This above all... A civil war? Never!

This above all... A civil war? Never!

sweet and sour

Everything seems to have gone wrong in Dantewada; the chief minister of Chhattisgarh and his administrators have much to answer for. Thousands of villagers were receiving lethal weapons, being drilled like soldiers and yet the police of the district was caught napping.  Surely, they must have known what was going on. Then why did it allow unlicensed arms go unchecked? A vast tract of forest land had been converted into a mine field and yet no warning was issued to the CRPF that its personnel were walking into a death trap.

I have little doubt that if the Central government wants to crush the Maoist rebellion, it could do it within a matter of few days by deploying its Army and the Air Force. That would be very unwise and only bring us peace for a few years. The malaise has gone much deeper because we have allowed exploiters to deprive tribals who rely on forests to provide their livelihood. We must not let confrontation with their arms gangs to escalate into a mini civil war. After we have deprived them of their guns, we must talk to their leaders, restore their forest lands to them and bring them in the mainstream of Indian life. The word ‘adibasi’ has to be made an anachronism.


Ever since Jyotsna Varma moved to Manila to take up her job with Asian Bank, she has been besotted by the writings of Haruki Murakami. She told me about him when she was in Delhi for a couple of days. On her way back she picked up a collection of his short stories and sent them to me. I was fascinated but felt that they had very little story content in the conventional sense, but still managed to hold the readers’ attention.  Last month Jyotsna was back in Delhi for the release of her father Ram Varma’s ‘Before He was god: Ramayana Reconsidered Recreated’. She was still bubbling with praise of Murakami. And once again on her way back she sent me a copy of Murakami’s first novel ‘Norwegian Wood’ published in 1984. The title did not seem to make any sense. I was half-way through the novel before I discovered it was the name of Beatles song.

Murakami started  his working life setting up a Jazz Club in Tokyo which also sold cassettes of classical and modern western music. The enormous success of ‘Norwegian Wood’ pitch forked him into the world of literature as a first novel celebrity. Then for reasons I can only guess he fled Japan and stayed abroad for eight years before returning home; Jap fundoos could not stomach his portrayal of Japanese youth.
As it happened, I spent a few month in Japan and visited many places Murakami writes about: Kyoto (where he was born in 1949), Tokyo, Nara, Kobe, Nagasaki and Hiroshima. I spent all my times with students. I found them very proper, overpolite and straight-laced. Murakami’s students are hard drinkers taking beer, whiskey and sake by the gallon.  They watch porn movies and have girl friends eager to lose their virginity. Murakami describes their exploits in minute detail and a lot of relish, omitting no form of sex relationship, sex in different postures, lesbian, onanist.

Compared to the novel, our Kama Sutra reads like a child’s primer. I confess I was totally engrossed by it. At the end I was not sure if the week I had spent reading it, had been worthwhile. I came to the conclusion that it had been an enjoyable waste of time.

Bank robbery

An armed hold-up man bursts into the bank of Ireland and forces the tellers to load a sack full of cash. On his way out the door with the loot, one brave Irish customer grabs the hood and pulls it off, revealing the robber’s face.

The robber shoots the guy without hesitation! He then looks around to see if anyone else has seen him. One of the tellers is looking straight at him and the robber shoots him also. Everyone by now is very scared and looking down the door.

“Did anyone else see my face?” calls the robber. There are a few moments of silence, then one elderly Irish gent tentatively raises his hand and says: “I think my wife may have caught a glimpse.”

Funny ads

In hospital waiting room: Smoking helps you lose weight... One lung at a time!
Seen on a bulletin board: Success is relative.
The more the success, the more the relatives.
My grand father is eighty and still doesn’t need glasses.
He drinks straight out of the bottle.
You know your kids have grown up when:
Your daughter begins to put on lipstick... or
Your son starts to wipe it off.
Sign in a bar: “Those of you who a1re drinking to forget, please pay in advance”
Sign in driving school: If your wife wants to learn to drive, don’t stand in her way.
(Contributed by Vipin Buckshey, New Delhi)