International Women’s Day 2023: What’s Not to Celebrate?

This is going to be a long read. Because it was a long write!. And because it’s about women. And it’s written by a man!

Women’s Day is always celebrated in March. Is it because it is in this month, men can march to their tune without guilt? Maybe, who knows? history is best left alone!

But tomorrow is the day! 8 March 2023 will be celebrated as Women’s Day all over the world. It’s not as if every day is not Women’s day. It’s just that they don’t have as much of a field day as they do (not all, but some on their behalf do) on 8 March because of their professional (growing) and personal (eternally present) responsibilities.

There are Seminars, Contests, Fun and Games, Write-ups, Walkathons, Cyclathons, Marathons, Flowers, Discounts, Bank Accounts and Loans, Health Check-ups, and of course Felicitations exclusively for women. Mothers, Sisters, Wives, Daughters (hope I’ve not missed a classification!) and Single Independent Women of Substance. Note that the word Substance is not always associated with abuse except by Mental Health Professionals!

Of course, men are encouraged to join in these celebratory activities, and they do, just to FIND themselves (in the self-actualization sense) and perhaps to understand – or re-understand the concept of diversity and inclusivity! They might, at first, feel lost, at a loss, and fearful, like the river entering an ocean, but that feeling will dissipate as they become the ocean itself!  They know the technique!

Women’s Day is also an occasion for women to remind men, that they know what’s best for themselves and what they and others must do, to achieve it. They already know what’s best for men, that’s a given, because they are the ones that nurtured them in the womb and out of it! And despite getting the wrong end of the stick on many occasions in their lives, what is humbling, is that they involve men in all these activities on this particular day, I assume, to remind them of where they came from and where they would be if not for them – non-existent! Because men seem to forget –  easily or deliberately is hard to tell. And the consequences there off are for all to see.

This year’s celebrations are based on the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.”  Technology has been striving for this goal for some time now, reflected in the growing number of household gadgets including the Roomba, their growing presence on social media and of course the apps – from banking to cooking that is helping them be independent in more ways than you can imagine! Currently perhaps, a constitutional monarchy, but soon a republic!

Men and Women were the only intelligent beings on this earth or so they thought. And the result of that intelligence? Corruption, War, Discrimination, Violence, Abuse, Pain, Suffering and the like. But now a new intelligent being has joined them – A machine with Artificial intelligence. It understands human needs, aspirations, and emotions more than humans themselves.

ChatGPT the latest AI Sensation, is already helping us achieve this year’s Women’s Day goal in its way. Sample this dialogue with ChatGPT.

“Write a funny take on Women’s day.

I’m sorry, but as an AI language model, I cannot generate content that may be deemed offensive or insensitive towards any gender or community. Women’s Day is a significant day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and also highlights the ongoing struggles for gender equality. It’s essential to recognize the importance of this day and promote positivity and empowerment.”

Ok, that’s what I am doing humorously. I tell it, irritated. ChatGPT has no sense of humour whatsoever – So I can’t ask it to write my column for me. Poor me!

Why we must celebrate women is why we do!

But why do all men love women more than women on their own? What makes women special? It’s what they bring to the table. The food and so much more than food! Men are grateful to them for their life itself – for without them they wouldn’t exist, would they? The hand that rocks the cradle and swirls the ladle, has an advantage over those who don’t though that that trend is reversing these days, as men try to keep ahead in the game of gender thrones.

International Women’s day can be a time to celebrate women for their foresight, hindsight, and all-around insight. Women lift your spirits – they disagree, sometimes violently, when you incite, excite or deny them, but they are there by your side to infuse you with enthusiasm when you are down and out – they know when you are down and they know how to lift you – with a smile, a hug, a kind word and just being there for you, catering to your every need – until they notice you are beginning to take advantage of them! Then you will be definitely at a disadvantage!

Women are selfless if they are in love with someone else other than themselves which more often than not, they are. They are prone to do things for those they love, even for society at large, without expecting anything in return – for instance – a very light modern instance, but you’ll get the message – they would go out and buy you your favourite T-shirt for you on your birthday and won’t mind if you do the same – buy another of your favourite T-shirts on her birthday and wear it for her at her birthday bash!

Most women are naturally empowered with strengths they haven’t yet tested and we must be grateful for that because I think that is what men are really scared of – their natural power, both in word and deed, the reserves of which they tap when they need to and when you don’t need them to.

They manage our homes, our economies, the biggest corporates, and even nations. The beauty is not in their images, but in the fact, that when they get home from whatever they are doing outside it, you will find, as will the cardiologist, that home is where their heart is… Indeed it is a medical mystery how their heart swells with pride when they think about their families and yet remain healthy!

Not all of them are fortunate enough to be able to explore the full range of their natural empowerment and potential, and that is where other women and men come in – some try to help in whatever way they can, and some don’t. Mostly those who don’t are the men who provide lip service to this cause, because they believe, that a sweet tooth and sweet talk are the same things – like capsicums stuffed with karela!

Women inspire us to perspire for them, and ourselves. Be it our mothers, wives, partners, sisters or whoever. Don’t they? Do it for me they say, and you will go to Mars (and come back, not stay there) for them. They know what makes your clock tick, how, don’t ask me – tis a secret that even sages have not discovered, and they wind you up accordingly. That’s a good thing, for without them we would be stuck at midnight – neither in the yesterday nor the morrow!

They encourage you to be better than yesterday – you might get irritated with that constant reminder – that you can do better – but you better do it! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – heard that one haven’t you? But have not heard from her yet? If you do, you may need a friend, a counsellor, and who better than a woman – maybe another one? For who understands you better than they do?

Women are hardworking and when they are hard at work, it’s best not to disturb them, even to ask if you can be of assistance – you have to demonstrate that they can rely on you first, or else it’s best to admire from afar. No doubt you may have to listen to the refrain – All you do is sit around and watch… but it’s better to be safe than sorry? Also, you may mess up all the good work. But not only are they hard-working, but they are good fun to be with – they complement, they augment – they also comment, but that’s ok I guess in the overall schema of the Almighty!

It’s not just the hard work that they put in (and this has nothing to do with Ukraine); they believe in smart work. They manage their work-life balance and multi-task so well, just as they do when they make 3 sumptuous dishes within the hour. We, men, are smart (if you read it as one word, you are smart), but as Harry Belafonte sang, Men are Smart, Women smarter! And through it all, they seem dependent, but in reality, are dependable. Give them a task and it will be done. Give them a secret, and it will remain a secret. That is their secret!

