A dead white woman comes into the picture….again…
I had this really long conversation with a friend of mine, we’ll call her the Attractive Afghani. This friend of mine has a connection with Afghanistan, as in a personal one. So anyway, due to her prior life e.t.c., she’s about as poles apart from me as can be, and yet we’re still extremely good friends. (Yea yea, opposites attract, and all that).
Anyway, what surprised me, is the extent to which the stuff Ayn Rand predicted about certain people’s behaviour is so true.
My friend, I love her to death regardless, leans towards the left..well she doesn’t lean so much as do a high-speed shuffle. Lean implies a pivot in the centre. There’s no center here…. I mean this woman is a pure communist in every sense of the word. It came as a shock to her that I don’t ‘believe’ that “Supply & Demand” is totally controlled by the government everywhere.
Now this wouldn’t matter so much, but the thing is, my friend works for the Red Cross, or used to work for them. Now Ayn Rand predicted that people who do Social Work, usually end up with a low opinion of humanity and end up with a huge chasm of guilt within them. And surprisingly enough, this is what came out of the long tiring debate that I had with my friend. A belief that human beings are just lowly, greedy petty parasites out to feed off each other and the Earth. I tried to explain that those definitions should be reserved only for communists, KEkta Kapoor and Bollywood music producers, but she remained unconvinced. I argued long and hard with her, but to no avail. Example: I am a greedy exploiting pig because I want to buy a Merc, not a Maruti. Why can’t I just be happy with a Maruti, she asked me. She asked why can’t we just be produce enough to meet our basic needs and be happy.
So I asked her, as I have asked lots of people before – please enumerate the basic needs:
Is a car with power windows extravagant? Air bags? What is enough? She answered it should get you from point A to point B. In that case, most cars are luxuries…
Someone said something about being able to provide basic healthcare for all at some point in my debates. What…is basic healthcare? Immunisation of which diseases? Is the ability to get an aspirin, but not a blood sugar check basic? Or below basic? How does one decide these things? There is this idea that everyone is entitled to a basic level of services, but my question is – who decides what those basic levels should be? There are two choices – either you have a government rich enough to meet all of your medical needs – in which every medical need is basic. This is the ideal solution, and one which every country should work towards. Healthcare (and Education) do need involvement from the government. They should not be left ENTIRELY to the Invisible Hand. BUT NEITHER SHOULD THEY BE ENTIRELY STATE-CONTROLLED. So if you don’t have the money to provide that kind of healthcare, STFU, and let the market help provide what it can, at the prices that it can.
This was just one of many topics. I asked my friend, time and time again, to elaborate, in simple steps, how my purchasing a Mercedes Benz exploits people. She wouldn’t do it. I told her I could explain, in very simple steps how my purchasing a Mercedes Benz employs people, and puts some money in their pockets. But that debate went nowhere. Sigh.
Where I get philosophical
So basically, I’ve discovered to figure out if one is happy. Huh? Don’t you know when you’re happy? Well see, it’s like this. Happiness is such an intangible sort of thing. Is one happy after having an orgasm? Possibly. After eating chocolate? Probably. Abusing a substance? Artificially. Ok, ok enough of ramble.
Phoenix/TTG’s definition of Happiness
Happiness is being able to say:
I could be dead tomorrow, and it wouldn’t matter me
Yep. That’s it. Anti-climactic, possibly but I don’t think so. Of course, once can criticise that statement and poke holes in it. But too bad. It’s late at night, and I’m too lazy to ramble more.
I am almost whole again
This voice has spent the last 16/17 hours reconstructing his blog. It is almost done. What’s left to do?
- Enable all of the outgoing links, which currently point to an odd place
- Enable the viewing of all the images embedded in the site
- Inaugurate a new design?
One thing that is causing me great regret is that there are 2 posts which seem to un-recoverable. This is a shame. It takes away from my complete-ness. The reason completeness is so important is that I feel as though I couldn’t continue writing into the future, unless I had the cushion of my past. Well, I have it now. Restored to almost full glory.
