Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ice Ice Baby

A friend suggested that I should sit in a tub full of water like a hippo the whole day to get over this stifling heat in the city. The many implications of that suggestion aside, it is SOOO hotttt!!!

Yes, it is dumb to crib about the weather when many in the world are dying of hunger and I sit in an air-conditioned environment 15 hours a day. But by God, I feel like a droopy dried-up flower :-(

I hear it's raining in Bomz. Please please send some this way soon!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Deja Vu

When I was in Malawi, late last year, one of the most frequently discussed topics was about the political crisis ravaging Malawi. They were ruled by an authoritarian, divisive and slightly crazy President who  insisted that all was well with his world. In the meanwhile, he succeeded in alienating many of the large donor countries (read: UK, USA) that resulted in a for-ex shortage, a severe fuel crisis and a breakdown of production throughout the small country.

Most of the discussion centred around how protests had failed to shake the President and his government out of a stupor and that the population would patiently wait for the 2014 elections to voice their opinion and vote for change. The real question was whether the country would survive to see the 2014 election.

Then in a sudden development, the President died of a heart attack and Malawi ushered in its first woman President. While the jury is still out on her performance, everyone in Malawi breathed a collective sigh of relief when the country didn't collapse into civil war, but continued to have a stable government.


Reading about India's latest GDP growth figures and the repeated criticism of the Congress-led government for it lackadaisical response to every crisis in the last 2 years, I am struck by a sense of deja vu.

The media is crying itself hoarse about a home-made recession, fewer jobs, more inflation and a confusing cumbersome government. Political parties aren't able to find any alternative leaders for the next general election in 2014 and with a whopping 10 States set for assembly elections in 2012-13, the government is sitting tight on all the difficult, rabble rousing reforms.

And what are we doing to change this? Waiting for 2014. Or a heart attack.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Things to Do in Delhi. Version Mundane.

Talk to shop keepers while mimicking their own accent but confusing them with words like "bhaaji" for "sabzi" and "kaandaa" for "pyaaz".

Buy groceries, fruits and vegetables all by myself for the very first time and lug the bags home, almost breaking my arm.

Realize that I now have to make "grown-up choices and decisions" which are going to hurt like a bad burn.

Angst about that and whatever else comes my way (work, lack of a car, weather) to avoid thinking about the real issue at hand.

Give up on any pretense and cry in the auto, not caring that the auto driver is freaked.

Successfully push the issue under the carpet and plan a house party.

Buy a scarf and wrap it around myself to look like a terrorist every morning, while on my way to work.

Trade scary stories - who got mugged/ conned/ assaulted this week - over lunch.

All in a week's work. Making Delhi my own.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Monday Morning Rant/ Delhi bitching - 1

It's almost as if my  rote statement of "Oh, Delhi's not so bad - really almost everyone is quite helpful" , repeated many times over the weekend, jinxed my Monday morning.

Nobody. And I mean nobody had 300 rupees change to give me when I offered them a 500 buck note. Some even yelled at me for asking such a ludicrous question this early (read: 9 am) in the morning. Eventually I had to pay a HUNDRED rupees extra because the driver had only 200 rupees change. And this given my state of recent poverty hurt all the more.

Compare this with me hailing an auto right outside my house to go to the airport at 5 am in Mumbai, and you will understand why my Monday morning went to hell.

As my friend very aptly stated today - Delhi people hate you because you're new, hate each other and really just hate themselves. So so true.