The Scientific Indian

Things Fall Apart, in India

So, I am in India for a short trip and was in Coimbatore yesterday. A truck almost collided with the autorickshaw (three-person tincan with an engine strapped on) I was riding in, then a bus gently nudged me as I was walking on –what I thought was clearly marked–a pedestrian path.

Things fall apart: this is a generally known in scientific circles as the second law of thermodynamics. In India, even the laws are subject to this law. Everything –including rules and laws–slowly reduce to a state of lawless equilibrium. After a while, someone or something explodes, and then things start to fall apart all over again. We probably have a scientifically accurate description of India in two sentences here…

A loud (as in loud speakers) Christian prayer was on at a gathering near the hotel. In another part of the city, the temple organizing committee was conducting its annual review over public air waves via speakers strategically placed to generate as loud a sound as physically possible. The throb of life-affirming commerce was all pervasive along with a stench that I am quite scared to contemplate again. Television burns bright with manic energy of young men and women doing pelvic thrusts, the cricket bat rules the lives of many who have a stake in its success, and the same bat rules the lives of many more who have absolutely no stake whatsoever in it. Life is great, life is terrible, life is full of meaning, life is meaningless, life goes on.