Sunday, July 31, 2016

Here comes Rio!

Next week, the 2016 Rio Olympics kicks off in Brazil, after much controversy. The Russian team came ever so close to being banned for a rather vast doping scandal, Pakistan failed to get a single athlete to qualify and is now represented entirely by wildcard entries, several top athletes (including favorite Roger Federer) have pulled out for various reasons, the entire event is being conducted under the shadow of the Zika virus and the political and economic crises that Brazil faces, and the preparations for the games seems to be a little off.

No matter, a little controversy never hurt anyone! While it is true that the games could've been better, the host Brazil has clearly tried. The fact is that the Olympic games have become so expensive and difficult to host that very few countries can afford to do it, and even fewer can afford to do it without the gentle (!) hand of dictatorship to divert resources to it. Therefore, instead of constantly calling out Brazil for a sub-optimal job, the world must encourage it and help it. Of course, the economic and political mismanagement of the country is another matter.

For India, the largest contingent yet is being sent to the Olympics this year, and the country is obviously hopeful for a bigger haul of medals than last time. Yes, we are the superpower of South Asia, but that is hardly something to be proud of, given the other candidates. The country has worked hard since the last edition, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi carried the message of the people to the athletes, who come from every corner of the vast country to perform under one flag. Here's wishing them a good show!

Behold: Liberal Hypocrisy

Last week, the new Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan appointed Harvard economist Dr. Gita Gopinath as economic adviser to the CM, an honorary position that came as quite a surprise given the Communists' utter disdain for fact-based economics... and facts, in general. Predictably, the ruling CPM got into a tizzy, with Vijayan's perpetual frenemy and former CM VS Achuthanandan supposedly castigating the CM for inviting an economist with so-called neo-liberal views to advise the CM. This, at a time when Vijayan seems to have realized that the collapse of the Arab gulf oil economies will severely harm the state, which depends on remittances from the region to bankroll itself. Vijayan has been talking about the need to bring in more investment and jobs to the state and has supported the GST Bill at the state level.

If ever you wondered why the word 'liberal' has become an insult, look no further than how the CPM is treating Dr. Gopinath, and how the Prime Minister treated another US-based economist, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, and the difference in the level of outrage that the liberal brigade has generated for each. For Rajan, his exit was supposed to be some sort of intellectual intolerance, never mind that it is a fact that he did not get along with the government and was appointed by the last one. In the case of Dr. Gopinath, there is staunch silence, perhaps ever a level of agreement. After all, fancy degrees and academic positions in the US are the holy grail of Indian intellectuals, until of course it comes to Marx, in which case the US is Satan!

Let's call a spade a spade: the entire fracas with Raghuram Rajan was orchestrated as a political tool by the liberals, who could not have cared less for his actual job. In Dr. Gopinath's case, the aggressor (the CPM) is one of their own, and hence the utter lack of outrage at how an academic is being politicized. Why is 'liberal' and insult? Because it is synonymous with 'hypocrite' - clearly, the Communists of yesterday, scattered by the dissolution of the Soviet Union, have regrouped under the umbrella of liberals. Old wine in a new bottle.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Celebrating Reforms

July marks the 25th anniversary of PVN Rao's 1991 economic reforms that transformed India from being the world's largest begging bowl to a rising economic giant. Since 1991, India's per capita income has quadrupled, over 300 million people have been pulled out of poverty, and its share in global wealth has doubled - an advancement which dwarfs the progress (or lack thereof) made in the half century following Independence from the British Empire. If you go by the business media in India, 1991 is a seminal year that unshackled Indian entrepreneurship from the vice-like grip of the state. If you go by the political class, especially the Congress party, the year 1991 simply didn't happen. And if you go by the elite, 1991 was the end of a glamorous, romantic era in India.

One event, many interpretations. And yet, the final word lies with the people, and it is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that 1991 changed India for the better. The elite, like Mukul Kesavan, express nostalgia for the years of state-enforced mass poverty in the name of austerity and simplicity. They are a micro-minority that can express such nostalgia because they never had to live it: the socialist state was so far removed from the people it lorded over that there was a yawning gap between words and actions, ergo the failed targets of successive Five Year Plans and even more ridiculous plans that followed. Perhaps, the standing ovation to the 1991 reforms will be next year, when the current and last Five Year Plan will end thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to abolish the Planning Commission, one of his very few ideological decisions (that he is given very little credit for).