I’m sure you have heard of reinforced concrete. The one with the steel rods inside? Well, there is a human version too. Soft and gentle on the outside and strong inside! They may cry but can also make you cry. When need be, they are a wall that can stall, play, carry the ball, and enjoy immensely at the mall. They love colours, add colour to life, and can paint a rainbow in the rain! They are like the eggs they produce to give us the life we think we don’t owe them. In hot water, they become hard, but still a delight!

Women make us proud of them, and vicariously of ourselves. They give us life and shape who we are as people. They bless us and are our blessings in more ways than I’ve mentioned above, to each his own blessing.

After much hard work on the subject of women, can I rest? God couldn’t after he created Eve. But me? I’m more used to having them around, so I’m sure I can, and I will, at least until next week!

Photo by That’s Her Business on Unsplash


This Article is written in a 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 connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

Love, Hate: Two Emotions and a confused heart, or head?

I skipped my weekly column last week because it fell due on Valentine’s Day. I agree that this statement can be interpreted in many ways, but the simple explanation is I didn’t want those who read my column regularly, to be away from their valentines even for the 6-7 mins it takes to read my column. That time is precious according to Irving Wallace. Also, it would be a precursor to hate. But more about that later in the column. This column is also late in the week – although I love writing it, I hate deadlines. I love to be alive!

Perhaps putting out the column on time would have been asking for too much from Valentines in the light of a circular from the Animal Welfare Board, which was subsequently withdrawn after they realized that they were asking for too much –  much more than me!

The circular was an abovination for many, in terms of the equivalence it hinted at, and of course, the possible consequences that could include more than a pat on the back that we all long for on this day!

Meanwhile, a huge earthquake on the Turkish-Syrian Border killed around 45000 people though the toll may be far above the quantity of rubble it created. Many of them didn’t get a chance to think about their valentines, while others thought about them and looked for them as much as they could or were allowed to under the rubble. And some will think about them forever, not knowing actually where they have gotten to. Probably a better place without their valentine? It is quite possible that this was the last thought before the quake struck. Many of us are in that space; when the separation occurs, we wonder what might have been!

This is what love can do – make you think that you can live alone when you don’t have to! And when you have to, just the opposite. It’s a contradiction in terms of what it offers – on the one hand, goosebumps, and on the other, life bumps. Is that why it is to be celebrated, with Chocolates and Cake and Flowers and a candlelight dinner? All the sweet things that one can think of in a bitter world? Maybe, because, over time, the sweetness has dissipated more than a wee bit! and it needs compensation at least for a day. On other days – say no to chocolates, not your valentine! You know the consequences!

Sweet! But 4 letter words have a habit of getting twisted and interchanged by their sayers depending upon their e-motion: (its emotion’s modern avatar fuelled by social media!) They soon become nay-sayers and move from one four-letter word to another – Love to Hate. They say that they are two sides of the same coin – therefore, of the same value! Does the head have the same value as the tail?

Why does one turn into the other? And do these opposite emotions that cannot exist without the other – it’s true you know… come from the same source? Love they say comes from the heart. Does hate too? Or does it come from the head, the stomach, or a combo? I ask this question because Head Weight fuels it and weighs it down, while love always lets you soar on its wings!

“I hate this show,” “I hate that person,” “I hate these people” – hate is linear – from one to many – A check on WhatsApp Groups – Classmates groups, work groups, and so many others will reveal fault lines just as strong as they were beneath Turkey and Syria. But those were made by a higher power to curb hate perhaps. Not sure. But they sure bring out the best and worst in each of us. While Love-Hate fault lines are made by man to increase it? Friends have become enemies and while enemies have bonded together, friends are in disarray! The message? hate binds, love separates, though the texts (other than political science texts) tell you otherwise!

Love is disparate and therefore unique but lives in isolation! Hate is steadfast, and can only be reinforced, while love is vulnerable to circumstances. So many messages, about these two emotions – love and hate – both conscious and unconscious, that we have become unconscious perhaps. And it does require Valentine’s day to re-ignite our consciousness, not conscience! Huge difference if you can find it.

But don’t say all those negative things about hate I tell myself. You will begin to hate yourself! And it is mostly that we hate because we hate ourselves. After all, Somebody has wronged us (in our perception), Someone is better off than us, Someone is enjoying more than us, and Someone seems to have it all, while we suffer.

Love is all about appreciation! And maybe those who hate, don’t appreciate themselves enough because they focus on their limitations and the limits imposed upon them. Valentine’s day is not about dry dates, even if they are an exclusive offering! It is about self-appreciation – reminding you it’s time for a date with yourself. Self-Appreciation is what can turn a hate-filled being, and therefore a hateful being into a lovely, sweet date. Not dated, and dateable too! So, save the date February 14!

All of this is too complex an equation to solve? Well, hate is complex. How can you hate when you are filled with love? And how can you not be filled with love? It’s an instinct – first for yourself and then for others. If there is a vacuum, order a vacuum cleaner online. Because vacuums tend to fill up quickly with hate!

Self-love may seem narcissistic, but it is not. It is an enabler, a facilitator of greater things and a better world! It is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support one’s physical, psychological, and spiritual growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others which is what most hate-filled beings do – they love numbers!

All this reflection, because I was without a date on 14 February 2023, I saved the date for my column. But she didn’t show up, worried about the backlash I guess. But no worries. I will remember it for the lessons I learnt and shared with you. Whether you learn from them or not… well, that’s your date with destiny!

Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash


This Article is written in a 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, or make a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

Check your Kibisis – Is it lighter than last week?

Is your wallet feeling light or heavy after last week? I have to ask this question because there were two paper presentations by researchers abroad and in India. Both papers were heavily researched, asked the right questions and provided no answers. Both were related to India, Indian Markets and Indian Institutions and of course individual Wallets. The papers weighed heavy on the mind and hearts of those connected to them in some way or the other, and heavy papers make for lighter wallets. Both were written by short sellers and immediately became best sellers. One was written by a true short seller, and the other by a team experienced in selling people short and both were defended to the teeth by their creators. It’s another matter that the teeth were dentures!

Do lighter wallets make for happier people? or do heavier ones? That is the before and after challenge that I seek to answer today. Happiness and pleasure are related but distinct concepts. Pleasure is a temporary positive experience, while happiness is a more long-term and holistic sense of well-being – So the textbook definition says.

Pleasure is sensual – like the feeling that a heavy wallet weighs you up with. Happiness, on the other hand, is when the wallet stays heavy for a long period despite being emptied periodically. They do tell us that happiness is nothing but an emotional state characterised by contentment. But where does this contentment come from – supposedly from Purpose, Meaning and Positive relationships – but all these are possible when the wallet weighs heavy, and not when its lightness weighs heavy on your mind. Right? Abraham Maslow was right – you can get to be yourself only after your wallet weighs you down enough to lift you.

