A boy’s night out. Discussion veered from food, politics, Islam, relationships, women, work and finally to how there should be a balance in life. So much different and yet so much remains the same. First came the excellent food in the form of a good old tandoor serving excellent kebabs. Topped up with a wonderful lassi and the stage was set for a wonderful evening.Next a long walk to nowhere discussing earth-shaking stuff. On how Muslims for all their rantings that they are being mistreated by the world don’t stand up for themselves. On how there is no one uniting leader to come out of their ‘kaum’. On how Turkey is a shinning example of Muslim secularism and why the EU is not allowing Turkey to enter. Walking through a particularly punk infested part and Billy Idol blaring out from some window and the discussion turned to on how Asian women are different from their Western counterparts. They certainly can’t carry the punk outfits as well.
Next, we enter a club and find ourselves a quite place to sit and continue trying to change the world. The music is very retro. I like retro. Except the music gets louder and louder and we decide to move inside for a quieter corner. Except that place turns out to be a waiting place for some cross-dressers, alternatively dressed as a man or a woman, before they go into a basement for a show. They first go in dressed as airhostesses, next they come in dressed as Darth Vader in their hoods. That’s when they take a shine to us, to me particularly and invite me downstairs for the show. I manage to wriggle out except I have to promise a same place, same time next week. We look at their show and they are doing a horribly bad version of cha-cha and tap dancing. Imagine Darth Vader doing tap dancing and slowly taking off his robe and you discover he has boobs. That is when you realize that you are not drunk enough.
My friend introduces me to the bouncers so I can jump the queue next time. Outside is somehow full of a tour group of Japanese tourists at their photo a second best and in some fantastic poses. They sure know how to take their cameras to the limit. No wonder some of the best camera companies are Japanese.
As I make my way home some music buzzes in my head. I can’t place my finger on it and it changes the moment I try to catch it. I think it is Verdi one minute, Bob Dylan the other. I decide that is me.
There was this interesting article in the paper few weeks’ back and I still haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Random thoughts keep bringing me back to the article. The article was about ‘food miles’. About how environmentalists in the UK are calculating the miles a food item has to travel before reaching the shelves of the supermarket. The assumption being that more the food miles, the environment is worse off. Food is talked about being soaked in diesel or aviation fuel, if that is your poison.
There are 2 things about the article that disturbed me- one was the basis of the article and second concerned the people who were originating the idea. The basis of the article too me is absolutely ridiculous and questions the very basis of globalisation. Using this logic, England would have never discovered pepper and India would have never got colonized. Not just that, this argument can be dangerously used for clothes, computers and even people. Why have commodities produced all the way across in China and then have it shipped here when it can be produced in your backyard. It is very easy for anti trade campaigners to use this argument and say that trade is actually damaging the environment. When people in developed countries that complain against food miles they don’t realize that if they get their beans from Kenya they are actually providing a livelihood to that farmer, which is much better than giving him aid. Trade is the biggest enabler of economic possibilities. I do hope that this argument dies down quickly.
The other thing is that I think the environmentalists are getting it all wrong. They should be focusing on how to minimize automobiles that are the biggest source of pollution in this world. Money should be put into public transport and cars should be put on the same track as cigarettes. Every year one area is banned for smokers, more taxes and bigger health messages on the packets. I think cars should only be allowed in Formula 1 and Top Gear. The next generation should look at cars and like how our generation looks at typewriters. Nice to look and admire but of no productive use.
The article also talked about how the maximum food miles are generated by the trip from home to the supermarket in a four wheel drive !