I had an interesting telephone call earlier today, with a friend who called me after almost ten years for a long chat. Both of us exchange WhatsApp messages, mostly forwards but, have not really been catching up with news on our families. During the call, he enquired about Ranjan and any grand children in my life. I joked that my grand child is our dog Chutki and changed the subject knowing that once he starts talking about his three grandchildren the conversation will prolong to at least another fifteen minutes.
That conversation however reminded me of two recent news items that I came across which leads me to believe that there is something going on about demographics that is not perhaps receiving as much attention as it should.
The first one is this article in our Economic Times. It makes for interesting reading coming as it does from India.
The next one is from China where the problem is vastly different and while I find the whole report amusing, it points to some disturbing facts coming out of the country with the largest population in the world.
And finally to add some spice to this topic, here is a news item that should tickle the funny bones of all my readers.
I came across this article in the BBC news letter by accident. The lead to it had no reference to any numbers.
This pointer is what lead me to the article.
I cannot understand why the author is dumbing herself down. Does she seriously believe that it is difficult to remember a series of ten digit number code?
If I ask her for her mobile phone number, will she find it difficult to tell me the number? And from her name, she appears to be either Indian or of Indian, my part of the country, origin, all the more reason to disbelieve her self doubt.
Can you not remember your ten digit mobile telephone number, or for that matter, your landline phone number with country and area code numbers?
For years, I used to use Hydrogen Peroxide drops and buds to clean my ears till an ENT specialist who I accidentally met on a plane trip told me that I should not. He suggested just the bud and if at all necessary to an ENT specialist. I have heeded his advice till date and have not had to go to any specialist for a cleaning session.
My cousin Shankar who has been to China and is fascinated by that country sent me a story about the ear cleaners of Chengdu and asked me rather plaintively “I wonder if this custom exist in some parts of India?” This does not exist in that part of the country where he lives but, I am surprised that he did not see this in the other parts that he has visited.
He asked the right person!
I promptly sent this link to him.
I would not dare opt for this service. Would you?
It is a measure of the times that we live in that it is the most difficult question to answer with one definite place. If I choose one, the chances are that within 24 hours there will be a mass shooting or a terrorist attack somewhere which will, for the media, become the most dangerous place on earth.
I thought hard about how to approach the problem and the solution appeared as though a miracle when I was on my back from a movie yesterday evening. I was almost run over by a car despite my having been standing on the pavement waiting for my car to come to pick me up. The vehicle lost control trying to avoid a two wheeler and mounted the pavement. The motorcyclist in turn was trying to avoid hitting a pedestrian suddenly darting across the road in front of him.
I decided then that the most dangerous place in the world today is simply our roads. I did some research and I was stunned to read that China and India are almost neck to neck in fatalities in sheer numbers but the entire world has more deaths arising out of traffic accidents than any other cause. QED.
And lest I forget or my readers forget that there is a world outside of our roads and there is a place near where I live which is unique, here is a news item from a local newspaper there.
Shackman has suggested today’s topic for the weekly 2 on 1 blog fest. Please check what he has to say on the same topic.
One hears much noise in the media about India’s current growth trajectory and emerging status as a global player. Residing in India in retirement however, this has not impressed me much except for the increased traffic on the roads and increasing sensationalism in our media.
But now I am willing to sit up and take notice. India has indeed arrived in the global scene. According to a report from the WHO, India is now the most depressed place on earth. India recorded the highest rate of major depression in the world, at 36% . This compares very favourably with Europe and the USA with a little more than 30%, but we have beaten our rival China hollow which has only 12%.
And more satisfying is the fact that unlike in other fields, our women have beaten women from other countries hollow with the distinction of being the most stressed in the world too. 87% compared to the next highest, Mexico with 74%.
Congratulations India. I am very proud to be an Indian. Where is my Prozac?