Tears II

This music never fails to bring tears to my eyes as I associate with many sacrifices made by many people all over the world throughout our history.

I thank my friend Anil, a man who should know why this brings tears to my eyes as I am sure it does to him, for sending me this link.

Please turn on the speakers and listen and watch two miracles happen.

A Mail From A Pakistani Friend.

I reproduce below an extract from a mail from a Pakistani friend with Indian relatives. This is not unusual and many families on both sides of the divide have relatives on the other side. We were one country once after all.

“Rummy, I know that you follow Thomas Friedman and am surprised that you have not blogged about his article. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/opinion/01friedman.html?_r=1)

What is the problem dost*? Don’t tell me that you have become a dove in your old age.”

*Dost is Urdu for Friend.

I have had other regular readers asking me why I have stopped writing about Pakistan and terrorism.

There is no big mystery here, nor any change of heart.

Other, more capable writers, in the recent past, have been using many platforms to convey what I have been proclaiming for years about Pakistan’s establishment and its duplicity.

I have other things to write about.

Shoaib, does that answer you adequately?

I am not one however to let an opportunity slip out of my hands.

The problem with Pakistan has been highlighted by recent events now better than I or Thomas Friedman can ever do. Pakistan’s establishment has been shown to be what it is. Broke, without any credibility in the rest of the world and still prevaricating on India’s intentions. After some nudging from other sources, it has graciously accepted India’s offer of aid.

I still believe that if Pakistan stops being belligerent about India and drops the India bogey which helps the establishment remain in power, and most important, smashes the officially supported terror net work within its borders, Pakistan can take its rightful place in the community of nations of the world. Shoaib, will your establishment listen?


I hope that you enjoy reading another post of the Friday Loose Bloggers’ Consortium when eleven of us post on the same topic chosen by one of us. Today’s topic has been chosen by Grannymar.

Please do visit Ashok, Conrad, Grannymar, Magpie11, Maria, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy, Anu and Ginger to see ten other views on the same topic. Some of these bloggers may be preoccupied with vacations, examinations, family problems and/or romance, so be a little indulgent in case they do not post or post late.

That photograph published widely in India in 2003, caused a nation to ask itself some very disturbing questions. It is of Qutbuddin Ansari, a tailor of Ahmedabad in Gujarath who was pleading for his life. Read about it in an article in the BBC News here.

That photograph also buried from India’s conscience another story. There were no photographers around to take a shot of a crying human being with tears in her eyes pleading for mercy.

In some parts of India, we are not allowed to express grief in public. So we have professional mourners like in the famous film Rudali.

According to a custom, in certain areas of Rajasthan, women are hired as professional mourners after the death of a male relative. These women are referred to as a ‘rudaali’ (roo-dah-lee), literally translated as female weepers. They in turn publicly express the grief of family members who are not permitted to display emotion due to social status. The rudaalis make a scene crying out loud. The impact of their mourning also compels other people at the funeral to cry.

Tears come easily to me. Unfortunately, they never do at the right time nor right place. They come in torrents when I am alone or with people I can trust to understand and share my grief with. That is conditioning at its best!

Tears also come to me in torrents when I am joyful and laughing. I used to wonder if something was wrong with me till I read this little paragraph. “Darwin thought that monkeys, like humans, laughed. In this, he disagreed with Aristotle, who claimed that humans were the only creatures who laughed. Darwin’s purpose was to show that the expressive facial muscles had evolved from animals and that therefore man was not a separate, divinely created species. Duchenne kept a pet monkey and reported to Darwin that he’d often seen it smile, but Darwin relied on his own empirical experiments to argue that they laughed as well. “If a young chimpanzee be tickled—the armpits are particularly sensitive to tickling, as in the case of our children—a more decided chuckling or laughing sound is uttered,” Darwin wrote, “Young Orangs, when tickled, likewise grin and make a chuckling sound and. . . their eyes grow brighter.”

More recently, people are spending time and money on this very enigmatic practice about which you can read here.

I bet that the paragraph on Darwin will generate tears in Mayo’s eyes. Does it in yours as well?

Tirupur’s Workhorse.

