Something wrong with the world today…

 Something wrong with the world today
I don’t know what it is
Something’s wrong with our eyes
We’re seeing things in a different way
And God knows it ain’t His
It sure ain’t no surprise
We’re livin’ on the edge…

 I used to get a kick watching the video of this Aerosmith song (Livin on the Edge).  Especially the scene where lead guitarist Joe Perry is playing a lead guitar solo in front of an oncoming train. The lyrics play out today as the week culminates with all its events. Mumbai, Chennai and the world…something is wrong.

It is an end to a busy week at work fighting a mutually unacknowledged war. A silent battle against possible events of a bad world economy rendered vulnerable by the bad policies of some influential governments that had no time or foresight for economic stability. We were fighting against time and our own sagacity and resourcefulness to keep our heads afloat and protect our workforce from the ignominy of the pink slip. Despite the reassurances by our prime minister and finance minister, we cannot escape the flutter of the butterfly’s wings. The flutter caused by one nation’s failure to control events has generated a ripple that hit other nations like big waves. The thread of bread as I put it goes long. In my industry one man’s desktop data advantage is another’s bread for the day. It stretches from US to Chennai. From Chennai to God knows where. The chain goes on. I am a client to one and a vendor to the other. I do not go down the chute alone. I drag people along with me.  And I get dragged by others.


For those outside Chennai, this would automatically refer to the audacity with which a bunch of fidayeens came ashore at Mumbai and ran amok with ammunition. For those in Chennai, you should add cyclone ‘Nisha’ and its deeds that went unnoticed to the world in general thanks to some gun-toting idiots. The cyclone brought with it a rainfall that was unusual in both volume and timing. The ripple of butterfly’s wings elsewhere is causing changes in the weather pattern in the Bay of Bengal that is causing cyclones at odd times and devastating effects. Entire standing crops of rice have been rendered waste and the ripple continues to roll ahead with possible food scarcity, loss of livelihood, price-rise and all the socio economic ills. The cyclone that was brewing up for quite long came and stayed for long, discharging a ridiculous amount of water all over the city and the state. The result was a huge waterlog all over that caused life to stand still in Chennai. Roads became rivers that drowned cars and buses. The authorities switched off power supply to prevent electrocution. Shops closed, water supply ceased and people were imprisoned in their own homes without help and support. Imagine the plight of the poor in shacks and huts or shanties by the road. I wonder what happened to them and where did they all go. What will the farmers do whose crops are all gone? This was not the first time for Chennai. It was the third one in the last 4 years of my life in Chennai.

As for Mumbai, I have no idea what to say. Thanks to the house arrest by Nisha, I have had no TV at home. I am sure the Barkhas, Prannoys and Arnabs have said a lot with their exclusives and in-your-face commentary. I have nothing to offer in this regard.

The capitalist world never reveals its excesses but the unchecked freedom that the capitalist governments gave banks and financial institutions caused them to act recklessly and fall big, taking down whoever was associated with them.

The same capitalists’ refusal to pare down their own excesses with respect to environment is causing the ripples in the environment. The ripples (that a few of us care to think about and term it as climate change and global warming) are slowly turning waves of change that are materializing into things like untimely cyclones in Bay of Bengal. It is a grim situation for a nation like Maldives whose newly elected leader’s primary task is to find his people a new nation because the existing one is going down into the sea thanks to the rising sea levels at the equator caused by melting ice at the polar caps which are being subjected to heat from the oceans that are warming thanks to the persistently growing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that is causing the trapping heat from solar radiation within the atmosphere.

Well I might be wrong in describing this scientific chain of events but in a bigger sense, I am worried about the inter-links and technical advancements we have so eagerly built all these years. They are of no use when it comes to sustaining life. We celebrate global inter-connectivity and technology convergences but it was not my cell phone with, GPS and internet that connected me to the rest of the world in the time of crisis (when I was trapped at home thanks to the flood). It was the lowly landline phone that people hardly use these days that helped me reach out to my family and friends. The cell phone’s battery did not last long enough in the blackout.

We have come out of the old economic ways to inter connect using technology without homogenizing our disparate economies. We have entangled demand and supply forces far too much to cause a global meltdown with just one event.

The Mumbai terrorist attack is the result of poor interlinks. Our ideologies, political motives and insecurities often fuelled by economic needs have led us to the political posturing that rubs off wrongly on some. We’re seeing things in a different way and God knows it ain’t His. Yes it is not God’s but our own excesses as human beings that led us to the incidents of “26/11”. Our inability to live together in a connected world. Our inability to read and understand each other’s minds, our reluctance to let go things that do not have any value, our lack of faith on others with respect to our own faith. Those who caused the carnage are but a bunch of brainwashed idiots. The ones who sent them to this ‘glorious death’ are manipulated by the machinations of their superiors who in turn are manipulated by someone else. The chain goes on and covers everyone. Even Osama Bin Laden is influenced. In the olden days, you either knew the truth  or were ignorant. In the modern world, you have television and live media. Between them, truth changed. It is now the lie that is believed until it is altered.

We are living on the edge.  We are playing our guitars while the speeding train is approaching behind our back. Our ways of life and times have changed. We have rubbed off a lot of insularity from ourselves and have altered things so much that it is hitting us back. A time for introspection. A time for a new global spiritual consciousness.


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