As today's Swarajya pointed out, the 1991 reforms are like the orphaned child who became hugely successful - everyone wants to use them, but nobody wants to claim them as their own. Sadly, the man who led them through difficult political times is no more with us, and his technocrat Finance Minister, Manmohan Singh, proved to be a massive failure as Prime Minister. However, politics is politics, and people are people. In the former, small vested interests, 'vote banks,' can dictate the narrative. In the latter, it is the experience of life everyday that dictates the narrative. And in the latter, the celebration of economic reforms is there for all to see.

Once upon a time, my father paid 500 to book a Bajaj scooter that never came. My parents were of the generation that would line up outside a PCO stall to make a phone call, or wait till late night for telephone rates to become cheaper, assuming they were the lucky 1% that actually had a land-line connection. Today, they can buy a car in less than a day, and the mobile phone has become ubiquitous and cheap. This is not a one-off event: websites like this one chronicle the dystopia of socialism, and the comparison with life that we take for granted today is stark and shocking. No doubt, liberalization did not help everyone equally, there is inequality, but there is also no doubt that it has helped everyone in some measure, which is much more than what can be said of socialism that wallowed in the cesspool of romanticizing poverty.

People ask me why I am so staunchly anti-socialism (I have previously said, in the context of Bernie Sanders, that I would not wish socialism on my worst enemy), 'like an old man'. The reason is simple: I have read about life in India before I was born. I am not interested in making the same mistakes of the past generation, and then regretting them as an old man. I have no hesitation in saying that socialism was a scourge that ravaged what was once one of the world's most prosperous and entrepreneurial civilizations. And while it is certainly not dead, the monster has been tamed greatly.

Salman Rushdie's book Midnight's Children led to that moniker being applied to the generation born into Independence after 1947. In the 25th year of economic reforms, let my generation be called PVNR's children - the inheritors of the legacy of India's greatest Prime Minister. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Rest of the Story

FRAY (2012)

Produced By: Spork Productions, Code Red, and others
Director: Geoff Ryan
Starring: Bryan Kaplan, Marisa Costa, Catherine Johnson, Bob Olin, and others
Pros: Good story, good acting
Cons: Abrupt ending, slow
Rating: *** of 5 (3 of 5)

I admit, I haven't seen too many war movies. Not because I don't like them, but because I find the excessive focus on tactics takes away too much from strategy. However, Fray, another indie film in my continuing enamor of the genre, is not a war movie, rather, it's a post-war movie. By now, PTSD is a rather common term in the US, but the movie actually gives it a human side.

A human side to PTSD? What would that be? Turns out, a lot - the inability to get a job, the inability to continue studying, and of course, the constant pointlessness that is civilian life, Fray has it all. Starring Bryan Kaplan, who put up an excellent show that went well beyond what is expected from an Indie, the movie also features a good story, but, in what seems to be a continuing problem with the genre, ends quite abruptly, doing no justice to the story at all. Moreover, far from the fast pace of a war movie, I found Fray to be a tad too slow, with stuff happening in bursts and an excess of filler in between.

Not the best movie for a weekend, but worth a try. (OTFS)

Time for some Straight talk

In the wake of continued Islamist violence in Kashmir, the Ministry of External Affairs issued an unusually direct statement in the form of a video featuring Minister Sushma Swaraj, flanked by her MoS-es, addressing the latest Pakistani dealings over the violence. Recently, Pakistan has tried to bring the matter up in the UN, issued statements on behalf of the civilian and military administrations (not the same thing), and passed a Senate resolution. That's certainly quite a lot even for Pakistan!

Since the Modi government came to power in the historic election of 2014, many have accused it of having virtually no Pakistan policy. And indeed, if looked at in the short term, that does appear to be the case. But on the longer term, a trend does stand out: that of using stronger language, calling a spade, a spade, really, and working towards isolating Pakistan globally (with the sole exception of China among powerful nations).Recently, the US Congress held a hearing denouncing Pakistani duplicity on terrorism and the country, bereft of a full-time foreign minister and an Army that controls the India & US relationships, has not really been able to fight back.