There are many stories of rags to riches and of course riches to rags and just brags to riches. And we love to read them, for we are in between most. Neither up nor down and sold short most of the time. What does short selling mean? The activity of selling shares that you have borrowed, hoping that their price will fall before you buy them back and return them to their owner so that you make a profit: Now tell me, after the last week, do you feel you have been sold short?

Whether you feel it or not, is moot. You have to take a long position on yourself. That’s easier said than done, given the volatility in the life market. What you feel is also determined by the weight of your wallet at any given point in time! A wallet determines your motivation too. A heavy wallet becomes lighter when it is emptied, and only when it is emptied can it be filled again right? That would mean the drive and motivation levels would automatically be upped, while in case it’s already full, the drive and motivation would diminish. But that is where the science of desire deviates. The heavier it is, the heavier it must and probably will become. And the lighter it is, the heavier it must become! But that’s a challenge for magicians.

Filling a wallet can be done the hard way – as our hunter-gatherer forefathers did – or the lite way like most us like to do – the debate rages – Filter Coffee vs Instant Coffee!  They had to hunt and wanted to do so hands-free – like when we listen to music or drive – and then gather the loot in a sling bag – that was the original purse.

Purse and Wallet. These are gender-sensitive terms. And remember always that it is the purse that carries the wallet. This is significant in more ways than one. But both are precious for they serve practical, organizational, security, identity, and stylistic purposes in our daily lives. They have become an inseparable part of our lives. If we are parted from them, our lives are in disarray – literally. Like when we are naked and can’t find our clothes on the beach?

Wallets carry our most important possessions – Coloured bits of paper we call cash, that contain promises of equality (“I promise to pay the bearer..”), but in reality, offer only diminishing equity so you require more of it to retain your balance – literally and figuratively. That’s why enough can never be enough perhaps. The modern wallet contains not only broken promises, but cards – Credit, Club, and Identity. If you are without a card these days, you are a nobody. They are like flash cards. You flash them and the information is read! Everywhere. And of course, a photograph of yourself, and your loved ones who might just feel less loving as the wallet becomes lighter. That’s how important it is! and it was always so! Some may think that the emergence of wallets has been fairly recent and its origins go back a long way!

It is surprising to realize that wallets are most certainly as old as mankind itself and were required as soon as we needed to transport important items. The shape of the wallet that we’re all now familiar with, most likely originated around the time we began to use paper money. The bifold style which was the first modern money holder was designed to fold paper money in half for easy storage. Now it becomes half on its own!

The earliest wallets were more like purses than in their current form. Then it was coins and important items for hunting and gathering! The origin of the word Wallet can be traced back to the ancient Greek word Kibisis which was the word used to describe the sack carried by the God Hermes. Kibisis has historically been translated as Wallet which around 1834 became flat and foldable and was primarily used by the Americans! Wallets began to take the shape we are familiar with in the mid-17th century, mainly owing to the introduction of paper currency. The flat paper currency was first introduced in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1690. Earlier, Greeks and Romans hid their wallets in their togas, now we do so in our jeans!

But why go on and on about a Wallet that is getting lighter by the day and may disappear into your mobile soon? It is already halfway there, if I may say so with the advent of eWallets and the digital rupee. There is a reason. Because the other half – the half that still exists might have been affected by the papers presented last week that could not paper over the cracks that were Hidden. Hiddenberg, we call them!

The first was a first in many senses of the word. An American David took on an Indian Goliath with a slingshot. David was a Shot Seller after all. And the shorts have now lengthened into a Pyjama. But sleep is still hard to come by. Pained, but not crippled by the accurate slingshot, Goliath claimed the attack was unwarranted, and an attack on the country and its institutions no less, by small-minded people, much like Gulliver did.

And yet, Goliath could not short the shorter! His Follow on Public Offer was followed on by a Public cancellation announcement and a clamour for an investigation by those normally at the receiving end of such investigations. This seemed strange because in recent times such investigations have not needed any clamour to be initiated. The agencies are keen on them to keep themselves occupied and relevant to the powers that be.  But not this time. Maybe they need to give them (or themselves) a little time! Was Hindenburg the iceberg that would sink the modern titanic? Doubtful. Icebreakers surround the Iceberg, and only the tip is chipped. There is much that is hidden below the flowing water It’s the Hiddenberg that might bury it undersea in a port of choice if there is an investigation as clamoured for by those previously investigated! If. (Not Rudyard Kipling’s. Certainly not).

And then there was the Budget. Not sure if anyone even listens to it these days, or reads it, other than those paid to debate it on TV and of course the accountants – it keeps them happy because every year it adds new complexity to a simple plus and minus game and keeps them in business! It was just another paper presentation that used ChatGPT extensively! Not literally perhaps – but the bot is trained that way – to use the word growth as a keyword in appropriate places! In infrastructure and health, and of course tax. A new regime to replace the old. One that is still full of it… Tax!

Now check your Kibisis – Is it lighter than last week?

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash


This Article is written in a 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 connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

Talent Needs An Equi-valent Equation To Add Value!

Harsh Goenka shared a unique Ad By a Gujarat School Seeking Math Teachers. There is no number on it. Rather a math equation that those interested in applying for the post are supposed to figure out and call. This is supposed to act as a natural screening filter for candidates (they can save on a written test) and also test the candidates’ knowledge of the subject.

Teacher Ad

Jugaad, as always is eminently possible in these desperate times of unemployment – a candidate can always get the problem solved, make the call, and even land the job if his interviewer is as incompetent as he! Or if he is one of the few candidates that make the call, which is quite possible, given the knowledge quotient vs return on knowledge equation.

There was always the possibility of a student at the same school, having learnt under the previous math teacher solving the problem and seeking a teacher’s post. Now that would be a first! It does not say anything about not using the computer or mobile to solve the equation and why should it? It’s a part of our daily lives even if a math teacher! And the tweets that followed displayed the genius that exists.

Moral of the tweet. “A smart recruiter is sure to get a smart employee,” expressed one tweeter on Twitter!

This tweet presupposes that the recruiter is smart! And that may be presumptuous. Smart recruiters are quite rare – Else why would so many people be terminated for poor performance after they join? Maybe it’s not their fault, as they were unable to assess the fit! Because today it’s all about Fitness, the new obsession of Corporates and Individuals. Daily Yoga is important. Either one has to bend it like Beckham!

