Olympics Aftermath

I just read that to glitter for one month, the city of Rio de Janeiro had displaced 80 000 of its citizens.

rio

If that doesn’t shame a country, I don’t know what else does.

The Olympics is a big deal, sure. It’s a mass congregation, the world’s largest sports convention, the holy godmother of all sporting events, yada, yada, yada.

And while the rest of the world saw the sugar, spice, and all other things nice, reality shoved its ugly face on the people of Rio. They wouldn’t have liked the idea of the entire world coming to — taking over, rather — their home.

It’s not just Rio. We saw a similar picture the last time Olympics went to London and Beijing before that. Countless glorious venues now lie barren and play host to a meagre number of tourists. And to make matters worse, the Bird’s Nest costs $11 million a year just to maintain. And nothing worthwhile came off setting up the Olympic Village either.

As for Athens, the first Olympics I cherished, went $15 billion above their budget to put on a show that’s now in disarray and disuse.

Millions of people thrown into the labour of making these stadia, setting up seating, and fitting in lightings— all for attendees staying less than a month. So much time, money, sweat, and blood shed for the vain pride of hosting Olympics. And at the end of glow and show of sportsmanship, the rings get rusty, and we go back to hating each other.

Nothing about the Games was a game to Rio’s now homeless, squashed under its crushing weight.

And here we are, just days after the closing ceremony, complaining on Facebook that another country outperformed us in track events. We should, instead, be ashamed; blinded by our so-called national pride, we ignored a nation that groaned under the pressure of treating us assholes for a fortnight.

We somehow played a part in uprooting the lives of 80 000 people, and that makes me guilty. Some of those people were school children, pregnant women, infants, and single-meal breadwinners. Even budding athletes.

Come to think of it, Rio 2016 (and every Olympics before that) could’ve destroyed a generation of future sportsmen and women.

Your Time Will Come

They looked at the sky,
moon thrusting the clouds aside —
it was time to howl.

A Hundred Years Later

“You’re a ghost, Harry,” whispered James.

The Paradox of Life

“The situation in America, the most highly monetized society the world has ever known, is this: some of our needs are vastly overfulfilled while others go tragically unmet. We in the richest societies have too many calories even as we starve for beautiful, fresh food; we have overlarge houses but lack spaces that truly embody our individuality and connectedness; media surround us everywhere while we starve for authentic communication. We are offered entertainment every second of the day but lack the chance to play. In the ubiquitous realm of money, we hunger for all that is intimate, personal, and unique. We know more about the lives of Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, and Lindsay Lohan than we do about our own neighbors, with the result that we really don’t know anyone, and are barely known by anyone either.”

“The things we need the most are the things we have become most afraid of, such as adventure, intimacy, and authentic communication. We avert our eyes and stick to comfortable topics. . . . We are uncomfortable with intimacy and connection, which are among the greatest of our unmet needs today. To be truly seen and heard, to be truly known, is a deep human need. Our hunger for it is so omnipresent, so much a part of our experience of life, that we no more know what it is we are missing than a fish knows it is wet. We need way more intimacy than nearly anyone considers normal. Always hungry for it, we seek solace and sustenance in the closest available substitutes: television, shopping, pornography, conspicuous consumption — anything to ease the hurt, to feel connected, or to project an image by which we might be seen and known, or at least see and know ourselves.” – Source

I was stunned.

We live a paradoxical life without even realising it. That’s when I decided I should read this book. It’s out of my comfort zone; it’s non-fiction, it’s about money, and it’s called Sacred Economics.

Of the 23 chapters, I’ve stepped into the eighth, and it’s been great so far. There are dull parts of it, parts I cruise over without feeling the words, but there are also parts of the book that I linger, reread, inhale, and wonder in wonder. Not everyone would enjoy reading it, but everyone should understand the essence of it.

I’ve scratched just the surface of the book, but my view of our society’s monetary system has changed forever, already.

Monkey Mouth

It’s a weird idea, fun. No two people have the same perspective of fun. And I didn’t have any photos that are even close to what someone else might consider fun. Except, perhaps, this one.

monkey

I took this photo at a crafts shop in Thekkady. I’m not the kind who loves to buy and accumulate stuff in my home, but I like appreciating interesting-looking things. And this monkey caught my eye right away. It was amusing, putting in so much handwork to create something almost ugly. And I couldn’t resist a close-up shot of that big mouth.

I was trying to get different angles when the owner of the store “reminded” me photos weren’t allowed. He made no effort whatsoever to hide his irritation at us. Guess we weren’t the first over-enthusiastic tourists at his shop that day.