Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!
Ghungta Bricks. Noida.

yeh toh hum bhi jaantay hai shehar kaisay bantay hai

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Princess Pazeb, 1902


The foot of a princess

From 'India, by John L. Stoddard, illustrated and embellished' (1902)

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Learn to worry about the bomb

Recently finished reading a slim booklet  based on a series of lectures given in 1989 by K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar titled 'The Man of Letters and The Doomsday Clock'. The thing that I found interesting is that while the words from west presented on this subject had all kind of emotions like indignation, guilt and almost paranoidal fear, the only corresponding Indian voice on the subjects offered is that of
Sri Aurobindo. And lines from his poem 'A Dream of Surreal Science' kind of sums his opinion on the subject:


"Thus wagged on the surreal world till
A scientist played with atoms and blew out
The universe before God had time to shout"

It seems that while writers in west people were almost loosing their mind thinking about the bomb, mystics in India were predicting doom that was in any case was foretold. While the influence of Aurobindo on Iyengar is known, still it all sounds dubious and all these words mumbo-jumbo considering India had already gone nuclear by then and in just ten years after the lecture was going to do it again. And what is more funny, just a year before the lecture, in 1988, plans for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant were first set afloat. So while some people were discussing nuclear holocaust, quoting endings worthy of everlasting literature, there was action afoot that would in around two decades give rise to questions like, "Civilian nuclear projects in a densely populated country but at what human cost?" I don't think any mystic saw that coming.

Now I wonder why didn't any writer, or artist, some film-maker, in India go really really mad over the bomb? I mean its a good topic to go mad about. If you leave out Mahabarata, which was written quite a while back so doesn't actually count, not much literature on nuclear Holocaust has come out of India. For a county with nuclear weapon, it's a disgrace. For admittance to a nuclear club they should ask questions like, 'How many artist in your country went mad over the bomb?' That would be the end of the case for India and Pakistan.

Which makes me again remember that almost ten years ago some angrez woman from BBC radio asked me what my thoughts were about India and Pakistan going nuclear over Kargil. I laughed.

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People with Epileptic condition, please do not proceed.









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