Saturday, 21 February 2009


Planting has begun. Technically, we have no garden, but we have balconies. On one I have flowers, on another I have - not much really, and the one at the back has the barbecue on it and thus will also have veggies. This is much how I was able to garden at the old house, except that I had a vanity window at the front of the house, with a big ledge, that was not much use for anything but growing on seedlings. Thus there was a rather inelegant time of year, but productive.

Last year the pots at the Schloss weren't very fruitful, partly because we moved just when the seedlings were just that, and partly because we had a very late snowfall.

This evening we finally managed to see 'Slumdog Millionaire' - hotly tipped for an Oscar. My opinion was that - meh - it was moderately engaging. I'm sure it will win something though. I think the excitement about it is because the west is currently obsessed with India and Africa, we all want to be poverty-tourists, see the destitution of others and feel real feelings and shed real tears to atone for our plenty. Gandhi-ji is a saint and the British Empire was morally corrupt. But also the British Empire leaving India was morally corrupt.

The truth is both that Britain had to leave India in 1947 because she had been bankrupted by fighting Europe's war. The Canadians and Australians may have joined in unreservedly to safeguard democracy and freedom, but the US exacted a high financial cost which was only finally paid off a few years ago.
And she was also supporting the colonies that, unlike Canada and Australia, were not self-supporting.
And the other part of that truth is that it was an old love-affair between Britain and India. They cherished and valued each other. It was a harsh parting, but one that was being demanded by Gandhi and his supporters, and there was nothing left in the coffers to carry on.

Personally, I enjoyed hearing the English language spoken properly. Oh, and a small boy covered in poo.

It is my custom when watching a film, to be courteous enough to watch the credits to the end. Increasingly my good manners are rewarded, and at the end of this film - no exception. The beginning of the credits were the best part - the entire cast doing a Bollywood-style set at a railway station. In fact, apart from the scumbuckets next to me, who had made foul smells and munched popcorn all through the film, the entire audience were riveted to their seats.
That's the ticket.


Sleepy said...

I was taken to 'Injah' by my Grandfather and was absolutely horrified by the poverty, the sheer numbers of people and the food!

Schneewittchen said...

Did Pampam serve in India? I guess he would have been a lot younger than my grandparents, both of whom did, (on my father's side).

Sleepy said...

He grew up in Rawalpindi, his Father was serving.