July 25, 2009

Near-Total Eclipse

God invented man now we manufacture them in India. In fact this is probably the only ‘thing’, product/service, where no one can compete with us on productivity parameters. Now let us not blame the Chinese alone for large scale manufacturing operations churning out poor quality products. On the other hand we have grown up reading from the Darwinian dude that man has evolved from a monkey and not fallen onto earth from somewhere. Let us clear this muddle for once and all. God could not have done such a mistake. Let us dig a little deeper.

July 22nd 2009 was a momentous day for people living in high rise, read story above the ground floor, apartments. Their homes were flooded with fresh sparkling water at 6 am from the always open taps in the kitchen sink and washrooms. These taps remain dry almost always therefore people never turn them off. Living at 2nd floor in India’s designer showcase city conceptualized by Le Corbusier I too had that welcoming wet feeling on the twenty second July morning. My kitchen sink was overflowing with pearls of water. I dare not disturb the tap and kept looking at it with gratitude and pleasure. I generally believe in hard work over luck. But that day I was plain lucky, otherwise how you could explain the real running tap with serene water bubbles oozing out like a milk streams in my house. I realized later that I was not being lucky. It was a case of Solar Eclipse in India. If you are not from India you cannot understand the phenomenon. As an ancient custom people are forbidden from working during the eclipse as it may bring bad omen. Although we have surely realized long ago that work is a four letter word, must be shunned with all your might.

We have been told by our wise people, who do not themselves go to work and become preachers that everything that needs to be known has already been explained in our ancient texts and it is for the west to create new stuff that we have already experienced in our glorious past. And moreover we know the future too. Our astrologers can tell us all future events with six sigma accuracy. Therefore we Indians are advised to go back to old books so that old glory can be achieved. These self professed wise people use cutting edge ICT tools to propagate their back to future ideology. Steven Spielberg, I love your films but why did you make a film with such a title? Well you may disagree with us.

So a solar eclipse can happen anywhere on earth but in India it was a unique experience. The media with the advice of great astrologers cautioned the public about the impact of the eclipse. On a cursory look India seems to be divided along religion, caste, region and profession lines but the astrologers divide us on the basis of zodiac signs. You never know in future we may have zodiac signs as family names. These wise sages tell us to suspend all work during eclipse and sit down and sing religious songs and mantras. Such events often remind me of the tale about a yogi’s encounter with the Prince of Macedonia. It is told that after conquering India when Alexander was returning back he saw an old man lying on the ground in hot Sun. When the prince stopped to ask him the reason for taking rest in such odd circumstances the yogi told him that he was enjoying himself like this. Yogi asked Alexander why he was running like this from place to place. Alexander replied that he wanted the make the world a better place so that he could enjoy in it. The yogi replied that he already is having loads of fun so why try to go to battles.

There was another side to the eclipse in India. People thronged the rivers and ponds for a bath during the eclipse. It is said to be opportune time to wash your sins. Our government spent millions to make safe arrangement for people to take bath but did not spend a single paisa on educating the masses and children about the modern scientific living. That’s why it is not uncommon in India to see professionally qualified people doing round of astrologers and wearing stones and other talisman to get lucky in life. Which stone does Obama, Sarkozy or Manmohan wear? Come on Indians let us be futuristic and move on.

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