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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lands and People

Having not fathered any children yet, I am yet to wander my mind over obscure territories such as what would be the ideal gift for a child celebrating his first birthday. But if asked to give my hypothetical opinion, I would put my pants err foot down for a pair of nappies, or maybe a ball. Anyway, it’s safe to assume that most parents would buy their infant a little dress or toy. And that is why I never understood why my dad bought the entire collection of Encyclopedias and‘Lands and People’ the day I turned one.

Over the years, along with the yearly gifts, my sister and I also picked up some of my father’s traits that he so deliberately left all around, and today I can safely say I love both geography and history. This time around, in Nero’s classes, do find below a set of places that you must all visit in your lifetime, and some of the traits that defined the place but did not find honorary mention in classical

Nero Chala Oxford: Part Two

Australia – The modern day Sparta. In this country, all new born babies are baptized with Fosters beer. Girls grow up with boomerangs instead of barbies, while boys receive education on how to celebrate once they have won the Cricket World Cup.

Bihar - Barring Mahender Singh Dhoni, every person in Bihar has kidnapped every other person in Bihar. Last we heard, an upper class cow had stolen a schedule caste monkey’s child and was demanding 20 kgs hay as ransom.

Cuba – The US can’t really be all that powerful as it claims if it could never capture an island country one-hundredth its size and two hop skip and jumps away from its shore, despite obvious attempts, eh?

Delhi – The big hearted city, Dilwalon ki Dilli. The city, rather its people practice thorough equality by nicknaming and referring to every organism, caste, religion, man or even stray dog with a word that sounds very similar to ‘pen chor’. Besides seating all and sundry in our large hearts, we somehow also find the time to completely botch up mega world events, do the bhangra to any form of music be it bollywood, Backstreet Boys or Beethoven(and yet look good at it), and ensure that women are ready to conquer the world, by making the streets thoroughly unsafe for them. Of course we are just acting. How else will they stay at home and study properly!

Estonia – A dis(re)putable survey insists that Estonia’s main occupation is Orkut. I think this is the ideal time for India to invade the country. Then we’ll have Estonia, Kashmir will be USA’s and Pakistan can keep Gurgaon.

France – Last New Year’s eve while I was sitting home alone and flipping through TV channels, a lot of random men were copulating with a lot of random women in the streets of France, supposedly only so because they were emotionally overwhelmed about the arrival of the new year. December 2011 I will be there too.

Greece – A beautiful country that gave the world the Olympics in 776 BC, Illiad in 800 BC, democracy around 450 BC, Aristotle in 384 BC, and then sat back and did nothing in the whole of the 21 centuries after Christ.

Honduras – In 1969, after losing a match to neighbouring Honduras in a South America World Cup qualifier, El Salvador attacked the country in what has been termed as the ‘football war’. Since the fighting stopped in just four days, it’s assumed that most ‘Hondurans’ (what a dreadful way to address one’s citizens, if that is what they call them) were busy celebrating and being wasted and therefore refused to participate, leaving the Salvador army rather confused and bored.

India – We have Rajnikanth and Tendulkar, so we must be more powerful than both Russia and USA.

Japan – A country with zero percent crime now, not because its people are overly honest, just that the few rare times a crime was committed, each victim happily clicked a dozen pictures of their respective thief’s while they were robbing them. The police nabbed them in a time less than what it would take a startled thief to scream ‘Mitsubishi’.

Kerala – Largely referred to as ‘God’s own country’, its image got a beating once Sreesanth announced his connections to the state. Ever since, no mallu wants anything to do with Kerala, and it is just Sreesanth’s, the ‘sod’s own country

Leaning Tower of Pisa – The only building in the world which is marveled despite
having such a ridiculously flawed architectural design that it can’t even stand straight.

Mount Everest – A 13 year old Californian boy has climbed it, a 71 year old Japanese teacher stood at the top and said he wanted to sing a song, Apa Sherpa jogs up and down every day and Rajnikanth is taller than it. Why in sweet Jesus’ name, is it so over hyped then?

Nanga Parbat – When we were eleven, we used to laugh hysterically whenever one of the guys secretly pointed it out in geography class. Dear Lord.

Pakistan – Our books keep telling us that India and Pakistan were one land torn into two, that we are uselessly squabbling against each other, that we are the same people. How then do they produce a beautiful fast bowler every day while our board has to use all its clout to force television channels to not put ‘right-arm laughable’ against Munaf’s name?

Queenstown - Take a look at the picture and then we'll comment on it.

Right. Moving on,

Spain – You might be European and fancy but you have really not developed if you find pleasure in baiting and harassing a bull, playing with its dignity and eventually killing the poor beast. A lot can be said about a man's heart by the way he treats his animals.

The Great Wall of China – Imagine how bored the early Chinese must really have been to build a wall over 8000 kms in length. And if they don’t remove the ban on Twitter and Facebook soon, I am afraid the people might just build another bigger wall, just to entertain themselves. After all how many Jackie Chan movies can one possibly watch?

United States of America - Of America, Twain thus opined in 1890, “We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty.”

A 120 years and several inventions later, I agree as much.