Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Musings from someone who sees stories everywhere.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Independence Day and Janmashtami

August 15th was Independence Day, an independence which means different things to diverse people. As usual, I saw stories in news reports and in ordinary things happening around me.

An Englishman living in Bangalore wrote a letter to the editor. He felt that development and prosperity meant a lot more than an outcrop of swanky malls and high-rises. I totally agree. Everyone and their envious neighbours are buying bigger and more fuel guzzling and exhaust belching cars. People jostling for limited road space, everyone in a hurry to elbow others out of their way, road rage. They push unfortunate pedestrians into the spaces between gutters and construction material heaped on what used to be pavements. All, perhaps, for the freedom to acquire more, more, more.

On 16, we celebrated Janmashtami, the birth of Lord Krishna. A friend saw a stream of complicated and critical cases pouring into their hospital's labour wards; high risk cases which were beyond the capacity of smaller nursing homes and health centers. The friend returned home a bit past dinner time, exhausted but jubilant. In such difficult cases, it is not uncommon for the babies to die along with their mothers despite doctors' best efforts.

But on Janmashtami day, all of them survived and are on their way to complete recovery. For us this was the best celebration.

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