Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
I went to the Zodiac Grill, where guests spent an uneasy night as gunshots resounded around the building. It looked exactly the same. The lobby was just as it had always been. The poolside was as tranquil as in the old days. The Shamiana had been so perfectly restored that you could not imagine that grenades had exploded and that a brave manager had been murdered on the premises. I wandered to the old wing. The ground floor was a classy as ever. I went all the way to Joy Shoes where it was business as usual.
Then, of course, the function began and it all came flooding back. The Taj’s Vice Chairman R K Krishna Kumar spoke movingly and brilliantly of the sacrifices made by those caught up in the carnage. Priests from five different religions mourned the dead. By the time all the employees who had been on duty that night paraded through the lobby, there was not a dry eye in the house.
As the tears flowed, we realised that everything was not really back to normal. The first floor of the old wing was damaged. The fifth and sixth floors would have to be completely redone. The Golden Dragon and the Harbour Bar were closed — perhaps for a very long time. And as I spoke to the Taj staff, many of whom I have known for decades, it was clear that nobody had really got over 26/11. I didn’t know what to say to Karambir Kang, one of the true heroes of today’s Bombay. But I spoke to Hemant Oberoi who had lost five of his chefs. I talked to the bellboys who had ducked for cover as the firing began. I asked an old waiter at the Shamiana about the events of the night.
“It was the worst day of my life, sir” he said sadly. “Why do you want me to talk about it?”
So I should be wary of reading too much into an afternoon at one of the world's greatest luxury hotels. But, political correctness be damned: there was something about the Taj function that seemed to me to epitomise the state of Bombay nearly a month after the attacks.
On the outside, things seemed to be returning to normal. The gleam, the sparkle and oh yes, the spirit, were all back. But no smiles reached the eyes. There was no joy that was not tinged with sorrow. Each time you hugged a friend, you felt grateful that he was still there. And every time you looked around at this greatest of all Indian cities, you felt both proud and indescribably sad.
It’s fashionable now to rubbish ‘the spirit of Bombay’.
But, you know what? It’s all too perceptible, all too visible, and all too evident.
The spirit of Bombay lies not in the mindless patter of page three people as they slip into designer dresses two sizes too small for them, dye their hair blonde and talk about privatising the police force. Nor does it lie in some magic desire in all our hearts to overcome every adversity.
The spirit of Bombay is not about adventure and challenge.
It’s about bouncing back; about survival.
No Indian city can take so much adversity, so much misfortune, so much mayhem, so much chaos, so much terror and so much governmental ineptitude and still hold its head high. We don’t bounce back because we enjoy being down. We wish to God that we never sink that far again.
We bounce back because we can.
That’s the spirit of Bombay. It’s a spirit of survival, of resilience, of never-say-die.
And that’s what I saw in the Taj that afternoon. And all over Bombay that weekend.
We are sad. We are bloodied.
But we are unbowed.
It’s not, as the TV talk shows would have it, a simple or one-way process. It’s no good raving and ranting; foolish to add up how much we pay in taxes and demand some bania-like equivalence in government services; and silly to pretend that what happened to us is unprecedented when we know that other Indians share our problems and our concerns.
Each person who loves Bombay will have his or her own take on what we've learnt in the month after the tragedy. This is mine:
First of all, we need to celebrate the diversity and unity of Bombay. In an era when Bal Thackeray calls for more Hindu terrorists and his juvenile delinquent nephew sends his goondas to beat up Biharis, it is sometimes difficult to remember that Bombay’s claim to fame used to be its cosmopolitanism.
The most re-assuring aspect of the way we reacted to the attacks was the manner in which we clung to our cosmopolitan spirit and found unity in our diversity.
The police asked the army to patrol communally sensitive areas fearing that Hindu would attack Muslim homes. The foreign press went on and on about how the attacks would damage India's already fragile communal balance.
In fact nothing happened.
It had nothing to do with India’s Hindus or India’s Muslims. The terrorists killed both as well as Christians and Jews, and Sikhs and people from every community.
Terror has no religion.
