But she also loves delicate tea served in beautiful cups... like this one.
This appeared in Sunday Times....
Yet another ( C )Hit-and-Run case….
India is suffering from a serious case of Outrage Overdose.There is just so much outrage floating around, we don’t know where to take it, nor what to do with it. Night after night we strain our vocal chords and express anger/anguish/sorrow/contempt/disillusionment/revulsion/horror/desperation/impatience/cynicism…. Oh, a whole bunch of emotions, as if on cue. We switch on an invisible internal button… and go for it! Mercifully,the cast of characters and racy script have been changing at an alarming speed, but essentially, we now have a nightly, high adrenalin show featuring an official list of Seriously Outraged People. Sometimes, I join this gang myself. I guess letting it all hang out occasionally is therapeutic, even cathartic. Whether or not it is useful … does it matter? Last week was an outstanding one for mass outrage.So much awful stuff happened, it was almost impossible not to go totally ballistic.That’s the problem. It’s now reached a stage where one wonders how outrage on such a mega scale can possibly be topped? What would it take to really, really shock us? A nuclear war?Till then,what we can comfortably take in our stride has been established clearly. Let’s see… we can aaram se handle an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with China, our beloved neighbours , in Ladakh. We can look them in the eye and say ‘Boo’! Niccee! Never mind that they refuse to budge.We can say ‘Boo!’ till the cows come home and they’ll still be there. And Salman Khurshid will still be there, too. Perhaps he can’t resist a trip to China because he loves Peking Duck.
Topping the latest outrage charts was the Chor Bizarre episode involving crores and crores of ‘poor people’s money’, even as Mamata Bannerjee ‘made red,red eyes’ and ticked off those who dared to criticize her.For our part,we dutifully expressed outrage. On her part, Mamatadi sensibly ignored it. And it was business as usual in West Bengal (which is really a joke, since no legit business seems to be happening in that state). The Commies went ballistic over ‘poor people’s money’ (is it different from rich people’s money?) getting looted. And we stepped up our outrage to the next level.Nothing happened. Nothing is likely to. The poor will continue to be looted and get poorer, not just in West Bengal, but across this great and good land of ours. And high profile lawyers like Nalini Chidambaram won’t blink before charging a one crore legal fee in the same ‘poor people’s money’ context. In this particular case, our outrage was naturally more subdued.
Saradha Reality Ltd . has shut shop. And the smart folks at SEBI have woken up. India now knows that there are more than half a dozen Cheat Funds juggling more than 7,000 crores of ‘poor people’s money’ (awwww! Bad boys).Of course the country remains seriously outraged. Sudito Sen, the naughty man who masterminded the Ponzi (we love the sound of that word!) scheme before squealing on co-conspirators, is currently cooling his heels in the clink. In the recent past,Sen, a true patron of the arts, had spent millions on acquiring masterpieces painted by his Chief Minister, the multi talented Mamata Banerjee. Several gifts were also generously given to the lady’s party, and the level-headed Didi refused to look this particular gift horse in the mouth. If only that Sen guy had not decided to go public with all those revelations, we could have conserved our rapidly depleting reserves of outrage.
After all, there is a limit to how much outrage can be expressed by an exhausted nation. Just a few days ago, we were in outrage overdrive because of a 5- year-old girl called Gudiya and the unspeakable sexual assaults on her tiny being. There were just too many uncomfortable truths to deal with in a compacted period of time. The ugliest four letter word ever (R-A-P-E) refused to go away, even as those brave and dashing Delhi cops decided to express their own outrage by slapping a female protestor or two. Naturally their hugely popular and greatly admired boss, Neeraj Kumar, hung around stubbornly, while we did what we do best – you’ve guessed it – demanded his head and expressed outrage. Now that we are over our eyeballs in outrage, we are a little stumped what to do the next time something terrible happens. It’s getting a little boring, not to say tiresome, to keep cranking the levers of that ghasa peeta outrage machine. The nation wants to know which emotional button one should press next. India wants an answer – should moral outrage be replaced? If so, what should replace it? How about… err… sincerity? The time to take a position on this burning issue is NOW!