Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bapu Special

It has been more than a couple of years since I started blogging. In my writings, I have made no secret of my admiration for Mahatma Gandhi, or Bapu as we like to call him in India.

In the Indian public discourse, discussions about Bapu are usually sombre and guarded, and reflect the way opinion on famous political personalities is made -- and shared.  A serious, and perhaps academic, piece of writing on Bapu, is always deliberate in being politically correct. To the writer, the experience is often like walking on a tightrope strung between two highrise buildings, lovingly named as Lugubria and Soporifica.

Over the years, I have often written about Bapu, sometimes perhaps, in the jocular vein, but I have always been respectful. Today, since it is Bapu's birthday, I have decided to refer back to some of my posts from the past, that the reader might find interesting.

Perhaps, you remember the time when I had gone out with a bunch of friends on Bapu's birthday, and remembered that we could not buy ourselves a drink. Perhaps, you remember when I was trying to figure out who the Mahatma's reincarnation would have been, according to the Hindu scriptures, only to be told by one of the blog's readers that perhaps, it was Mr. Vijay Mallya, the famous beer bursar from Bangalore.

And of course, there has been a time, when I have written a serious and long piece on the possible libertarian leanings of the Mahatma, only to be reminded by a reader that perhaps libertarianism is not the answer for an already fractured country like ours.

Champion of Liberty -- Libertarian?

My favorite post on The Peanut Express, about the Mahatma, had little to do with my own writings. In that post, I  had reproduced a few lines, verbatim, from one of the columns written by my personal hero, Mr. Khushwant Singh. Mr. Singh, is known for his sharp wit, which is sometimes mixed with mischief -- like whiskey is often mixed with soda. In the end, while intoxicating, it leaves a strange taste in the mouth, and a deep longing for real scotch in the heart.

But then, on Bapu's birthday, perhaps, I should refrain from using such metaphors.

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