Thursday, 9 December, 2021
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OPINION

The Sunshine Mafia



Devendra Gautam

November 19, 2021 will be a day to remember, perhaps till my memory fails me completely.
Coincidentally, it was not only the midst of the longest lunar eclipse of its kind in 580 years that fell amid this long, cold and dreary winter. It also marked the end of a years-long eclipse that had profound impact on professional life, a typical day when even a stray ray of the sun is not available for you, whatever part of the room you may choose to occupy. It was an emotions-heavy farewell for our team in the midst of a shrinking job market resulting mainly from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To me, it seemed as if this was the day the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic had sunk on her journey from Birmingham to New York after hitting an iceberg. I talked a bit about that sinking feeling you get when you are adrift the high seas with no rescuers in sight, feeling all at the same time the chill inside me at the thought of that watery grave. As the occasion demanded, I stressed the need for vision even when visibility was very poor!
Despite no sign of the sun, quite a few faces were in all their radiance. They looked like those special classes of Titanic passengers, whose rescue was certain. As far as I know, the smiling faces had no nervous disease. It was quite clear that the sun had become irrelevant for them as they had found their own little suns! To have your own suns to light up your world is a fancy idea, no?

You don’t think so? Then read this report from foronuclear.org: "China has successfully completed the first test of its nuclear fission reactor, known as Artificial sun because it mimics the energy-generation process of the Sun. Nuclear fission is a promising technology that can produce enormous amounts of clean energy with very few waste products."
It adds: "The Sun in our galaxy produces energy through a nuclear fusion reaction. Inside the Sun, the hydrogen atoms collide with each other and fuse at extremely high temperatures - around 15 million degrees centigrade - under enormous gravitational pressure. Every second, 600 million tons of hydrogen are fused to create helium. During this process, part of the mass of the hydrogen atoms becomes energy."

No, you cannot create another sun like China’s sans an extraordinary level of ingenuity and expertise, not when your skills consist of social engineering skills bordering on sycophancy. Anyway, what use is a giant fireball when all you need are mini-suns, to light up your small, comfy worlds! Friends, acquaintances and kin in high places can be the suns to ensure that you get sunshine. Social engineering skills really help you rise and shine, so hone them.

Lack of talents does not matter. In fact, it can be a blessing in our kind of setting. If you cannot be the source of light, try to be the black hole that absorbs all the light from light-emitting objects and hollows others inside out.
When all these things work and elevate you, then you can proudly declare the triumph of meritocracy in the presence of hollowed-out objects robbed of all light! Rest assured, no one will object to your declaration.

Remember: The idea is to not only get the sunshine for you, but also to deny it to colleagues, competitors and friends. The idea is to monopolise the sunshine. The idea is to be part of the sunshine mafia that seems to be growing in our society with each passing day.