The response to the attack should also show up our latest Marathi Mouse. Just as the Maharashtrian Hemant Karkare died fighting the terrorists so did the Malayali Sandeep Unnikrishnan and the North Indian Gajendra Singh. The head of the Bombay police is a Muslim and the head of the NSG is a Bengali.
This is a country built by Indians; not by Maharashtrians, Gujaratis, Malayalis or whatever. And not by Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs etc.
Bombay has always epitomised that great truth. And perhaps the only good thing to come out of this tragedy is that we were able to tell the world that in our city, our unity comes from diversity.
The smell of fear can sometimes become a stench. I’m not going to be very popular for saying this but the sad truth is that the stench of fear turned some of Bombay’s C-list celebrities into televisual morons; terrible advertisements for our great city.
I know that these people do not represent my Bombay and I cringed each time one of them opened his or her mouth on TV to hold forth on how India should be run or how the fact that terror had come to South Bombay demonstrated that democracy had failed.
Their bombast and their anger came from fear. Their arguments came from their own tiny little minds.
But the fact is that we have allowed these people to become the faces of Bombay; allowed the media to portray the city as a vapid metropolis full of glamorous folks who imagine that they are living in Manhattan.
When times were good, we never complained that these people turned up on channel after channel representing Bombay’s interests. Can we complain now just because they’ve embarrassed us when times are bad?
In the month after the Bombay attacks, I was in four or five different towns and cities. And each time I heard the morons being rolled out on TV, I wanted to hide under the sofa: there was such a complete disconnect between these jokers and the rest of India. They came off as self-obsessed and trapped in some state-less bubble.
But we always feel like the one member of a family that does so much for all of the others and never gets his or her fair share in return. Maharashtra survives on Bombay’s revenues. Yet its politicians see the city as nothing more than a golden goose. They raid it for the golden eggs but never care enough to do anything for it.
So it is with India. Bombay should be our country’s advertisement for itself. But if you were to add up the kind of money that has been spent on Delhi over the last three decades and compare it to the amount the Centre has spent on Bombay you would realise why Delhi has broad roads, clean colonies and a fly-over at every corner. Delhi is India’s showpiece — at least from a governmental perspective. Bombay is merely the city that pays for everything.
Outside of Bombay, people do not realise how the citizens of this, India’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, resent the way we are treated. We are happy to do our bit for Maharashtra or for India. But deep in our hearts, we feel that we’ve never got our due.
When the attacks occurred, this deep-rooted resentment came tumbling out. The prevailing sentiment was: look we give so much for India and get so little in return. We don’t mind that you can’t be bothered to fix our infrastructure. But can’t you, at the very least, protect our lives?
And it turned up again as the crass threat to refuse to pay our taxes until the Centre guaranteed the safety of our families and children.
Both responses were wrong. I think Vilas Rao was unfairly targeted. And we made many enemies in the rest of India when we arrogantly declared that we would not pay taxes. We forgot that without politicians there can be no democracy. And when this was pointed out, the morons who went on TV blustered: oh, let the army take over then!
In the process, we misrepresented our case and lost the sympathy of much of India. We did not really mean that we would not pay taxes or vote.
What we meant was this: when are you guys going to give Bombay its fair share of attention and resources?
It was — and is — a valid question.
So, what now? Well, let’s stop being so angry and so frightened. Other Indian cities have lived with terror as indeed have we. The 1993 bombings targeted South Bombay just as much as the suburbs. Global cities have learnt to cope — for all of the 1970s and the 1980s, London was regularly bombed by the IRA.
So let’s be realistic. This is not the first terror attack. And it probably won't be the last.
But we will cope. Great cities always do. And given the choice between the 26/11 attacks and the 1993 riots, I would pick terror over massacres. In communal riots, your neighbours came and burnt your house. Your life is uprooted, your family dies, your daughter is raped and things are never the same again. The people who lost everything in the Bombay riots are still suffering.
So, yes, 26/11 was terrible. But a riot is worse. We can guard against Pakistani gunmen. But it’s much more difficult to guard against the hatred within a society.