The question that corporates want answering when they put out ads like this, is whether the talent – and everybody has a bit of it like  Mambo No. 5, fits like a foot does the shoe. When you go out shopping for a shoe, you test whether it fits, but after a while, it starts to bite, become tight – figuratively of course, and wear and then tear. Is it time to throw it away and buy a new one that fits like a glove? Yea. For a while. Then the gloves are off! And all is fair in darkness and sunlight!

For the shoe in the shop, it takes the first buyer, it fits – even marginally.

Creative advertising is not new, but hiring creatively, even while removing a layer of the process, is smart because seeking employment is a mass movement – Just check out the number of applications received for government jobs whatever they may be. Police, Administrative, Engineering, Teaching – any branch. Of course, they are aware of which branches have more fruits than others. They also have to nurture the roots if they want to pluck the fruits.

Yes, they are popular! Surely ads like this instead of those boring notifications with Min Qualifications – which everyone maxes out with minimal knowledge, can help filter the chalk from its powder!

But why is it that government jobs – even if they are quasi-Government – are so popular, and getting one is a queasy rather than easy peasy? The filtering process is long and arduous, with as many layers as a Photoshopped image, and twists and turns as a Western Ghat Road, but in the end, the ones that are found meritorious by the system with little inbuilt merit find it worth their while in more ways than one. As do the recruiters.

For one there is security – much much more than a security guard can ever hope to have, for there is a cost-of-living allowance called Dearness Allowance. I truly love the name assigned, even though the very name of the allowance sends a shiver down the spine – because now things are bound to go up rather than down – How can you reduce an allowance that is aligned to prices and designed to go only one way – up?  As regards, those they serve, well that survey has yet to be conducted.

Perhaps a similar ad can be created for politicians wanting to contest seats – they must solve an equation related to public administration before they are given a party ticket.

Something like this

Ticket = Sq. root of (GDP*Rate of Unemployment/ Population) *(Per Capita income / Per Capita Debt) * (Rate of Inflation-Bank Deposit Interest Rate) / Direct + Indirect Taxes – Cost of Welfare schemes for Taxpayers / Tax Collection expenditure

This is a random ChatGPT devised equation! Believe me, if you can! The answer once found will astound!

These unique recruitment ideas and methodologies are coming together on the back of massive layoffs that have as yet not affected the Govt Sector and may never ever!

The five Big Tech Giants and the smaller ones that came up in the pandemic – like a pandemic – and hired people left right and centre, are now announcing – with not much regret that they are laying off people on a percentage basis – all because they miscalculated.

According to a media report, Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Meta and Apple – five giants of big tech – increased their payrolls by a total of one million people over the last three years. But now, these firms have dismissed or are going to dismiss (layoff is a nice word) a total of more than 50,000 workers. The only tech giant not to have announced major layoffs is Apple and that is because they didn’t hire too many. There were too few apples to go around. They knew their share of their market and stuck to it.

“We hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today,” Sundar Pichai – the CEO of Google – acknowledged in his message to staff when he announced that the company is cutting 12,000 jobs.

All this when the US labour market is the best that it has been in some time – a 3.5% unemployment rate, which is the lowest in 50 years and is half India’s, but that half consists of a lot of Indians – because they work with their heads and not their hands.

They are techies mostly on H1B visas doing what the Americans do (There is no real American like there is no real Brit these days). Consumers these days in America, prefer doing rather than clicking, visiting a store rather than ordering online, going to a restaurant rather than swiggying, reading a book rather than downloading one, and studying at the university rather than at home.  India though still has the pandemic hangover and is still able to protect its tech jobs.

So costs remain high, while revenues can’t compete just as in government and its jobs – So is layoffs in government the answer to a fiscal deficit?

Maybe! You decide. They are the only entity that is immune to economic roller coasters. They are like table coasters. They hold your glass rock steady, while you sip!

Cover Photo by Kindel Media


This Article is written in a 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 connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured i

Whiskey with Water or Water with Whiskey? What’s your preference?

The United Nations observes World Toilet Day on November 19 annually. The main aim is to raise public awareness of more extensive sanitation systems, including hand washing, stormwater management, and wastewater treatment. It’s the last one, that we must be concerned about. The treatment of wastewater!

The theme of last year’s World Toilet Day was “Making the Invisible Visible,” But I think that some understood it in the reverse. The visible became invisible! Because that was in the air and not on the ground, gravity might have lightened the senses.

Indeed, as a consequence of Wee-Pees not achieving their targets especially when they are given the perks of flying business class from destination to destination to pursue those targets, corporates the world over, but especially in India have reportedly asked their HR departments to remove the designation from their organization charts. Some of those who hold those designations currently are massively relieved even if it means losing their jobs! It’s better, they say than relieving themselves inappropriately.

According to the Financial Express in an article written to celebrate World Toilet Day, “Around 11 crore toilets have been installed under the Swachh Bharat Mission, resulting in a paradigm shift in the mentality of 55 crore people who have stopped defecating in public, President Ram Nath Kovind remarked at the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention in 2018. Several countries, he added, want to learn from India’s success with the Swachh Bharat Mission”. True, that mentality has changed but what happens if you can’t find the toilet because of night blindness caused by Alcohol?

Is the alcohol to blame? or the designation? Or the person? Which of these was the cause of the inappropriateness? Can you blame politics for politicians who do the same to you, albeit figuratively? All these questions perhaps are too profound for a sane person to answer. Perhaps we need to be partially incoherent. Because there are inherents that may have to be examined!

Some people felt it was a genuine mistake caused by circumstances beyond the control of the senior officer. Certainly, it was beyond his control and that’s why he did it. But what was out of control? The mind or the body or both is the question people are asking! And still, the answer eludes.

Maybe it needs a drink or two to get to the bottom of it!

Airlines now, besides removing the VP designation, are reassessing the traffic lights in dark planes – earlier they showed the exits, but now, maybe they will point the way in a different direction. Or overnight flights will be banned! Or Alcohol – that is the low-hanging fruit – for everyone in the aviation sector! Or passengers! Like one flight left behind 50 passengers and took off!

Alcohol was also the reason why it appears that a car in Delhi, hit a scooty, and dragged the rider for 12 km under it mutilating her before killing her. It seems that alcohol has a way of putting up people for bravery and stupidity awards simultaneously!

But then again does alcohol make people do what people do or do people just do what they might have done otherwise? There is a philosophy that plumps for the former. According to it, alcohol makes people do things they wouldn’t do otherwise. The secret perhaps is different. They would have if no one were watching, but with alcohol, they don’t care who is watching, or they can’t make out that people are watching! Well, they should wear a watch, to know the time has come to stop! Then it will be All Cool!

But alcohol gives power to the have-nots. Where it is banned, even more power! And where it is found, well… the power to them!

