Saturday, November 29, 2008


India's two top metropolis both under siege, one by terrorists and the other by nature. Chennai (actually the whole of TN state) is drowning in water, while Mumbai in bullets, bombs and blood as death toll rises in both places

Mumbai: While the city was under siege with 100s of lives lost and an even greater number injured, two things were reassuring. The absolute courage, dedication and sheer grit shown by the Indian armed forces, from the firemen, police, army , navy upto the NSG and MarCos and the extemely responsible media coverage spanning the whole terror strike (I would have to specially mention Arnab Goswami and his team at Times Now for a job well done).
The Nariman house tragedy saw a two year old israeli boy orphaned on his birthday, while he was saved by his nanny. A man who came to the VT station to put his family of 6 into the train, went out to get them water and came back to see them all dead. The newspaper is full of horror stories of the survivors and the dead. The terrorists causing this carnage are said to be all in their early twenties. (I don't understand why I am surprised everytime, by the human ability to destroy brutally and ruthlessly)
The one thing that irritated me and the nation to the core was the political game playing that was played by the bureaucrats. One idiot politician actually came to the Nariman House while the terror situation was still on, and contributed his part in/by hampering the situation by collecting a crowd and attracting media attention to himself. Should this person be locked and key thrown away or should his sheer dedication to grab every bit of limelight be applauded, I am not sure. Our PM for once seems to have acted decisively and maybe for the first time in my memory all the political parties showed an united front.
But I hope against hope that this would not turn in to the usual 9 day wonder and be forgotten once all the juice has been squeezed out of the situation (which is what happens whenever our politicians are involved).
I really believe, India needs a strong national anti terrorist policy, especially as it has always been under terrorists' attacks from the time of its independence and not the wishy-washy excuses given so far to pacify us. Will the last two days awaken the urge to do it? Time should tell. Even as I write, 3 of the 4 places taken over by the terrorists have been brought under the NSG control and the war is still going on at the Taj Mahal hotel and I hope to wake up to the news that everything is under control and Mumbai is back.

Chennai: Nisha, the cyclone terrorizing Tamilnadu, is not yet ready to leave her hold on the city. After just four days of her creating havoc and mayhem, the city is almost at a stand still (it has to be, since even my company declared a holiday today :-)) and news sources say that we have enough water to last us for more than a year without another season. The water levels at lakes and dams have reached perilious levels and had to be drained by 1000s of square feet, bringing in more water to the already drowning low lying areas. Death toll has been on the increase as dams got breached and lakes flooded and people have lost their homes and are waiting on the streets for shelter and food promised to them.
The whole thing sunk in to me, especially yesterday, when my office let off early and I was coming home with a colleague in his car. I live in a relatively high area and we were about a mile from my place when I was commenting to my colleague that if the rain continues, we will need a boat and not a car to travel, when I felt something cold and wet on my foot, I turned to see, that the road was totally under water and it was lapping near the edge of the car window and slowly seeping in to the car. We were nearing a signal and praying frantically that it would be green (which it was... thank God!) or the car would have stalled and we would have had to leave it there and walk. If this is the condition of higher areas, I shudder to think of what is happening in the lower lying areas, especially with no electricity for almost a day and hardly any let up in the rain.

While it makes me sad that I am am not really equipped to help out in either situation much, what I can do is pray for the Victims and their families and hope we never have to face such a situation ever again

Sunday, November 16, 2008


The sound of rain never fails to bring a smile on my face. Just as the thought of walking out on it never fails to put a frown.

When I am walking down the road, with the dirty rain water flowing at some places and stagnant at some.. never sure if I am going to step into an open drainage or ditch and break my leg, Wet. cold and miserable, the only thought running in my head is "Who ever said walking in the rain was romantic must be hit upside of their head and made to walk down this road".

But today when reminiscing ... one of my favourite memories is of my friend and me caught in a warm summer rain while standing in the cold water in the beach.

Now as I am all cozied up in my room, snuggled under a quilt and reading books or writing, listening to the soft patter of rain and loud growls of thunder all around me... sigh!! I can smile, for it truly is a wonderful feeling and I am content.

