Thursday, 3 January 2013

TOI 03.01.13 editorial

This editorial by Ms. Bachi Karkaria in the TOI on 03.01.13 is something I would like everyone to read. I absolutely love her writing, be it Erratica or the Q&A column she does in Mumbai Mirror. Madam, I really enjoy your writing. Here is the article:
Wring out the old, ring in the dawn of the Age of Ordinariness

'May you live in interesting times.' That's what the Chinese say when they want to wish ill on someone. My single wish, not masked in doublespeak, is 'May we live in ordinary times.' In 2013, we should count ourselves lucky if we can get off the roller coaster of the past few years and live a life more ordinary. 

Scoff not at this unambitious boon. It would be an extraordinary blessing to get back the simple routines of life. Let me list some of them.

That young women don't have to live within the lakshman rekha of the hemline.

That they can reclaim the uneventfulness of a bus ride. That a 23-year-old girl can have ordinary dreams, even ordinary frustrations, and not have to become an icon of courage, a symbol of shame, or the rallying point of a nation's conscience.

That all women can say 'yes' to all the things they want to do. And, if that's too much to ask, that they at least get the right to say 'no'. To the boss, boyfriend or even husband without being slashed with a blade, having their skull smashed open with a sickle, or being disfigured for life in an acid attack.

That young people can visit a park or a pub without ending up at a leering police station.

That our children can return to the ordinariness of hopscotch and homework instead of the daily possibility of blood on the playground. That they will be spared classroom killings and suicide. That they regain their birthright of childhood.

That the most workaday objects no longer mutate into weapons of mass devastation. That a tiffin box once again contains nothing more explosive than the 'gunpowder' sprinkled on the idli inside it. That scooters are once again packed with bhaiya, his biwi, bachchey and Snowy the Pomeranian instead of with RDX.

That we get back the security of returning home safe without fear of being run over by a drunk or untrained driver ploughing through the pavement.

Indeed, that we can get back the pavements now savaged by the building of metro and monorail. That our cities and small towns get a reprieve from their sentence of death by improvement so that ordinary life isn't savaged by pollution, diversion and disruption. That mall will stop being spelt m-a-u-l.

Speaking of which, here's hoping that politicians stop being mauliticians, and thereby aid our return to ordinariness. That netas stick to their job description, and replace greed with governance, expediency with efficiency.

That babus become redundant so that we can get on with our lives. That we can build a house or get a gas connection, that we can be born or die without having to pay a bribe.

Am i being foolishly optimistic? No, for the first time, there's reason to hope. The year just past may have ended with a crucifixion, but it was also replete with signs of resurrection. Whether in the anti-corruption movement or in the massed outrage against the Delhi gang rape, the aam admi and aurat served notice that they were no longer prepared to exist only as a political slogan. They became a flesh-and-blood (and sometimes bloodied) force, clearly visible to the naked TV eye. They appeared in numbers large enough to fill entire Ramlila grounds, which no political jantar mantar could 'chhoo' away in one fell swoop.

So in 2013, it's entirely possible that they will achieve critical mass. That together, they can make it the year of ordinary people demanding the right to live a life more ordinary. We could call it our own moral aam-arment movement.


Alec Smart said: "So, the US pulled back from its fiscal tiff. Peace on earth, good bills to all men.


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