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Old is iron, not gold!

The other day I was at my friend's house discussing the flavor of the season - The Commonwealth Games mess. My friend was getting animated and brought on the topic of falling of the false ceiling. His grandfather, a typical Haryanavi tau, who was listening intently to our discussion suddenly spoke, "What's a false ceiling?" On hearing our explanation, he was shocked, "Why would anyone use such flimsy materials to construct ceilings! They ought to fall down. In our days, houses built with solid stones would last for centuries unlike the apartments you live in." 

His comments made my memories flood back to the days when my grandfather would proudly show us his decades old Usha ceiling fan. "Not once has it been to a mechanic's shop and still working fine as new." As if to support him, the fan would merrily continue on its slow-motion journey.

Another thing that my grandfather was very proud of was his Godrej almirah. It was so heavy that it needed ten well-built men to lift it from one place to another; even when empty! No thief could ever cut through its inches of steel. Same was the case with the VIP suitcase. Carrying it on a journey was so much pain but we still lugged it around, for it was super-safe and also because my grandfather would not leave without it. There are numerous other items, from TVs with wooden cabinets to electric irons which were so heavy that they would give you a perfect workout if you happened to iron more than two shirts with it.

All that has been replaced by shiny, glossy, light-weight things. Its all about instant gratification now. One doesn't eat an apple now but instead gulps down a tetra-pack of Tropicana apple juice. There are fans which are so light-weight that even a child can lift them. We have irons which let out steam so that you don't have to exert too much energy on ironing. Even the good old heavy-weight Ambassador car is now replaced with Tata Nano!

All this makes me think if it has some analogy with India's history - the solid foundation was laid by our fore-fathers and we are reaping the benefits of it. All this is very good but we must not replace the inner solidity with outer glitz and glamour lest our country too meets the same fate as CWG.

Presently, my friend's new cordless phone was knocked over by his dog, spilling out the batteries. While he was busy collecting the parts, his grandfather quipped, "You know, even if you throw our old telephone off the roof-top it won't shatter like this." My friend growled back.


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