Last week, India's UN ambassador, Syed Akbaruddin, made an equally terse point in a debate on human rights. All this clearly shows that PM Modi, irrespective of his friendship with Nawaz Sharif, has a very firm policy on Pakistan. However, whether that will make the country stop and ponder over its perilous position - it is reducing itself to a Chinese colony by the day - or brazen it out further, is anybody's guess at this time. I'd pick the latter, given the history.

The Overdue License

For a student working towards a PhD in Transportation Engineering, it is probably a great irony that I took so long (3 years to be exact) to get my US driver's license. It was not for a lack of practice, but the old malaise - too much of it, being perpetually unsure and unready. And yet, eventually, it all came down to a whim and fancy, no more than 5 hours of studying to clear the written test, and 15 min of practicing in a parking lot to clear the driving test!

Of course, it was preceded by many hours of driving practice over years. And it really is easy, once you know what the controls do, there's nothing much left in terms of the actual act of driving itself. What is left is to stay mindful of the many rules, especially on US roads, even under pressure. And pressure is certainly what I was subject to by the DMV official in the test! I can count 4 times when he asked me if I wanted to stop the test, and 2 times when he threatened to do so himself. Two minutes into the 10-15 min long test and I was sure I had already failed, so it was just a matter of getting it over with.

But hey, I passed, and boy was I shocked! That too, I passed on the first try, including with a 100% on the written test (at least I know my theory!). And now I have a license that meets the Real ID Act requirements, if that means much. Of course, having a license and being able to drive well are two different things. I suppose another journey has just begun. 

An Interesting Choice

Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton introduced her running mate, Sen. Kaine from Virginia, today in Miami, thus setting the stage for next week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Sen. Kaine is certainly a centrist, especially compared to the more left wing positions that Clinton herself has been forced to assume to defeat Bernie Sander. But is a more centrist ticket the only reason she made the interesting choice of the rather unassuming Senator?

Often, one forgets that the Vice President is more than just waiting to become President, they are the first and most direct link between the Executive and the Legislature, in the VP's capacity as Chairman of the Senate. If her legislative plans are really as radical as we are to believe, she will need a lot of legislative capacity. In the Obama Presidency, the relationship between the two branches virtually collapsed, leading to gridlock and Obama using quasi-unconstitutional executive orders to get the job done. But you can't keep that up forever, which is why Sen. Kaine is a wise choice. It does seem that Mrs. Clinton is thinking ahead.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The War on Arnab Goswami

There is a certain thing that I envy in the Left-Liberal mafia: their ability to act as a collective, and their war-like division of labor and goals, with each event becoming a launching pad for a well-calculated move to achieve a larger objective. In the last few years, Times Now, headquartered in Mumbai, far away from the Lutyen's media (for which TN Chief Arnab Goswami has often expressed derision), has been the cause of much angst, for his run away TRPs and the lack of a pliant political leadership to assist the Deep Congress have severely dented their balance sheets. Retrenchments at the former CNN-IBN and the halving of NDTV Profit point to that effect, although there is much more if one looks at the quality of actual reporting.

However, as we have learned after 2014, the Deep Congress does not give up without a fight. And the Islamist terrorism in Kashmir following the defeat and killing of HuM 'Commander' Burhan Wani has presented the perfect opportunity for the Left-Liberal War Machine to try to poke another hole in Arnab Goswami's castle (who is neither Left not Right wing, but a journalist with an excellent business acumen). Now, we're being told that it is Times Now, not Islamist terrorism, that is a danger to Kashmir. That's right, an English news channel that, despite all the noise, barely reaches a minuscule fraction of the large country, is responsible for all those stone-pelting teenagers and even children!

I should add here that Times Now is shorthand for the larger right-wing media, which is slowly but steadily rising in a country that is becoming increasingly angry at the blatant self-serving anti-nationalism of the Left. Indeed, one interesting poll in UP shows that the Lutyen's elite's assault on the Modi government is starting to fire back at them.
Previously, we had seen loud clamor by some in the Deep Congress to bring in some form of Section 66A of the IT Act (declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court) to control what they call online trolling, which can be ugly at times, but is largely composed of ordinary people asking tough questions to the elite, something that they are not used to. Maneka Gandhi has even created a superfluous helpline for women being trolled (a double-edged sword). Eventually, we might even see a bid to quell Times Now, especially if the Congress party's electoral fortunes improve, thus emboldening the Deep Congress.

