Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Insert Indian national anthem here

Yes, merry Independence Day! Let's celebrate by hunkering down into our home sweet hovels, frightened that the terrorists -- damn them all -- are going to bomb us to kingdom come. Despite the scare tactics, and the cable channels' repeated insistence that SECURITY IS AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH, S and I found Delhi rather deserted all day, with nary a cop dutifully sizing us up in his gun's sight.

Yesterday coming home from work was a nightmare -- my evening commute clocked in at more than two hours, thanks first to the "checking of every car" (read: mustachioed Punjabis ambling around, sentimentally caressing their pre-WWII muskets and wondering precisely what they should do, for example, if Osama bin Laden attempts to travel from Haryana to Delhi with a tube of hair gel) at the (arbitrary) state border station, and then to the nonsensical decision to block half of MG Road near Ahinsa Sthal with bright yellow metal crowd barriers, rusting from disuse. Seriously, what. the. fuck.

Let's hope traffic is fine tomorrow. Another amusing anecdote: Apparently, no one in the government can decide whether this year is the 59th or 60th Independence Day -- flipping through the newspaper, every congratulatory ad saluting the efficient, upstanding Indian body republic seemed to cite a different number. This must be related to whether people count 1947 as year 0 or year 1; by S and my estimation, it is the 59th Independence Day, kicking off the 60th year of independence. But we could be wrong. And god only knows what the netas and babus are thinking.

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