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Saturday, March 6, 2010

No point in obsessing

People with nothing better to do, can find parallels to the human condition anywhere. Take this one for instance. There are the waves that smash against rocks and there are the rocks that take the assault without flinching. Much like all of us.

We have those that burn with passion, obsessing over this, that or the other, flinging themselves against the status quo trying to change things. Then there are those who stand steady taking whatever life flings at them. There’s another piece of imagery that someone emailed me: Some days we are the birds; other days we are the windshield.

Life goes on regardless of all the careful plans we make. Life takes those plans and turns them on their heads, sometimes Life lets our plans work for a while and then gives us problems later on. Which makes people like me who have burned their fingers say ruefully, be careful what you wish for, ’cause you just might get it all. There’s no point in obsessing over things; all you can do is hope for the best while preparing for the worst.

Recently I wrote a column on the stupidity of terrorism. An email came almost immediately telling me my writing was stupid. I was informed that innocent Muslims are being blamed for everything, but no one complains about the atrocities against Iraqis, Afghans etc. He told me that the RSS were responsible for the 26/11 massacre in Mumbai, that they assassinated Karkare. Was Ajmal Qasab an RSS man then? Oh no, Ajmal Qasab was a convenient scapegoat who had been caught by the cops in 2006 in Nepal. I also learned that the twin towers in New York were already in the process of being burned from the inside before the planes hit them. This despite enough documented evidence to the contrary.

He urged me to join an all-faith meeting for peace which his group is involved in to spread awareness and peace. Now how can you spread peace when you spread bare-faced untruths beats me. Unless the whole concept of peace itself is a lie, because man can never live in peace with his own kind, nature, or other animals for too long. He will fight wars, he will destroy the environment and wipe out animal species for ridiculous reasons.

Now I thought I was a peaceable woman until a Russian who is married to a Goan man took offence at last week’s column “The Russian and the Princess”. She accused me of stirring trouble between Russians and Goans.

Now I admit I do obsess about Goans becoming slumdwellers in their own land. My children live in rented premises in Mumbai, because they cannot get jobs they were trained for in Goa. And if they worked in Goa, the wages they would have earned here would not allow them to buy even a square metre in a residential area they would find convenient and comfortable. Come to think of it, they would not even find place in the slums of Chimbel or Mapusa or Moti Dongor because there the first preference is given to non-Goans.

The Russian woman lives in Moscow and Majorda which I think is the perfect solution for the next generation of Goans. Her children are lucky. They can settle down in Goa or in Russia. Our children should marry non-Goans, so they will at least have a choice of settling down legitimately in another land, because Goa will be out of the equation for them. They will also be helping end racism by making all of mankind a uniform golden brown colour.

So what’s the worst that can happen? Our children’s children will have no place to call their own in Goa, but by then, who will want to stay in Goa? The green fields will have become gated communities. The hill tops will be gated communities. Slums will spread between the two. The forests would have gone with the frenetic mining that’s going on. Well water, spring water and a swig of feni that our grandparents swore kept them alive and kicking well into their nineties, after which they just died quietly, will be impossible to get for love or money. So why obsess, I ask myself. If foreigners are dividing the coastal areas among themselves and the rich and aimless are buying up fields and hill tops and the miners are digging out the forests, where does the Goenkar go?

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