Resurrecting the Past

Change is the only constant in life. But some things never change. At great personal risk, I must say that wives belong to this category. They like to talk and when the tired husbands return home from work and want to sleep, it is not possible. Somebody wants to talk until it is time to go for a walk. The second thing is they don’t forget. I am often surprised how my wife can remember a small argument we had forty years ago. Sometimes she can even recall things that I said even before I was born. Experts believe that women have an amazingly powerful RAM (random access memory) storage device comprising of millions of small boxes in their brains where they can neatly store all sorts of things. When the time comes, which is usually every day, they can pull out at random a past perceived injustice and throw it at you at the speed of light. Nobody can escape.

Without deviating any more towards wives and women, I wish to state that politicians, terrorists, ex-girl friends, ideologies, and historical events never really go away and have a habit of returning back to haunt you. Like somebody said, “History repeats itself”. No matter how much you try to wish them away, return back they will, sooner or later.

1. The return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan provides evidence in support of my hypothesis that some things never change. That a ragtag bunch of terrorists forced to flee to the mountains, can survive the onslaught of a foreign professional fighting force for twenty long years, defies logic. This is like the villain in a Bollywood film who refuses to die despite having been eliminated or injured repeatedly by the lead character or hero of the film. The villain is always able to resurrect himself and continues to fight on ad infinitum.

While the news channels were still busy reporting about Afghanistan and the fate that awaits Afghani women, we got flooded with another regressive news, this time from America itself.

2. Roe v. Wade, (1973), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The Supreme Court’s conservative majority has sent its strongest signal to date that Roe vs. Wade will fall, having given a green light to the nation’s second-most populous state to outlaw abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. One must recall that it was the state of Texas which had passed statutes against abortion and women’s right to decide about issues related to their own health and bodies, which had resulted in the landmark Supreme Court decision in 1973. Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued the strongest dissent and called it “stunning” that the “state’s gambit worked,” defying nearly 50 years of court precedent on the right to abortion. The latest (5-4) decision by the SC rolls back almost fifty years of progress on women’s rights to freedom and equality. As I said at the start, “Some things never change.” In view of this latest Supreme Court ruling against abortion and women's rights, it would be difficult for Americans to ask the Taliban government in Kabul to ensure women's rights unless they wish to be accused of hypocrisy. "The men of the state of Texas are probably as misogynistic and Rambo-types as the Taliban are", was the reply I got from a man that I talked to on the street.

3. History repeats itself. The extreme weather plaguing New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania has poured down massive rains leaving at least 45 people dead and billions of dollars in road and property damage. We had a choice. We could have heeded the warning coming from the experts who have been saying for over thirty years that the extreme weather is mostly due to climate change and global warming. This is now happening every year and with increased intensity. But we continue to do what we like to do, and we are not ready to make the sacrifices. How much more stupid can we get when we ignore the warnings of scientists and refuse to do a simple thing such as wearing a mask, at the risk of falling seriously sick and losing your life.

4. Old is gold, as they say. This morning I learnt that ABBA, probably the greatest rock band of the seventies, plan to release their newest album after being in retirement for forty years. The same original cast will be seen performing in this video but with the aid of digital and touch-up technologies to hide age. This is the greatest news for music lovers at a time of gloom and despair. Extremely happy as I am at the prospect of enjoying the latest from ABBA, my only problem is where do I go to find my “Dancing Queen”. More importantly, even if I do find her, would she (and I) be able to rock to the beats of ABBA’s music.