Monday, October 27, 2008

Under the moon

I don't know about you, but India's so-far successful moon mission fills me with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I had plenty of time to reflect on this the other day, because I was at Mumbai airport with an hour or two to spare as my flight to New Delhi was unaccountably delayed.

We've shown the world that we're no laggards when it comes to science, haven't we? This and other thoughts were going through my mind, as the wheezing public address system informed me that the flight would take another half an hour to take off due to "technical reasons".

As the air-conditioning at the airport was below par, I took to walking around the terminal in the hope of finding a cooler spot, and this exercise made me think even more highly of our scientists. I was about to start a discussion on this very topic with an airport attendant, but before I could open my mouth, he said that there was no point complaining as the airport was in the middle of renovation, and moreover if I wanted to use the loo I'd have to walk two flights down as the one on this floor was shut.

Marvelling at our ingenuity and drive, I managed to find a place to sit. The day is not far, after all, that we put a man on the moon ourselves. After brooding for a while upon the unique destiny of the privileged individual who would be chosen to do the honours, I hit upon the name of the person most appropriate, and I will be forwarding his name to the authorities as soon as I can board my flight.

However, gentle reader, as I'm too kind-hearted to leave you in suspense much longer, I can vouchsafe his name to you. Why, none other that that illustrious young son of the soil, Raj Thackeray. Send him to the moon, fellow countrymen, and remember, Raj, there's no need to hurry back.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Save the world. Read less.

I don't know about you, but it occurred to me this morning that if even Thomas Friedman is urging us to adopt environmental issues, it's time to take action.

And so, taking the bit between my teeth, I've decided to do my bit for a greener planet. I'm going to stop reading.

No, not books. It's magazines I'm talking about. Have you picked up any of the Indian newsweeklies lately? Each one is swathed in enough plastic to make a raincoat for a well-built child.

And what's inside these plastic sheets? Well, the latest issue of the magazine, of course, but also various other glossy supplements that contain many ads and, if you examine them closely, also some articles.

Having spent all of last night going through one such stack, I realised that my life wouldn't be diminished one whit if I remained ignorant of diamond-encrusted cellphones, rare caviar, yacht parties and tony sushi bars.

So there it is. I'm going to use less plastic by cancelling my subscription. If your grandchildren wake up years later to a green planet, they have me to thank.