Attention!

Attention!

Allan Massie said, “Do you know what a soldier is, young man? He’s the chap who makes it possible for civilized folk to despise war.”

Last night I watched a movie called Holiday‘. An action thriller about a soldier on vacation who uncovers a dangerous plot.

I noticed something rather shameful with the crowd at the theatre during the last 3 odd minutes of the movie. And it was more offensive than the people who speak or scratch their haunches when the national anthem is playing. The last scene showed soldiers on their way back from vacation. The scene has families and loved ones spending a few emotion-filled moments with the soldiers before they leave for another long, trying stint away from home, to guard the country.

During this bit, over 60% of the people at the theatre got up and started leaving. You might argue that it is a movie after all. Or that it was past 1:30 am, or even that the climax scene was done. But aren’t we the same people who buy into, and believe the absurdity that is sold to us in the name of Bollywood? Then is this representation of reality so unimportant that we choose to ignore it?

I read some articles a few months ago, that might give some perspective to this. Some random American citizens were at a burger joint, when they noticed a few soldiers standing in line behind them. They got to the counter and paid for their order. They then handed some money and instructed the person at the counter that it was towards everything the soldiers ordered. And that if the money fell short, to let them know and they’d pay the balance as well.

Then there was another story of how someone left some money and a note on the car of a soldier, thanking them for serving their country, and asking them to take their loved one to a nice restaurant with the money, saying it was just a small token of their gratitude. While these don’t seem like fictional stories, surely they might sound a little dramatic, or like we Indians say, ‘filmy’. Citizens in the US have always acknowledged the futility of sending their soldiers to fight unnecessary wars, and they are grateful and acknowledge this huge sacrifice soldiers make for them, and sometimes try to express this gratitude in their own small ways.

We Indians are aware of the tainted reputation of some cricketers and even some cricketing events, but yet will watch the game with undeterred reverence and willful ignorance, but a few minutes that offer a glimpse into the lives of the very people whose sacrifice enables us to enjoy these trivial and meaningless luxuries, and we get easily bored and leave.

This attitude of educated fellow Indians begs me to wonder what exactly our soldiers are sacrificing their lives to guard. A thankless, money and pleasure-seeking race of self-centered robots?

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“Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” ~ Pericles

We don’t defend our freedom in any way, at least let us learn to respect it.

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Hindi Chini Vie Vie

The world knows China for all the cheap products that it has captured the world market with. But while the average Chinese is a decent hard-working person, I think all the years of exporting cheap goods to the world has led ‘cheapness’ to have become a character trait with the top ministers in China. Perhaps that is why they have Chinese troops infiltrating into Indian territory repeatedly, for some time now. The Chinese even even built a rail line to move its troops into Tibet, and they don’t seem to be bothered about repeated warnings.

It appears to me that they might be judging our armed forces based on the chaos they see on our political front, and that would be a seriously foolish mistake to make. When it comes to the average gallant Indian soldier, your numbers are, to put it politely, simply inadequate. Even if you had twice your current population, and you marched them all to our borders, I think our army would have chewed you all down at the blink of an eye.

I think it’s time the Chinese gave their actions some serious thought first. American, European and other economies have been hit really hard, to a great extent, because of China. It has been, to some extent, an unfair playing field, with their non-existent safety measures for your industrial workers, poor quality and safety guidelines, outright disregard for patent laws, etc. Reminds me of a classmate in school, who was extremely short and weak. So whenever he troubled anyone, everyone played along, to accommodate him so as not to hurt his feelings. Till a day came when he actually started pushing people around, misinterpreting their tolerance for his strength. Didn’t have quite the effect he desired on some people though.

So imagine what happens if countries start banning Chinese products en masse, or imposing anti-dumping on pretty much everything they can put together and ship out. Several economies have been beaten down to humble levels, so am sure they can restart, not at the premium levels of margins and costs that they did in the good ‘ol days, but at a reasonable level so as to cater to a world market. And as complex as it sounds, believe me it isn’t impossible to imagine. The world can move on like Chinese products never existed, and other economies will get a chance at reviving their economies, creating world-class products again, and improving employment.

I guess that itself might take care of your Chinese infiltration activities, don’t you think? As for you greedy land-grabbing mice of ministers, maybe then you can resort to screwing yourselves with the excess capacity that you are left with. Sound good?

Where Men became Gods

Where Men became Gods

People who were hapless witnesses to nature’s frenzy in Uttarakhand

Indian Army - Uttarakhand #1

Stood helplessly, and believed this was the end of the road for them…

Indian Army - Uttarakhand #2

Where hope seemed to crumble with the relentless gushing rage…

Indian Army - Uttarakhand #4

Even the God of Destruction himself stood helplessly surrounded…

Indian Army - Uttarakhand #3

And then, from the skies…

A marginalized and often forgotten God emerged, and rushed selflessly in…

Indian Army - Uttarakhand #5

And stood brave in front of an unknown foe…

Indian Army #8

They did, not what they had been asked to, but did everything they possibly could. And still are…

Indian Army - Uttarakhand #6

Indian Army - Uttarakhand #7

Amidst the greed that has trickled into the farthest veins of the country, these brave, selfless and righteous men and women give every Indian a ray of hope;  a glimpse of Indians that we were, and of Indians that we can be.