Italo Calvino’s memorable fable, Numbers in the Dark, contains some timeless observation on the folly of the wise. A conscientious accountant comes across an error – a small error long committed time back – by the legendry Annibale De Canis, “the master of book keeping,” in a giant Italian conglomerate.

You don’t build a skyscraper to conceal a dead mouse, as Saul Bellow the Nobel Prize winning novelist would have asked. The entire nation was in a state of ferment over Pranab Mukherjee’s proposed speech on the occasion of the visit of the RSS headquarter. The national media had created such an air of expectancy as if a modern-day version of Book of Revelation was going to be launched from the ramparts of the RSS headquarters.

Shankar Datt (Professor of English Literature, Patna University) has a great sense of anticlimax, I know for sure. Or you can say he likes to balance things, presenting both sides of the case. He called me up to write something about my days in Patna College for the souvenir to be taken out on the occasion of centenary celebration of Patna University.

One thinks but thinks how little critical debate matters to our society which is implacably divided into hostile camps, convinced in the absolute infallibility of our own positions. I have become a minimalist and do not venture beyond Twitter or FB posts. But Ravish Kumar will not let you remain in peace. He protests so much even though there are strategies available for you to have your cake and eat it too.

The picture above is the picture that launched a thousand ships for the elements who shouted their intention of fighting till the vivisection of the Indian state (Bharat tere tukde honge, etc) from the very heart of Bharat, from the campus of the elite Jawaharlal Nehru University, fully residential and fully funded by public money. It is famous for mass producing intellectuals.