This is a follow up post on my yesterday’s post on my Nostalgia Trip To Tirupur.

This photograph shows a very common sight in Tirupur. It is a courier carrying about a ton of cotton cloth between two processing locations. Possibly from a calendaring unit to a cut make and trim unit. The vehicle is a 50CC moped rightly called the work horse in South India, manufactured by one of India’s native grown companies called the TVS group.
The picture has been put in here to show the innovative spirit of the local populace. That a tiny machine like this can be used to carry such a heavy load surprises many first time visitors to the town. The locals do not even seem to notice it.

The unloaded vehicle looks like this.

My son Ranjan’s first owned vehicle was a TVS moped somewhat like the one in the picture. Subsequently, he graduated to two more higher powered models of motorcycles from the same stable.
Oddly enough, the very versatile and sturdy vehicle is not popular outside Tamil Nadu.

A Nostalgia Trip To Tirupur.

There are two towns that have developed a particular connection with me which keeps taking me back to them repeatedly. Bangalore, now known as Bengaluru and Tirupur. Last week, I had to visit both the places as I had to attend to some business as well as some crisis management in a close friend’s family matter.

Since reservations on convenient trains were difficult to come by, I flew to Bengaluru, spent a night there while attending to some business during the day and took an afternoon train for a six hour journey to Tirupur the next day. I took a train again last Saturday afternoon from Tirupur and after a 26 hour journey, came back to Pune on Sunday evening. I had traveled 1800 Kms by train during this trip.

Tirupur is a name very well known in the specialized world of ready made garments, particularly in cotton knits. You can learn a lot about it here. My first visit to the place was in 1969 when it was little more than a slightly overgrown village. Subsequently, I had a lot more to do with the town between 1974 and 1977 with very frequent visits, during one of which, I had the first hand experience with our emergency excesses.

I then had nothing to do with Tirupur till 1987, but visited it a few times till early 1990. From 1990 till early 2002 however, Tirupur has been on my regularly visited towns for the very obvious reason that I had a lot of business dealings there and on two separate occasions, employed there.

Naturally, I have made many friends there and have very close relationships with some of them. I have known many rag to riches stories there as well riches to rags stories. Throughout my experience there though, I have had nothing but great affection and excellent hospitality from the locals. I have a soft corner to the town and its people.

My visit to Tirupur after over eight years was indeed a nostalgic one. I was not disappointed with the warmth and the hospitality of the people there and caught up with a number of my friends there and successfully managed the crisis at my friend’s home as well.

In the last eight years, Tirupur has changed a great deal. It is now a district head quarters for a separate district. Roads have been widened and new fly overs have been built as well as many old thoroughfares converted into one way roads. New construction everywhere made it difficult to recognize some old familiar areas.

Being heavily dependent on the export market to the USA and Europe, economic activity is subdued and there have been many closures of units. The units focused on the Indian market are thriving but it is sad to see many exporting units struggling.

My friends would like me to come back and make my residence there. Who knows? May be that will happen too, once again!

Inependence Day.

When this post gets published, I should be on a train traveling from Tamil Nadu in the South of India to Pune on the Upper Western part of India. The journey will take me 26 hours and I look forward to it.

I will be traveling on India’s 64th Independence day, which, much to the chagrin of our notorious bureaucracy, falls on a Sunday this year.

I was four years old when India won its independence and can be called that part of a spill-over-from-colonialism generation. India chose to be a Socialistic Democratic Republic in 1950 and that socialism as practiced in India drove a rich country to its knees. In 1990, our gold reserves had to mortgaged to save us from defaulting.

Since then a lot of water has flown down India’s many rivers and for the first time ever, the number of high- income households, 46.7million, has exceeded 41 million low-income ones. For an Indian who has grown up in the Independent India, this is very satisfying.

This has happened because of some effective liberalisation measures taken after the crisis of 1990.

There is a lot that still needs to be done, but I can see that we are on the path and from now on India can only go one way and that is up. That this is happening despite India’s notorious corrupt establishment is indicative of the spirit of Indian entrepreneurship and resilience. I hope that before I go to meet my maker, I will see poverty removed and India working efficiently as it is capable of doing.