originally envisaged buying! Try it. This is not an advertisement for their wares, but a human experiment!

Take a big bag along. A big one! Plastic Carry Bags have been banned, because there was more of them.

If you have enjoyed reading this and want more, you will have to wait until next week!


This Article is written in the lighter vein with tongue-in-cheek. 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 or just a mirage!