So well the Indian rupee has become only the fifth currency to get its own symbol, or that is what is being reported. However, if you go through the list of "Insert Symbols" in Microsoft Word, you will find 23 currency symbols, and that excludes the dollar, yen, pound, euro and the Chinese RMB signs, which are part of Latin signs. And we Indians, as we do for everything ranging from Sunil Laxmi Mittal and Indra Nooyi to Sunita Williams and Kalpana Chawla, are gloating over the "achievement". Just like in the case of the four people above, I do not know why should every Indian be proud of it. How does this indicate that the Indian currency has landed on the international stage? Are countries like Iran willing to take payment in Indian rupees (an exemption they are making for the Chinese RMB) - no, they are not, and I am not sure even Bhutan would agree to payment in the new Devanagari symbol. This is just another symbol, and it is a decision taken by a cabinet. It is not that the Rupee has suddenly become stronger, and can buy you 0.03 USD instead of 0.025 USD. The decision could have been taken ages ago, and it would not have mattered. It doesn't matter now anyway.
And the symbol was something only an IITian could have come up with. Mr. Udaya Kumar apparently studied "typography, scripts and ancient printing methods" but for those who know how IITians work, it was innovation at its most obvious. He just decided that all currency symbols have a horizontal or vertical dash running through an alphabet, and voila, he improvised with the devanagari र. And now, it has come to represent Indian tradition and also the half- letter of the Roman R. And Mr. Kumar is part of Indian history, and an answer to another useless question that children have to answer in their GK tests.
So well, it is day 11 of my break, and I haven't done much writing yet. Except for some write-up on Indian politics. The good news, however, is that I have the broad storyline ready, and I will let the characters develop as they come. Moreover, I have the opening paragraph ready. And I am looking forward to your feedback on the same. Here are the opening lines:
"I am no good at opening lines. Because of which, in order to start this conversation, I will just assume I have been introduced to you by a Barney Stinson- like wingman, who has darted off saying “Hi! Have you met Karan?” leaving me face to face with you.
As you might have guessed, I am Karan, a big fan of “How I met your mother”. I am also a big fan of Friends, Scrubs, Seinfeld, the Big Bang Theory and South Park.
I love REM, the band. I also like Dire Straits, U2, Coldplay, Third Eye Blind, Doors, the Beatles, and Bruce Springsteen among others – well there are too many of them to mention. I like good music, period – and that does include some Hindi music as well, though not too much. "
It will be a tale of rivalry and revenge based on the Mahabharat, and Karan and Arjun will be the two central characters. I have twisted the plot a bit though - Karan will be the upper caste super achiever, while Arjun will be his lower caste peer entrusted with the responsibility of his four brothers and widowed mother. The story will take us through the struggles between the two, and there will be number of other characters like Duryodhana, Draupadi and Krishna.
The narrative will be in first person, and all characters will introduce themselves and lead towards the plot. So there will be chapters dedicated to a single character, and the entire story will play out according to his point of view. For we often forget, there is no absolute truth, and that truth only depends on how we see it.
Apart from this though, there is nothing much else going on. I haven't introspected much about what I wanna do, but on the flip side, I am finally learning driving and loving it, and there are plenty of good movies and sports events to fall upon to - on TV and on the big screen. And I have discovered the joy of Age of Empires again, and am actually playing better than I remember myself playing. The parties continue though, and I am looking forward to play tennis again. Soon. On the cards is also a trip to Chandigarh for the reissue of my expired passport, and a week-long trip home. And then back and getting done with some real work. Life goes easy on me, most of the time, as the song goes. Looking forward to the next three months, and life in general. For a change.