It was just a regular run-of-the-mill day, or so I thought. I have my best conversations with dad when I am driving, and he is on the passenger’s seat. As much as possible, I try to keep the mood light for he is a person with a tender heart, also making him susceptible to be tense real quick!

That was soon to change, when close to a turn, we saw a little boy of not more than 2, standing on the road, oblivious to the passing machines! My dad let out a loud enough sigh, and we both scanned the road to see if the little explorer had a guardian around him. None! As my car raced closer to him, I could notice the two-year-old bending down, picking something and in the act of tasting that ‘treasure’ he found from the road. It will be a good time to add that it a ‘treasure’ that was lying terribly close to the industrial waste dumped nearby! My dad kept asking, “Isn’t anyone with him?” And I could just mumble something under my breath with the sight from my rearview mirror showing me the little ‘lost’ boy taking small strides that only his tiny feet could take.

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Now that the euphoria of yet another Olympic Games is over, let’s look at some of the common reactions of the average Indian Sports Fan! These conversations are purely fictitious and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental, but not impossible.

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Australia won. No, India lost!

For the common Indian fan, it isn’t a defeat. This is equivalent somebody snatching their spouse away. We criticize, crib and troll our team, sometimes so obnoxiously that it defies the laws of logic of even the animal world!

I am hopeful of a time when we will be a sporting nation, literally in every sense of that word. A nation that would accept defeat gracefully by patting our players on the back for a job well-done, and giving credit to the opposition for being the better team on the day. Till then, we’ll keep getting reactions like the ones listed below. Note: I am not counting myself out of this ‘crime’ either!

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From documentaries to stand-up shows; from food-items to movies, my beautiful country has been on a roll of late. A spree quite unmatchable – a banning spree! And amazingly, we tend to find some out-of-the-world justifications to do so. At this rate, here are some of the things India could end up banning by 2020 (based on the statements made by our politicians and other who’s who of India)

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Now that Maharashtra Government has officially banned selling, eating, possessing, dancing with, etc beef, I think it is an awesome move – one that looks at the future; one that is extremely well thought out. I mean, think about it!

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As a school going kid, one essay that I remember writing was ‘My neighbours.’ Although there was nothing truthful about that essay (and it wasn’t even ‘original) as I brought in flavours of nationalism to it. In the essay (if I remember correctly), my neighbors was a Southie who spoke too much, a Northie who ate too much, an Eastie and a Westie who am sure did something too which I don’t recollect.

This post may sound jingoistic, but then just couldn’t help but notice the diverse nature of India while on my way to office in the local train, bringing back memories of that not-so-original essay that I’d written about a decade and a half back! 

Sitting next to me was a Sardarji with a pagadi and two smart-phones, checking out all the news and events in the news websites on both the phones. 

In front of me, towards the right was a gentleman with a skull cap and a smart kurta-pyjama, also checking out his phone! 

Facing me was a guy who had the last traces of paan in his mouth with his eyes closed reciting some mantras (I guess!).

And me, a Christian, saying a word of prayer, as the train reached close to my destination – renamed (around the time I wrote the essay) after a famous Maratha King from a famous English Queen!

That’s Mumbai. That’s India. At the end of the day, it’s all about existence (read co-existence) and earning one’s bread. Not about any nonsense like ‘spirit of Mumbai.’

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