My Camera & My Chai: Bemusement


Now, this post may, or may not, seem to be full of humour. It is actually full of bemusement. And, yes, I am bemused.

In one of my few forays into listening to pop music, I listened to a song called ‘ What’s Going On?”, by a group called Four Non Blondes.

And yes, I must ask the question.

The glitterati have, for the moment, given way to chitterati, and we Indians get a lot of chitter-chatter these days, on two issues.

Trump trumping Hillary.

Modi trumping Trump and knocking the stuffing out of us Indians by suddenly announcing that the currency in our hands was worthless. Hoo Ha!

Now, one of the things that I read in the paper this morning, was about the glass ceiling that Hillary tried to break, but could not. Nope, she is not destined to be the first female President. At least, not for now.

In India, we still tend to have a somewhat primitive view of women. True. You need to read about the rapes to know that.

Yet, there stand the Goddesses – Kali, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati etc etc. And, they stand up there with the Gods. No God, for instance, is the Boss of learning. Saraswati is.

So, when we find that many top positions in banks are filled by women, the “Durga-switch” is switched on in our brains, and it is deemed to be cool.

We had a female Prime Minister in 1969, and no one really batted an eyelid. We have had a female President, and we do have lady Chief Ministers.

Maybe, Americans need a “Durga-switch”. After all, this is the land where bra-burning started. Indian women – those who wear bras – keep them. The rest never did wear bras anyway.

On a serious note – we need to take a person for what he/she is, and not for the structure of the genitalia.

Now, I think Modi was not too happy that Trump was suddenly getting all the attention in India, so he suddenly announced his currency switch on the same day.

All of a sudden, our smart phones have been filled with Trump messages and videos. They have been filled with messages of how Modi stole the Trumpian thunder.

And, our phones are full of videos of both men…

We have time these days. Lots of time. We are standing in line at the bank. That, by the way, is the line at Citibank. The line had shortened considerably since the morning


So now, the deep question of the day is this:

When I go to a five star hotel, how do I pay for my coffee? My old notes are worthless. Waaaaaah!! Poor me!

Blimey! What happened to credit cards, debit cards, and brains? Tell me!! Tell me if you can. I challenge you!

You have change – chhuta, we call it… Your coins still work! Go and have a chai at the local dhaba! He accepts change!

But, life carries on. We love to speculate and we love to send out messages.

But, we won’t talk to our fellow man….. Why hear the sound of his voice, when he can read the WhatsApp messages!



      1. Ya… I have reached step 1! That is, I have installed dit, and put 1,000/- into it. Now, I need to figure out how to pay!

    1. The currency crisis will improve. I don’t think people are too worried about that. The Opposition is, because they will lose political mileage.

      From our perspective in South Asia, while we believe that Trump is a nut-case, many of us believe that Clinton is far more dangerous.

      I am reading a book by Karen Armstrong, and she does confirm what I have read elsewhere – that much of today’s chaos in South Asia can be traced back to British divisive action in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. They disrupted the social order of several hundred years and introduced religious divisions that have proven to be explosive.

      Clinton will meddle in South Asia and Mid Asia and perpetuate the chaos that exists. That is what I believe. So, good riddance.

      Trump – it has been predicted that he will be impeached, so let’s see

  1. Keep those cancelled R’s and tuck them away in an envelop. In a couple of years they will be collector items and worth far more than their face value.

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