See, the poor dream all their lives of getting enough to eat and looking like the rich. And what do the rich dream of?? Losing weight and looking like the poor.
Now there are some, and I don't just mean Communists like you, but thinking men of all political parties, who think that not many of these gods actually exist. Some believe that none of them exist. There's just us and an ocean of darkness around us. I'm no philosopher or poet, how would I know the truth? It's true that all these gods seem to do awfully little work - much like our politicians - and yet keep winning reelection to their golden thrones in heaven, year after year. That's not to say I don't respect them, Mr. Premier! Don't you ever let that blasphemous idea into your yellow skull. My country is the kind where it pays to play it both ways: the Indian entrepreneur has to be straight and crooked, mocking and believing, sly and sincere, at the same time.
You ask 'Are you a man or a demon?' Neither, I say. I have woken up, and the rest of you are sleeping, and that is the only difference between us.
Me, and thousands of others in this country like me, are half-baked, because we were never allowed to complete our schooling. Open our skulls, look in with a penlight, and you'll find an odd museum of ideas: sentences of history or mathematics remembered from school textbooks (no boy remembers his schooling like the one who was taken out of school, let me assure you), sentences about politics read in a newspaper while waiting for someone to come to an office, triangles and pyramids seen on the torn pages of the old geometry textbooks which every tea shop in this country uses to wrap its snacks in, bits of All India Radio news bulletins, things that drop into your mind, like lizards from the ceiling, in the half hour before falling asleep--all these ideas, half formed and half digested and half correct, mix up with other half-cooked ideas in your head, and I guess these half-formed ideas bugger one another, and make more half-formed ideas, and this is what you act on and live with.
Chain of envy linked them, showing each what was lacking in life, but offering also the consolation that happiness was present right next door, in the life of a neighbour, an element of the same society.
He shook his head, but I kept flattering him, telling him how fine his beard was, how fair his skin was (ha!), how it was obvious from his nose and forehead that he wasn't some pig herd who had converted, but a true-blue Muslim who had flown here on a magic carpet all the way from Mecca, and he grunted with satisfaction
There is no end in India, Mr. Jiabao,as Mr. Ashok so correctly used to say. You'll have to keep paying and paying the fuckers. But I complain about the police the way the rich complain; not the way the poor complain. The difference is everything.
Do you know about Hanuman, sir? He was the faithful servant of the god Rama, and we worship him in our temples because he is a shining example of how to serve your masters with absolute fidelity, love, and devotion.These are the kinds of gods they have foisted on us Mr. Jiabao. Understand, now, how hard it is for a man to win his freedom in India.
I gather you yellow-skinned men, despite your triumphs in sewage, drinking water, and Olympic gold medals, still don't have democracy. Some politician on the radio was saying that that's why we Indian are going to beat you: we may not have sewage, drinking water, and Olympic gold medals, but we do have democracy.If I were making a country, I'd get the sewage pipes first, then the democracy, then I'd go about giving pamphlets and statues of Gandhi to other people, but what do I know? I am just a murderer!
The two of them kept an eye open for every tree or temple we passed by, and turned to me for a reaction of piety which I gave them, of course, and with growing elaborateness: first just touching my eye, then my neck, then my clavicle, and even my nipples. They were convinced I was the most religious servant on earth.
The worst part of being a driver is that you have hours to yourself while waiting for your employer. You can spend this time chitchatting and scratching your groin. You can read murder and rape magazines. You can develop the chauffeur's habit it's a kind of yoga, really of putting a finger in your nose and letting your mind go blank for hours (they should call it the bored driver's asana).
But isn't it likely that everyone in this world...has killed someone or other on their way to the top?...All I wanted was a chance to be a man--and for that, one murder is enough.
Because in this world, there is a line: on one side are the men who cannot get things done, and on the other side are the men who can. And not one in a hundred will cross that line. Will you?
O, I do read Indian novels sometimes. But you know, Ms Rupinder, what we Indians want in literature, at least the kind written in English, is not literature at all, but flattery. We want to see ourselves depicted as soulful, sensitive, profound, valorous, wounded, tolerant and funny beings. All that Jhumpa Lahiri stuff. But the truth is, we are absolutely nothing of that kind. What are we, then, Ms Rupinder? We are animals of the jungle, who will eat our neighbour's children in five minutes, and our own in ten. Keep this in mind before you do any business in this country.
Apparently, sir you Chinese are far ahead of us in every respect, except that you don’t have entrepreneurs. And our nation, though it has no drinking water, electricity, sewage system, public transportation, sense of hygiene, discipline, courtesy, or punctuality, ‘’does’’ have entrepreneurs. Thousands and thousands of them. Especially in the field of technology. And these entrepreneurs—we entrepreneurs—have set up all these outsourcing companies that virtually run America now.
The Rooster Coop was doing its work. Servants have to keep other servants from becoming innovators, experimenters or entrepreneurs. The coop is guarded from the inside.
People in this country are still waiting for the war of their freedom to come from somewhere else, from the jungles, from the mountains, from China, from Pakistan. That will never happen. Every man must make his own Benaras.The book of your revolution sits in the pit of your belly, young Indian. Crap it out, and read.
Let animals live like animals, let humans live like humans. That's my whole philosophy in a sentence.
If I were making a country, I'd get the sewage pipes first, then the democracy, then I'd go about giving pamphlets and statues of Gandhi to other people, but what do I know? I'm just a murderer!
Being called a murderer: fine, I have no objection to that. It's a fact: I am a sinner, a fallen human. But to be called a murderer by the police!
Here's a strange fact: murder a man, and you feel responsible for his life - possessive, even. You know more about him than his father and mother; they knew his fetus, but you know his corpse. Only you can complete the story of his life, only you know why his body has to be pushed into the fire before its time, and why his toes curl up and fight for another hour on earth.
Have you ever noticed that all four of the greatest poets in the world are Muslim? And yet all the Muslims you meet are illiterate or covered head to toe in black burkas or looking for buildings to blow up? It’s a puzzle, isn’t it? If you ever figure these people out, send me an e-mail.
Every time there's elections, we hand out cash. Usually to both sides, but this time the government is going to win for sure. The opposition is in a total mess. So we just have to pay off the government, which is good for us.
Go to Old Delhi,and look at the way they keep chickens there in the market. Hundred of pale hens and brightly colored roosters, stuffed tightly into wire-mesh cages. They see the organs of their brothers lying around them.They know they are next, yet they cannot rebel. They do not try to get out of the coop. The very same thing is done with humans in this country.
And our nation, though it has no drinking water, electricity, sewage system, public transportation, sense of hygiene, discipline, courtesy, or punctuality, does have entrepreneurs.
He can read and write, but he doesn't get what he's read. He's half-baked. The country is full of people like him, I'll tell you that. And we entrust our glourious parliamentary democracy
Go to the tea shop anywhere along the Ganga, sir, and look at the men working in that tea shop - men, I say, but better to call them human spiders that go crawling in between and under the tables with rags in their hands, crushed humans in crushed uniforms, sluggish, unshaven, in their thirties or forties or fifties but still boys. But that is your fate if you do your job well - with honesty, dedication, and sincerity, the way Gandhi would have done it, no doubt.
Indians mock their corrupt politicians relentlessly, but they regard their honest politicians with silent suspicion. The first thing they do when they hear of a supposedly 'clean' politician is to grin. It is a cliche that honest politicians in India tend to have dishonest sons, who collect money from people seeking an audience with Dad.
At a time when India is going through great changes and, with China, is likely to inherit the world from the West, it is important that writers like me try to highlight the brutal injustices of society.