Having lived in the Land of Opportunity for a few years, I find the current hoopla about Obama to be a surprising departure from the customary sobriety that is the routine here. Why is the Western media so hell bent upon projecting this particular inauguration? The electronic media in rest of the world, even in our country, is swayed too. Why so much excitement and such fanfare in these freezing temperatures? Here is my explanation of the million-dollar question; there is no public holiday on the day the President and his congressional or local bodies' representatives are elected. People just take time off their jobs to cast their ballots. The same holds true for the swearing-in of a President. The campaign had bombarded our ears with the word 'change'. What if it's not thought a 'big deal' now? It might have some effect even on the ongoing economic downturn. In London or New York, 'Spare some change' is a plea of the beggars. Do the echoing chants of 'change' mean something to you? -DR FAHEEM AKHTAR, Lahore, via e-mail, January 21.