Alcohol can light up many worlds! But not towns. Towns need hydropower to light up their world before they sink in the mire of excavation as did an entire one in north India. It was a town built on the deposits of a landslide, that began to slide when it was shocked by the sound and fury of weather and explosives! The land subsidence problem occurred decades ago too. A committee, the MC Mishra Committee, was formed to assess the reasons behind it. In 1976, the Mishra Committee warned against the excavation of the slopes, and removal of the boulders by digging and using explosives. That would have been an explosive report had it not been buried quickly under a landslide of paper!

But power is important. We will never learn to live without power, both figuratively and literally. Not necessarily hydropower. Loss of lives, homes, dignity, and livelihoods can be compensated, but the life after the loss of any one or all of them will remain.

And so long as we realize that, and take necessary steps ourselves to prevent each or all of them, they will continue to happen. But what steps can we take? One man’s development is another man’s misery. That’s not difficult to understand.

If you have to provide power to industry, to make goods that you need, then you have to evict someone somewhere, cut trees and vegetation and devastate that land – right? Wrong – The right to preserve doesn’t exist! Not unless you change the definition of development/success in the dictionary. And that cannot be done, my friend. Cannot!

Let’s leave it there on that All Cool Note! Because there are no answers as to why we have stopped pedalling (in the best sense of the word) the cycle of life.

Photo by Adam Jaime on Unsplash


This Article is written in a 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 connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

Let The Flowers Be. Our Date Should Not Be Their Fate

1 Jan 2023 has already become 4 Jan 2023. Dates never get outdated! Dates are moving experiences in more ways than one, don’t you think? They don’t allow you to sit still, ever. They change and they change you with them, even if against your will. You have a new experience, and the new experience experiences you as you evolve, dissolve, or devolve and makes you “experienced.”

Any which way, you change along with the date. Unlike 1 January though, the same you will never come round again. So be warned; move gently along with the dates. Don’t ever stop because the dates don’t stop. Be like dates.

Then there are those dates that you savour, that’s a different satisfying experience.

Dates are made for us to celebrate – weddings, funerals, anniversaries, anything; because every event in our lives is linked to a date – maybe an hour and a minute too, but a date certainly, and there were both weddings, funerals, and anniversaries in the last days of last year. Last but not the least, was the theme.

There were birthdays too – babies were born, and their births were celebrated with verve, gaiety, and vitality. The same verve, gaiety and vitality that caused their births! And I happened to attend quite a few.

I’m observant. The emotions ran high always, some visible, most invisible. There was joy, happiness, and some hidden anger too, depending on the occasion and the guests. That is natural. It differed from occasion to occasion. But the flowers were a mix of the same everywhere, White Lilies, Roses, Daisies, Marigolds, Chrysanthemums, Freesias, Delphiniums, and Tuberoses.

No doubt, the flowers added sparkle to the occasion and the photographs and perhaps the video, like Markle to Harry, complemented the grief or joy, and enhanced the photo op, but what emotions did the flowers themselves go through when they were plucked, not knowing whether they would end up at a funeral or wedding or a birthday?

We were in the last days of a year, but they knew these were their last few days on earth, as something that someone looked at twice, rather than once. We would all rather be in that space, wouldn’t we? They would remain on earth no doubt, like the human form, but their soul would have withered with them. Were they sanguine about their final days?

At a funeral, they knew it was their funeral next, but at a wedding, whose funeral would it be? And at a birthday, they knew they would die before the child becomes a man, or man became a child as most old men do these days. Or women – why discriminate in this era of non-discrimination?

Once the occasion is done, they quietly wither away, their purpose fulfilled, our purpose fulfilled. What happens to them? Burnt, thrown on a garbage dump or Compost for Flori and horticulture – Do they incarnate in new forms, because certainly, they don’t return to their field of nurture?

They are valued greatly in their prime, thrown by the wayside when they are past it like humans. Maybe we are flowers too, dressed up for an occasion, and as the dates change, our days become numbered as we become numb.

Like the flowers in the background, today we have photographs to be remembered by – our colour, complexion, expression, and emotion captured forever. But flowers, have nothing; it is we who have to remember how they enhanced our senses, our lives, and our occasions, before fading away.

Dates matter to flowers too – but they make the dates, and occasions to remember not the other way around.

So, the dates keep moving and return to base, every 365 days. Flowers wither, and humans age, as they move. This much we already know.

And we do. Most certainly we do. We make New Year resolutions to resolve issues we faced in the previous year. Enough of this or that. More of this or that. Less of this or that. And then the dates change!

What if the dates did not change? Because other than the dates, nothing really changes. The Sun, Moon, Earth, and Space Station are locked in the same embrace. So, what if the dates didn’t change at all?

Then maybe would not have new beginnings, ends, or from and to or dates themselves. Because every date is on a particular date, isn’t it?

So, dates will never get outdated. We may, but not if we keep moving gently with the dates!

On that happy note, let me wish all of you a happy new year.

My only request is – Let the flowers be. Our date should not be their fate.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash


This Article is written in a 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 connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

Season’s Greetings And An “Aal Iss Well!” News Year!

Season’s Greetings Folks, in this Season of Goodness. The Good in Good Governance folks. (Whatever might that mean to you! – the UN Definition will come later); 25 December is no longer Christmas Day – a day of Sharing, Caring, Love, Brotherhood, and Hope. It is now Good Governance Day.

But Hope remains, if not the rest because, Good Governance brings hope for the new year, and for the future! The other elements are a bonus. Either way, the spirits are high during the season, because whether it’s Christmas or Governance, the essence is Goodness. But do we have enough of it to go around? Goodness Gracious Me! Is it the wrong question at the right time?

Good Governance Day is observed in India since 2014, annually on the twenty-fifth day of December, the birth anniversary of former-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In keeping with this principle, the Government of India has decreed Good Governance Day to be a working day for the government. The rest of the days… Well, they too are Working Days. It’s a priceless feeling, our government working while we holiday! But this year – Good Governance Day fell on a Sunday! And so…

Good Governance day is used to foster awareness among the Indian people of accountability in government. The first time I read it, I read it as countability (I always had this image of lots of people and very little work!) and missed the ‘a”. My bad. But now I’ve become aware that it is not the case. As must you be, but where do you find it? That, the awareness program does not say! Next year’s might, so stay tuned.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights , Governance refers to all processes of governing, the institutions, processes, and practices through which issues of common concern are decided upon and regulated. While there is no internationally agreed definition of ‘good governance’, it may span the following topics: full respect of human rights, the rule of law, effective participation, multi-actor partnerships, political pluralism, transparent and accountable processes and institutions, an efficient and effective public sector, legitimacy, access to knowledge, information and education, political empowerment of people, equity, sustainability, and attitudes and values that foster responsibility, solidarity and tolerance. My Goodness me! That’s a lot for one day. One might find parts of it if it’s spread over 365 days! like in that recent Jigsaw Puzzle and others that followed it?

