Friday, 29 February 2008

Leap day

Here we are on a day we get once every 4 years - the proverbial leap day.
Growing up this day was notorious for being the birth date of a venerable politician who managed to be India's first non-Congress prime minister - the one and only Morarji Desai. As kids we were dimly aware of his role in helping topple Indira Gandhi in 1977. The one thing we all knew was that his birthday was on Feb 29th - and that he was a proponent of 'auto-urine' therapy - a drink that we called 'Moraji Cola' amidst gales of boyish laughter.
Later I found out that he had been living for years in an appartment in the posh Marine Drive part of south Mumbai - while paying a pittance of a rent because of the Rent Control act meant his land-lord was not able to increase the rent for tenants who had already taking the properties on rent. This is one of the reasons why vast parts of south Mumbai are decaying as the owners have stopped making any renovations decades ago - and the tenants continue to give the Rs. 40/ rent per month that their forefathers gave in 1940.
All that to say that today we get the four-yearly benefit of that extra 6 hours the earth uses to circle the sun each year. Other than a few silly advertisements about 'leaping for joy' (at the wonderful prices of an airconditioners) today's papers have not shown any interest in the 29th.
And that is how it should be. Other than the crucial fact that we have air to breathe, people to love, things to do, another day that God has given. Breathe deep, gentle reader. Will we see leap-day 2012? We have seen today and are glad.
"Cherishing each God-given day"

1 comment:

  1. Leap Year. A colleague has a daughter who was born on leap year. I think that's the first person I've known with that distiction.

    So today, the 2nd grader turns 2. Her second birthday.