Today is Wind Energy day, according to the newspapers. The Economic Times has a full cover on it. Just shows how things have changed. A few years ago, wind was never mentioned in genteel company. It was almost entirely associated with the digestive tract and when it had to be expressed, you always hoped that it would be silent, and not deadly.

In Calcutta (though I don’t know how it is in Kolkata), wind, or should I say ouind, was a perpetual issue. You never asked a resident of the second greatest city of the empire as to how he or she was. In any other metro it would have been a brisk “I am fine.” But in Cal it was always a shake of the head and the inevitable retort “shorirta ektu bhalo noi” which meant health is not too good. And 90% of the time it had something to do with ouind. The Hooghly water is supposed to play havoc on digestion. Just as your knees always ached in Bangalore, your stomach invariably hurt in Calcutta. It was all the doing of the ouind. And bere b bindy!

Come to think of it, it could have been the food ingested as well. Bongs were obsessed with alu and chana dal, two windy substances though to look at them you would not believe that, one so bulbous and the other squat and yellow (ugh! What a comparison).

The average Tambrahm is also obsessed with wind. Though he calls it vayu. Every good South Indian Brahmin home will have its Hajmola at a place of importance from where it can be accessed easily. I think it is because the Tambrahm is supposed to eschew as opposed to chew garlic. That offending additive in Tambrahm view is said to give rise to base instincts. Now what could be baser than bind, I mean ouind, no, wind? But Tambrahms, going by past history, managed quite well on the base even without garlic. The imagination boggles at what they could have done with a dash of garlic.

It was left to the Punjabi to celebrate wind. They were open about it and made jokes on the matter even at their own expense. And releasing the breezes so to speak came naturally to them. In College in Delhi, my Punjabi friends were authorities on the subject and could keep us entertained with their in-depth analysis for hours on end.

I don’t know if ET realised it, but some if its headlines today were hilarious looked at from other angles. “Wind energy eases TN crisis” (wonder what blocked TN’s passage), “TNEB gets unseasonal windfall” (let me assure you, wind is perpetual, ask the Bongs), “IWTMA rings in Global Wind Day” and “India: the next wind super power” (I knew that, our politicians are gas bags anyway). There was also a classical music concert titled, believe it or not, Vayu Vandhanam (homage to Vayu). I thought it was sponsored by Hajmola but apparently not, for the IWTMA managed under its own.. er.. steam. The title sounded like some Ayurvedic treatment for flatulence.

Some of the speeches made on the occasion were also reported. One speaker said that “the answer lay in blowing in the wind”, than which I think there can be no worse torture. Another man said we need to use wind energy in our everyday lives.” Is there no end to recycling? A third speaker said “we need to improve our wind energy evacuation process.” He never said a truer word.