Indian in England

Musings of a student

Monday, May 17, 2004

Oh, the poor Britons!

MY heart bleeds for Britain. I am serious.

What brings about this profuse seepage is the fact that the British have very little to be happy about. There is so little spice in their lives -- apart from baked potatoes -- that I am seriously worried about their welfare.

In winter their most interesting conversation is how long it rained (“A bit wet, i'nt it?), while in summer it is how long it didn’t (“Nice day, i'nt it?). Twice every year, for the sake of some activity, everyone turns their clock one hour back and one hour forth, to summer time and winter time, and derive immense pleasure (“Ohhh, that was such fun!”) from it.

It is my theory -- actually, it is someone else’s, but what the hell -- that this lack of excitement pushed them into the business of colonisation. You can’t expect a man to spend his entire life staring at the rain and drinking tea and taking the dog out for a walk, now can you?

Trouble is, nothing happens here. I listen to the BBC news bulletins every morning and it makes me want to immediately start staring at the rain and drinking tea and taking the dog out for a walk.

Of a three-minute bulletin, four minutes are news from everywhere else but Britain. The rest is for weather and the kind of information you normally find in weeklies under the head ‘tidbits’. Like:

A recent study shows 98 per cent of rivers in England and Wales have fish in them. This is attributed to better sewage maintenance.”

“Britain’s leading horse breeding expert Mr Twinklethrope
(or some such) has criticised the government for not allowing him to clone horses.”

I swear I didn’t make these up. I listened to three bulletins that day. As the day progressed, and as usual nothing happened, they kept stretching these two items, bringing in lengthy sound-bites from Twinklethorpe and the fish-man. Twinklethorpe said he criticised the government, and the fish-man said the rivers had fish indeed.

Another morning I was informed more Britishers are clearing up their dogs’ poop from public places -- 27 per cent more, the BBC man said happily, quoting a ‘recent study’.

I find all this strange because I am from India. There we get real news with our morning tea, and pretty much through the day:

“148 people were killed and 348 injured when the Dhakka-Lagao Express derailed early this morning near Vishakapattanam. A senior railway official said the accident occurred because the engine driver forgot to board the train after the last stop.

“Opposition MLAs today dragged the speaker from under his chair and stripped him, bringing to end the winter session of Parliament. They said they were exercising their democratic rights.

“Gujarat Chief Minister Morendra Nari said for every shot Pakistan fired into Kashmir, he would shoot two into Pakistan President Mervez Pusharraff the next time they met …”

In the absence of such excitement, it is only a matter of time before the British try their colonisation trick again. That, of course, will necessitate a quick trip home on my part to lead the freedom struggle, and, frankly, I am not looking forward to it. I am lagging behind my work as it is.


Blogger VivSin said...

Quite funny mate!...i'nt it?

3:12 PM  

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