The lesson to remember for the Right wing is: all talk of freedom of speech and expression is bunkum. Freedom is only for the powerful Lutyen's elite, the common man has to live by their edicts. And if the latter fight back, an entire ecosystem will be activated to shame them. Similar to how the caste system once policed itself, the Deep Congress aims to shame us into policing ourselves, while they go unaccountable as always. The question is: will they?

Monday, July 18, 2016

High Stakes

Today is the start of what promises to be a very exciting and difficult process to elect the next President of the US. Cleveland will be the stage for a historic RNC convention that will crown Donald Trump as the least likely candidate for the Republican ticket in a very long time. With him will be his chosen contestant for VP, Indiana Governor Mike Pence (upvote for the Midwest there!). Already, with a faction of the delegates raking up a storm on the first day over the rules, this Convention is living up to its promise of being very exciting.

Mike Pence is an interesting choice for VP - quite the opposite of Trump, a career politician, soft-spoke, and a well-known conservative, he brings in support from the so-called party Establishment. His experience in the legislature and executive are impressive for a candidate, but he does not bring in any new demographic for Trump. Clearly, his selection was meant to quell fires in the party, and he is depending on his own charisma to win the election.

After the RNC convention will be the DNC convention in Philadelphia, which promises to be equally exciting. Much more to look out for!

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Court is in the House

In light of the recent verdict of the Supreme Court on the controversial dismissal of the Nabam Tuki government in Arunachal Pradesh by the state's Governor, it is important to think above the silly anti-BJP rhetoric of the Opposition and consider the constitutional crisis that we are in: a crisis in which the Constitution is being re-written, again, by the Supreme Court. For, together with Uttarakhand, we have two state governments in India that are in a minority in their respective Houses, and are not backed by any external political support, but by a court-mandated re-reading of the Constitution.

Consider the judgment of the Court in striking down the actions of the Governor. In interpreting the controversial Article 356 of the Constitution, the Court rightly said that the Governor should not be involved in the political shenanigans that inevitably happen in a divided and sinking party like the Congress. Remember, the original crisis was the rebellion of a large number of Congress MLAs against Tuki, after they were ignored by the High Command in Delhi. However, the Court added a rider: it pointed out that, even if there is a danger of gross impropriety, including horse trading, the Governor should not act, effectively turning the institution of the Governor into a post office. By all means, this was not the original purpose of Article 356, which was to protect the Constitutional order in the states of the Union. And while a majority can only be established on the floor of the House, a majority that is obtained by blatantly corrupt means, the cost of which will ultimately be borne by people of the state, is a questionable majority at best.

A larger question, of course, is whether we should even have Article 356 altogether. It has been greatly abused, with Indira Gandhi using it openly for partisan gains. And the Central Government itself is not immune to the same thing as the states, as was clearly evident in the Cash for Votes scam during the debate on the Indo-US Nuclear Agreement in the Lok Sabha. Article 356 appears to be a poor compromise between Nehru's centrism and Patel's federalism, and its time may be up. However, a greater crisis is the erosion of the original intent of the Constitution at the hands of an activist Supreme Court that has declared that it is above any and all elected representatives of the people.

In the Uttarakhand verdict, the Court told both the Speaker and the Governor how to do their jobs. In Arunachal again, the Court told the Governor how to do their job. It seems nobody is supposed to be an activist except the Court itself, that has inserted itself into a myriad of things that it has absolutely no business being in, by conveniently expanding its view of the fundamental rights. What we get here is the Court dictating a parallel budget, mandating new funds and cesses, a parallel environmental policy, and now, a parallel minority government in the states. As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley warned in Parliament, brick by brick, the edifice of the Indian Constitution is being broken down by an activist Supreme Court. This is certainly a serious issue with dire consequences for the future.

Monday, July 11, 2016

How the Regressive Left took over Feminism

Former Minster for External Affairs under UPA-II, Salman Khurshid, has acted in a music video with the German ambassador and his wife. Former HRD and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has written lyrics for a Bollywood song. Neither of these things make them unfit for the high office that they hold though, and none of them have been discussed about based on what they wear. Now, if they were women, they may have been subject to taunts about being dumb bimbos only fit for entertainment, and such taunts would've gotten a strong reply for feminists who are ever-quick to point out inherent sexism in the Indian political system.

