Skip to main content

It happens only in India: We see "Hands" everywhere

For a change, let me actually try writing a good post. This is in relation to something contemporary to the two day old housefly that has been pestering me in my room until my heart hardened enough to turn on the UV light attracting it into a 340VDC mesh, where it rests in peace. Actually, the post may also be considered contemporary to the two year old dog that keeps befouling my hostel wing, who loves to sleep outside just one particular room in the wing. Also, this is a move towards fulfilling a promise that I had made on the 21st of March this year, when I started the It happens only in India series.

I shall refer to the latest book that I am reading I have been forced to read through my Reading Fiction course, and that is Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. A motif in the book is the pointing finger that Salim Sinai keeps seeing everywhere. Of course, 30 years since that book has been written, the finger has to evolve into something bigger.

And that is the hand. Some people keep seeing hands everywhere, even if they are actually putting their feet in their mouths. They come up on national television (I shall refrain from denigrating news by associating news with the content on Indian TV, look again at the post that I have referred to at the start of this post), and start alleging all sorts of hands in everything that seems to go against them. But is it really just the people who are big enough to appear on national television that suffer from such hallucinations, or is it a problem that every Salim Sinai in the country suffers from?

Should I use a stack or a queue? I definitely cannot use linked lists, they have been patented, but I shall refrain from ranting about the misuse of the laws supposed to be promoting development by protecting intellectual property. That is the subject for a later post. Even as I write this paragraph, I realize that many of my readers would not be familiar enough with computer data structures to understand the extremely nerdy connotations associated with stacks and queues. In plain old English, what I am wondering is do I start my rant with the most recent event first or in a chronological order?

I think I shall stick with the stack, that is I shall relate the most recent event first, then the previous one, and so on. This is because my memory is fresh with the recent events in the papers (I hardly watch certain channels on TV, Gossip channels and Fashion TV are sometimes more informative than the unmentionable channels). The event that irked me enough to write this post is related to the excellent recognition of agencies by their hands. When a certain person decides to protest against a well established system in the form of governance, which involves a lubricant on the quoted word in the title, then we suspect a foreign Hand behind that person but when a certain diplomatic cable sent to a place attributed to the Hand in the previous accusation describing someone as an egomaniac is leaked onto the wild wild web (www), we see the Hand of the domestic opposition! Bravo! We sure have a knack for identifying these Hands. In fact, one popular joke on the facebook world (one of the many that exist in India, the world of the people deemed important enough to run this country is just made up of many Hands and is as removed from reality as possible) claimed that apparently, QIF saw the Hand of the EFF in the flag of the P. No, I am not going to explain rot13. Find a Hand to do it for you.

What I find disturbing about this whole business of finding Hands is that we are so ready to blame others for anything that does not happen our way. A child comes home with an F on his test claims that it is just because the teacher hates him, and the parents, who share the same world as the child, readily agree with the child, and petition for the teacher to be sacked, in a country where one of the worlds finds too few teachers to teach, and the people living in other worlds create an uproar in a certain circular building somewhere around (28.618451N, 77.207429E) when someone living in the former world points out some facts from his world. We see hands lubricated in some muck that is used in industry, but do not see the persons who apply that lubricant. Our own hostel mess probably uses hands too young to work, but easily passes them off as older hands. What hand brings all these hands on deck?

A more serious implication of this activity about looking around for non-existent hands is that sometimes, we draw focus away from the events at hand. This has happened so often in recent history, that I would not dare to recount the occurrences. I am trying to be as obscure about events as possible, while still being specific, and this is definitely not easy when it comes to certain events. Moreover, some of the events which I refer to are definitely painful to remember, like the one in which someone found a hand not of the person who had been caught red-handed by the police, but of a certain group... no, I would be accused of irreverence if I tried to mock such events. I shall be content to conclude my post here.

If you allege that some hands were involved in writing this weblog post, I am duly contrite. I have to employ two hands to type on my Dvorak keyboard.

Popular posts from this blog

Progressive Snapshot: Is it worth it?

I turned 25 last year, which in the highly mathematical and calculating eyes of the US insurance industry meant that I had suddenly matured into a much more responsible driver than I was at 24 years and 364 days of age. As a result, I expected my insurance rates to go down. Imagine my surprise when my insurance renewal notice from GEICO actually quoted a $50 increase in my insurance rates. To me, this was a clear signal that it was time to switch companies.Typically, I score really high on brand loyalty. I tend to stick with a brand for as long as possible, unless they really mess up. This qualified as a major mess up. As a result, I started shopping for insurance quotes.Two companies that quoted me significantly lower rates (30%–40% lower) were Progressive and Allstate. Both had an optional programme that could give me further discounts based on my consenting to the companies tracking my driving habits. Now, I am a careful driver – I hardly ever accelerate hard. I hate using the brak…

Cornell Graduate Students United: At What Cost?

On Monday and Tuesday, we graduate students at Cornell will be voting on whether or not we want to unionise. Actually, scratch that, only graduate students who hold a TA, RA, or GRA appointment can unionise.This is a shitty arrangement, and I will be voting against it.For those of you who are not aware of how graduate school works at Cornell, you could be on one of many appointments.FellowshipA graduate student on a fellowship gets a stipend and tuition paid without associated teaching or research opportunities. Graduate students on a fellowship typically work towards their own theses, but will be excluded from the unionGraduate research assistantshipsA GRA gives a graduate student stipend and tuition without teaching responsibilities. However, this money comes out of a specific project grant, and the students typically work on their own theses. Students on GRAs magically qualify to join the union, whereas there is virtually no difference between a GRA and a fellowship for the most pa…

Reading List, April 2017

Adam Carroll, When money isn’t real: The $10,000 experiment, in TEDxLondonBusinessSchool, 9 July 2015. [Online]: Carroll presents an interesting point – we have abstracted away money through the use of a number of instruments, such as credit and debit cards, NFC payment systems on our phones, and in-app purchases, when we don’t realise how much we are actually spending. Carroll spends some time showing how his kids, aged 7–11 played monopoly differently when they were playing with real money. He goes on to lay his premise, that financial literacy must be taught to children at a young age, when they should be allowed to fail and learn from their failures at a small scale, not at the hundreds of thousands of dollars when they are in student loan debt and just out of college.Carroll’s talk hit a lot of notes with my own experiences with money, and I’m sure that it would resonate with your experiences as well.Brett Scott, If plastic replaces cash, much tha…