Sunday, November 30, 2008

Terror Strikes Again!!!!

I feel ashamed, violated, disturbed, anguished, disgusted, pained, grieved and much much more because of the recent terror strike in Mumbai, which left scores dead and even more wounded while rest of the public aghast.

As the Taj Hotel, the Oberoi Trident and the Nariman House raged with gun battles, explosions, fire and deaths, the only question reverberating through my brain was why should we suffer like this for no fault of ours?

Why are we subjected to this violating humiliation year after year, day after day, minute after minute, while these good-for-nothing politicians keep up their charade of sympathy for the public while at their heart, they are as clueless about what is going on in the country as the man on the street?

Terrorists, who strike at innocents on streets, take women and children hostage and kill without remorse or guilt, have been an almost accepted part of the life in states like Jammu and Kashmir. However, what enrages me is that instead of curbing their reach and presence, almost nothing has been done to prevent them from spreading their deadly tentacles to other cities of the country.

Although, there are some indications that things might be different this time and I am not talking about the political reshuffle, resignation of the Home Minister, talks about Maharashtra CM being shunted out, etc, etc. All this political white-wash makes me feel sick, really.

I am talking about the public outpouring that one has seen, in the form of blogs coming up to denounce violence of all kind, keeping terrorism separate from religion, taking the responsible politicians to task and, last but not the least, the angry outburst of the martyred Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan's father against the Kerala Chief Minister Achuthanandan, who was not allowed to enter the slain commando's house.

Things might really be changing now, as we saw in the unprecedented percentage of voters coming out to cast their vote in the elections, in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Kashmir and other parts of the country. Perhaps now, people have realised the real value of their ballot and may be now we will see an honest leadership emerging at the helm, which would not allow its people to bleed to death while the terrorists, after being arrested, are allowed to live on inside the jails.

I dont know how much of it is going to stay on and how much of it we are going to forget, but this time, i am sure, we cannot afford to let go of the lessons that the Mumbai strikes have taught us because next time, we might not be alive to regret that.....

Monday, November 17, 2008


I watched the movie, Dasvidaniya (The final goodbye) yesterday and was moved to tears on more than one occasion throughout the sensitive portrayal of a dying man. I recall another masterpiece movie, made a few decades earlier and telling the story of another dying man, Anand. Emotionally rivetting though Anand was, unlike Anand, Dasvidaniya leaves you with some tears and a lot of hope, to be able to see further than life, almost in a sublime manner.
I would not give out the story of the movie, because some of my blogger friends, who are movie buffs, might not take it kindly. But I cannot restrain myself from showering accolades on the main lead of the film, Vinay Pathak, who has reallllllyyyyyyyy come a loooooooooooong way from hosting Men In Black (the erstwhile countdown show on CHannel V, along with buddy Ranvir Sheorey).
Pathak has already shown his mettle in movies like Khosla Ka Ghosla and Bheja Fry, Dasvidaniya, which he has co-produced as well, will prove to be a significant milestone in his movie career.
I would advise all those who visit this post, to go and watch the movie, because it really teaches us how to take each day as it comes, instead of planning a to do list for inane things.
This is it for today then, take care, c u tomorrow, and God Bless....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy Gurupurab!!!

Who among us does not like holidays? Tough question, I guess, because I dont think a single hand is going to be raised in response. Well, let me admit as well at the onset itself that I simply loooooooove holidays, whether it was the ones we got in school or college variety or the ones that we sometimes are able to snatch from our busy professional lives. It is really wonderful to be able to have some time to yourself and spend it as you would want to.

Most of my working friends complain of only one thing that they never seem to have enough time at hand to spend, either with their families or with themselves.

Unfortunately, my refrain is same as them, that the work-life is really pulling us down with longer hours and the time spent traveling to and from work. Well, cant do anything about it, can WE???

No, i guess, so that is why we look FORWARD!!!!!!!! to the small nuggets of weekly offs and festival holidays to pull us through.

Yesterday was one such holiday, on account of 540th Birth Anniversary of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev.

Coming to the birthday celebrations, it was heartening to know that a procession was carried out in the Pakistani city of Lahore, for the first time perhaps, which marked the end of three-day long celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev's birthday. The procession was carried out on a specially-designed bus and it started from the Janamasthan Gurudwara (A Sikh temple) in Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev to various other gurudwaras in the vicinity. In this procession, the holy book of Sikhism, the Guru Granth, is placed on a raised platform, which is carried around the gurudwaras, before being brought back to the Janamasthan Gurudwara.

This sure is a news that would warm cockles of the hearts of those who are staunch supporters of the peace process between India and Pakistan. Such events need to be more frequent and should be responded well on either side.