So by all means demand accountability from politicians; create hell when you see them interfering with the police force; ask for an infrastructure that works; demand the security that is our due; and make it clear that Bombay has had enough.But don’t forget why Bombay is Bombay. Never forget what makes us a great city.
That’s what Bombay is about. It is a city where all things are possible. Where the hierarchies of the rest of the India do not operate and genuine advancement is relatively easy. Where the world never seems more than a quick step away.
And where nobody is a Muslim, a Hindu, a Maharashtrian, a Punjabi or whatever.
Where we are all Indians.
Lose that dream of a cosmopolitan city of opportunity, allow the politicians to divide us and let third-rate socialites become our spokesmen, and we lose the city’s soul.
We lose the dream.
And eventually we will lose Bombay.
So, never mind the blame game. The answer must come from within.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Naseerudin Shah- A Wednesday
Priyanka Chopra- Fashion and Dostana
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Arjun Rampal for his brilliant portrayal of Joe Mascerhanas in Rock On!!
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Bipasha Basu- Bachna Ae Haseeno
Kangana Ranaut- Fashion
Best Debut Male
Farhan Akhtar- Rock On!!
No, I did not like Imraan Khan in Jane tu ya jaane na..
Best Debut Female
Mughda Godse- Fashion, the best choice among Mughda, Jannat girl, Karzzzz girl and Haale-e-dil girl. Still have not seen Anoushka Sharma in Rab ne.. and Asin Thotukumal in Ghajini :(
Pankaj's Special critic award for Best Actor
Amitabh Bacchhan- The Last Lear
Anupam Kher- A Wednesday
Pankaj's special critic award for Best Actress
Shahana Goswami- Rock On!! ( Remember Debbie!!)
Ratna Pathak Shah- Jane tu ya jaane na- A small role excellently played.
Shabana Azmi- Sorry Bhai!
Pankaj's special award for Best Social Satire
Welcome to Sajjanpur- Shyam Benegal
Best performance in a Comic Role
Abhisek Bacchan, Kirron Kher and Sushmita Mukherjee -Dostana
The Genius A.R.Rehman for Jodhaa Akbar, Yuvraaj and Jane tu ya jane na.
Javed Akhtar- Socha hai (Rock On!!),Meri Laundry ka ek Bill( Rock On!!) and Yeh Tymhari meri baatein( Again, Rock On!!).
Raju Khan- Azeem-o-Shaan Shehenshah (Jodhaa Akbar)
Best Background Score
Amit Trivedi- Aamir
And the most awaited awards....
Many many contenders.
Neeraj Pandey- A Wednesday
Abhishek Kapoor- Rock On!!
Dibakar Bannerjee- Oye Lucky Lucky Oye!
Ashutosh Gowarikar- Jodhaa Akbar
Nishikant Kamat- Mumbai Meri Jaan
Raj Kumar Gupta- Aamir
Finally, Best Film
Jodhaa Akbar.I will be a bit partial here :)
P.S.- I do not remember playback singers.
P.P.S.- And the Razzies for worst films of the year
Tashan( Vijay Krishna Acharya you gave us Dhoom and Dhoom2, what were you thinking?)
Love Story 2050
Bombay to Bangkok. Nagesh, Aashayein should be a hit:)
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Well, as we know Chanda Kochhar has been appointed the next CEO of ICICI Bank, India's largest private sector bank. She takes charge from Mr. K. V. Kamath, one of the most respected faces in the banking sector, which is definitely an end of an era.This also marks another prominent woman in the banking industry along with Naina Lal Kidwai and Meera Samuel.The next year is going to be very very tough for all of us when the effects of recession actually start to seep in. She has a tough job ahead. Wishing her all the best.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I love this song...look at lyrics so beautiful and so very true :)
Yeh Hosla Kaise Juke,Yeh Aarzoo Kaise Ruke
Manzil Muskil To Kya,
Bundla Sahil To Kya,
Tanha Ye Dil To KyaHo Hooo
Raah Pe Kante Bikhre Agar,
Uspe To Phir Bhi Chalna Hi Hai,
Saam Chhupale Suraj Magar,
Raat Ko Ek Din Dhalana Hi Hai,
Rut Ye Tal Jayegi,
Himmat Rang Layegi,
Subha Phir AayegiHoooo
Yeh Hosla Kaise Juke,
Yeh Aarzoo Kaise Ruke
Hogi Hame To Rehmat Ada,
Dhup Kategi Saaye Tale,
Apni Khuda Se Hai Ye Dua,
Manzil Lagale Humko Gale
Zurrat So Baar Rahe,
Uncha Ikraar Rahe,
Zinda Har Pyar RaheHoooo
Yeh Hosla Kaise Juke,
Yeh Aarzoo Kaise !!
