The following summer, or was it a year after that, when we were in Pattamadai to spend our school vacation time with the grandmothers, we kids were thrilled to listen to stories from the battlefront, narrated under the stars--the narrator was practically a family member, who was an army "javaan."
Of course, it was only later in life did I come to know that he was not anywhere near the front itself! The older we get, the more we learn about the un-truths; turns out we live in a world of truthiness!
But, other than during those childhood years, I have never been a fan of war and violence. I was a graduate student at USC when Bush, Sr., decided to liberate Kuwait from Saddam's invasion, and I joined the anti-war rallies at the campus square by Tommy Trojan. War was not the answer, as far as I was concerned.
Into my adulthood, I have become more and more of a pacifist, and even people yelling and screaming is a huge turnoff anymore. There are certainly plenty of ways in which we can express disagreements without resorting to violence in words and, definitely, in action.
Reading Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms and re-reading Catch-22 further convinced me that war is hell. War supporters are almost always, in Joseph Heller's words, the scum of the earth.
But, for all those who are pressed for minutes and seconds in these modern times, there is no one better to succinctly explain the idiocy of war than Calvin himself.
No, not John Calvin, but the one who walks around with Hobbes. No, not that Hobbes either :)
retired! Oh well ....