Dangal

Dangal

This is not about the movie friends! This is about the ‘Dangal’ which rages inside my head because of the comments, responses, posts on FB, ludicrous forwards on what’s app and opinions that come for everything and anything that happens or is likely to happen, globally. It makes me realise that we have a lot of free time. We are the ‘know it all’ omniscient lot who have a say in every affair pertaining to anyone other than our own self.

When the Presidential Elections were going on in America, every Indian became an American. People who may never step out of the comfort of their home in India were glued to the television sets watching the Presidential Elections and actively discussing the future of America. I could understand the excitement and furore when Narendra Modi got elected as Prime Minister. This was a natural keenness and well deserving too. He holds the reigns of our country and is at the helm of affairs, every decision he takes affects us, the residents of India.  But being equally or more concerned about American politics, spending the whole day debating their future; that triggers this ‘dangal’ inside me!

If it had been just about America and overly concerned with American politics, it may have been palatable. But, we seem to be putting our head into everything. More bizarre and inconsequential the incident, the more interested we are. We are passionate and fiercely vocal about everything which does not concern us even remotely. The more the remoteness the stronger is our connect and our awareness of that subject.  Saif ali Khan named his kid ‘Taimur’. That’s his personal choice but we have to voice our opinion. We simply cannot let it pass, it is an issue of such immense magnitude, Saif suddenly plays the biggest role in our lives. What he does, who he chooses to marry, divorce, re- marry, when, where and why, all of it very closely affects us, concerns us and we most definitely cannot allow any detail to slip through our fingers! We have to be aware and make India aware of Saif’s life and whereabouts! So, there we are, diligently putting posts, forwarding messages, writing lengthy articles and participating in never ending debates; a ‘dangal’ in the making…

 We are willing to forget Saif; Aamir Khan released his latest movie! So, all the focus now shifts to Aamir Khan.  We are not really concerned or interested in the movie per se. A good movie or bad movie; we all talk more about Aamir Khan and what he does and why he does and a long character assassination program ensues. We appreciate movies like ‘ae-dil hai mushkil’ and give rave reviews. (My honest review of ae-dil… is ‘a boring display of the promiscuous lives the bored elite live!’)  We make no bones and criticise a recreation of a true story! How ludicrous is that? Let’s criticise, that’s our birth right; to opine uninhibitedly.  But, do we stop with that, no! We yet again forward articles, put up posts and drain the storage space on phones! Dangal brews a bigger dangal, eh!

The overnight demonetization drama took our country by storm and brought to fore many mixed reactions. Half of India seemed to resonate with the sentiment of our dear Prime Minister, some were diffident and unsure as to how this would fructify, some others were strongly against this move and marked it a fiasco, a debacle which may well mark the end of the Prime Minister’s reign, even before it could take off properly. Living abroad, all this news was very interesting and refreshing too. Every Indian across the Globe seemed proactive, keen and expectant as to how things would finally turn out for their country. Did the largest Democracy of the world show true signs of progress, or was this really a sham, how would things pan out for our leader? These were the common questions we all were asking each other. This was all very justifiable and deserved pages after pages of information, blogs posts, nothing sufficed. The topic was such, and the person involved is a very integral part of every Indian household.  What perplexed me is that not a quarter of that drama happened when this very dear person acquiesced to a Shivaji statue in the Arabian Sea!  

“The ministry of environment and forests has given clearance for the installation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue in Mumbai in the Arabian Sea on Thursday. The rupees 400crore project will be built on a 16-hectare rock, identified at 1.5 km away from Raj Bhawan and 4km from Nariman Point”.

 Personally, I was devastated when I heard this news. We have a Buddha Statue in the middle of Hussainsagar lake, in Hyderabad. After an expenditure of US $ 3 million the statue stood at 58 feet (18 m) and weighed 350 tons, making it the world’s tallest monolithic statue of the Buddha A concrete platform measuring 15 feet (4.6 m), now referred to as the “Rock of Gibraltar” was constructed in the middle of Hussain Sagar to aid in erecting the statue. It has done usmore harm than good. The stench from the lake (till February 2016) is so over powering; I was forced to hold my breath through the whole stretch of Tank Bund road. That statue is beautiful but standing in the centre of the lake, most of the international, national boating races and other events are no longer a possibility. And with the stench and dirt, that whole place is a big breeding ground for mosquitoes. It is said that to clean the lake and the silt accumulated will take 4years!  So, this mammoth amount of money going in to build another breeding ground for things we are trying to get rid of; it deserved some dissenting voice. I kept praying, ‘someone please say something, ask some questions’. The ministry of environment and forests has given clearance for the installation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue in the Arabian Sea in Mumbai.

The ministry of environment and forests has given clearance for the installation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue in the Arabian Sea in Mumbai.

The ministry of environment and forests has given clearance for the installation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue in the Arabian Sea in Mumbai.

The ministry of environment and forests has given clearance for the installation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue in the Arabian Sea in Mumbai.

The ministry of environment and forests has given clearance for the installation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue in the Arabian Sea in Mumbai.

The ministry of environment and forests has given clearance for the installation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue in the Arabian Sea in Mumbai.

The ministry of environment and forests has given clearance for the installation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue in the Arabian Sea in Mumbai.

The ministry of environment and forests has given clearance for the installation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue in the Arabian Sea in Mumbai.

 

 Makes me wonder about us and what really matters to us. American politics, movies, the core issues of our country…  when do we reveal this fiery spirit of ours? What kind of issues pique our interest? For what are we willing to wage this ‘dangal’?