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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

the basics remain

We have been brought up on proverbs. Tiny bits of wisdom carried forward from time immemorial that one keeps adding to his super computer so that he can draw on them for inspiration when the time to do so comes. Many may think that proverbs are irrelevant today but, the basics remain. The interpretations may have changed ….

A stitch in time saves nine – take your pants to the neighborhood tailor to do minor repairs since having new ones is gradually going out of our reach. Or – go for Bermudas. They are quite fashionable. As a last resort, wrap a lungi around your waist when in the house. Keep the pants exclusively for the office use and for use on special occasions.

As you sow so you reap – you may not always get the desired benefit. The crops may wither due to delayed monsoons or may perish due to flash floods or may be burnt down by people who do not like your face cut or your hair style.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy – players today are adopted from their cradle. They are supposed to play and do nothing else. None of them become dull. All play and no work makes them crorepatis ten times over.

A burnt child dreads the fire – he learns how to tame fires quite early in life, so fire does not hold surprises for him. In some parts of our country, they grow up with firearms and bombs. Firecracker manufacturers find their profit lines soaring when they entice child labor into their webs.

An apple a day keeps the Doctor away – yes, this can certainly happen but, if all of us started following this practice, the medical profession would go on the blink. Also, the apples of Kashmir cannot be preserved for months on end unlike apples of Australia. So monopolizing apples may prove harmful or our local markets.

A friend in need is a friend indeed – the days of real friends a-la Dosti and Sholay style are still very much there if Bollywood is to be believed. All our heroes and heroines sacrifice their loves at the drop of a hat. Opportunities of sad songs interspersed with show-it-all types of songs in flashback. Our men have all the answers.

All that glitters is not gold – the metal that glitters today is actually platinum. Gold seems to have lost much of its shine and charms – that is probably one of the reasons why ads for biscuits tempt you today with offers of winning gold coins.

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush – for some professions job opportunities are there for their asking. Yes – the software experts. Theirs is a high profile and one of the best paying professions. Job jumping is but second nature to them. They always have more than one bird in hand and are able to keep their employers on tenterhooks.

Better late than never – considering the break down of the transportation systems in cities, it is a wonder that employees are able, at all, to report for duties. Late coming has become the rule rather than the exception. If it is not the bus then it is the late running of local trains or the traffic jams or the sudden passing through of some political dignitary.

These are just a few proverbs that come to mind. There are many more that are equally valid even today as they were in the days of our earlier generations. Some of these transcend the barriers of language and equivalents are popular in regional languages. I plan to continue this series for some time.

other interesting links:
destination india
indian satire
sweets of india
festivals of india

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