Monday, October 6, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
A few months back, Priyanka Gandhi met Nalini in a jail in Tamil Nadu. Nalini was one of the conspirators who had planned to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi, Priyanka's father. Nalini was a part of the LTTE team to bomb Rajiv as the LTTE was angry by his decision to send IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force) to Sri Lanka. Rajiv was killed along with the suicide bomber at an election rally in Sriperumbdur in Tamil Nadu. Nalini was given death sentence but Sonia Gandhi filed a clemency petition and reduced the term to a life sentence. Priyanka told that the reason of her meeting was that she had come to terms with the death of her father. She had accepted the loss and the grief of her father's death. She had forgiven Nalini for taking away from her the person closest to her heart. She had accepted it as fate. When I heard this, I had tears in my eyes. Can someone forgive the person who had been the reason for their sorrow and pain? Can someone overcome the feeling of anger towards someone who destroyed their life? We all fight amongst ourselves on the most ridiculous of topics and never forgive someone who has betrayed us and keep a grudge against that person forever. Priyanka's gesture made me feel overwhelmed with emotion.I feel moved by someone's loss. Imagine this as an instance in your personal life and then feel how much courage and mental strength is required to forgive the person who caused the course of your life to change. It is very difficult to come to terms withthe scars one leaves and in instances like this, when the tragedy was totally avoidable it makes one even more angry but to accept this as destiny requires great mettle. I respect and admire Priyanka Gandhi for what she has done. The loss of Inheritance.God Bless Her!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
7. Spectator by Seema Goswami ( Brunch)
8. Under Honey's Hat- HT CITY, the gossip is well WTF who cares! but the way it is written is simply too humourous :P
The columns we can do without
1. Left hand Drive by Sitaram Yechury- he seems to write on the BJP, BJP and well BJP....
2. Candid Corner by Abhishek Singhvi- yawn!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I read 'Shame' as written in of my previuos posts and also read 'The Enchantress of Florence'. 'Shame' is good book for anyone interested in the history of Pakistan and had some excellent passages on the interpretation of the word 'Shame' but this post is not about that book but the exquisite 'The Enchantress of Florence' by Sir Salman Rushdie . Its more of a summary rather than a review.
The book is basically story of the eponymous Qara-Koz or 'Lady Black Eyes' or Angelica. The story is set in fifteenth century India where Emperor Akbar, the Great Mughal Emperor is in power. The Mughal capital is the city of Sikri inhabited by people from all walks of life. Akbar has many wives but the only one he loves is Jodha who does not exist in reality but is a figment of his imagination just as lonely children dream up imaginary friends. Jodha is his idea of a perfect wife and he talks to her and even makes love to her but of course, nobody else question the existence of this apparition as Akbar is the Jahanpanah, the shelter of the world. He is dealing with intrigues by his good for nothing drunkard sons especially Salim and has his own doubts over the existence of God and the presence of a supreme power where he himself at one point thinks to call himself 'I' instead of 'WE'.
