In the immediate aftermath of Tsunami that struck the South Indian coast in 2004, we happened to visit Andaman & Nicobar islands for installation of two Reverse Osmosis (RO) desalination plants at the selected sites/islands.
Subsequently we were successful in installing and operating RO plants in Car Nicobar island/Air Force Station (1000 LPH capacity) and Great Nicobar island/Campbell Bay (1500 LPH capacity). Incidentally Great Nicobar island or Campbell bay, as it was also called, was the southernmost tip point of A&N islands.
Following the tough & nightmarish tour, I made the following notes in my personal diary titled “My Experiences & Analysis” :
What I realized : “ The Harder you work, the Luckier you get ”
What I understood : “ If you do what you are supposed to do, you will get what you are supposed to get, sooner or later ”
What I experienced with my team members : “ Ability without Responsibility is a Liability ”
What I felt or concluded after seeing the functioning of local administration or bureaucracy : (1) “ If Tsunami was a natural calamity, post-Tsunami was a man-made disaster ” ; (2) “ The dictatorship and arrogant attitude of Civil administration officials was more destructive and damaging than the Tsunami ”
My emotional & poignant moment : Installing RO plant at Great Nicobar island or Campbell bay (tip of A&N) which was akin to installing or hoisting the Indian National Flag (tricolor) on Mount Everest !
Old sayings stand modified by me : (1) “ Little pure drops are made or produced from the mighty (salty) ocean ” ; (2) “ Daredevils rush in where angels fear & refuse to tread ” ; (3) “ Technology favors the brave ”
Threatening moments : (1) My team members (3 of them) threatened to walk out of the project twice ; (2) One of the senior bureaucrats namely Relief Commissioner threatened to refuse granting an official permission to me for leaving the island and vowed to keep me stranded for good !
Song of the Tour : Seated on the deck of the ship one night, while travelling by sea from Car Nicobar island to Great Nicobar island or Campbell bay, I thought to myself philosophically, “ People who are thousand miles away from you can make you feel better & rejuvenated than people who are right beside you ”
Bottom Line : All is well that ends well and all that ends well bodes well to all.
Every time my spouse has to step out of the house, she stares mournfully at her open wardrobe which is usually fully stacked, and a “all too familiar” scream emanates from her mouth : “ I have nothing to wear ”.
Usually I have no objection to my wife purchasing new clothes, except that her insatiable need for them bears no logical relation to the large wardrobe and several suitcases full of seldom-worn clothes in perfectly good condition which are already in her proud possession.
Saris are hysterical & magnificent obsession of majority of Indian women. “ I have got to have a new chiffon sari ”, my wife would say with a note of desperation in her voice. “ But you already are in possession of many chiffon saris ”, I would protest meekly. “ Yes ”, agrees my stubborn wife, “ but I don’t have one to go with my new baandhani blouse ”. I am tempted to ask her as to why in blazes did she not buy a new bandhani blouse to go with one of her many chiffon saris, but I check myself knowing fully well the futility of attempting to counter female logic.
Buying one article of clothing in order to fulfill or match another article of clothing, is a gambit passed on from mother to daughter, generation after generation.
It is generally of little consequence to women whether their clothes indicate good/cool taste in color or pattern, or even whether they fit or accommodate the body properly. I have seen women wearing shocking pink or red silk sari in bright sunlight. They literally ruined my day. For an average young Indian woman, the paramount consideration is that the clothes must be of this year’s style, or better still, this month’s trend. When asked by me to wear an ‘out of fashion’ dress because it was cool & pleasant looking, my wife has been heard to reply scornfully : “Are you mad or paranoid” !
Bottom Line : The best recourse, of course, is to give in or submit completely and buy such/much clothing as your wife demands. Just think how happy this will make not only your wife but also the local vendors & shopkeepers. If more and more husbands similarly give in, it might even stimulate the flagging economy and reduce the national debt, even as your own debt increases !
Final word & Final assault : I once boldly suggested to my sartorial wife that she could buy as many clothes as she wanted by selling some of her seldom used jewelry. She EXPLODED *******
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - both are not revealed. India thrives on such “magical” technologies especially in urban areas among elite sections of people. No questions are asked so far as the desired & promised results are instant and quick (immediate), notwithstanding the durability and life of the technology. Such technologies are short-lived, but because of the initial success and euphoria, no questions are asked and the demerits & defects of the technology are conveniently forgotten. The bottom line is that it has served its purpose and nobody is interested in seeking the hidden science or formula behind the technology.
Come to think of it, I regret and feel sad that I was involved (as a team member) with couple of indigenous & genuine technologies which were not accepted, encouraged, and trusted by general public because they were all too revealing and transparent. Ironically it has been observed and experienced by me that the more you reveal, the less people are convinced !
Being transparent and having a “bare all” attitude is a virtue that is not practiced and encouraged in India. For an average Indian, ignorance seems to be bliss !
It is no secret that any pompous and celebrated technology does not reveal the hidden formula or scientific truths behind the end result or the end product. No issues, considering that everything is fair, cool, and non-obligatory with a hidden or concealed technology so far as it does not play or mess with the lives of innocent/gullible people ; the day this happens, it stands to get mercilessly bared and exposed.
Eventually people will stop believing or trusting any technology in the long run !
Recently there was a cabinet reshuffle and cabinet expansion at the central ministry. About 36 members of parliament were newly or freshly inducted into the Central cabinet. The average age of newly inducted ministers was said to be 46 years.
The Headlines in one of the loud TV news channels read : “ New council of young & dynamic ministers have been sworn in by the President of India ”. So far so good, India Incorporation is indeed shining, I thought to myself.
But very recently there was a transparency report, as per the survey or scrutiny conducted by ADR (elite & prestigious version of HRD),which said/concluded that 42% of the new council of ministers of Central government have criminal cases pending against them and 90% of them are millionaires.
Not surprisingly, the findings of the report did not shock the nation. This was the order of the day and hence accepted by all with a pinch of salt !
Bottom Line :
1. While the criminal rate is going up, the poverty rate is coming down
2. In order to defeat or overcome poverty, you need to commit crimes obviously as per the “survival of meanest” theory
3. In order to be a politician or a lawmaker, you need to be a criminal and a millionaire because eventually you will be dealing with criminals & millionaires. Where is the time for common man ?
Women are on a high these days ; In fact modern day Indian women never had it so good (post pandemic). They are now bold and loud without being aggressive or violent. They are seen either raising a point or stressing a point on every issue of national importance. I must admit here that they come to the “debate” with proper homework and are equipped with undisputed & reliable facts to support their argument.
Gone are the days when Indian women were mute spectators to the happenings around them. Today’s women are vocal and daring to the point of being dramatic. They change their emotions & expressions as the situation demands.
On one side of the spectrum, you have women criticizing the central government & central leadership on each and every vexed issue at the drop of a hat.
On another side of the spectrum, you have women who keep heaping praises on the central government & central leadership. More often than not, they act as the unofficial spokespersons of the central government thereby posing a diplomatic threat to the real & official spokespersons of the government or ruling party.
All said & dusted, I support and welcome woman empowerment & woman activism, so what if there is a lot of drama and theatrics involved. Women are the real performers now in post-corona India. Pandemic has made them only bold, confident, determined & convincing. They can make you change your mind, they can make you emotional, they can make you weep, and they can make you laugh. Brace yourself for “all woman” circuses in near future.
Women are here to stay as MEN !
A Prakash Rao
He was Scientist in one of the leading CSIR lab. He has published many leading international journal of publication. He spend most of the time writing stories,