India may be a world power in some respects today, but the majority of its citizens still live in the villages that make up some 75% of the country. Despite the growth of industry, agriculture is still India’s mainstay when it comes to occupation.
Few city-bred kids opt to go and work in villages unless they are forced to. I opted to do so back in 1980, giving up a short stint as a journalist and taking up a job as a rural development extension officer with a Bangalore-based company known as Myrada. (It was originally known as Mysore Resettlement and Development Agency, a name that it had due to being originally set up to resettle Tibetans who had fled the Chinese invasion in 1959.)
By the time I joined Myrada in April 1980, the company had a number of projects in operation. The modus operandi was to do a project report for a certain area which had development potential, approach a foreign funding agency and get the necessary money to implement the project.
Continue reading “The village experience”
Towards the latter stages of his life, Charles Darwin noted that he could not read serious texts any more; the only thing that grabbed his attention was a book on romance. One of the greatest scientific minds we have known could only enjoy a book about the mating game.
One would not liken oneself to the great man, but over the last nine months one has been similarly drawn away from serious work to become a regular viewer of a Chinese dating show that goes by the name If You Are The One.
The show is a record-breaker; it has about 60 million tuning in for every episode and has been running for seven years. The presenter, Meng Fei, is a national celebrity.
Continue reading “They do things differently in China – and it seems to work”
One of the many big-noters in India has announced her return to the literary scene with a novel about the uprising in Kashmir. Coming 20 years after her only other effort, Arundhati Roy’s 2017 publication has already received enough hype to make one puke.
Since her book The God of Small Things was surprisingly awarded the Man Booker Prize in 1997, Roy has been involved in activism, written essays and numerous articles.
One has to be grateful that she did not attempt a second novel. Her first effort was terrible; author Carmen Callil, chair of the 1996 Booker jury, pronounced Roy’s work “execrable”, and said it should never have reached the shortlist.
Continue reading “The time has arrived for a literary fraud to resurface”
“But I require more for myself. I need to be stimulated more than that, you know?” – Lara Bingle on her relationship with Michael Clarke Source
LARA Bingle is the Paris Hilton of Australia. She is a silly empty-headed woman who uses her looks to get from A to B and has done nothing to merit any kind of publicity – apart from periodically ensuring that she bares a bit in public.
However, when she hooked up with the Australian cricketer Michael Clarke in 2007, she got a good deal of the spotlight. Clarke was the captain-in-waiting at the time and that post is the second most important in the country after the prime minister.
Hence Bingle was often in the public gaze. She made the most of it.
Continue reading “Lara Bingle says Michael Clarke could not ‘stimulate’ her”
WHEN a heterosexual relationship breaks up, the man generally takes much longer to get over it than the woman. This may not be true in all cases but in a majority it certainly is. Why is this so?
I have a theory. Traditional relationships between men and women had men doing the task of earning a livelihood for the whole family while women were the ones who played the role of home-maker.
Thus in those days, it was more difficult for a woman to consider getting out of a relationship, even if she was getting the short end of the stick. She had to stick on, as she had no means of support. Even today, when many women are employed, it is very difficult for them to manage alone and bring up children while supporting them.
If women had also to cope with a massive emotional fallout from a broken relationship, it would make things even harder. I think it is nature’s way of compensating for the disadvantage – women take much less time to recover from a broken relationship and get together with someone else.
Men take a long time to get over a broken relationship and at times go through their whole lives unable to get over a particular woman, but then they generally do not have the problem of not having a job and having to raise children as well as courts generally give custody of the kids to the women.
One more example of how nature compensates people for natural inadequacies.