Some days, words fail me. Arguably, such days are rare indeed. And, the phrase is not entirely accurate because, while exposition and discourse fail me, questions never do. Here’s a random list of questions that have been bothering me lately. And, admittedly, I’m rather lazily just jotting them down instead of exploring them in any systematic way. Perhaps I will return to some of them when time and interest allow.

1. Why do the grown men of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) wear little boy clothes? I’ve read the background and the ongoing debate but I’m still not convinced it’s necessary at all.

2. Do the Indian State Police Services (SPS) conduct personality assessments before hiring people into their forces? Wouldn’t that, perhaps, reduce the atrocities and thuggery that these so-called law-enforcers inflict on the citizenry at large (see a recent example)? No, I know…. it’s about cronyism and divisive politics than about law enforcement. But.

3. What about the education of the boy child? We always hear the clarion call for the education of the girl child in India. And, yes, this is vital because an educated woman is more likely to be self-reliant and not put up with abuse and exploitation. But, why not focus on the ones doing the abuse and exploitation? Why not educate the Indian boy child on how to develop healthy and respectful relationships with people, particularly of the opposite sex? Let’s have organizations and slogans and politicians take up this cause for a change.

4. Why do people go nuts over politicians — to the point of killing themselves? Even when the politician in question has a, let’s say, mixed reputation and record?

5. And, finally, on a lighter note, do you know what Sharmila Tagore was really reading during that train song in Aradhana? Alistair MacLean bestseller, ‘When Eight Bells Toll‘, you say? Guess again. [By the way, that was some masterclass in the art of Bollywood facial expressions, eh?]

Feel free, if you made it this far and are so inclined, to leave your thoughts and responses to these pressing and critical questions of our times.

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