Well, that is enough for today, i guess, so keep in touch and god bless.....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Last evening, I paid a visit to the "world-famous" Janpath (translated, it means "People's Road") market and came back with more than the shopping bags full of books, bags, chappals and other knick-knacks. Long after I had sifted through my loot of the day and stashed them away for future use, I just reminisced as to why was it almost always a more satisfying and rewarding experience to sift through the open market stalls than it was inside an air-conditioned mall.
Does it have something to do with the age-old human trait, because our ancestors have been dealing like this only, putting up their wares with least of pretentions, just like these are and the customers have been equally non-fussy to select their choice, buy it, have it packed and move on, to the next stall. Well, that is some food for thought but not now ;)
This time, I just want to talk of that gem of an open market called Janpath, which is etched in the heart and mind of every Delhiite as well as anyone coming here on a visit, whether brief or long.
The market is crowded to the hilt on most days and although, the general perception is that it is a favourite with the college crowd and tourists only, I have myself seen aunties, uncles, even grannies, coming in to pick up whatever caught their fancy.
It only helps that the market is located just next door to Connaught Place, which in itself is an all-season place to be in for all age and groups.
You come across real gems of bargains while scouring goods in these markets, i am sure many of the fellow readers would agree with me. Whether it is the sellers or the buyers, each one is trying hard to outdo the other in bargaining. Therefore, it doesnt matter whether you paid Rs 25 for a book, whose beginning price was qouted at Rs 500, the shopkeeper will still be a satisfied man because his margin is already calculated out of the product. Smart marketing, that is!!!
In fact, Delhi boasts of many such markets, which sell everything from books, readymade clothes, electronic items, shoes, watches, household knick-knacks to every imaginable commodity.
But that I will save for the next! For now, I can vouch for one fact and that is shopping never tastes as scrumptious as in an open market and for me, Janpath is just the right choice.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Than Just Cricket!!

India lifted the Gavaskar-Border Trophy yesterday with a 2-0 win over Aussies. The whole nation was elated for the cricket team had achieved this feat after eight long years. The whole series was in fact played in a charged atmosphere, whether it was the former captain Saurav Ganguly's mid-series outburst, Test captain Anil Kumble's injury, general sledging, doubtful umpiring decisions or Match Referee Chris Broad's controversial decision on Indian opener Gautam Gambhir, the series had its more than fair share of controversies and media had a field day reporting events, that took place on and off the playing field.
However, the most profound outcome of this series is not the 2-0 score in India's favour, I think.
Well, before draggers are drawn out and pointed at me, let me clarify that I was equally elated at the Indian team's victory over Australia, which I feel was looooooooooong overdue and has finally come true, thanks to some deft captaincy by Mahendra Singh Dhoni (he ROCKS!!), before him Anil Kumble and coherent playing by all three departments of the team: batting, bowling and fielding. However, I am not sure that any other series, except one between India and Pakistan, brings out this much aggression in Indian players.
I have seen players of the like of Srinath, Kumble, Sachin, Azharuddin, Jadeja, smiling away the barbs thrown at them from the rival sides, be they Australians (during their glorious days) or Pakistanis. The scuffles were few and far between (like the (in)famous Javed Miandad-Kiran More or Aamir Sohail and Venkatesh Prasad spats).
It seems that Aussies have finally brought out the worst among the Indian players, especially the young lot, in terms of verbal duels (although, Harbhajan Singh was a picture of patience during the second innings of the last match, even when Shane Watson could not help keep that sniggering look off his face while Singh went on to score a half century). The kind of aggression, which was visible in spurts under previous captains, has finally come of age under young blood Dhoni. The Indian cricket team today is capable of paying back in the same coin to any of the rival teams when it comes to sledging, it seems.
This, in my opinion, is the true outcome of this series and with the next series, with England, about to begin, the young turks of Indian cricket, would be going into it with much more on their mind besides just cricket.
P.S. I know I have disturbed the hornet's nest with my comments because just like everything else, cricket is more than just a game for us Indians. So, please feel free to post your comments on this piece.
Waiting to hear from you........

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Run Lola Run!!!!

