Monday, September 05, 2005

Ideega Dehalige - notes from a cosmopolis III

It's great to be back, but the weather has completely de-romanticised all plans of what I would do in Delhi. Blinding white heat turns me bourgeois, the AC goes on and thoughts of Karim's are put off as life turns into the single-minded pursuit of staying cool (I'm talking about temperature not lifestyle). There is nothing subtle about either the climate or class shift inherent in moving between student life off stipend in the UK and vacation life in India. I feel only marginally less bratty than the Kartography lot and I did spend much of this morning looking at maps (again, no romance, I just don't want to get lost); was quite tickled to recall again that Panchsheel Enclave is in the vertex between Josip Broz Tito Marg and Gamal Abdel Nasser Marg. Barren non-alignment dreams preserved only in streets named during Nehru's lifetime. Now Tito's Yugoslavia is dead, Nasser's Egypt is, well, aligned, and Nehru's India...?

Read the India Today cover story about Rahul Gandhi - titled 'Is He Ready?', not a word about the leadership bankruptcy of the party, nothing about Rahul's ideas (about which precious little seems to be known), full of cloying little details about what he does in his spare time, and launched with an editorial by Aroon Purie putting it all in context for us by making telling comparisons with a cover story they did on Rajiv 24 years ago ('Will the cap fit?'). '[Indira's] son, Rajiv, was my classmate in school', Purie tells us, and Assistant Editor Priya Sahgal who researched and wrote the story 'was [Rahul's] senior at St. Stephen's and actually ragged him'. How cute, this mateyness between media and politics (sarcasm alert on).

Also cute (sarcasm alert off) are Rahul's dimples - all in all, this man is a good ad for miscegenation (if current romantic interests fructify - [awful word I know, but brevity, brevity...] - the kids will be half Venezuelan, one fourth Italian, quarter Kashmiri Pandit and quarter Parsi). I am back in the centre of the world. Delhi makes for an unlikely cosmopolis. As my great-aunt who has been married to a Sikh for several deacades once commented in exasperation: 'Delhi is full of Sardaars'.

Comments:
uuurrrgh, the india today. how much they've done to undo indian journalism.
 
i agree uma, but i was quite surprised by the piece because i thought india today was pro-BJP. maybe they're watching the BJP fall apart now and are trying to reinvent themselves, while retaining their poor standards of journalism!
 
:))
 
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