Babas and Babes

Had we been Pakistan, the doomsday prophets would have pronounced us a failed state. But we are a ‘dynamic’ democracy. So dynamic that currently there is a fight about which godman is a better showcase for yoga. That one of them died after fasting for 115 days makes such comparisons disgusting.

It really does not make sense to compare the fast taken by Swami Nigamanand against illegal quarrying in Ganga and Baba Ramdev’s against corruption. The political parties were quiet all along and now that Nigamanand is dead they are using his staying power as opposed to Ramdev’s. This is if we set aside the accusations of him being poisoned. Why would anyone wait this long to poison him?

However, it is childish to discuss how yoga has suffered a blow. Nobody expected Ramdev to bring about any change. But should one cast aspersions on yoga because of him? Don’t cardiologists suffer heart attacks? Don’t dentists have cavities and ophthalmologists get cataract?

Take any field and there will be some fault lines. Are all PR exercises successful and all diplomats diplomatic (remember the headless chicken remark by our ambassador to the US)? Do all writers write exceptional prose or poetry? How many teachers are great tutors?

I am absolutely not interested in Ramdev’s concave stomach and his yogic and other postures. We must also remember that yoga is a discipline and not the jaagir of a few godmen. This is what should disturb us: By questioning one man’s inability to live up to his yogic image we are giving a carte blanche to such characters to take charge of our ‘heritage’. The politicking is not too far behind.

The important fact is that Ramdev has proved to be a non-entity in the larger public scheme. It is, therefore, time to stop this ‘whose fast was better’. We look like fools to ourselves, and let us not start on the image of yoga abroad suffering. We have enough of these export-quality levitators teaching the firangs how to hold their noses and breathe.


Since Anna Hazare has stated with some flourish that our political leaders are public servants, one might remind him that if he wishes to head any people’s movement his role will be the same.

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Now, when it come to staying power, it seems even Hugh Hefner has had to taste defeat. At 85, he was all set to marry 25-year-old Crystal. And then she decided it really isn’t worth it. Of course, they say she wanted money, but would she not get it as Mrs. Hef? She wanted a career in music, apparently and our old stud is old-fashioned and don’t like his women having careers, though what they are doing with him is a career. Anyhow, Crystal says:

“This isn't the lifestyle for me. Multiple girls around all the time. The Playboy lifestyle. I just wanted to be true to myself.”

Aww. Nice. She was a bunny. Now she wants to be a carrot.

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