RANDOM THOUGHTS
The cost of beauty
A few days back a small news item caught my eye: ‘Star architect to pay Venice Euro 78,000 over bridge too fragile for tourists’. Apparently the glass and steel bridge that was opened to the public in 2008 is facing multiple problems. The architect , an Italian court said, did not foresee or ‘neglected’ to take note of, that Venice’s great tourist explosion and their luggage needed a sturdier design for the bridge. Should he have taken advice of local people who were familiar with this problem?
Tales amidst the heat and dust
Now that all the heat in the air around the five-year-end verdict is set to subside, not yet reflected in the mercury though, common people puzzled by the unprecedented gaali-galaaz from all across the political spectrum would perhaps breathe a sigh of relief . At last, the strain is over. Now, they could hope that with things settling down, those in power would have more time to concentrate on governance and could give attention to those who have put their trust on them expecting better days.
Like every year, this year too, 2018, is at its fag end. As usual, ‘Looking- back’ pieces highlighting the events of the past year would be appearing in the feature pages of newspapers and magazines. Disasters like earthquakes and volcanoes, life stories of young boys getting trapped in a tunnel and the reality- show kind of rescue operation, which star footballer of Europe has changed club and which high-profile coach got sacked and why, social diary of weddings of celebrities, from the British Royal family to Bollywood royals, would figure in them as also ‘loss and gain’ in the political arena as in India recently. And inevitably, by mid- 2019, half of these ‘breaking news’ items will be forgotten.
Did you know India has been independent for 190 years? And all this time you thought this 15 August the country completed 71 years of freedom from the British. Or, that Gandhi’s death anniversary is on October 2. Birth and death – they are a part of life, isn’t it; so how does it matter? Have stomach for more? The last British Viceroy was Lord Canning, not, sorry, Lord Mountbatten. And Mother Teresa was freedom fighter. Laugh or cry?
After four years the ‘Beautiful Game’ is again going to keep the world, at least most of it, enthralled for more than a month or so. As the group matches will progress, people’s daily routine will be adjusted, depending on the allegiance to doosri country- for the time being, in our case.
From childhood we have often been hearing that everything moves in a circle, and that more things change, more things are the same.
The decade of the‘70s to ‘80s with the upsurge in the Feminist movement and its subsequent influence changed a lot of things- for women themselves, society, evenfor the art and culture scenario. Though the Harvey Weinstein ‘affair’, the continuing revelations and its cascading effect on public consciousness may not be seen as a ‘movement’ on that scale, it is indeed a watershed moment for women in many ways.
Scene 1: A reputed university in Kolkata known for its student community with liberal views. Whenever the occasion rises they go out protesting against any injustice, perceived or real. You go to the campus and find colourful posters all around with a young crowd in groups talking nineteen to the dozen, discussing world politics to local ones. They sit around sipping a coffee or a Coke, some throw rings in the air from their cigarettes. On way to attend a seminar in a hall, you look at their animated faces and miss your college days.