When I list, which side do I favor?

I was designing a fresh menu for my tea shop. I needed a breakthrough creative idea. I toyed with listing the price on the left and the type of tea on the right. It didn't look right, so I left it as it was. My to-do lists are all left justified. When things need to go off the list, I check-mark it on the right. On the whole, when I list, I let my heart decide which way to list.

I also respond poorly to the typical Indian career politician. I am not talking about the ones in jail, but of those not in jail as yet. Most people take politicians very seriously. As a result, I am often in a very sticky situation with my views on politics. Part of that has to do with the fact that I have not met a lot of people actively involved in politics who come across as genuinely interested in public welfare. That, of course, can be coincidental. The fact that this is an almost universal sentiment, too, is coincidental. Nothing like statistics.

The recent spate of Indian public servants (most ministers and other high ranking government officials forget that that is the technical term for elected representatives) being implicated in corruption and money making scams has been terribly embarrassing. Come on, is it fair to pull the rug from under these guys' feet just because you have not been in power for the last few years or have been thrown out of the party? And all these decades, all six of them, we as a nation had been able to keep it under wraps with everybody certain that nobody except them knew about it. But now, with the media and Julian Assange clicking the wrong links, by mistake, I am told, everybody knows that everybody knows!!

I digress. 

The purpose of this post is not to portray politicians as cartoons. There is obviously no need to do so. The purpose of this post is to portray myself as a cartoon. (I have been told that there is no need to do that either, but do I listen?) This has been provoked by recent reactions to my objection to the current trend of aspiring politicians appointing themselves as the spokesthings (calling them men or people would be confusing the meaning of the words "men" and "people") of a people when their real objective is to find a political career where none existed. I was not worried when it was an occasional comment or an email from someone I know for years. But while I was trying to sort out some of the letters to me that I wanted to put together as a blog post on another topic altogether, I came across several of these friendly acidic attacks over the last two and a half years. I have been accused of being "terribly leftist." I thought that was the cutest (and kindest) description ever sent my way, in a cartoonish way, that is.

Hence this true lies disclaimer. And a first for my blogging. An honest admission as to which side my heart lies.

I have spent a good deal of my life running the opposite direction from all things even vaguely labeled communist or socialist, ever since I saw the different things it did to people who were crazy enough to believe in it. Among the people I have known who were this crazy, one section ended up either with bullets in their backs in remote fields off the highways leading out of Calcutta or gazing into the darkness reciting Jibanananda in maggot ridden cells deliberately forgotten by all, even the prison sweepers. Another section, not necessarily related to me in any way, ended up turning their stridency down, sipping their imported contreaus while discussing their cut for seeing a project through after a hilsa paturi dinner, as their 10-year-old maidservant did the dishes in the cold yard behind the house. A third section decided to make a career in news television, as employees or stakeholders, or as guests on talk shows where no one really listens to anyone since everyone is busy speaking at the same time.

That said, I still believe that the solution to the crisis that mankind faces today lies in reviewing some of the principles that made nations adopt Marxism as a model. Terribly leftist? I don't mind.

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