Unless that woman happens to be Smriti Irani (or any one from the right wing, actually), in which case feminism can go take a dump. This is tragic really because, irrespective of political ideology, sexist attacks are wrong. Women who have acted on TV or movies are not dumb, especially not ones who have lifted themselves up from poverty in the process. By virtue of her background, Irani knows much more about the common man than the Harvard-educated czars who pontificate against her, which is why she is so popular with the right wing.

But for feminists, all this does not matter. She is a cabinet minister under Modi, and the hatred from that trumps all. Hypocrisy is the hallmark of the Regressive Left, a term originally meant to describe the strange Leftist love for Islam - something Tarekh Fatah once called Shariah Bolshevism. Today, the Regressive Left has entered into several spheres, from secularism ("terrorism has no religion unless it is perpetrated by Hindus/Christians/Jews/Buddhists"), casteism ("caste discrimination is wrong unless it is Brahmins who are on the receiving end"), journalism (which does not even need any examples), and yes, feminism. If they wonder why right wing governments are being elected across the world, they should consider just how badly their hypocrisy has been called out thanks to the spread of social media and the democratization of the narrative.

The thing about Irani is, while she has certainly made some mistakes and was largely an average HRD minister, she was doomed the moment she had the portfolio. If the Regressive Left can demonize MM Joshi, Irani was nothing. The Left survives only in universities today, and the HRD Ministry is the one that can end their pilferage of state resources. They need to keep it under a constant state of siege in order to maintain the status quo underneath. Irani could not possibly handle that, and I doubt her successor can either. However, her clout is growing, especially in Amethi, and while she is down now, the Regressive Left should not count her out. They forget that the cycle of time turns, and it will eventually turn on them. Aunty National may just have the last laugh.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Kashmir, the Indian State

It is that time again, when the Left-Liberal mafia will rail against each and everyone one of us the war against Islamist terrorism in Kashmir. Except, they will refuse to call it that. They will label it as a struggle against an occupation, a fight for human rights, a national struggle, and everything else possible. But not a part of the global Islamist project to further create more so-called Islamic states. Because, of course, there is no such project at all!

The killing of HuM "commander" and keyboard warrior, Burhan Wani, by the 19 Rashtriya Rifles, is a major achievement for the Indian Army fighting the Islamist terrorists in Kashmir, not simply because he was a high-profile catch, but because through his use of social media, he has built a power following that he had used to alert himself and his men against previous threats from the Army. This infiltration of a complex information network is what really stands out. Many anti-Modi-turned-anti-India "journalists" have been alarmed by the reaction to Wani's death in the Valley, where tends of thousands of sympathizers came out to mourn him, with the Indian Express going so far as to turn prominently display the picture of the funeral march on Facebook! This is silly, because the fallout from this was not just inevitable but obvious, and it has happened often in previous such events. Fear of a fallout should not stop the right act of fighting terrorists, for any hesitation to do so will be perceived as a weakness. You give an inch, they will demand a mile.

The Islamization of Kashmir is no surprise to anybody, in fact it is part of a trend that dates back to the very beginning of Islam. The trend is very clear: where Muslims are in a minority, call for equality, secularism, and human rights. The moment they hit a majority, the gloves are off:
The history of Kashmir follows just that. A land that was always part of the Indian subcontinent's history, stretching back thousands of years, and indeed, even its modern history, is now supposed to be an alien land. Kashmir is now supposed to be an Islamic state part of Central Asia. We are supposed to believe that Kashmir, being overwhelmingly Muslim, thanks to the genocide of its indigenous Hindu population, does not belong to a "Hindu" India. We lost Harappa and Mohenjodaro to the two-nation theory, we lost Taxila, Lahore, and Gandhara to the Islamization of South Asia, and now we're supposed to give up Kashmir too.

No, this is not some rant, this is a reflection of the actual, twisted logic that Islamist sympathizers use. I have peaceful friends that staunchly believe that once a place has a Muslim majority, it is quite OK to apply Islamic law to it, no matter how barbaric that is to everyone else (as long as there is still an 'everyone else', that is). I have a Kashmiri friend who calls Kashmir "my land" and wants India to get out, refusing to acknowledge that Kashmir ever was a part of India history. All this is cloaked up behind hackneyed Marxist ideas and presented in a very modern, Oxford-English outlook, but the kernel is as old as the conquest of Mecca itself.