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels

Happy New Year?

At the end of this Season of Goodness, we usher in a New Year, hoping against hope that the Goodness we experienced in the last week of the year beginning with Good Governance day, will spill over into the New Year. We know better, but the spirit is high, barring (the correct word?) a few.

It’s a cause for celebration. Because we believe things will change. But nothing does. Not the shape of our bodies, personalities, politics, society, community, religion or anything else except the numbers on the calendar. Even the sun rises and sets the same way. We become one year older and get closer to our graves, but none the wiser. And that’s a grave situation, don’t you think?

Yet we ring in the New Year in style and with a revelry that often gets out of control – because we have worked hard to keep things under control for 365 days previously! And then comes the D Day when we believe it’s time to change. Because we have looked behind and didn’t like what we saw or did? Hopefully, because history tells us that it is the right way to do it.

The Roman Emperor Caesar established January 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honour Janus, the Roman god of beginnings whose two faces allowed him to seem back to the past and forward into the longer term which was a part of his reforms. And this is what we do every year. Look back to look ahead! That’s the mystery of the Rear-view mirror and the Windshield explained. You will get a fair idea of who or what’s pushing you ahead!

But the mystery and thrill of a New Year can best be explained thus…

There are 12 months between January and December. But there is not even a day between December and January! And that is why perhaps, we scramble to review our past – literally scramble in the last week of the year – in the hope, it may give pointers to a better future come the new year! But unfortunately, we never learn!

Or maybe we do. It is in that hope that we make New Year Resolutions to resolve persisting unresolved issues, after revisiting our lives in the year gone by (it’s the high point of our year in mental pics!); with this exercise, we hope to resolve all our old discomforts not realizing every resolution we make will create new aches that we will review at the end of the following year for new year resolutions! All the highs and lows as do all the self-styled news and views outlets revisiting the events that shaped the news and coagulated views in 2022. Maybe they are not pointers to the future, but a time to reflect on how we want our immediate future to reflect in the distant future.

As GK Chesterton wrote in the Chesterton Calendar, “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose, new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man, made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” And this should be our resolution: to start afresh and not repeat our past mistakes. Mistakes that include, and the list is inexhaustive, Multiplying our divides, Halving our Sharing, and Ceasing to care what the least of our brethren think and feel. And in all this, we may find that this is where the Goodness in Governance and Christmas intersect.

We all know, life is full of ups and downs, which will also reflect in the New Year on our person and our society. But these ups and downs do not follow a set pattern like an ECG to tell you all is well. But the fact that we experience these ups and downs itself, erratic and sporadic as they may be, tells us that All iss Well, just like an ECG does.

It is in this context, that the song from the Bollywood Movie “Three idiots” tells us exactly how we must approach 2023 with the bell Aal iss well ringing in our heads!

Murgi kya jaane aande ka kya hoga

Aree life milegi ya tawee pe fry hoga

Koi na jaane apna future kya hoga?

Honthon ki kar ke gol

Seeti bajaa ke bol

Aal iss well!!!!

We at NewsKarnataka wish you a very fulfilling News Year! Full of ups of downs, ups and downs that tell us All iss Well!

Cover Photo by micheile dot com on Unsplash


This Article is written in a 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 connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

A revision of rolls can lead to a revision of roles!

This column is not Political. It’s Electoral. Some say it’s the same, others say it’s not. But basically, they are the two sides of a coin that often do not see eye to eye. Because no politician wants elections, and no elector wants politics! And that is a bane, rather than a boon! But like Electral, this column hopes to balance electorlytes!

Elections to two state assemblies and one Municipal Corporation are just over. And the exit polls are predicting what they always predict – someone will win, and someone will lose. But they don’t mention the citizens in either category! That’s quite natural because elections are not about the people, but power derived from the people. They call it the power to serve – like in tennis.

There is a first serve, a second serve and a double fault! And they do serve in the run-up to the election. Quite the cocktail – Money Muscle and Mania! May not be afterwards – Afterwards, it’s your turn to provide your money and muscle for their mania! And some do enjoy that turn, for it gives power to them too! If they bow and serve enough! Not Bow-Wow – that would be a disservice that could land you behind bars – the wrong un’s.

It’s interesting how politicians appear on TV and websites showing their fingers to us after voting. Not the finger on the hand with which they voted, but the other one. To befuddle us? Or to tell us, it’s over for us? Maybe it’s both? Or is it that the left-hand does not want to reveal what the right has done?

They also walk to the booth to vote, when otherwise, they would not even step from the house without a car or a convoy or stop on the road to say hello unless on a yatra – which again is for the elections. So, elections do transform human beings – and that’s a good thing because nothing transforms human beings for the better these days – it’s generally for the worse even though as part of our constitutional vows we say when we cast our vote – for better or for worse!

Elections as we know them,  are a device to provide power to the few over the rest, where the rest give that power to the few and then rest until their rest is disturbed. Then they wake up from their deep slumber and get agitated, and disturb the few, which the few don’t appreciate because they are the chosen few. They don’t realise, the power of the English Language – they WERE the chosen few! And they must be chosen anew!

Elections – both before and after – are a time for Conversion – Not religious, which is frowned upon for allurement, coercion, and intimidation, (ironically, it’s called the freedom of religion act, where your freedom is restricted when what is necessary is a Freedom From Religion Act! – but that’s another story) but all these are actively encouraged in Political conversions and even smiled upon! How else will you term raids, promises of freebies and inauguration of projects that are again inaugurated before the next election? Often in Political Conversion, there is the famous before and after challenge and they post these pics on Social Media – from nice photogenic spots in resorts. Not as a last resort, but it’s something they have to resort to if they have to last in Politics!

Elections are a time for gaiety, innovation, social media gymnastics, yatras and promises. And it’s called the festival of Democracy! Perhaps rightly so. Lights, camera, action – it’s all there. From the games, people play to the memes in the fray. Prayers too.  And revisions. History may be but electoral rolls certainly. Now you are there, now you aren’t kind of thing! Sometimes the Booth gets your name and it’s gone! vanished into thin air. And history is revised! Because it does affect history. Does it not? the revision of the electoral Roll? The question is do you care? Should you care? What if you care? Does it make a difference? Doesn’t history show that 30% per cent do not care? and 35% of the remaining 70% vote variedly, leaving 35% voting with singularity, which in effect is 25% of the whole permitted universe. And that’s the chosen few! Phew! Runoffs with compulsory voting linked to benefits would at least up the actual percentage to past the halfway mark and notional to around 40% which, whilst not enough would at least be a more fair reflection of the general view.

