Sunday, 18 November 2012

Amicus Curiae, or what?

 Every now and then a word pops up in the media which makes you go, “what the f$#k is that?” Over the past few weeks one such word has been bothering me. The word is amicus curiae, and everybody seems to know it. It rolls off the tongue of TV ladies effortlessly as if they were taught “A is for Amicus Curiae”, instead of “A is for Apple” in kindergarten.  Mind you, these are people who can’t differentiate between Malayalam letters such as ba and bha.

I found out through painstaking research in Google that the word means “friend of the court”, or a person appointed by the court to assist it in deciding a matter. Here the matter is what to do with Padmanabhan’s jewels (or Padmanaba, as the ladies say) hoarded in the temple vaults, at least one of which is guarded by killer snake symbols.  After weighing the pros and cons of a snakebite, the amicus curiae decided to become an amicus regius, friend of the royals. We don’t know what the court will decide. Hopefully, it will benefit the people, as the leftists hope, rather than a bunch of superstitious sycophants.

At the same time, the Hindu groups’ claim that the Left is targeting only them is also legitimate. There is quite a bit of pussyfooting by the Left when it comes to other religions. My hope is that one day a government of ours, left or right, will develop the guts to tax all these religion-related entities – the temples, churches, mosques, ammas, appas, babas, bhabhis, swamis and swaminis. Some small percentage will do, which could be used to develop the civic facilities used by these groups for festivals, etc.

Anyway, we have some breathing space till the court decides on what to do with the Lord’s jewels. If the Lord doesn’t like the verdict, get ready for snake attacks, thunderbolts from heaven and other means through which the Lord wreaks destruction. By the way, do you think the guys who did the divination with the cowry shells know how it is going to end (because the Lord must know how it ends and have told them, otherwise it doesn’t make much sense in being the Lord, does it)? The suspense is killing me.

Whether the Lord likes it or not, his land is now literally a stinking cesspool. The chief minister, while chitchatting with some German kids who pointed out the garbage problem, told them that there is no good model to follow to solve this. He told that to Germans! Germany is a country which even Japan looks up to as a model for garbage handling, recycling, etc. Pathetic. Can someone teach these guys googling? Only a few days ago, a group led by a minister went to China to “learn”, among other things, about garbage handling. There had been umpteen such expeditions before to all corners of the world, but we are still weighing all the options, lest something goes wrong. Perhaps he could go to Brahmapuram and see how it is done in Cochin before we all go down with dengue.    

In the meantime, the city Corporation held a convention with politicians from different parties, social and cultural leaders as well as regular folk. They took some kind of pledge (led by actor Suresh Gopi) about garbage with their hands held out. What more could we possibly ask for? A convention and a pledge! I have a nagging feeling that at least some of the guys who took the pledge had their middle fingers out.

P.S. Continuing with the theme of the previous post – A couple of weeks ago I went to a restaurant called Villa Maya near Eenchakkal. Very high-end, with an ambience that a few years ago would have looked out of place in Trivandrum, but now, doesn’t appear too odd. Signs again of the rising affluence of the city. The prices are five-star-ish and the menu is quite appealing and palatable to Indians. Their operation will need some tweaking as far as some of the dishes I ordered are concerned. First up, the steak. They never asked me how I wanted it. I got a too well-done steak, whereas I like mine rare, or medium rare, at the most. Next is the Quattro Formaggi pizza, a pizza made of four (quattro) cheeses (formaggi). Though reasonably good, it didn’t seem like it had four cheeses in it. It is a new place and probably lacks in experience, but on the whole I think it is a good addition to the city’s dining scene.