In other news, unrelated, I have 2 sets of relatives from USA over these days, and we just saw the Academy Awards.
So I’m off to Bombay for 4 days…
…where I will get to see lots of celebrities and ‘High Net-Worth’ Individuals at an art exhibition being hosted by my sister. I will also attempt (for the 7th/8th time) to try and keep an open mind about the place, and see it the way everyone else sees it. I have been unable to do that thus far (if you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, that would be pretty obvious). I’ll do this by wandering the city by myself in search of….er.. I have no idea. Well maybe I’ll just walk along Marine Drive ogling at couples and pretending to be a Shiv Sena gangster. Or not. It’s 9.30 am and I am very sleepy. Yawn. So the to the 3/4 lurkers out there contributing to my hit counter, I’ll see y’all on Monday, or later.
I had a dream last night, where I dreamt of a kazaki (cossack?) girl who used to be in my school. I thought I had a crush on her in school, but it only lasted for about a day – had to do with being dumped by first girlfriend… 🙂 This kazaki was a bit _too_ decent for me…
Anyways, she had nice eyeliner in my dream, and all we did was have a passionate conversation. I wish knew what it meant…. dreaming about somebody you haven’t even given more than 5 minutes thought to in over 11 years…
Ah well. I will go look her up on Facebook…
Brahma Chellaney thinks I’m smart
At a recent conference held on India’s Energy security, Brahma Chellaney took a break and went for a walk with a friend of mine. He was questioning why we Indians revere everything done by the British, and how, in his view, we should level Rashtrapati Bhavan and all of the New Delhi Area. On hearing this ‘radical’ opinion, my friend was reminded of me, and she told Professor Chellaney – “I have a friend who feels exactly the same way” to which Prof. Chellaney is said to have responded: “Your friend is a smart guy.”
*pats self on back*
Of course…. this is all hearsay, and completely unconfirmable, so don’t sue anybody over it….
Pind is Punjabi for gaon which is Hindi for village.
(So the title is such because most people consider Delhi to be a pind. An Urban Pind. )
Went to Urban Pind last night for the first time ever. Was quite impressed with the place, they’ve done it up well. Plus, it was ‘expat’ night last night, though honestly, these days, any night is expat night in most of the bars/clubs/pubs in Delhi (and elsewhere too I assume. Lots of white people travelling through India these days). The crowd was good, the music kicked ass, and a good time was had by one and all. I attribute some of this good time to my previously-mentioned colleague A. Somehow, whenever I go out with her, I end up having an excellent time. There will be a post on our fun trip to Bangalore soon, which will explain more. Or not
Anyways, just the whole night scene Delhi serves to remind how this city has been on the ascendant for a while now, until the next plunder. Allow me to explain. I have become obsessed with Khushwant Singh’s ode to Delhi called “Delhi, A Novel”. I don’t think it’s in print anymore, but I highly recommend you get a copy. While Bombay will have its Midnight’s Children and its Maximum City, Delhi has “Delhi, A Novel”. It’s when you read that you really begin to understand things. How many ‘big’ cities rose (and fell) 100 years before Rome? After reading the novel, you get to see a cycle.
1) Foreigners invade Delhi.
2) Delhi-ites fight back
3) Foreigners murder lots of Delhi-ites, plunder the city, and then govern their kingdoms from there.
4) They then proceed to get increasingly decadent, going native, all the while falling further into complacency
5) Go back to 1)
Sure, in the old days we were dealing with Mughal Emperors and such like. Then we had the British. Now we have ‘ministers’ some of which are Prime and others are just Chief (with some Foreign & Home thrown in 🙂 ) But the cycle continues. They invade, they plunder, they go native, and then they get invaded again.
And thus the story goes on as it has for a 1000 years.
It’s interesting what prompted that ramble. I was busy drinking my Vodka Tonic in Urban Pind, when a bunch of ‘Expats’ decided to order some Hookah (or Sheesha if you prefer) and were passing it around. Another bunch of ‘expats’ – the Mughals were doing that in the same place about 800 years ago.
Some things never change.