26 August 2009

The Kennedy that gave me a thumbs up.

I read about kennedys for the first time in the Readers Digest, India Edition. President John F Kennedy's father made his wealth in smuggling drugs, the literary piece said. He amassed enough that he now wanted a stake in the country's official power and cast his sons in the political net. The only thing I understood as a kid was John Kennedy as a President of America was shot. But didn't know why then. Now I assume, that his father's enemies may have got something to do with it. We didn't talk about American Politics then. Shiv Sena , the Sharad Pawar fodder and the highly dramatic Indian politics was more than sufficient to add extra flavor at the dinner table. When the discussion would peak my father would say, "Can't you guys show equal enthusiasm in your school work?", at which point the heated discussions would slowly wane.

Fast Forward late 1990's - When Junior JFK died it created NEWS and was the story for the day and several days after, even when he held no official capacity. I was in the US then. The thought that went through my mind over and over was - Isn't that a charmed life - JFK's son and Onassis's oil money, this guy definitely has struck not gold, but platinum! The impression that I got from the media then was - the Prince charming of America and a potential presidential candidate was snatched away young. Those days I was more worried about school, career, moving and gave less thought to what happened in washingtonian politics.

Later in school,when I took clases in washington, it was a very matter o fact to discuss about people in politics. I was even asked, Did I know of a man named kennedy? I learnt from classmates (much senior to me ), How Sr Kennedy wanted to make an investment in official power politics and that is why the kennedys are into politics. The kennedys are trust fund babies and politics was a hobby for them. This was what my washingtonian classmates who worked in good positions in the government told me. So now I had some interpretations about the kennedy's from americans themselves.

Few years later I was in the building of the congress , meeting various state senators aide in promoting an issue that I struggled with. I was also at a protest march. Standing on the road that leads to Capitol Hill I was at one of the traffic signals with the banner that read," Don't punish me for following the law". One of the cars that stopped at the signal had rolled down their windows. I saw a guy whom I recognized as Senator Ted Kennedy. I looked inside the car and waved my banner at him. He gave me a thumbs up. This is how close I got to one of the people in America's political history. It is not a big deal, but a memorable one for me.

Edited to Add: As I was seeing the funeral on TV, the prayer that echoed in my mind is: To have the courage to go on in my pursuits. Success is yours. There is always enough light and courage to make this world a better place.

Image Credits


indianhomemaker said...

Wow!! Must have been awesome :)I did not know anything about politics being a hobby for them ;)I thought only Indians specialized in this!

About meeting a celebrity like this, my sister once smiled at MF Hussain, who smiled back (and I thought she was fibbing when she said he was barefoot) - she became a huge(R) fan :)

Anrosh said...

ihm, it is very easy to spot celebrities - DC, NY, NJ --- few days ago while i was walking i saw a woman whom i thought looked very familiar, but couldn't place her. next day i saw her on tv - she was none else than jane fonda -

in dc, i saw many senators that day-but they are not very familiar faces.

i often wonder - i stayed so many years in india, but getting access to any of these political guys for issues is like winning the lottery ticket

the process for the common man to meet an elected official has to be made possible - otherwise demockracy becomes disillussioned
don't you think?

manju said...

Nicely told story, Anrosh! From what I have read,Senator Kennedy seems to have been an exceptional person.

My online friends from the US say, that majority of Americans- regardless of political affiliations- are mourning his death.

Kislay said...

That is cool . :)

BK Chowla said...

Behind every successful man,there is a crime.

Mavin said...

Well, in India, security personnel would have shooed you away and no Indian politician rolls down their windows leave alone give a thumbs-up to a protester.

You are lucky to have got so close.

When driving back home...thru Marine Drive and Peddar Road, pilot cars cross me and shoo me away. Policemen with sten guns make nasty faces and ask to change lanes.

We always try to follow such convoys as it ensures a fast drive home. :-)

Solilo said...

That was a nice read, An.

Saw a movie and realized how they breathed politics. Talk about overbearing parents!

Suchismita said...

Very well put together.. nicely woven story. Read some of your earlier posts... Thought provoking.

Tarun Goel said...

Kennedy was shot dead, this much I knew, I also knew who killed him. But now I learnt that his murder was planned by his own people ~ The Reptilian Clan, u know :P
Though I don't think/feel/blv that "they" exist but still some people feel they do :)

Anrosh said...

manju -- i guess ted kennedy struck a cord in both - here everybody is going about their business.


BKC: "Behind every successful man is crime "- i second it.

Mavin - that is true in india. here too there are blockades.when dignitaries come to the UN from around the world the roads are blocked. it is a harraassment to common people. it is better to walk than be in any bus or car.

but what you are saying i have seen that when i stayed in hyd for a short while, here it is not that nasty. when hillary clinton came when she was the senator of NY, nobody even knew - there was just one car.

solilo: - i was searching for a book to know all about the kennedy empire - how they made their wealth, who were their enemeies. there social work stuff is too overrated ! every average american contributes more towards society -why make itas only the kennedy's ?!
life up there means more enemies and very few friends ( real ones ) because they are very scared about who wants what from them ?

suchismita - welcome - thank you

tarun goel - reptilian clan -- ye kya hai ?
but whatever said and done i applaud the politicians of america because they are into nation building.

Perovskia said...

That's nice :)

Ketan said...

Hello Anrosh!

First time to your blog! Even I didn't know much about that family except that their son was murdered, Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe used to compete for the president's attention, and that Monroe died under mysterious conditions! Now, I also know that one of the Kennedy's had given you the thumb!

Interesting post!

BTW, I've replied to your comment on my post.

Take care.

Anrosh said...

perovskia :)

Ketan - welcome

Abagale said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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