Holidays forever

Sweet and sour

I have already written and would like to reiterate that India has more national holidays — in my estimate nearly 50 every year — than any other country in the world. Sometimes there are three holidays together in one week which causes lot of inconvenience to the public. As a consequence, we are work-shy and the most work prone nation in the globe.

Since we are work-shy, we produce the least and remain the world’s poorest country. I have written in the past and repeat it again that we Indians work only three days in the week.

On the other hand, the Chinese work eight days in a week. Consequently, their rate of development is much faster than ours. They outpace us in every activity in life - be it farming, working in factories or offices or sports. So they outstrip us in every field of activity. They had little trouble in giving us a sound thrashing when we went to war against them. They produce world champions; we have not produced a single one. They have a work mentality, we have chhutti (holiday) mentality. How on earth can we catch up with the advanced nations of the world? We have to radically change our mindset or we will remain the most backward nation on the globe.

Kaam Ziyada

When Sanjay Gandhi popularised the slogan Kaam Ziyada, Batein kam - more work, less talk - I met Verghese Kurien in his farm, he epitomised it in human form. I was living in Bombay and took a few days off to spend with his family in Anand. It was a refreshing experience to be in open grasslands among herds of cows and buffalows grazing in the open. Neither of the Kuriens took time off from work; the only company they kept were with herds of cows and buffalows and the milkmen who owned them. Y K Alagh who was clearly associated with him has paid him a handsome tribute in the recent issue of India Today. I take the liberty of quoting him.

“Verghese Kurien was a man — who changed the discourse. For him, the poor, unemployed farmer with no resources was never a problem. He felt if a farmer could access technology and markets, he would be an asset. Having seen the dream, he would not budge. Like all men of his genre, he was willing to engage but not change.

Then Amul became the symbol of all that was India. If an idea was presented and he could weave it into his view at Amul, he wold push for it. In the many words written since last Sunday, some are worth recounting. The first was the buffalo. Kurien can be credited for the global recognition of the buffalo as an important war horse in Asiatic peasant farming. It wasn’t that well-known since it was not an animal found in Europe and North America. The bison had long since been dead. The first time he invited me to get involved was in an international conference where the theme was the buffalo. We are not doing enough but we are one of the few countries in the world that spends money on genetically improving the buffalo. It all goes back to the Dudhwala and his band of missionaries.”
Persons who welcome death

Persons who welcome death
are heroes only at times.
When they fight as soldiers
for our country on our
borders;
but those who drive
without helmets on scooters,
on motorbikes; and what not?
Are they heroes when they die?
Due to sheer carelessness.
or dare-devil due to youth’s aggressive behaviour?
And stubborn do not listen
to their elders nor even
heed the wise rules of the nation?
(Indira Srinivasan in
Poets International)
Baboon sabha
The English language has some wonderfully anthropomorphic collective nouns for various groups of animals.
We are all familiar with a herd of cows, a flock of chickens, a school of fish and a gaggle of geese. Then a pride of lions, a murder of crows (as well as their cousins the rooks and ravens), an exaltation of doves, and, presumably because they look so wise: a congress of owls.
Now consider a group of baboons. They are the loudest, most dangerous, most obnoxious, most viciously aggressive and least intelligent of all primates.
And what is the proper collective noun for a group of baboons?
Believe it or not..... a parliament
A parliament of baboons!
New airport
Banta has demanded that the new airport at Mumbai should be named Banta Cruz, as Santa already has one, named after him — Santa Cruz.

(Contributed by Vipin Buckshey, Delhi)

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