Some people stay far away from the door / if there’s a chance of it opening up …
And some people break the damn door down. I thought I belonged to the latter category, but now I’m Snoopy waiting for his dinner bowl. Which will arrive a little too late to be savoured fully. Hellfire and wormwood assail all the penny-pinching Baal-worshipping cash-flow-managing misbegotten sons of free-thinkers in tight underwear who plumped their own bottom-lines and screwed MY balance-sheet by deferring MY dues till April.
A stroll down a wooded ride on a cloudy morning. Any walk is much improved by company. Preferrably good-natured, silent company. In other words, a dog. This one is 4 months old and was out in the Wide Wide World for the first time ever. While I mused on the perfect perspective of the trees smalling towards the end of the ride, Zippo discovered dry leaves, tree bark, random pebbles and one stoic toad.
As we passed the sunken paddock, dust stirred between the shadows. A pair of pebbles became the dark tips of two pricked ears. A jackal snoozing in the morning sun. Two more formed a triangle. They raised their heads and regarded us in the manner of a sleepy householder peering at his morning tea-tray, then dropped their noses back onto their paws and curled up again. I gripped the lead tighter, but Zippo was too engrossed in hunting leaves to notice these new playmates.
The sun broke through at the end of the glade. Columns of sunlight slanted through a huge oak. The fairway looked impossibly green, the one patch of sky between the clouds was unrealistically blue and gold. Where every prospect pleases … a boorish shout of “Fore” interrupted my reverie. I started back, first untangling the cat’s-cradle that Zippo had woven round my leg with his leash.
On the way back, a huge bronze drongo fluttered from a bamboo clump to a babul tree. Zippo’s man sauntered up. As he took the leash from me, something rustled in the leaves by the wall. A snake at least five feet long. I’m not too good at identifying snakes, but the head was the wrong shape for a viper. Probably a cobra. As we watched, it moved through a leaf-pile with hardly any sound, then over a little mound and disappeared into a hole in the bank. If only I’d had my camera.
For once, the papers had good news. Sunil More has been tried and sentenced in less than a year. Twenty-seven witnesses have given evidence against him and their anonymity has been protected. More could theoretically have been convicted even if some of the 27 had turned tail; the Supreme Court has ruled that the original testimony of hostile witnesses may be used for prosecution. This follows on the ruling that witnesses who change their statements shall be liable to prosecution for perjury. Who says the law is an ass?!
Not that there’s any shortage of asses (pun not intended). The Deputy Chief Minister of
For me, the story of the week appeared on Saturday. Sadly enough, only the Telegraph covered it in detail. Sarath Babu went through school with a teacher’s help and through BITS Pilani on scholarships. Now that he’s graduated from business school, he’ll run his own catering business. Like his mother, only on a different scale. Good man.
I have mixed feelings about Gaurav Dagaonkar, though. Surely he doesn’t need a PGDM to make music? Or is he setting up his own music production company? Not clear from the story (and I won’t buy his CD to check the label, either). This is a variation on a theme that I’ve encountered ever since I started this job. Is it a waste when qualified engineers or doctors or managers join the civil service? True, they can use on the job whatever they have learnt in their professional courses. Sadly enough, they may not get the opportunity in their first few years in the field. I don’t see much scope for a chemical engineer to use his expertise as a Sub-Divisional Officer. On the other hand, there’s the popular view that most B-School graduates end up “selling soap”. Vindi Banga, after all, used to be the pin-up boy for our young hot-shots.
The fact remains that these bright young people take up a scarce resource – specialized education. Now that the IIMs are hiking their fees, we have little cause for complaint if B-School graduates do their own thing. (Sing louder, Gaurav.) What about doctors? The state spends Rs. 800,000, on an average, to produce one doctor. If s/he acquires a post-doc degree, the cost doubles. The reasoning is that this learning will then be used to heal people. Is the trained professional then justified in taking up a different kind of job altogether? Does s/he have a debt to the state? And what about home-makers? Is it fair to take up a seat in a medical college for which 350,000 young people compete, to use the state’s resources for four years at least, then sit at home and not use that learning? A similar argument could be applied to engineers graduating from state-run institutions. Should there be a bond for a certain period of public service after graduation? (Is this the Chicago school of reasoning? Digression, courtesy Urmea: how many Chicago school economists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer - none, if it needs changing the market will take care of it.)
Doesn’t apply to me, of course. Forget about a professional degree, I couldn’t even complete a Master’s degree. Despite two attempts. I remain happily semi-literate. Time to play some Floyd. Yes, that track.
Post-Script: Chicken (a little less than half a kilo) marinated in curd, chilli paste and some salt and grated onions. Separately, heat a couple of tablespoonfuls of oil (NOT coconut oil, unless you're from Kairrlla). Drop in some dark mustard seeds, a handful of peppercorns, some "curry-leaves" (is there a word for them in English?), one clove of shaved garlic, two chopped green chillis and three chopped onions.. Stir till the onions turn golden-brown. Add the marinated chicken, turn up the heat, keep stirring till almost dry. Add a cup of milk (sugar or aspartame to taste) and repeat till the chicken starts to disintegrate.
Best eaten with appams, but fine rice should also do. What should I name it?