Then one fine day a mysterious foreigner named Mogor dell' Amore claiming himself to be the Ambassador of the Queen of England comes to the city of Sikri to tell a fascinating story to the emperor about an enchantress who has put him in a spell to tell this tale. The enchantress is Qara-koz, Babar's sister who was captured by the Uzbegs along with her slave 'the Mirror' and her sister Khanzada begum. The Shah of Persia won over the Uzbegs in another battle and offered to return these three ladies to Babar. However, Qara-koz refused to go back and stayed in Persia with The Shah and her slave while Khanzada went back. Babar disowned her and her story was lost from the annals of the Mughal empire. Her slave looked so much like herself that people called her The Mirror and they were lovers as lesbians who completely understood each other and were inseparable.Qara-koz found her true love in a man Argalia, a warrior from the city of Florence who had sold his services to the Ottoman Empire. Argalia, Niccolo Machiavelli and Ago Vespucci were three friends in Florence. Argalia had moved out of Florence to fulfill his dream of becoming a mercenary while Niccolo and Vespucci remained in Florence and served the republic. Argalia went back to his homeland along with Qara-koz and the Mirror to become the chief of the army of Florence. Qara-koz was a sorceress who bewitched anyone she met, any place she went by her ethereal beauty. She could heal the sick, make barren women fertile and cure the blind. One day the ruler of Florence died of syphilis and people thought Qara-koz did this and all of a sudden she became a witch from a saint and everyone rooted for her blood. Argalia was killed in her defence and she fled away with the mirror and Ago Vespucci. Her magic had begun to fade and she wanted to be reunited with her family but there was no way to go back to India until a new route was found. Her procrastinated stay came to and end with her death. But she had a son, none other than Mogor dell' Amore meaning the Mughal of love who she told to tell this story to Akbar who thus is his uncle. He had come to Sikri travelling from faraway lands. Akbar thought him as unpure blood and made him a commoner. But Salim wanted him killed as he was a threat to the throne and plotted to kill but he was saved and he took his own revenge. The city of Sikri was no longer the Mughal capital.
Best Parts of the Book-
Sir Salman's description of the beauty of Qara-koz and the painting by Dashwanth is grand. His belief in the power of love when Akbar can conjure an imaginary wife and finally conjuring up Qara-koz to fall in love with her, Dashwanth getting immortalised in the painting of Qara-koz is enchanting.
There is that brilliant scene in which Akbar's first wife and his mother talk imaginarily to Jodha to give her tricks to stop Akbar falling in love with Qara-koz, only to find out that all the while they have been talking to Qara-koz .
Akbar's doubts over God where he says-'if there had never been a God, it might have been easier to work out what goodness was.' 'The curse of the human race is not that we are so different from one another but that we are so alike'. So true.
The passage where truth is revealed to Akbar about Qara-koz is lovely.
The subtle humour depicted brings a smile to the face. Mohini, the Skeleton and the Mattress, Akbar and Birbal stories, the deaf Bhakti Ram Jain, Qara-koz's enchantment of Marietta,Machiavelli's wife:)
The epic grandeur of the palace especially the name of the boats- Gunjayish,Asayish,Farmayish, and Arayish, and the concept of Mundus Novus where time becomes still is impeccable.
The book is like a fable just like Arabian Nights but surely not a book for children. The prose is as usual enthralling. He weaves a magic with words but not at the cost of the story.Though not an easy read, even if a line is missed something is missed.The research done for the book is stupendous. The culmination of the East and West that we everything is linked is clearly brought in the book. Names themselves are a character in the book like Elizabeth becomes Zelabat and Akbar becomes Echebar or the names of giants Otho, Botho, Clotho and D'Arangtan and many others. The only thing I found boring was Argalia's exploits.Over all the book has a mixed response.The New York Times has called the book shit where as the Washington Post calls it Sir Salman's finest work. Already there is speculation that the book will win a booker. Anyway its all a subjective thing-some may like it some may call it trash but for huge fans like me it always works:). No doubt Sir Salman Rushdie is a master story teller and magical realism is pure magic.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
So I got tagged by Priyanka who is addicted to tags :P..
Here goes mine.
If I were a beginning, I would be the beginning of an era:P
If I were a month, I would be December.
If I were a day of the week, I would be Friday.(All movies release :))
If I were a time of day, I would be 7.00 pm. (F.R.I.E.N.D.S. time)
If I were a season, I would be Winters.
If I were a sea animal, I would be Flounder of Little Mermaid.
