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Whose India?

“If you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results,” Dave Ramsey said. It doesn’t matter who Dave Ramsey is. I don’t know, in fact. Albert Einstein could have said that as well. From the time BJP came to power in Delhi, India has been doing more or less the same thing: sectarian politics which favours one particular community and marginalises all others. Since the majority of Indians belong to the community favoured by BJP, no other party could arrive at an effective strategy for winning elections. People obviously want favours from those in power. And BJP is giving those favours to the majority. The majority will then vote BJP. BJP continues to rule. Happily. Till date. And so some genius in the other camp struck upon a strategy. Divide the majority community along caste lines. This is not a new strategy at all. This was effectively made use of in all the Hindi belt states earlier many times by many parties. What is new now is that almost all the non-BJP
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How to prevent divorces

Image from City With No Divorce I attended a wedding ceremony today at St Xavier’s Church near Kottayam in Kerala (India). What I liked most was the homily which was based on the fact that a particular town in Bosnia-Herzegovina has no divorces. I checked it out with the help of Google and got this: City With No Divorce . “ Siroki Brijeg is a rural town of 30,000 inhabitants… The city has suffered centuries of war and famine, cultural and political strife. Yet, not one single divorce has been recorded .” The secret is the cross. Of Jesus. The homily said. The wedding ceremony in Siroki Brijeg has an additional ritual: the couple are made to choose a cross on which they pledge to be faithful to each other till the end. ‘Marriage Crucifix’ is the name given to the tradition. It’s not just a wedding ritual; it’s meant for the entire married life. The cross on which they pledge is taken home as a holy icon to be looked at every day! What the ritual means is this: you are not marryi

Celebrating Brownie

Brownie snuggles up against me every evening. Whenever her pregnancy advances, she does this: get close to me. She has a way of getting me to pat her forehead and belly. She will rub her head against my palm until I start patting her.  Eventually she will get me to prepare a safe and comfortable set-up for her kittening. She has a way with me, so much so that Maggie says Brownie is the only creature who has succeeded in making me toe the line. I want to celebrate Brownie today. With some of her pics. Brownie was just a month-and-a-half old then. Her siblings Dessie and Denny are here too. Dessie is still with us in robust health while Denny disappeared long ago. Male cats are not quite loyal, I learnt.  With Bobs, her son, who also left us eventually Let me conclude this celebration with a short video in which Brownie displays her majestic indifference to Kingini, the latest addition to my feline family.  Related posts Kingini The Story of Kingini

Gods and Ends

  Book Review Title: Gods and Ends Author: Lindsay Pereira Publisher: Penguin Vintage, 2021 Pages: 205 This is a book which presents characters taken from real life. You will think, as you read the novel, that you know this character and this and this too. Only the names sound different, even exotic: Vaz, D’Souza, Sequeira, and so on. All the characters are Goan Catholics living in Orlem, Mumbai. All the major characters are tenants of Obrigado Mansion, a rundown building belonging to aged Francisco Fernandez who lives with his daughter-in-law, occupying two of the rooms in the mansion. All other rooms are occupied by families that are grappling with quite a few problems. There are five families plus one widow who lives alone in one of the rooms. Each one of these characters catches our attention with their unique earthiness. The Sequeira family in Room 108, for example, is headed by Jude Sequeira who is little more than an alcoholic. He has a job in a factory. But since hi

Philosophy ToDAY

Today is the World Philosophy Day, a friend reminded me in the morning. That friend is a philosopher. He has been a professor of philosophy for most part of his life. Great man he is like Immanuel Kant. The only one great person in my life who knew me from my infantile adolescence and stayed with me until now, the autumn of my life. UNESCO observes the third Thursday of November as the World Philosophy Day, I learnt after I received the message from Prof. What does philosophy mean to ordinary mortals like me? [And you, may I dare to ask?] Philosophy died long ago. Poetry died a little later. Prof and I were students of philosophy together at The Retreat in Yercaud [Tamil Nadu, India] in the early 1980s. My early twenties. His too. But he was a mature person unlike me. I was silly. So I didn’t learn much philosophy while he learnt too much and became a Doctor of Philosophy. What surprises me is that he has continued the friendship till this day in spite of my congenital sillin

Old God's Time

  Book Review Title: Old God's Time Author: Sebastian Barry Publisher: Faber & Faber, London, 2023 Pages: 261 Much of our personality is shaped in our childhood. Traumatic experiences can distort one's personality irreparably. Thomas Kettle (Tom), the protagonist of Sebastian Barry's latest novel, is one such person whose very soul was wrung out by the Christian Brothers (a Catholic congregation of ascetics) in whose orphanage he grew up. These Brothers abused him sexually. Old God's Time is not a psychological thriller, however. It is a metaphysical novel that explores the impact of our early memories on our later life and the ineluctable subjectivity of reality. Tom is 66 when the novel begins. He is a retired police detective who was earlier in the British army. He has now chosen to live in a relatively secluded place overlooking the Irish Sea. Memories don't leave him alone, however, and his memories aren't any kind to him. Tom has had a catastrophic li

I love Mahua Moitra

It is impossible to love politicians. I love Mahua Moitra just because I hate politicians. Mahua is not a politician; she is a flame. A wildfire, that’s what she is.   A flame wearing windshield-like spectacles and an elegantly pleated sari has haunted many a hopeful day of mine. The flame grew into a conflagration that engulfed Hastinapura’s Central Vista and incinerated the phoney old men there who deluded millions of people with the charm of a thick-lipped, smooth-tongued, cockeyed, snow-haired pied piper. That flame licked the Citizenship Amendment Act , Manipur violence , Hindenburg Report , and scorched the piper’s own Adani. The male bastion of Hastinapura that would love to disrobe a trillion Draupadis, however elegantly pleated their saris be, trembled like a leaf caught in a storm, when Mahua Moitra rose to speak quite unlike a contemporary Bengali who is willing to sell Tagore’s Santiniketan to the new custodians of Bharatiya culture. Who but Mahua Moitra would h