Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Ides of Mars

Mumbai is mauled. Police blame terrorists from Pak-based Jaish-e-Mohammad for the twin blasts that killed over 50 people on Monday afternoon. Astrologers blame Mars.

They had said Mars' coming closer to earth might trigger chaos in parts of the world. Astronomers are ready with their telescopic apparatus to watch the celestial miracle of Mars coming closest to our planet in 66,000 years. The galaxy is so big that planets take so long even to see each other once in a while.

I love Mars, not the red plant but the one closer home. Mars chocolate bars. I must mention here that I do not mind Galaxy either.

But what I love most is Bounty. It's modelled on the coconut, which is not a nut but a fruit. It's hard on the outside and soft inside. Brown outside but white inside.

Like us Indians.

We claim to be proud of our brown colour but always long to live in those parts of the world where whites live.

We talk tough to all the countries but even our neighbour knows we will end up soft-pedalling. The neighbour keeps sending in terrorists. Because fighting us on border is a hard task, we have defeated them every time.

Inside the country, it is easy. There are soft targets. We are coconuts.

Within our country, Kerala is known for its coconuts. Folks in Kerala are called Malayalees who speak Malayalam. By the way, Malayalam is read malayalaM even if you read from right to left. Malayalees however still have a lot of love left for the Left.

With West Bengal, Kerala forms the backbone of what's left of the Left in India. Leftists haven't yet accepted globalisation and liberalisation as India's economic policy.

Leftist economists hate multinational brands eating into our own desi brands. Like Mars taking a bite out of Amul. The pro-liberalisation economists favour open markets and competition.

But has Mars beaten Amul? No. Amul as a brand is growing strong and its quality competes to multinational brands. It still remains a brand owned by a milk cooperative in Gujarat.

Gujarat in fact was known for its progressive outlook, innovative entrepreneurs and money-making machines of men till the last year's riots smeared its reputation as a peaceful states.

Aftershocks continue. Muslim extremists have formed groups to avenge the killings. Some believe that the Mumbai blasts, majority of those killed were Gujaratis, are a handiwork of these terror modules. Mumbai is mauled. Some blame it on Mars.

Today it'll be closest to us. Are we safe?

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