ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Familiar Odour of Budgeting

India, takes congealed pride in, It was all part of the grooming: new royalty' at least viceroyalty, was coming to town. Instead, it was the Chinese who came, young brats from peasant households, who have been raised in communes, whose parents work with their hands, who themselves have been taught since childhood that manual work is the source of pride, wealth, and happiness. It was the Chinese who came, in their drab tunics, the Chinese with their callow rustic back' ground, with their Mao Tse-tung thought, with their home-bred slogans of proletarian solidarity and work is worship. Calcutta thus became the venue of a ludicrous clash of civilisations. At one end, Indian boys and girls, born into affluence, knowing nothing but affluence, tutored to receive royalty-like personages, lining up to bow to the Chinese, and watching the latter win, with effortless grace, match after match. At the other end, the Chinese from working class households, deplaning in a city full of misery, filth and squalor, but being hermetically sealed from this living reality outside and all the time forced to exchange vacuities with the offspring of mandarin families. It was an improbable confluence, a meeting of two disparate continents, two disparate centuries, two disparate streams of consciousness. Form stared at content, but perhaps learned nothing, as it had not been prepared to learn anything. Content looked back on form: did the dazzle of the exterior create any impression at all?. Or did the feeling of contemp- tuousness deepen since reality happened to be just one hop outside the stadium?

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