Friday, March 27, 2009

Lights out please!!!

To people such as myself who were born and brought up in India, a load shedding/power cut may not represent so much a vote for Mother Earth as much as a daily occurrence, but for most people living in the first world, where a power cut entails a 911 call or living a night without the ac is an act of supreme sacrifice, Earth Hour beckons.

Please switch off your lights between 8:30 - 9:30 pm on 28th March 2009. This is meant to protest against global warming. First world countries please note that you are the biggest culprits in this cause, hence please make it a point not to microwave/bake/wash in the darkness. Please remember that you burn holes in the ozone layer with your excessive dependence on electronic gadgets. While we prefer to let our clothes dry in the sun, even from the balconies of our tiny apartments, you prefer to dry them in a machine because your balcony looks prettier that way. We prefer fans even the heat, or use coolers, you cannot imagine life without the ac. We switch off all our lights when shops close at night. You have so much electricity that you leave them on for fear of burglary.

Petrol (or gas, if you prefer) costs a fraction in your country. You buy in gallons, while we buy in fractions of litres. We cannot buy shrimps, Basmati rice or Alphonso mangoes - products of our country - at an affordable price because they are exported to your country. You are the largest disposer's of effluent waste, but you want China and India to cut down wastes. You even have the authority to print your currency without denominating it against gold. All because it is the reserve currency of the world.

Against all this tirade about equitable distribution of wealth and natural resources, there is one melting pot where all are equal: concern for our Mother Earth. So, please do switch off the lights tomorrow and show you care!

Earth Hour 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

To my famous birthday-sake Osama Bin Laden,

You and I just completed another trip around the universe with the Earth. While I am very sure that my humble life has not been as adventurous as yours, yet I consider myself lucky because I sleep well at night. Us Pisceans are always laden with doubts and queries. And you addressed yours on a grand scale. While you wanted to know whether planes could fly through buildings in the same way as we drive swords and knives into ghosts in the movies, I made samosas using wanton wrappers. No, the plane crashed into the building and people still prefer crab meat to potatoes in their wantons. Point proven.

We are both living away from home. Surviving a harsh terrain. We both yearn to return but are constrained. So, do you change houses as often as I change apartments? Do you have friends who bring chocolate cakes and laugh and make merry on your birthday or send gifts from afar? Do you know how it feels when everyone of your friends remembers your birthday and makes you feel so special? I said I am lucky. I know, perhaps they will never print my photograph on the front page of the NY Times, but I made it to the student supplement of the Statesman and my 15 seconds of fame can pull me through a lifetime. I don't want innocent people to die, I love peace. And being ordinary is a small price to pay for it.

These are tough times. Markets are crashing. I don't really understand all that, but I know that my friends are losing their jobs and it hurts. Can you kill unemployment and poverty? Can you throttle the fear in our hearts and terrorise the insecurities that we are going through? I wish you could. I'd tell everyone proudly that OBL was born on the same day as I was!!!

Many happy returns.