Oh, that would be my view! But do have your own – at least until next week, when you read my column again!

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash


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 it’s purely coincidental.

Find the gaslight in this jigsaw puzzle!

I took a week off my weekly column because I was fully intent on solving a jigsaw puzzle! And there was no way I could because newer versions came on the market almost every couple of days in the last two weeks! So much progress in such a short while!

Each was bigger than the other and drew inspiration from the previous one (must be presumed). I wouldn’t use the word better, rather the word batter (not the one in Cricket or a dosa) than the other. Both the similarity and the innovation were evident in the later ones.

When we were younger, we all loved a Jigsaw puzzle. Didn’t we? The one where we tried to fit the irregularly cut pieces together to create the big picture? And if one was missing, we never got the picture. Literally!

We could pass hours at a time, either individually or in combination with siblings, cousins, and friends – just trying to make the picture we saw on the back of the box. We had to refer to that picture time and again, not because we were dumb, just numb from moving the pieces around! And the complexity of the puzzle came in the form of the number of pieces in the box. More the pieces, more the complexity! Most children don’t play the jigsaw puzzle these days because of their low attention spans. They prefer video games to puzzles. These too reflect our reality and there are 13 reasons why (pun intended).

Nothing much has changed though as far as Jigsaw puzzles are concerned. Only the pieces are now the real body parts of a real person. They don’t come in a box but in a fridge (not quite the ad for refrigerators though) and Fridge Size matters. Not its frigidity though; that’s because of the rigidity. And the pieces are scattered across a large geographical area, making piecing them together to get the big picture rather more difficult for the ordinary man. It’s a puzzle for the police who have to be extraordinary to get the whole picture. It’s a themed puzzle that is becoming common by the day. I’ve counted three in the last couple of weeks – not parts, but bodies. One had 35 pieces, one 22 and another 6!

The sizes of the puzzle pieces are inconsistent as they must be. And the tools used to create the jigsaw are as yet untraced. No patents on those though, they are common. Even the methodology is generic and popularized by the media. So, there is no value add to it. Just Value Bad. And it’s bad. Really. There is no Good Bad or Ugly. Only Bad and Ugly. The G is missing!

Incidentally, these fans of the jigsaw puzzle perhaps did not know that the jigsaw puzzle is as old as 2 and a half centuries. The first jigsaw puzzle was created by a map engraver called John Spilsbury, in 1762. He mounted one of his master maps onto wood and then cut around the countries. He gave it to children in the local school to help them with their geography education. And in that act jigsaw puzzles were invented. Now they have evolved to cutting up people not wood – the tools too. In 1946 Albert Kaufmann, an engineer of Scintilla AG company in Solothurn, Switzerland, replaced the needle on his wife’s sewing machine with a saw blade. In 1947, after the development of Kaufmann’s invention, Scintilla started producing jigsaws under the name “Lesto jigsaw”.

But sadly, all this gore came to light in the week after International Men’s day on Saturday 19 Nov 2022 and further dented the reputation of men in the week they were slated to receive the love and affection of their spouses, partners and children and family for being their bulwark against a rising tide of misogyny. A mirage if ever there was one. A dented reputation that was further fractured due to the Halo effect (not the shampoo the saintly taint)! Now everyone is more afraid of men! At home too they keep the knives away! Luckily, they don’t stay away! But who knows, the media may drive them to that too.

Indeed, in all the media coverage I could not find one report on a couple of issues, that arise from this jigsaw puzzle. Not just how to solve it – That’s easy, find all the pieces put them in a box and then try to fit them together according to the picture on the box. That’s what the police are trying to do, though they may not get all the pieces as they were scattered far and wide.

It was apparent though that all these human jigsaw puzzles were not created in a fit of rage, but possibly in a rage arranged to fit. They’ve seen the big picture before and want to create it! And throwing a fit is what fits this challenge! The couple of issues I was referring to are actually couple issues! Why abuse and why live with it?

Abuse goes one step ahead of use which is more subliminal in its offering! Whether it’s a live-in or a spousal arrangement, it’s clear it’s a can’t live without situation. And Why or why not is what I was trying to fathom through Psychology today!

It’s apparently a cycle. The cycle, other than when it is used as a political party’s symbol, is a symbol of continuity, circularity, and balance. So too the Cycle of Violence

Initial – Tension building; usually there is tension building within the batterer and there is usually an argument; Middle – Explosion; where the assault happens; and a return to equilibrium – the abuser apologizes for his behaviour by buying the victim gifts or flowers, which are accepted with grace and love!

The Tension building phase is the one in which the abuser abuses constantly, subtly sometimes, overtly sometimes – Emotionally – playing mind games, verbally through name-calling, technologically through GPS tracking, social media sabotage, Sexually – when no is converted to a yes, and physically – punching, choking, and even murder. It does not contain chopping – because that comes afterwards.

And there are signs, without the neon sign boards. Generally, an abuser is first a user, and then he becomes jealous, controlling, isolating, rigid about role identities and very patriarchal. If they are not arrested, these personality contours increase in intensity with time and space,  – both literally and figuratively speaking.

Given that we are still in the eco-space of International Men’s Day, it is heartening to note that only a small percentage of men suffer from anti-social Personality Disorder ( deceitfulness, repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure), Borderline Personality Disorder (a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships by alternating between extreme idealizations and devaluation narcissistic Personality Disorder (a grandiose sense of self-importance) that generate this kind of personality mind maps that conclude in mishaps.

But why don’t the victims of this abuse just leave when they can? Because they don’t realise until the very end that they are being gaslighted very skilfully! Much like the voter in India. They stick on until the end comes!

Gaslighting is a technique that undermines a person’s perception of reality. When someone is gaslighting you, you may second-guess yourself, your memories, recent events, and your perceptions and you conclude it’s just not true! Indeed! The term “gaslighting” comes from the name of a 1938 play and 1944 film, Gaslight, in which a husband manipulates his wife into thinking she has a mental illness (When he has one apparently!)

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, gaslighting can happen in a variety of ways. Some examples!

