Archive for India

Kids on the Telly

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Watching Indian TV. They say children are raised better in this country than the “western world” with its fractured family values. Children here are nurtured in the lap of the family – almost always watched by a caring grown-up one of the family elders, grandparents ……

Not so much in reality. Turn on the news on TV and you are greeted with the familiar spectacle of grinning children crowding around TV cameras when a reporter files his/her report from the streets – whether it be the scene of a train accident, a political uprising, a celebrity sighting or a home invasion.

They are smiling – irrespective of the seriousness or levity of the reportage – They are have big grins on their faces to celebrate their ten seconds of glory in front of television cameras as their vastly inappropriate smiling visage is beamed into hundreds of homes across this nation. Why are they smiling? Where are the parents?

I do understand that in this vast land of severe survival issues, priorities are set about what is REALLY important and what is not, in the life of it’s citizens, but my question is still, who will teach these young people the value of propriety and sensitivity? Of all the grown-up they are surrounded by, maybe someone at home or in school, should sit down with these children and discuss something like sensitivity….and then wait to see if, crime, poverty, corruption, killings, rape, and the rest of the issues that detract from this developing nation’s soaring aspirations – ills reportedly bred among the countries poorest – do not then automatically disappear?

A random thought, at best.

… Los Angeles

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Mumbai to LA….. flying back home again! Having lived the local life these last few months, in this little bubble of gentrified Bombay suburbia aka Bandra, it has now forever become just as much a part of my system as the little slice of paradise I am lucky to call home for the last sixteen years. I know I will thrill at the familiar sight of the much photographed Santa Monica Pier lit up against the night sky even as I miss a glimpse of the jagged Bombay skyline viewed from a moving car with the serpentine bend of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link across the water, on a clear day. A glorious Southern California sunset over Malibu while navigating the endless crawl of traffic on Pacific Coast Highway beside crashing waves, may bring back memory of the early morning glow of a languid sun slowly rising above the sea-face of a smoggy Mumbai in mid-winter. And just like that, one might begin to wonder – having lived, by most standards, a rootless existence, without much room for attachment – about the meaning of a little word called “Home”…. wherever that may be.