PS: For those who have not had a chance yet, the beach just before a storm is one of most beautiful places to be. You can actually see the two great forces of nature fight for dominance

Friday, November 14, 2008

This corner of the world!

It all started as friction between two factions of students in the Ambedkar Law college over wording in a hand notice and blew up into a major riot situation.
The pre- informed police and college management stood mutely by and watched while three of the college kids were brutally beaten up.

The whole thing was covered by the media and the violence shown by the instigators were shocking and the callousness of the police and to an extent the media, breath taking.I have been trying to imagine - what kind of mentality would it take to catch a running man and hit him with a thick stick, so mercilessly and brutally, throw stones at his head and still live with themselves... all over a piece of hand notice!

Even bombing can be understood, 'coz the cowards are nowhere near the place of impact. But to actually be there and inflict the kind of horrendous injuries on a fellow human being... to see the person break and bleed and still stomp and throw stones and sticks .. and dare to show their faces on the national TV with absolutely no fear of repurcussion (Divine or otherwise)... God!!!!

There was this boy... badly hit, bleeding and trying to get up and failing and the cameras were all around him trying to capture his pathetic condition until it was thoroughly utilized for ratings, before sending for help.
Another beaten student was dragged by two constables and dropped into a waiting share auto which did not even have a driver.

And while all this was happening, the government was busily collecting money to save the Tamils in the neighbouring country, as everything is milk and roses in our own. While the opposition was busy trying to glean as much support for itself and gain points against...

The capacity of the human species to cause so much pain, havoc and destruction and flick it off like so much dust, incessantly continues to surprise and nauseate me.

Sometimes I really feel sick and ashamed of my own and how sad is that? :-(

PS: My aunt says this kind of violence has its basis on movies. I don't really agree.. How about you?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Michael Crichton - A tribute

Michael Crichton, bestselling Author of many novels, such as "The Jurassic Park" and "The Andromeda Strain" passed away in Los Angeles on Wednesday. He was 66 and suffering from Cancer.
Today’s newspaper screamed this news, shocking and saddening me.

I am a fan of Crichton and consider him to be one of the best writers of his genre.
The best part about his books was the way he explained complex scientific phenomena in such layman terms, so that everyone could understand and still not make it sound patronizing. We would not require going back and forth to the Appendices or post-notes to check them either.
Though he has not churned out innumerous books, like many other authors, Crichton's style of writing and the depth of research shine out of each of his books, making it a best seller.

While his Jurassic Park, The Lost World and Prey remain my personal Favorites, I found every one of his books equally gripping and a compulsive page turner .

Salute to a great Author, whose loss will surely be felt.

Sherlock Holmes

One of my favourite characters has always been Sherlock Holmes. His style, his powers of observation, his sense of humour all strikes a chord with me.

So well, I have always wanted to look at a friend and observe casually that she got up at 6.00 AM, ate dosa for breakfast and travelled half the distance to work by the metro and rest by share-auto, which she shared with 5 other people, all by looking at her ...say finger nails... a la Holmes
Today, I decided I would try and note my observations on anything that catches my fancy and when there is something to note, can a post here be far behind?
So here goes....

=> People dont take kindly to be gawked at by "Observers" ... :-p

=> Wished I had a camera when I saw this Macho looking guy, wearing a mean-looking Helmet, Denim jacket and boots, driving a scooty :-)

=> Obama Won... glad it happened to an ethnic .... but will it help India?

=> I was digging through my bookshelves and was sooo delighted by my collection. So many old friends forgotten and waiting for me to rediscover them.

=> Street Hawkers have a pretty interesting and colourful collection of great and unbelievable stuff available at such bargain.

=> Along the same line, there are no greater creative thinkers and sales people than those available in the big shops, such as Globus. I saw a bracelet made out of 100 or 150 safety pins and a piece of elastic, costing 200 bucks. (That's what?... like 10 times profit?)

=> There is a fat rat living in the crack on the platform near my bus stop... (I do mean the four legged variety)

=> Its pathetic the level drinks make a person drop to. Was most astounded and disgusted by a drunk's antics on the road today.

Life sure is interesting when one takes a few minutes time to slow down and look around.