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Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Been questioning the basis for jingoism, patriotic vitriol and fumes, Father/Motherland and the nation’s clarion calls more than a wee bit the last few days. Interspersed with other seemingly man-made boundaries like religion, region, language etc. Got the feeling that in order to be able to proclaim togetherness with a concept like a country, one must necessarily eschew and exclude the very existence of all the entities that do not make up the country. Almost as if to define what is by what is not.

Saw no other way of doing it. Juxtapose this with whatever little one understands ( OK, I understand ) of the North East and I am terribly confounded of the edifice of this Indianness which all of us lay siege to, unabashedly, unequivocally. ( only a coincidence that this grips us a little more at Public Holidays ).

Seven Sisters—disparate from the mainland, misunderstood, maligned. How many of us can claim to even remember the names of the States ? Yeah, I remember matching capitals to states as a kid but I’ll be perfidious if I say that I can cogently speak three sentences about any of these states, let alone coin write attractive tourist-speak epithets for them.

So what do we have here ? We have a set of educated folks who don’t set store by this notion of belonging to India for some time now. How have we decided to solve this ? Not using our minds, I’m sure. All inclusive brouhaha takes on a condescending tone, be it in appreciation of music, customs or even like the School Chalen Hum campaign which is steering clear of precluding the SS, at all costs.


Fortuitously witnessed what was touted to be the Race of 2004—the 200m freestyle ( men) , lived up to the billing with Thorpe clinically staving off Pieter v d H & Phelps. Was glad for once to switch on the right channel in time. Decent set of other races but it’s tough to see swimmers like Amanda Beard, Lenny Krayzelberg, Claudia Poll, Van Almsick lose.

Now think that the only way to win heaps of Golds is to prepare like the Devil, analyse your competition but maintain a Trappist silence, and then ..spring. All the Olympic heroes in my time have done that—Otto, Nemov, Raducan.

India missed medals by a whisker—Chanu & Kunjarani, so so near and yet…


Established contact with a long-lost pal, Chaitanya, now a Dalal Street hit man, working would you believe it, 5 minutes from where I purport to work. Als, I only have a fortnight in this locale.


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