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Looking for an idiot? You really don't have to go too far!
Throughout my 85 years of knocking around all over the world, life has been a many splendored blessing. This was all made possible, by very forgiving, loving and caring family, friends and colleagues. Looking back, I have no regrets and would still like to visit those exotic places, meet those gracious and talented folks and read those great books which I have not read as yet. I still like to catch up with latest technological advances and consequent social and cultural changes.

The above notwithstanding, throughout these 85 plus years, I have grown up also with words of affectionate derision, despair or anger showered on me. Those particularly from my father had a different flavour! No fault of his, except that he belonged to that rich Awadhi culture, which could be only nurtured in the fertile plains of Ganga and Jamuna. His apparent disaffection with me, were expressions like these:

 'Aap bhi bilkul nalayak ho' – (You too, are good for nothing!)

Or, 'Accha ab gadhe ki tarah baatein na karo'. – (OK, now don't talk like an ass!)

'Aap bhi kya namaqool shakash ho' – (What a useless and unwise person are you!'). 

Such verbiage my scholarly Dad often used to describe me: a son who had generally being doing well for himself, in several walks of life. But any slip on my part, real or imaginary, was a proud moment for my elders, to show off that even I was human – after all! I was always flattered and pampered by this display of doting despair! I knew, that if I was really a hopeless oaf, there never had been any commensurate punishment meted out to me!

If all the barbs like the ones above, left me unscathed and glowing within my heart, was the fact, that I was blessed with elders and friends who had unconditional LOVE for me. For me, each one of their cushioned barbs was a benediction and reminder to sometimes correct myself.

Coming back to words which can be used as abuses or are lovingly used, let's take the common example the word 'Idiot' -
'You, idiot' could inflame the person on whom it is aimed, and lead to unpleasant consequences. Or if similarly admonished by a doting parent, it would warmly be absorbed by the child, for the underlying unconditional love is one's Rock of Gibralter!

How common it is for Moms to utter in feigned despair, 'Oh, that little Chutki, she is a real DeviI. I just can't cope with her. And that Chottu, is worse than the Terminator. Only Prakash can handle him!'

During my general readings, I have found that over ages words for 'a young lad' have become synonymous with 'rascal's. The English word 'knave, in German is 'Knabe' – which once again is synonymous with 'a 'lad' or a 'rascal'!

The word 'Idiot' has very interesting origins and meanings ascribed to it, across ages languages and cultures.

At one time in Greece, it also meant that the person had not voted. So citizens who did not vote were looked down upon as idiots. After the recent 5 state assembly elections, what should we call the large number of citizens who pressed the NOTA button!
I am harping on the word 'idiot', because recently I came across the following headline: 'Sundar Pichai had to explain to Congress why Googling 'idiot' turns up pictures of Trump':

People in general and governments in particular are worried, if Google Inc. is really becoming the Evil Empire – The all powerful 'Mr. Know All', who is omniscient and omnipresent!

"The question came from Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who was trying to refute the idea that Google is politically manipulating search results. "Right now, if you google the word 'idiot' under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. I just did that," she said. "How would that happen?"

Sunder Pichai, CEO, Google explained how a Google search works thus:

"Any time you type in a keyword, as Google we have gone out and crawled and stored copies of billions of [websites'] pages in our index. And we take the keyword and match it against their pages and rank them based on over 200 signals — things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it. And based on that, at any given time, we try to rank and find the best search results for that query. And then we evaluate them with external raters, and they evaluate it to objective guidelines. And that's how we make sure the process is working". 

Well, try it yourself! On Google search just type the word 'idiot'. In a jiffy the text search results will appear. There is nothing exciting or unusual up to now. But now click on 'Images' – Eureka, most of the images are of President of Unites States of America, Donald Trump!!!!!!

So going by the Google Gospel, the word 'idiot' could most probably refer to Donald Trump, president of the world's most powerful nation! A fact confirmed by the Google CEO himself. Now where do we go from here? 

The reader can decide who an idiot is. The lovable ones, or the power ones with nuclear or worse! And there may be so many other verities, to ponder over.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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