The father is an obsessive news watcher and every season sees a different upheaval. The news, for its share, never ceases to entertain him.
I remember, years ago, when he had his opinions typed out and sent to the newspaper. He beamed when they were published in the newspapers. He proudly showed the piece of paper on which he had typed it out using the pen-name he had given himself so people would believe him. I suppose it was something, given that the editors combed through hundreds of letters to the editor and posted a select few.
The advent of the Internet might be a blessing in many ways, but it has made this man’s life busier than ever. There is new content being posted all the time waiting for his review and approval. How many articles jostle for his comments and views? It is tiring work sometimes, but the septuagenarian keeps at it. He painstakingly lingers on the keyboard, his face screwed up with intense concentration, and uses his index fingers to type out his thoughts. As his comments rush out, his tongue peeps out of his mouth to see a bit of typing action. It means he is focused. Before long, one sees scathing remarks, where his dry wit shines through. It is a pity Literature students don’t comb the comments section on Indian newspaper sites. The prose there is littered with the profuse, the exaggerated, the new word that came through in the word-a-day email: it is all there and more. I have tried telling him that there being no limit to the real estate on the internet, all his comments will be published, but he shakes his head sanguinely and explains to the idiot child, “No. That cannot be true child. If that is the case, how come my comments don’t appear immediately? I get an email stating that the comment has been approved, which means that only valid points are being published.”
There is another change: he now boldly uses his own name, links to his Facebook profile (much to the mother’s chagrin, since they have one profile and it looks like she is typing the theses. “As if I have no work!” she says disapprovingly). A change that I am not exactly proud of, given that India’s tolerance seems to be dipping.
The last time he visited us, the 3G scam was the topic of conversation. This time, it is the sliding value of the Indian Rupee against the dollar.
The markets have been volatile as a result of which the Indian rupee lost about a third of its value. Inflation has been on the rise and Indian economists are clawing at arguments and counter-arguments to see what the solution is. The father, the commenter, has been writing furiously on varied sites about how the country came to be in such a sorry state with all the time he can spare. Sometimes, another octogenarian somewhere will ‘Like’ his comment, and that evening he is a pleased man. “I told you people read all the comments.” he says.
Even he had no comment to make to this posting however.
The Madhya Pradesh Unit of the Congress ( A leading political party in India) came up with the argument (pasted below) for the sliding rupee and was evidently so pleased with itself for thinking up something this brilliant, that it went and posted it on Facebook for all to see:
“The value of rupee is the same in India… Only the value of dollar has increased… The value of rupee has not fallen. How many of you people go to the market to buy dollars? How many of you come back with dollars? The value of dollar has increased only for those who buy dollars.”
A great philosophy that is not being given the credit it deserves. But such is life. I am sure that the father would have thought up something appropriate on the topic by the time I roll around in the evening, but till then, the article languishes without his comments. It seems a pity since it seems to be taking heat from a large number of people and there might have been a chance of someone reading his comments on the subject.
I saw this meme on my google plus feed and thought it most coincidental that it should appear the day I am writing a post on comments (I could not find the original author of this one to credit him or her, but I truly laughed at it….so, whoever you are, thank you.)