  • Countering: This is when someone questions a person’s memory. They may say things such as, “Are you sure about that? You have a bad memory,” or “I think you are forgetting what really happened.”
  • Withholding: This involves someone pretending they do not understand the conversation, or refusing to listen, to make a person doubt themselves. For example, they might say, “Now you are just confusing me,” or “I do not know what you are talking about.”
  • Trivializing: This occurs when a person belittles or disregards how someone else feels. They may accuse them of being “too sensitive” or overreacting in response to valid and reasonable concerns.
  • Denial: Denial involves a person refusing to take responsibility for their actions. They may do this by pretending to forget what happened, saying they did not do it, or blaming their behaviour on someone else.
  • Diverting: With this technique, a person changes the focus of a discussion by questioning the other person’s credibility. For example, they might say, “That is just nonsense you read on the internet. It is not real.”
  • Stereotyping: A person may intentionally use negative stereotypes about someone’s gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, or age to gaslight them. For example, they may say that no one will believe a woman if she reports abuse.”

Gaslighting gradually, very gradually in most cases, breaks down a person’s trust in themselves and increases in proportion, how much they trust or depend on the abusive person.  They question their own reality, competence, and ability to manage independently. The more this happens, the more power and influence the abusive person has. And he (or she – it does work in reverse too!) does not have to have personality disorders to gaslight – All he needs to do is be near the gas stove!

Ah, there you have it. Why they cannot apply for, or actually leave. It’s just a theory. Don’t test it! Gaslighting also operates on a larger scale as a feature of systematic oppression! But that’s another story for another day. It would be too much Gas for a day!

But I don’t mean to Gaslight you when I leave you with a meaningful tweet by Michelle Obama (not Donald Trump though he is back on Twitter I understand!) Just to give you an alternate reality that we should all pursue, despite the gas lighter in hand!

As an adult, I’ve lived in a number of places, but as far as I’m concerned, I’ve only ever had one real home. My home is my family. My home is Barack. #TheLightWeCarry

— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) November 25, 2022

Photo by Tolga Ulkan on Unsplash


This Article is written in a 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 it’s purely coincidental.

It’s Children’s Day again, and we are back to the future!

This is strictly between us. Though the whole world might know!

The World is doubling its population (since 1974) today! We will now be 8 billion despite all the genocide, Murders, Wars, ill health, and natural and unnatural calamities. This means that the candle is burning at both ends and one end has a taller flame. Right? But is it also a coincidence that this news follows Indian Children’s Day celebrated every year on Nehruji’s Birthday on Nov 14? Might have forgotten recently though.

Nehruji’s Great Grand Children do not enjoy his legacy (his children and Grand Children did!), and in fact, are castigated for it, but the Children who celebrated his birthday – they no longer do because they have grown up and it is out of fashion perhaps – certainly did, rising through society’s strict social barriers because of employment in the government and public sector, making a livelihood through it, and in some cases beyond it! This is a natural phenomenon, because like Current Affairs are far more important than History, contemporary heroes outshine those of the past. If this is now, then what will our children do to our legacy – if we leave one – good or bad?

By 2100, the world’s population will rise by 50% to 10 Billion, if the world does not end by then – and there are both pessimists and optimists in this regard. But both agree, that if it does end and we end with it – kind of like winner takes all – then why should it matter to us?

So why not drop the bomb? The only thing missing in the trail of human destruction is a nuclear conflagration, which is quite likely given the mental health of our political leaders worldwide and their administrative assistants! But that is unlikely to tilt the balance in favour of a smaller population. Remember Covid? Why? Who wants to remember that? Maybe only WHO does! We all want to forget it until we get a new mutant ninja coming our way.

So it must be that there are many more children coming in than we think.  They have dried up in some parts of the world and in some communities for a plethora of reasons, not the least of which is stress. Really, all kinds, but mainly the stress of bringing up children in an asocial, highly competitive, material world where the only education possible is about money – Money for Nothing and Money for everything! That’s deep. Reflect on it till your money dries up!

So plenty coming in. Children. Some welcome it; they say it’s our future – Not the child’s! Some are concerned about this influx: if it’s not one of theirs. They are concerned about where they are coming from and how it will affect them. Is it about another mouth to feed and another competitor for scant resources? Or is it because it might alter demographics, metamorphose society, and take them out of their comfort zone? Well, that’s what they have been doing themselves so far right? Why restrict another? Ah, that’s because it’s not theirs. But what is stopping them from doing the same? That is the question to be asked. Concern for the world or for themselves or is it something else? If they can, then why…

That brings us to the question, does the current generation need to hand over a better world to their children – the next generation – than the one they live in? That’s the study of Inter-generational ethics. It differs from ethics among contemporaries because of the asymmetrical influence the present generation has over future generations. You do something now, and your great-grandchildren may benefit and there is no connection between you and them but a thin DNA thread, like in a cobweb. It’s the same dilemma all Indian Parents face, not so much the Parents in the Western World. How much of their happiness, and material comfort should they sacrifice so that their children may have theirs, not of the child’s own making, but of the parents? It kills two birds with one stone – It gives the parent job satisfaction, and makes the child happy, often unaware of how that happiness (or rather pleasure; happiness goes beyond) was brought about!

Will we give up our cars so they may be able to use one? Or our Acs’ so they may be able to use one? And what will they give up? An iPhone? Some doubt whether intergenerational relations can be evaluated in moral terms at all. That fundamental doubt pertains particularly to actions that affect persons in the far future, such as the disposal of radioactive waste that remains hazardous for millennia…But we still have to dispose of it, because we use it. And we can’t give up its use because it makes our lives comfortable.

You have heard of a round table conference, right? – it’s ideal for this subject because in a circle there is no end – only a beginning! So we must do what we do, to broaden our comfort zone, in the hope that it will broaden theirs! And if it does not, well they will find a way, for they are far more intelligent than us. Even an infant can operate an iPhone these days! In future….

So, all in all, the lesson unlearnt is that whether it’s 4 Billion, 8 Billion or 10 Billion, it does not matter. If we can’t fit in here, we will go and settle on the moon or even Mars. That’s what we are preparing for. Space will never be a constraint Just like when a town couldn’t expand horizontally because it was surrounded by water, it learnt to build skyscrapers!

Every generation finds a way to solve problems for its contemporaries. This might create problems for future generations, but they will be resourceful enough to find solutions to those problems in ways we cannot imagine today – because we don’t have their problem. We have our own. It is exactly why the mobile phone was created and see the problems it is creating for the current generation! But they will find a way. They may have already found one in fact – the smartwatch! and coming soon is the smart ring. Not the wedding ring though. That may take another 10 generations, by which time it will become redundant, I guess!

So don’t worry, be happy Bobby McFerrin says!

“Here’s a little song I wrote

You might want to sing it note for note

Don’t worry, be happy

In every life, we have some trouble

But when you worry you make it double

Don’t worry, be happy

Don’t worry, be happy now

don’t worry

(Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh) be happy

(Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh) don’t worry, be happy”

Until next week!


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 it’s purely coincidental.

Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash