My Other Blog

Intarweb Thingies




A rude introduction to the other side 

My birthday this year was quite different. No midnight cake-cutting ceremonies. No birthday bums from room-mates. No 4-peg salutes to Bacchus. The fact that I live 15 minutes from the desi ghetto might have had something to do with this. People tell me that the next quarter century of my life will be the hardest. They obviously haven't heard Rajini's eloquent analysis of the eight stages of life. I'm looking forward to the next 25 years, though. Maybe I'm just thinking crazy, but I just might manage to get some 'action' within the next 25 years!

Had a nice dinner at a Thai restaurant. We got some ice-cream after the dinner and were walking through downtown, when my friend met an Iraqi from school. He started talking and told us he had dropped out of grad school and was working as a driver now. He said that he had got a job as a translator from the American government, but he wasn't going to accept it. Chances were pretty good that he would be posted to Iraq. He said, "I realized driving a bus here was preferable to being beheaded as a traitor in Iraq".

What was really shocking was when he told that his sister had been killed in a bomb attack. His father's house was also destroyed. This attack wasn't by the "freeedom fighters" but by Americans. Still, he didn't seem too outraged or saddened. He shrugged and said, "Well, that's her fate. Baghdad is full of american soldiers and they are going trigger-crazy being so far away from home".

It takes a live person to make us realize the other side of the story. News reports mention the 14 killed in Fallujah yesterday, but make no mention if they were normal Iraqis or terrorists. The marriage massacre question has finally died its death, without anyone actually knowing what really happened. The flag-waving American media, is now focussed on the more important question of M.Shyamalan's connections with the movers and shakers of the ouija board.

If the real Iraqi people don't resent American occupation, where are all these fighters coming from? The very interesting book "The ends of the earth - a journey to the frontiers of anarchy" by Robert Kaplan, was written in 1993. The author postulates that revolution and anarchy arise when rapid urbanization occurs without the corresponding availability of natural resources. The situation seems to be reflected well in Baghdad right now, where water is still not available in plenty and electricity seems to be scarce.

The same situation can be applied to Madras too. One only has to know how precious water is there and how traffic has exploded over the past few years. Not a single day goes by without some random retired person being murdered in the suburbs for a piece of gold jewellery. Ethics and humanity go out the window when unplanned rapid urbanization occurs.

Comments: Post a Comment