Skip to main content

Before the Toothbrush

What was there before the toothbrush? The twig of course. Has it died down? No sir! Not in India. It’s still very much the in-thing in rural India. But what surprised me somewhat is this spectacle of seeing policemen using twigs in Gurgaon. Well, I guess you discover many unexpected facets of India on those early morning walks — if you bother to venture outside of the confines of your apartment complex.

I am left wondering if the policemen use twigs out of cultural habit or to save money or out of convenience. I would be interested in hearing the opinion of the readers about what they think. I saw more this morning. One sturdy Haryanvi policeman climbed a tree on the periphery of the police station this morning — presumably to collect a twig for brushing his tooth. I am not quite sure as to the purpose of this energetic activity as the line of sight from me to him was not quite unobstructed.

What does this say — about policemen in particular and Indians in general? I do not know.
I am only wondering if the twig will last unto the next century too. I remember when Rajiv Gandhi used to talk about taking India to the 21st century. I used to be thrilled and used to wonder about how specifically India is going to be different in the next century. Bullock carts are a somewhat unique mode of transport that is omnipresent in rural India. I used to make annual trips to my ancestral village those days while going to school the rest of the year in a small steel town. So, I sort of used to associate bullock carts with villages and with being backward. I used to imagine that surely in the great 21st century, there will be nothing as archaic as bullock carts plying the streets and fields in rural India. But alas, we are more than one decade into that futuristic century and oxen can still be seen doing a sterling job of carrying paddy and more in the parts of India where paddy is grown.

Who knows … who will bet that the bullock cart won’t last into the next century as well when Facebook and Twitter and iPhones and Google will perhaps have vanished altogether…

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sarah Kay's poem from TED

If I should have a daughter, instead of mom, she's going to call me Point B,

because that way she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way  to me.
And I am going to paint the Solar Systems on the backs of her hands, so she has to learn the entire universe before she can say 'Oh, I know that like the back of my hand'
And she's going to learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up, just so we can kick you in the stomach but getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.

Top 10 Crazy Facts About India

Here's a random list of things. 1.Indians sometimes prefer to abort a fetus if they find out that it's female. (Or they just kill the new born baby after it's born.) 2.There are more than 20 million babies born in India. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. 3.Child labor is so commonplace in India that few notice it or consider it out of the ordinary. Kids work as waiters or dishwashers in roadside restaurants. Sometimes, kids ferry tea to the local police station from a nearby roadside tea stall. 4.Massive numbers of kids and younger and adult women are employed as maids in middle class to rich households. Middle class houses might pay 200 rupees to a female who comes and washes the dishes. Rich houses might employ women permanently by paying them more. 5.Cars in the Indian cities are washed in the morning by car-washers who tend to be young men who get paid around 100 to 200 rupees per month for this service. 6.India is home to some crazily competitive exams. The IIT JEE and the IIM CAT have …

Edward Snowden

This seems to me to be the defining journalism-whistle-blower story of this generation. It's rare in today's world when privileged people voluntarily choose to take steps whereby they give up comfortable lives to do something that is in the 'public good.' Mr. Snowden was clearly a computer whiz which explains why he got jobs at the CIA (including postings in Geneva under diplomatic cover). Booz Allen obviously did not hire him or pay him the $1,20,000 salary without Mr. Snowden showcasing some considerable technical expertise. I believe Mr. Snowden's expertise probably lies in having deep expertise in various flavors of Linux. That is what I am inclined to infer from his various job roles as a 'Systems Engineer' or 'System Administrator.' Being the self-driven sort of person that he was, I am sure he must be having good knowledge about networking and encryption stuff including but not limited to Cisco routers and related technologies. To put these t…