Random Thoughts…

  1. Over the week, my thoughts lingered around the killing of 75 Jawans in Dantewada. I just could not understand how something like this could have happened? Heights of intelligence failure. It was right of the Home minister to tender his resignation…it is shameful and such incidents should not happen ever again. Can you imagine, our county has lost 75 of its bravest citizens. What a Loss! But what surprises me the most is that the public seems to have coolly moved on. I cannot help but draw parallels between the Mumbai attack and Dantewada massacre. When Mumbai happened, public was on the roads…angry…and they wanted answers. We turned out in our thousands…there were candle light vigils up and down the country..people were in mourning.  Why is it that we did not see such a reaction in response to this incident? Does the Jawans lives mean nothing to us. Is it because they do not speak English…or because they are not from big cities? We should be ashamed as a nation for letting this happen. I am not saying that naxals should be wiped out etc etc…I am not qualified to make any suggestions of such sort…but I feel this should not have ever happened. Cannot help but wonder what would have happened if 75 cops/security people were killed in UK (where I live)….would it have happened in the first place and even if it did…how would the government have reacted?
  2. I don’t feel like writing about the IPL any more. Somehow, seems very irrelevant. DC plays Bangalore today…and I hope they win. I was totally excited yesterday but after writing about Dantewada, IPL? Nahh! Don’t feel like it.
  3. I have decided to get an iPhone and not Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 as I posted in my earlier post. I went to a mobile store over the weekend and tried out a variety touch phones…and iPhone at the end of my inspection…and realised it’s so much more better than the rest. There are some cool apps….don’t know if I will use any but it’s nice to have them and some other interesting stuff!
  4. The weather kind of improved over the weekend but it’s dull and gloomy now…nothing new there but worth a mention 😀

Anyways, I want to end this post on a cheerful note, so here goes a very funny scene from Whose Line Is It Anyway..

Njoy!

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Songs of the Day

One of the most romantic songs ever

and a dance number

both from the movie Karthik Calling Karthik. Heard the movie is quite good…though the media gave some dubious reviews.

Channel 4 and its Love Affair with the Slums of Mumbai

OK…at first when I saw a bunch of  Indians (and cows) getting out of a truck in their various outfits, holding variety of props…I had my doubts of how this Indian winter would turn out on Channel 4 and wallahh….it’s lived up to my expectations. It’s totally crap!!! What’s with channel 4 and its love affair with slums. Gimme a break but India is not all slums and stray dogs. I am not saying channel 4 should not show the slums at all, but I guess one program should’ve been enough. But no, the season started off with Slumdog Millionaire the movie, and then Kevin McCloud Slumming It, and Slumdog Secret Millionaire with Seema Sharma and The Slumdog Children of Mumbai. There’s just one show that appealed to me in this season and that is Gordon Ramsay’s The Great Escape. Watched the first episode yesterday and I really liked it. His trip to Lucknow and his meeting with the really old muslim chef (whose name I cannot remember now) was fantastic…and the biriyani…wow!

But enough with the slums already! India is not all slums and open drains and cows roaming about on the roads. There is so much more. Discovering Indian food is a step in the right direction. It is so diverse. Every state has its own cuisine. Classical dance of India, like its food, is unique to the states. The history of India is immense. The architecture of India does not end with the Taj Mahal…there is so much more…like Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, Sun Temple in Orissa, the Meenakshi Temple in Tamil Nadu, Golconda Fort in Hyderabad just to name a few.

We really don’t need Kevin McCloud and Seema Sharma slumming it out for us to understand the problems of the slum dwellers. Though I really appreciate what they are doing…I think most of us already know that dreadful conditions these people live in. It is good if we can help but please please do not portray India as a country of slums. If you cannot resist, then at lease show some positives along with the negatives. I think Slumdog Millionaire did its jobs well when it comes to slums and Mumbai. We do not need anymore!!

Why I am ANGRY!

Over the last 48 hours, I have been glued to my television set. I have never watched so much news before. When you are living abroad, everything is much more painful.

When I first heard of the news of indiscriminate firing at the Taj, I did not bother to keep track of the sequence of events since I though it could be a crazy gunman. I only realised how serious the issue was once S was home and checked the news again. What started off as random firing soon turned out to be a full-fledged terrorist attack on the city of Mumbai.

After the blasts in Delhi and Assam a few months ago, I knew such news could not affect me anymore. I think Indians are tragically used to listening such news and have unfortunately made them part of their everyday lives. But what unwrapped in Mumbai was phenomenal. You saw terrorists who were not scared to show their faces, who came well prepared, who had the ammunition and food to survive for days and the most scariest part was how old the terrorists looked…they seemed so young but yet so fearless…hell-bent on bringing terror to the city.

I was deeply saddened when I learnt that the top cops of Mumbai, Mr. Hemanth Karkare, Mr Salaskar and Mr Kamte had tragically succumbed to terrorist bullets. It is such a loss! The BJP and it’s allies like who stated that Mr. Karkare was anti-national for his revelations on the Malegaon blasts paid the ultimate price trying to save people like you and me.

There were some heroic tales of hotel staff both at the Taj and the Trident and also of the Army Men, Commandos, RAF and the Police who tried to help the guests whilst stuck at the hotel. Some of them sadly lost their lives and I hope their sacrifice won’t go in vain.

There are so many things I’d like to mention in this post…I feel like pouring my heart out…but it is just so difficult…hard to find the words. Mr. Krishna Kumar, VC of Taj group of hotels told us of how the GM of Taj Palace hotel helped rescue the guests only to find out later that his wife and two sons who were situated in one of the suites of the Taj were burnt alive. How can anyone come to terms with such loss. His grief is unimaginable. This is just one of the horrific tales that has come out of the crisis..there are many more.

I do not trust our politicians to resolve the crisis. Infact, I’ve never trusted them in anything. It is only the will power of the common man of India that has brought us to where we are economically but it is he/she that suffers the most.

But how do we move forward from here? What can we do as the citizens of India. There is alot of anger. There could be anger towards a certain community or towards our neighbour. Personally, the only way I could see a better future for India is by introducing out-reach programmes for certain communities who feel alienated. There are few questions our politicos and Intelligence bureau need to answer. How did so many terrorists enter India? Why are our borders so porous? How did the terrorists know where to attack? How did they know every inch of the Taj Palace Hotel? If 9 terrorists have so far been killed and one has been held alive….where are the remaining? Are they still freely going around the city?

There are so many questions…but no answers from the authorities. Obviously, the ‘Mumbaiker’ (and also the ‘Indian’) is tired of listening to cliched terms like ‘the spirit of mumbai’ and the ‘resilience of the city’. Please don’t take us for granted. We don’t deserve this.

And if the MNS chief Mr. Raj Thackeray does happen to read my blog…Can I just clarify, that I am not a Mumbaiker…I am a Hyderabadi…but I feel the pain of the city…and pray for the affected. So please do not try to regionalise us. Mother India is already bleeding…Mother India deserves respect. If you can contribute positively…please do…otherwise keep out!