What to write ?

Should I talk about how I see myself becoming more and more cynical about things. This cynicism is sometimes like standing in a smokers room and it makes me yearn for something different, for some fresh air. When the fresh air arrives I miss the cigarette smoke to go along with it. A better analogy is of a rat. I often look out for rats on the London underground. I marvel at how close they are to me, to the expensive shoes, to the posters of the latest new musical in town. I sometimes make myself believe that the rats are looking at us. Then I think about their view of our world.I wonder if they get to see the dirt under the shoes, of trousers hems showing signs of age, do they get to see hairy armpits, hair inside the nostrils , sweat on hot summer days. Do they get to see everything that we try so hard to hide and pretend that it doesn’t exist.

My rat eye view tells me that there is a negative to everyone and everything. When I say negative , it is not what I perceive as negative, but what people perceive as negative in themselves. This is what people try to gloss over, put make up over and hope that no one notices it. To me that is the most fascinating part of that person and then that becomes the start of my journey into a person’s mind. So you have a good job, but are you really happy ? Is this really what you want to be doing? More importantly this also helps me to manage expectations (which means to keep them low) both with myself and with other people. It helps me understand why politics is the way it is and also why the business of AIDS has been a shot in the arm for faith-based organisations.

It helps me understand why Copenhagen is mostly about politics and environment is almost a side product. The leaders who get together could be talking about anything. It helps me see that the leaders for this summit are not even half as scared about this issue as they were about economic recession. They know that their governments are not going to fall, the majority of their electorate doesn;t really care much beyond their local recycling measures, the world is not coming to an end before the next election and more importantly this is the last photo-op for the year before everyone goes off for their ski holiday.

Some days when I need a laugh I wonder about how will the aspirations of a generation of Indians will be changed in a generation. They’ve just grown up being brainwashed to the aspirational western way of life – of unlimited food, water, electricity, where you are only limited by your imagination and not by natural resources. Just when they feel that utopia is within the reach, just when they feel that they’ve earned it through their long hours at work, broken relationships and the penthouse on the 20th floor where even the rats can’t reach, they are told that they were swinging in the wrong golf course. They are now to be told to use public transport again, to not overtly try to control the weather around them, to not take flights at the drop of a hat and not waste food. How can you change the definition of a good life ? even God doesn’t have the right to do that.

Then there is Tiger Woods. Or rather the rise and fall of Tiger woods. What is our fascination with perfect people. People who are committed to their families, jobs, charity and what have you. Not one step out of line, not one hair out of place, perfect families, kids, houses. And then it all comes tumbling out.  Why this fascination with perfection when it doesn’t exist ?

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