Monday, December 26, 2005

For the times, they are a changing

And I mean that quite literally - coz I'm shifting from GMT+8 to GMT+5.30; from Hong Kong, BACK TO INDIA !

So, good bye Jackie Chan
and so long, golden shoes
[you won't believe what passes for footwear in HK!]

Nariyal pani on nariman point - here I come !!!

Yep, am quite happy about getting back. Last trip to India was in Diwali last November... been a long time.

I quite love Bombay. And even if I didn't, I would miss it. Coz, home towns are home towns, and where else can you just pick up a phone and find someone or the other to sack out the day with? Where else can you venture out without planning a day in advance? Where else do you have 50 numbers in the phonebook at your beck and call? And if you are someone who has found all this in your new city, then I guess it is your new city that you consider home.

As for me, I've been missing all these options. And am looking forward to old company over drinks and dinners and sidey movies in the front rows. And should everyone be too busy for that, then just sulking alone by the sunset at Marine drive will be fine too.

Am already making plans to make the rounds of all my favourite places : Polly Esther. OMO. NCPA. Mondy's. Totos. Mocha. Colaba. blah. blah. blah. And if I don't visit all these places (for let's face it I'm getting old and losing all party energy) - it'll just be nice to know I have the option go there whenever I want to.

Moreover, it will be nice to hear people talk in a language that I know. Even though it will be disconcerting to find that people will understand what I'm speaking. Currently I can shout on the top of my voice in a bus about anything and anyone sitting next to me, and their lousy golden ballet shoes. Will have to really watch my tongue after next week!

But that's hardly an issue
Coz I'm getting to go HOME!

p.s. Of course, after 2 months in India, don't be surprised if I start lamenting about India's roads and politicians and traffic jams and, well, everything. Cribbing's my hobby, and India provides great avenues for it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

My latest crush

With all my serious posts on democracy and protests and the like, you may think I'm going to wax forth over Nelson Mandela. well, no. For the heart wants what it wants, and what it loves at the moment is Sony's latest MP3 walkman.

Here, have a look, but bear in mind that this damn purple pic (the only one I could find on a quick search) does it no justice.

What I saw in their showroom was a sexy, black glob. No edges, just curves. You can't see the screen because its camouflaged well in the body of this walkman. Only if you press its buttons, neon green words just glow out giving it a look that's (and here I must resort to teen-speak) so cool and so awsome!

Very rare for me to fall for a gadget, but I guess the season and all the shopping is getting to my head. Also fell head over heals for iMac G-5 the day before. Apple really knows how to make white look so sexy! Thank God for an fast-track obsoletion rate in gadgets - am looking forward for my comp and MP3 system to become outdated [or my husband to get bored with them, very likely to happen even faster] and then we can get new goodies :D

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Democracy - Is it Lollipop ?

Eighty thousand people or more marched for democracy in the Hong Kong streets last Sunday. It is, as you would guess from the turnout, a matter of much discussion in this country and a matter of much cover-up on the mainland.

It is also a matter of strange revelations, or at least, statements from the Chinese people that i find very strange. Its a disconcerting feeling, probably akin to how my husband feels in the fact that he will never understand me. For I think I will never understand the Chinese.

But that's not the point.

The point isn't about the goodness / badness / appropriateness of democracy either.

The point is at that quite a few people are saying how they are / aren't mature enough to have / not have democracy.

Things like: We are educated etc and that speaks volumes about our ability to handle democracy.
And rebuttals like: please lower those volumes, and we definitely lack the maturity, but maybe in 10-20 years we'll be grown up eough

Stuff like that leaves me queasy - even though I am no George Bush who thinks democracy should be clamped down everyone's throat, and nor as a non-citizen do I think I have the right to fight this fight.

It's just that the whole idea of being mature enough to deserve democracy is ridiculous!
Since when did one have to pass an exam to want or get democracy???
Does that mean that some people do not deserve democracy?
And what is this metric to find out who's deserving?

If the metric is education, then can politicians rubbish three-fourths of India into taking the right decisions for them? [happens a lot anyway - and not for the better of the uneducated!]
If it is appreciation of rights, then should George Bush just turn America into his dictatorship as half of his country fails to vote at all and use the oportunity. I mean, clearly they can't want democracy if they don't vote, he can say.
Do the Burmese deserve the Junta because after all, they are just rudimentary farmers?
After getting a democracy, would you shut down the voices of those people who prove themselves 'undeserving'?

This whole "deserving democracy" line is no different from a rationalisation of dictatorship. That's what all dictators have always said: you don't know well enough, and I know better than you.

Democracy is not an award. not a prize for good grades. Not something you deserve, in lieu of which you get a punishment called dictatorship! It is an entitlement. The question isn't 'are you good enough for it?', but 'do you want it?'. And THAT is the question HK should decide.

Coz the only disqualification for democracy comes from democracy itself - if people don't want it, then they need not have it.

The whole point of democracy is this premise: no man is more or less qualified to get the government he wants.
if that govt be communist, so be it
or a democracy, if that's what he likes

The only poplulation that doesn't deserve a democracy is one that doesn't want it, or finds itself unfit for it. coz that is the poplulation that will fail to be a democracy even when it is given a chance - it would elect the same old people one after the other, creating a pseudo-monarchy.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Got to attend Cirque du Soleil's latest show - Quidam - on saturday. And spent the whole two hours or so with dropping-down jaw.

I was so spellbound with the cast - who were so lithe in their contortions, so comfortably adroit, and so grandiose in their choreography. The first act had a man standing within a ring - and with elf like movements he rolled it around as if it were a coin with a life of its own. He even maneouvered it to wobble near the floor, just as a coin does when it runs out of balance, and then picked it back all the way up again. Another act had a plethora of skipping ropes, and the cast was dodging swinging ropes within swinging ropes within swinging ropes. Delightful!

Then, of course, were the acrobats who twisted and turned with amazing sensualty. And when they jumped in the air, with a long, smooth step, I almost got the feeling that were flying. Their half-seconds in air seemed elongated in time - like a slow motion scene.

Even the mimes were extraordinary. They involved the audience in a couple of scenes, and managed to get such good performances out of them that initially I thought they had planted an acting cast in the audience!

As you can read, I am quite awestruck with the whole thing. The tickets weren't cheap, but worth every penny. And, if you are in Hong Kong, be sure to check out the asiaxpat website (classifieds for tickets) to get a good deal. I managed to get the 600-buck ticket for 500 only, and got great front-view seats :)