You've always been my most ardent fan - not the googly eyed variety, but the serious kind -the kind that can and most inevitably will give sharp feedback when warranted.
You've been there for me when the going was tough and you've kept me grounded when the going was brilliant.
You've led me by your example while you've pretended to the world that you follow me around.
You've been my sartorial editor, nay my sartorial Hitler (can't recall the last time I was allowed to buy clothes of my choice), and while I'm not convinced this is a good thing, I do quite often get compliments for sharp dressing- so thanks for this as well!
I am afraid I love you a lot more than I think I do. And the real fear, is that I think even that might not be enough to compensate for who You are.
I recently read " The (In)eligible Bachelors" by Ruchita Misra. This book falls into several automatic categories - Indian English Literature, Popular Culture, MBA Authors, Chick Lit, etc. This is my review of the book...
Ever since Chetan Bhagat and his "Five Point Someone" there's been an endless stream of MBA alumni from premier B-schools in this Country rushing to Publishing houses with their half thought through but fully completed manuscripts, and publishing like there is no tomorrow. Personally, I thought "Five Point Someone" was a strictly okay sort of a book, gave an insight into the life of somewhat below average blokes at above average engineering colleges - I've done more risque, brilliant, story worthy and interesting things during my engineering college days than the protagonists in 5.someone did- not to mention my stint in B-school. Therefore, when I hear of the latest IIM/IIT grad whose book is out I tend to skip it ( Except the Meluha trilogy which is on my read wish list, simply because the plot seems engaging to me). However, i simply could not do that with this book because (a) I know Ruchita personally , plus (b) she was one of the stars of my junior batch at IIFT and, as it mentions in the blurb a triple gold medalist (no mean feat that,trust me!) as also (c) with the exception of Vikram Chandra's "Sacred Games" & the Meluha trilogy mentioned above, which are next on my reading list there really wasn't much floating around in the market.
So, when flipkart delivered the book to me (at a hefty discount for pre-ordering the book prior to its release) I though I'd give it a try. It turned out to be a surprisingly good read.
Surprising because at the end of the day it is, and will always remain
Chick Lit - A genre I abhor, and ( not that I am a chauvinist) as far as Chick
Lit goes only three books ever in this genre have ever made an impact on me, (
"Daddy Long Legs" by Jean Webster ; "Little Women" by
Louisa May Alcott and "The Touch-me-not Girl " by Rajlukshme Debee)
and let's face it, as things stand (today at least), Ruchita is just not in the
same class as these three writers. But interestingly, this book has strange
parrallels to all three books I've mentiones not sure if she's drawn some
inspiration from any/all of these especially "Daddy Long Legs" which
of the three books I've mentioned is my clear favourite.
At the end of the day, here's a book from a hated genre of literature
and a hated class of authors (for me) which at the end of the day I still
So clearly, this is one of the best Chick Lits around and one of
the best works I've read from IIT/IIM alum class of chump writers.
In fact, it's the first book I've read in one
straight uninterrupted sitting in a long long time ( the last
time that happened was way back in IIFT before I got busy on the
student council there, almost 4 odd years ago, but you know how you have
loads of free in College that work life never confers on you!)
This post is a work in progress will update a few thinking points that I
really liked about the book and a few suggestions to Ruchita to ensure
her next few offerings are in the quality league that she clearly has the
potential to deliver ( on the rather presumptuous assumption that my blog rants
are read by a famous published author)
Somewhere close to our 64th Independence day, I'd floated a tweet with the message that what India really needs going forward is good education and good healthcare and that with these two taken care of most everything else would naturally follow.
There were a few sharp reactions to this tweet-o-mine, as might be naturally expected when you solve a centuries old problem in the space of 140 characters. The one reaction that I remember came from a dear old friend of mine Prabhu Narasimhan.His take on this was that education & healthcare are fine but what India really needs is a mature and clean Polity first and foremost.Now this chap, has and remains, in my short life, the most difficult person to win an argument against , and therefore I was pretty happy at his reaction because on this I feel I have a winnable argument.
To state my case:
Is an honest and mature Polity likely to solve all of India's problems ? That's too loaded a statement to merit a serious answer, because while clearly there can only be an affirmative answer to this question, it automatically begs the question -how do we put in place a mature and honest Polity?
My bet is that an honest and mature polity can never really come about as a result of a lone crusade led by a JP or an Anna Hazare. It comes about gradually :-
When Government after successive Government does serious work on cleaning up our rather corrupt system.
When Generation after succeeding Generation feels that corruption is less prevalent around them than it was in the past, and as an extended corollary feels it is less acceptable than it was in the past.
When IAS official after succeeding IAS official realizes that lining his pockets doesn't help him as much as getting caught would damage his career, reputation and standing in society.
When Minister after succeeding minister is forced to understand that corruption ,indolence and lack of initiative will result in two things , (a) him not getting elected ever again and (b) the wrath of the same constituency that had idolized him (or her, for that matter) and voted him into power.
All of this takes time, and more importantly, it takes an educated electorate to react consistently over a period of time to bunglers, cheats and lazy bureaucrats/politicians. It's only after these bunglers/cheats/indolents realize that the electorate won't reward them any further for shabby and slipshod work willl they be prodded to change themselves, And this is why I feel that without a redoubled effort to educate our masses on their civil responsibilities and duties; on the rights conferred to them by our constitution; we can never (not in the distant future , not decades from now, not in a rosy scenario a few years down the line, but NEVER!) arrive at a day when we have an honest and Mature Polity in place.
That's my education angle.
The healthcare angle is something I feel even more strongly about. India can never catapult itself into its glory days without addressing its severe lack of effort in the healthcare space. Having stayed for more than three years in Sub-Saharan Africa , I feel entitled to my opinion that Indians deserve better healthcare than they have access to today. I feel this way because we have access to better doctors than sub-Saharan Africans have access to, and yet, our average healthcare facilities are at best at par with facilities there and in most cases - shame on us - worse than theirs. Oh yes, the best healthcare facilities we Indians have access to is definitely slightly better than the best facilities sub-Saharan Africans have access to , but that isn't much to be proud of !
Also, in a couple of years from now, given our tendency to gloat when we shouldn't, I wouldn't even bet on this last scenario being true anymore.
That's my healhtcare angle.
Let's just get these two things right, because frankly no one has even bothered to do anything on these issues till date.
OK, so Google is one of my starting tabs on chrome and occasionally I stop there to check stuff out, and, once in a while I'm rewarded by interesting doodles, those version fonts motifs, weird guitar simulations and other crazy ways to write Google that they do on certain occasions...
Today's commemorating Freddie mercury is possibly one of their best ever...