The title, though, is borrowed from a much-acclaimed English movie, it is used here in relation to the Delhi half marathon, which took place yesterday (Sunday, November 9, 2008) in New Delhi, national capital of India. The event was dedicated to the spirit of running, which most of us grown-ups, seem to have abandoned in favour of the more brutal and "sophisticated" rat race in our professiona lives. Nevertheless, thousands of Delhiites ran in the marathon, which was flagged off by a host of celebrities, including film actors, sportspersons, politicians and businessmen. The event received much media coverage as well as public interest, which has encouraged the sponsors to come back with another edition of the marathon soon.
On a personal note, mom reached here on Saturday (Nov 8, 2008) and the last two days have been heavenly. No television was switched on and no books, magazines or newspapers were devoured. There was only mom, my brother and me, talking nine to a dozen and an outing to Connaught Place (I really love the place!!!). I plan to take mom more through Delhi in the coming week.
One more news, my best friend Harshpreet and her husband Arshvinder, celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary yesterday. Here's wishing them all that they wish, hope and pray from their married life and much much more. (I Love you both).
There is election time here in New Delhi and parties are doing their best to take up issues close to their, not the public's, hearts. After all, it is all about winning the coveted chair, ain't it? Who cares for a few million voters?
Things are beginning to get a little serious here, so will take your leave to calm down a bit. Will return with more tomorrow, till then, take care and god bless...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Its cold here! brrrrrrr!!!!!

Well, well, well! the winter has finally set in here in the national capital as the air was more than chilled this morning, when i left home for work. Since I am never able to decide when to start wearing the woolens, there are more than enough occasions on which I am caught unawares by the cold, like today.
As i began my journey to the workplace, in an autorickshaw, which is OPEN!!! on sides, with no cover at all, I felt the first cold pricking in through my face. It is good that I have the weekend off, so i can at least get the woolens out of the hiding and be prepared on Monday.
One more good thing that is going to happen tomorrow, my first weekly off in my new job, is that mom is coming down from my hometown, Jammu (Yes, the Jammu and Kashmir one!!!).
She will be staying for a week or so and I am already thinking of places to take her to. There are so many markets and places of interest around here in Delhi that I will have to think hard to chose a few.
Moreover, next month, one of my friends is also coming down from Pune, to stay with me and I am mighty excited about the whale of a time that we are going to have. She and I were together in our Mass Communication class in Jalandhar, the media capital of Punjab. We have now been together for nine years (God!! how time flies) and have seen each other through exams, heartbreaks (only mine), in short all the ups and downs in the life of an average Indian adult.
She is happily married now (Touchwood!) with a cute little son (whom I simply adore) and i am really looking forward to sitting down with her after a loooooooooong day of shopping and outing, with cups of coffee or tea between us and a lot of silly banter (after all! that is what friends are meant to do, ain't it?)
Well, I think I have really flown off the handle this morning. But kya karein? Jabbering on is the only cure for winter chill if u are not packed in woolens, or so says...... who else?? me yaar!!
That's it for now, c u later in the day...
Till then, Sayonara.....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Stirs You The Most???

I was just wondering last night that why do books, all shapes, sizes and colours, have so much impact on us. Is it the man or woman, who has written the book, standing on the other end, calling out to us with their mostly life-altering experiences? Or is it the language, smooth-sailing and puzzling at the same time, which forces us to pick up a book and not to put it down till we have drenched it of all it has to offer? Well, I cant be thinking of it alone, ain't it?

So, I am going to pose this question to you guys, out there -

Pick up one book and get back to me with the name and the reason why you think it is life-altering for you.

For me, it keeps changing every few years since I am quite a voracious reader and my taste in books also keeps changing. For now, it is The Golden Age, written by debutante Tahmima Anam and it describes beautifully Bangladesh's freedom struggle through a single family of a mother and two children, a son and a daughter. (I have posted a picture of the book for the visitors' benefit)

Bangladesh, as we in the subcontinent already know and many other might not be aware of, was earlier called East Pakistan and after a short but brutally blood-stained freedom struggle, aided by Indian Army, it gained freedom from Pakistan and declared itself a free nation.

So, hoping to listen from you soon,, till then, good bye and happy reading.

P.S. I am reading My Country, My Life these days, written by senior politician L K Advani.

When will we change?

Hi there,
Been away for long yet again. no use making excuses, so I will come to the point right away.
The winter is setting in with chilled air and welcoming sunlight. America recently voted a black man to the White House and the world rejoiced along with the Americans in their turning point in history. We all followed the presidential campaign earnestly, however we might deny it. It was a campaign, which we could learn a lot from.
Right from Obama's Kenyan descent to his skin colour, from american population's trust in Obama to his rival John McCain's speech after the results were announced. We should also be able to overlook the caste, religion, creed, social status while indulging in a political campaign. However, unfortunately, election campaigns in India are centred around these things only and in their worst forms.
The latest example would be that of MNS chief Raj Thackeray launching a tirade against North Indians in Mumbai, whatever his argument might be!
Well, a lot to learn then and hoping things would only be better in the coming elections....