This time is different, however. Despite the differences and challenges, the Indian state today is extremely powerful and effective at defending itself by military means. The world itself has changed, and Islamist terrorism, once seen as an effective means to fight Communism, today invites anger. And while the challenges will be many, and it may take much more than even 2,000 years for Kashmir to be truly Indian again, this fight is the good fight. The Islamist Project of Kashmir must fail, for the good of the entire world.

Friday, July 8, 2016

4th of July in Champaign

This week, I had the pleasure of celebrating the 4th of July - approximately American Independence Day - in Champaign. Honestly, after three years here, this was the first time I knew that there was a fireworks show in town! Fireworks are typically associated with large cities - Chicago has a grand display on Navy Pier during the summer - but I've discovered that small towns do save up for a smaller show on the 4th of July.

It was a little funny sitting at what used to be a busy intersection by the State Farm Center, watching the beautiful fireworks, accompanied by a quaint little band playing pop (although they were supposed to be playing country music!). It was quite a festive atmosphere and, although I could not share the patriotic fervor, I could quite empathize.

Freedom matters, it is important, and it worth celebrating. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Life in a Great Hope

Read Agam Saran's answer to Do Hindus in Pakistan regret not migrating to India in 1947? on Quora

I recently came across this interesting answer on Quora, from a user who identifies as (and talks quite freely about) a Hindu citizen in Pakistan, part of the 1.6% tiny minority largely embedded in the border regions of Sindh. It is said that the greatest tragedy of Partition was not in Punjab or Bengal, despite all the killing, because the people there knew what was coming. The greatest tragedy was in Sindh, which did not realize where it would go, particularly the large Hindu population in Karachi, a city that used to be the twin of Bombay in terms of culture and economy. Used to be. Undoubtedly, if Partition had not happened, Karachi and Mumbai would be spoken of in the same breath. Instead, one is spoken of as an urban war zone, and the other as South Asia's richest city.

But Pakistan-bashing is not my point. There are innumerable people on social media to do that. Besides, while I do not subscribe to the view that they are the same people as us any more, largely because of the way their history has gone, I have met and known many Pakistanis, and they may be different, but not bad people. There is much in common, and many differences. Anyway, the point is about Pakistani Hindus, who you rarely hear about in India, except when large groups come to India and seek refugee status, thus getting themselves entangled in the web of non-existent refugee laws in India (there really is no law, so it's all very ad-hoc, not just for Hindus from Pakistan, but also from Bangladesh, as well as Afghans and Burmese). More specifically, the point is about this individual, Mr. Saran, who writes quite freely about tech and identity.

What truly struck me about his answer was the air of resignation in it - he says it quite frankly, that he wished his forefathers had made the journey to what became the Republic of India, and not stayed back in Sindh. He frankly says that just about every Hindu family there is going to face mortal threat, and one day or the other "that one bad person" is going to destroy a Hindu family. He even gives a timeline of how to escape it: move from the big cities to the smaller towns, from the smaller towns to the suburban towns, from the suburbs to Karachi or Hyderabad, and from there, emigrate to India or the West. Viola!

Jokes aside, this young man, probably my age, seems to have something unique: a dogged desire to pursue what he's good at (or what he's allowed to be good at anyway, according to his answer about career choices for Pakistani Hindus). He seems to know that he is eventually going to face some threat to his life and well-being, it is inevitable, but he goes on with Pakistan's nascent IT sector, hoping it gets better (and chastising it for making undue comparisons with Silicon Valley or Bangalore). I'm not a tech expert (more a wannabe tech geek/PhD, with considerable knowledge of Civil Engineering), but he seems to know his stuff, and he knows his strengths and weaknesses. All of this, in people of my age, are extremely rare traits - most so-called millennials are short-tempered, greedy, incompetent hippies. In my humble opinion, of course.

Obviously I'm probably never going to meet him. India and Pakistan may have been one land for millennia, and they may be again, but right now, we are separate people, with separate identities, hopes, and dreams. And while I do wish him luck, I fear that he may not be alive in the near future, especially if he goes too far out of Karachi too often. I also fear that he knows that. On my part, despite all the losses and tales of hardship, I'm glad my grandfather made the journey from East Pakistan to India.