INDIA THAT IS BHARAT
SATIRICUS lives and unlearns. In the good old fun-loving days he thought he was just being funny when he wrote if, as it is claimed, the world was going to the dogs, that was good for the world. But now he is stunned to see that that is truly true. At least for the British part of the world. For not long back Satiricus had read that British doctors are getting so much more careless in treating their patients that their government has decided to send those doctors convicted of criminal medical negligence to jail for longer years than before. As if this was not enough, the other day Satiricus read that more than 80 per cent doctors in British hospitals think their colleagues are unfit for the job and would not want them to treat their friends and family. In short, the world of human doctors was going from bad to worse.
But ring, oh bells, rejoice oh shores, in the nick of time comes the news that dogs can save the situation. In the city of Liverpool a woman by name Lesley Hallwood was eating chocolate when suddenly a piece of it stuck in her throat and she began to choke. She could have died of suffocation—but for her dog. What did he do? To quote the report, he “jumped on her sofa and pounced on her chest—he had never before done that—which had a similar effect to a person doing the Heimlich Manoeuvre,” thus safely dislodging the stuck piece. “There’s no doubt Neil (dog’s name) saved my life, said a grateful Lesley.” So there you are ! The dog was not a careless cuss, nor a callous colleague. The only problem with his medical expertise would be the question—where did he learn this Heimlich Manoeuvre? Oh well, Satiricus has seen reports that dogs can count. Then why can’t they read—even a medical text-book?
TO be honest, Satiricus admits his poor knowledge of English. But is he being honest when he says that? Well, just the opposite—he may be flaunting his knowledge of English. At least that is what an American columnist recently argued in the Wall Street Journal. She says use of the phrase “to be honest” can make us sound dishonest. She writes : “Essentially, taken alone…it may seem harmless…maybe even polite…but coming before another statement” it may “often signal…some dishonesty on the part of the speaker…”
Well, now, to be honest, Satiricus does not think the said columnist is making a very adverse comment when she argues that the phrase “to be honest” is a polite way to be dishonest. After all, as a wit put it, language is a means of concealing thought, and it is now a truth universally acknowledged that it is not only impolite but even uncivilized to horribly honestly call a spade a spade instead of decorously dishonestly describing it as an implement to dig with. In fact, would not polite politics become impossible without this valuable verbal device? Ask any politician and he would tell you that the fine political art of saying nothing in so many words needs expertise in the choice of distinguished dishonest words that can hide hideously honest meaning.
WHY are smart phones called smartphones? Obviously because they are for smart people, not for idiots like Satiricus. Naturally he doesn’t have one, as he knows this. Even the Chinese Communists know this. For according to an American correspondent the Chinese government’s Internet Network Information Centre has advised Chinese telecom companies to roll out “idiot-proof” smartphones for rural customers. Well, now, that makes sense to Satiricus. For did not Karl Marx, father of communism, promise “to everyone as per his needs”? An idiot is not smart, so he doesn’t need a smartphone. Nor Satiricus, for the same reason. But then, the Americans are a hi-tech people. There are no idiots. There are columnists. For this particular columnist recently wrote that the Chinese government does not seem to think much of their 650 million villagers’ IQ, while, on the other hand, “as anyone who has witnessed a 3-year-old playing with iPhone can attest, formal education is by no means a prerequisite for mobile technology necessary.”
But isn’t that precisely the point? Satiricus recalls that sometime back an American manufacturer had advertised a new product as “child-proof”. That would mean in America IQ means Intelligence Quotient, in China IQ means Idiocy Quotient. As for Satiricus, he is not a Chinese idiot, he is an Indian idiot. So while he admires today’s telephone that tells the time, shoots your photo, plays music for you, gives you the breaking news, and checks your blood pressure, blood sugar, even your heart beats, Satiricus wonders… what happened to that word ‘telephone’, which meant a device to talk and listen?
Comments are closed here.