I am not, just so we are clear, making a case for friendship based on similarities. I believe, great friendships can thrive in spite of glaring differences. Agree?
Just, ten. But then, I never was, nor is, good with numbers.
- More of the same: The Sun is the same, the Moon is the same. Well, you already knew that, did’t you? How about the people, the passions, the problems? Told ya, more of the same.
- We congregate when a leader arrives in town, stand in the hot sun while he waves from behind the bullet proof glass; assails his adversaries; appeals to his supporters and disappears. So, who has it better?
- Unbridled geniuses: I don’t agree that communalism is a common denominator, rather, I think, the players retain similarities. Then: Jinnah’s daughter married a Parsi. Now: Bal Thackeray’s granddaughter marries a Muslim. Haha. Sorry, just couldn’t help.
- Remember, George W. Bush invoking weapons of mass destruction to wreck havoc in Iraq? For all the technological advancement, they got it terribly wrong. By any standard, we are the ones with gazillion deadly weapons. And, looking at the present regime’s love affair with drones, utterly fearless of tipping a weapon pile, guess the secret is safe from the ignorantly clueless superpower. Anyway, since we are always looking behind our backs, it’s just fit that we spend more money on defense expenditure than on education and health. If push comes to shove, perhaps we can eat bullets wrapped in nuclear bombs.
- Afterlife: A bomb in the market place, then on a bicycle will effectively put an end to our life. Or worse, five six television cameras will pick up our mangled remains and beam them across the world. The dead deserve no respect and they don’t complain, after all.
- Lo, if life wasn’t tragic enough, our literature bleeds the heart; the movies brim with angst; our politicians are drowned in conspiracy theories, the writers are swamped in bitterness and the songs in the street reel with wailing. Someone bachao us, please.
- Raining water: We are unique. We receive the monsoon almost every year and are still adequately underprepared. It’s complex, of course, the preparation. So we end up having water clogged streets, houses. Worse: leaving self respect behind, scurry after the army copters as they drop food.
- Culture: All of us who have broken nails, dirty hands-potters, weavers, farmers, artist-have a hand- to-mouth existence, across the board. While, anyone who has been to the UK or the US is more intelligent, more capable. The perceptions!
- The educated speak English, while the rest pepper it in their local language. The Americans can get away with wrong pronunciation, but say, ‘thrice’ ‘preponed’ ‘discuss about’ and down you go. Why? Again, why?
- We’ll push and pile on each other in buses; like Spiderman, will crazily leap across railway crossings; run across roads with absolute disdain for the approaching vehicle and curse the ever present traffic on the road-oh, the active life we lead.
- Tidbits: a. Even as the taste of our street food defies logic, we’ll happily list our favorite food as, ‘French fries and burger’. b. We have no time for our parents but go bonkers for the stupidly exciting cricket match. c. Foreigners describe our country as colorful, chaotic, dusty but with warm, extravagantly gracious people. Tell us more!
Ten, is it eleven, or more? You never know with these numbers.
Merlin Flower is an artist