Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tamagotchi Murder

When I was in the 7th standard (or grade, if you prefer), a phenomenon called Tamagotchi was sweeping my school. Tamagotchis were virtual pets, supposedly fluffy and cute, and lived in little pink devices you could clip onto your sash/belt/backpack/whatever.

Essentially, you were supposed to tend to their needs - feed them, bathe them, hug them, and make sure they lived happy virtual lives. Ostensibly, this bizarre exercise taught you about responsibility, caring, and even loss (tamagotchis, unfortunately, were mortal).

If I were to compare this blog to a sort of grown-up version of a tamagotchi, then by all measures, I have failed it miserably. I have allowed it to shrivel up and die. But, months after my most recent post, I am back, attempting to make amends.

Was it writer's block? I don't think so. It was more of a real reluctance to actually think about, and process issues of any consequence. The papers were too full of too much bad news, and I figured that as someone working full-time, I could dispense with thought post 7 PM. And so I became vigorously thought-free, at least on weekdays.

But since the election results came through last weekend, I find myself more reconciled to politics and public affairs. Also, I worry very much that my brain will turn into pudding with all the intensive inactivity.

Politically, it seems that the best-laid calculations and formulae, the backroom manouevering, wheeling and dealing have come to nought. All the agendas, the tired rhetoric and empty promises that should have worked, didn't. I'd like to think that it's because the Indian voter has matured, and in doing so, has evolved far, far beyond Indian politicians.

A stable government at the center promises growth and reform, not to mention credibility. That's cause for some cheer. But it's also disappointing, not to mention alarming, to think that on curent form, there are few real alternatives to the Congress. The BJP has become alarmingly shrill, the SP shameless power-brokers, the BSP a sort of living monument to Mayawati's obsession with herself, the Left misguided and isolated. Most of the other players have lacked either the agenda, or the heft to differentiate themselves from the 300 or so 'parties' in the fray.

So I am probably as interested in the changes all these entities now pursue, as in the performance of the government itself. Because although the country has voted resoundingly for development, it would be nice to know that in the future, that's something everyone can offer. 

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