A Blogger Full of Thanks
Dearest Blogsters, how could you ever fall for this one - even if it was just plain old curiosity? Over a 100 hits in one day (it's another matter that, more than half of them could well have been contributed by the 'blog' himself - tho' he would never admit to such narcissistic frailties) and the guest-page overflowing with the kindest jottings he has ever in his life (never mind the one about the bare unshaven armpits). Can you imagine what a tremendous high all of you set him up to? Gloating like an old 'ghasu' (that's a Ghose's answer to Bose stylised as Basu) and grinning from ear to ear, this 'not-so-hot-male' could almost hear the cash registers resonate from the sale of the world's first 'e-salon' boutique web-site (seriously thinking of changing his surname to Bhatia, Premji or Murthy - if that helps in improving the valuation). But, thanks a million times over - the Ghoses are truly touched. To tell you the truth, a man beset by premature menopausal syndrome (that's what the true meaning of a 'blog' is - as many of you have asked time and again) does require such artificial aphrodisiac boosts every once in a little while to prop up the ego - made fragile with the onslaught of mid-life and mid-career crises.
Sure, we have had our share of hate-mails too, as you would have no doubt guessed. But the writers have been kind enough not too post them on the site. While most people have been intrigued by the huge disparity of the STC Ratio ('Skin to Cloth') within the Ghose family and their strange choice of swim-wear, others have expressed relief at their turning to the relatively harmless pursuit of 'blog spotting' rather than, say - trying their hand at cutting a Bong-Rap CD and prancing on the screen with similarly weird costumes or writing a sex-thriller, which all of you would have black-mailed into buying to meet the minimum sales commitment to the publisher. Another has accused him of shameless "spamming" to gain forced readership. But, overall - it has been a rewarding experience.
It's on days like this that, 'the blog' develops a particularly generous disposition towards the world at large. He stops blaming the old 'kompany' ( that's how a good Bong would always pronounce it ) for all his travails - the good things that could have happened to him but didn't. He feels secretly grateful that he was exiled to the land-locked country of the Sher Bahadurs ( Nepal ) and not the 'sea-locked' land of the real Tigers ( Lanka ) or to Iran, Iraq or Bosnia - (notwithstanding what friends at the Embassy have to say about the night-life at Colombo and Tehran, the dropping manteus and rising hem-lines or their UN indexed salaries ). He is willing to forgive Atal's (Vi)Agra performance and discovers a new radiance in Sonia's steely smile. He seriously believes that Deuba will make a better PM than Dubya would fare as President and wonders about the post-retirement plans of old man GPK ( may be he would suggest writing his memoirs on the blog ). In short, in his current mood he would do anything short of opening the purse-strings for the wife to buy jewellery or go for one more round of trinket shopping to Patan. Each one is entitled to his own kicks you would say, perhaps. But, please do keep writing in.
The Tiger roared again in Nepal with Sher Bahadur Deuba taking over as our new PM last week - the 4th in 3 years since we came here and the 10th after the inception of multi-party democracy in as many years (counting 2 terms of Deuba himself ). But, as with all changes, there is a new mood of optimism in which even we are partaking. The NT in its latest issue was at their helpful best providing the new premier a check-list for action. Dubby-dear also did a superb plug-in for him (and the new monarch in the same-breath - quoting zen parables ) in the 'ToI' op-edit page last week - of which we got a preview over a lovely dinner of 'gayeko-momo-kothay-suimai' at the Everest Roof-top the night before. We all live on hope and good food, when there is little else on offer.
Phoolan Devi's death brought back the memory of our chance encounter with her on the train from Jodhpur - when we were all returning from a Branch Sales Conference and the inimitable OP ( Raheja ) ran after her through the corridor of the compartment to pay his 'customary respect' to the 'leader of the people', which she graciously acknowledged. Her looks didn't quite live upto the image of a "Bandit Queen", - mellowing effect of parliamentary politics one would think, or was it 'FAL' ? - but, one couldn't say the same about the goons ( bodyguards ? ) who were accompanying her . One eye contact with them was enough to send the chill down our spine and even OP beat a quick and wise retreat back the alley - being afraid that, next they might ask us to vacate some of our seats, as they obviously didn't have any reservations of their own. But luckily, much to our relief, they were accommodated in the next coach.
As usual, oblivious of politics, war and the weather, Jaya has disowned her parents (temporarily we hope and high-time some of you would say) with the arrival of her of Amma and Dadai on the scene. But the elder Ghoses are terribly hassled at the packed routine of the grand-daughter ( swimming, tennis, art-class, dancing - not to mention her mother's computer classes) and almost threw a fit when the she non-chalantly informed them that the next on the list of her extra-curricular activities would be horse-riding.
And now here is some 'KBC' trivia for our general interest readers. Though Nepal and India have not fared very well on the Human Development Index ( ranking in the low 100s - a significant improvement over the past - however), they have done far better on the SSI ( Sexual Satisfaction Index - got it ? ) factor as compared to many of their more developed Asian neighbours and Western brethrens. According to the latest Roper Starch Worldwide survey of sexual happiness, 46 percent of Venezuelans are "very happy" with their sex lives, the highest percentage of any nation. Brazil was the second most-satisfied (32 percent), followed by the United States (27 percent), India and Mexico (26 percent) and Australia and France (25 percent). However, if you're looking for good lovin' on the road, you might want to avoid Germany, Italy and Malaysia (tied at 14 percent), China (9 percent), Russia (6 percent) and Hong Kong, where only 5 percent of the population are happy with their sex lives. Perhaps there is a reverse correlation between economic growth and 'happiness' or there may be a case for factoring in the SSI into the HDI in future. So, asks our spirited neighbour, Ko Ko Bancho Sex-pati ? Crore-pati Banne Me Ki Faida, unless the fundamentals are right ? Point to ponder for our good friends in Moscova, HK & Shanghai ( you know who we are talking about - don't you ? )