Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hidden costs

Sweet and sour is the title for a weekly column in "Deccan Herald" contributed by Khushwant Sing, a well known writer and journalist. Incidentally when I was in the Sunyvale Library I found a book "Sweet and sour " in the large print section. I picked it up thinking that the author of the book must be the same old Khushwant Sing. Not only that I noticed that the author was different - Andrew A. Rooney - but he is also a well known broadcaster : similarity in profession. This emphasis I make out because the style of writing and the subjects chosen for essays are so simple that the thoughts the author has penned will surely run in almost all of us who are good observers. The only difference is that Andrew A. Rooney has penned them and we have not! While reading each essay I was regretting that he has robbed me of subjects that I was thinking and planning for my blogs.

For youngsters the line of thinking looks very artificial and impracticable and should be shunned. For middle aged people it may look OK and for philosophical old a mantra.

For example I quote from the essay "On guard"
....One out of three people at the fruit store has to devote all his time to security. It is about what we all pay for security
....The costs are hidden in taxes, insurance, rent, police, locks, fences, iron gates ..... and grape fruit.

Why did he bring in grapefruit? He was discussing a New York's fruit stores run by Korean immigrants wherein a younger Korean immigrant is stationed outside to guard against thieves and his presence ruins what would be otherwise a pretty picture of fruit stands of colourful pyramids of oranges, grapes, pears, peaches, bunches of bananas and mounds of exotic fruits like mangoes and persimmons. The money and effort the fruit stores have to spend protecting themselves must cost them a substantial part of their daily income. It must also be why one pink grapefruit costs $1.15.

Security is a part of moral and economic condition of the society. There are people who stick to good conduct till it becomes unbearable hunger. Except in case of laziness if any body suffers from hunger it is the fault of the stucture of the society.

Can we dwell so deeply in to the structure of the society and analyse making of the order of the life if we were not seeing too much of its good and bad features? Sharing those thoughts helps to contribute to spread clear and useful quality of the human brain and behaviour.

2 comments:

Harit said...

"The only difference is that Andrew A. Rooney has penned them and we have not! While reading each essay I was regretting that he has robbed me of subjects that I was thinking and planning for my blogs."

Do not worry about using the same subjects for your blog. In fact, your using the same subjects reaffirms the very universality of the subjects which is what you compliment him about.

Good post. Makes you think not only about analyzing life, but also a summary of what makes a good writer - somebody whose work we can identify with easily.

Roshan said...

Now I can't wait to get that book!