Monday, April 19, 2010

Tharoor Filth

What can I add to the most recent Shashi Tharoor controversy, or the Shashi Tharoor phenomenon? Most probably nothing new, but let me say what I think of it and why.

When he contested in Thiruvananthapuram, I supported his candidature (in debates with friends).

I used to be a fan of his columns and I had liked a book written by him (India: From midnight to millenium). That was when I was an engineering student, but afterwords started thinking differently, realising that he is just feeding on cliches and platitudes (pet topics that later bored me to death: his love for kerala and globalization chains). I also started realizing that he might be a fool under an intellectual garb, eversince he started saying that Indian women should go back to wearing Sari(and not Salwars), Indians should sing national anthem the American way and Americans dont understand cricket because it is too complicated for them. Yet I argued for him during the election because I wanted to see what change such a person, who appears to have a good personality, good literary sense, liberal values, decades of UN experience, etc, can bring to the Lok Sabha. Especially because normally such people enter the Parliament through the back door (Rajya Sabha). Tharoor must at least be lauded for his choise of the democratic way instead (even though he was afraid to contest from Palakkad,his hometown - a CPM bastion).

But after his victory, and subsequent entry to the ministry, what he exhibitted was an anti-thesis of all his writings, and what his resume appeared to display. His tweets were filled with "meeting with the lovely foreign minster of X country, the amazing foreign minister of Y country" etc, and also sucking up to others ("K Karunakaran is so great even at his age" - that from someone who wrote vehemently against Indira Gandhi and Emergency in his book, even
though he did not oppose it when he was an office bearer at St. Stephen's student council). He wrote about his "great meals", played up to populism "3 Idiots is great, Aamir khan rocks", made comments on IPL matches, lived in star hotels and travelled only in business class (calling economy class "cattle class). He also did not seem to mind human rights violations and such (unlike his columns), for example he loved everybody from Saudi Shaikhs to dictators.

Selt-important to the core.

Analysing his personal life is probably a mean thing to do, but I am going to stoop to such levels, because a man's personal life can help tell what he really is. Tharoor was initially married to his college sweetheart and someone who later became an academic and intellectual. He divorced her to marry someone who is much younger (some UN gossip), but someone who possibly maintains high intellect (being a UN official and all). Then he dumps her for a relation with someone who shows no intellect, someone who runs a spa and a few marketing/PR businesses, who did a plastic surgery on her face, (I can go on). OK, love is blind (to the brains).

But she also gets a free 18% stake or something in a multi-crore cricket club, which he managed to "help put together". The club appears as shady as it can get, whose owners are an unlikely motely crowd - only 1% of equity belonging to a man from the home state, rest being held by Gujarati businessman and some such, along with Tharoor's love iterest. Why those Gujarati businessman favoured Kochi, a much less commericially viable city compared to Ahamadabad, who Kochi defeated to become the IPL club? Any number of questions can be asked. Of course Lalit Modi has hidden interests, but Tharoor is no innocent man.

In my opinion, this is not how a progressive politician in India should live.

After his resignation, Mr. Tharoor appears to be nothing but filth to me. A man who talked a lot but did the opposite of what he talked. One among the elitist "accented" waste St. Stephens spews. A man who is no better than a Marwari businessman in morality, but who is too foolish to cover up his foolishness. Those who say Tharoor is being wrongly indicted because of his naivity (or foolishness) compared to other corrupt politicians, I say: foolishness is not yet a virtue.

I am glad that content won over looks. India needs intelligence, intellect, commitment and action, not jet setting people in designer kurtas, and their boring tweets.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Abu Dhabhi

Abu Dhabhi airport.

Specifically, where the Kochi/Lahore/Manila flights come. Those gates. Cattle class? Why other parts of airport are so nice, while this is many-folds worse than what I've seen at any Indian airport?

I am proud to be in France than in UAE :)

Flight back home

I take the flight from Paris to Abu Dhabhi. Everything normal. People all nice.

I take the flight from Abhi Dhabhi to Kochi. I see at least 5 men around the air hostesses' cabin at any point of time (asking for tissues, a glass of water, beer, etc etc). She has to shoo them away, instead of the normal, "service oriented" behavior. Men just wait near toilet, for nothing, even after coming back from the loo(air hostesses are walking past them, a "brush" is probable, a "rub" is possible) . I join the queue for the toilet. A guy asks me to move, as if he has to go to the other side of the queue. Instead he just walks past me to the toilet (mine was next). After some time, another does the same, but this time I firmly tell him to bug off and stand behind me. After I go back to my seat, I see a man standing up and fainting. Air hostesses try to help him, giving water and telling him to do some things (breathing etc). The guy says he fainted after eating the mouth freshener they gave (a pack of sweet jeera, not a probable cause). Other people sitting near him start to blame him (he is still recovering), "dont put what you get free to your mouth just like that, otherwise this is what will happen", and enlightens their friends 3 seats down the aisle ("pulli kannikkandathellaam vizhungi, pinne ingane undaavaathirikkumo").

A major difference between first and second flight: second flight full of Malayali males.

I come back home, to hear wonderful stories about an arranged marriage that is happening at my house. Quite personal now, so cannot share them. But, wonderful in the sense...

A few years back, when I read similar posts about Mallu men, I got all angry, and called the blog writers "elitist" "western" etc. Now my actions are having to swallow those words.