If I were a direction, I would want to go in the opposite direction:P
If I were a sin, I would be rich:P
If I were a liquid, I would be a rain drop:)
If I were a fraud/scare, I would be scared of hypocrisy.
If I were a gem, I would be ruby :P
If I were a tool, I would be a nailcutter( aise hi) or pen knife.
If I were a flower/plant, I would not like to be put in a bouquet.
If I were a musical instrument, I would be Phoebe's guitar:)
If I were an animal, I would be Vodafone/Hutch vala dog:P
If I were an emotion, I would be contentment.
If I were a vegetable, I would be aloo.
If I were a sound, I would be a baby's laughing sound :P
If I were a car, I would be a toy car:P
If I were a song, I would be Aaj ki raat, hona hai kya,pana hai kya khona hai kya(DON) or the spectacular Azeem-o-Shaan Shehenshah.(Jodhaa Akbar):P
If I were a food, I would be gol gappe.
If I were a taste, I would be tasteless.
If I were a religion, I would be freedom.
If I were a sentence, I would be 'Happiness is subjective'.
If I were a body part, I would be eyes.
If I were a facial expression, I would be confused:(
If I were a subject in college, I would be Economics or Philosophy:( Have neither in College
If I were a shape, I would be like liquids to take the shape of the container:P:P
If I were a color, I would be Black.
If I were a thing, I would be newspaper.
If I were a book, I would be Atlas Shrugged.
If I were a monument, I would be the Pyramids.Wanna see them :(
If I were an artist, I would be Shabana Azmi.
If I were a poem, I would be The Highwayman.Class ninth me thi :P
If I were God, I would be telling people to remember me during their good times also.
If I were a vowel, I would be E.
If I were a consonant, I would be D.Cursive Vala
If I were a famous thing, I would be an art form.
If I were sport, I would be Pithoo:).
If I were a movie, I would be Dor.
If I were a cartoon, I would be Iago Aladdin vala..so funny.:P
If I were a relation, I would be open:P
If I were alone, I would be reading.
If I were a question, then I would be looking for my answer.
If I were a habit, I would be ????No comments.
If I were an end, I would be looking for a new beginning.
If I were you, I would try to learn a new thing from you:)
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
On the other hand we have farmer suicides continuing unabated in the country especially Vidarbha. This comes as relief to these farmers.What else can we do immediately to succour them? Is there anything we can do right now to stop this? However, let this be made clear that this is only a one time payment. Also when USA can announce a fiscal package of 150 billion dollars to prevent its economy from a full scale recession due to the subprime crisis, we can also do this to give a boost to the agriculture sector which has become a stumbling block to growth of the economy. Along with that the government should also adopt measures to improve irrigation facilities where the farmers are mostly dependent on vagaries of the monsoon. Let the farmer be given more incentives, for example a higher support price and he be allowed to sell his produce wherever he wants. The government pays about double the amount to import wheat than it does to purchase it from the farmer. Surely it can be more prudent in this regard. In a county where 70% of the population is dependent on agriculture and the gap between Bharat and India Inc. widening, we cannot proceed forward to being a developed nation until all of us grow together i.e. inclusive growth. So, I just hope this works and the next government be formed without the Left support so that the reform process could begin as the Economic Survey 2007-08 states.And also the Indo-US nuclear deal goes through. I seriously hope it does.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The world is filled with good fathers...how do we recognise them? They are the ones who are missed so terribly that everything falls apart in their absence..they are the ones who love us long before they have arrived.. they are the ones who come looking for us when we can't find our way home..yes, the world is filled with great fathers and the best are those who make the women in their lives feel like good mothers.
People by their very nature are always on the look out for intruders, trying to prevent those on the outside from getting in but there will always be those who force their way into our lives just as there will be those we invite in but the most troubling of all will be the ones who stand on the outside looking in, the ones we truly never get to know.
There is a prayer intended to give stength to people faced with circumstances they don't want to accept.The power of the prayer comes from the inside of the human nature."We ask God to grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change'' because so many of us rage against the hand that life has dealt with," the courage to change the things we can", because so many of us are cowardly and afraid to stand up for what is right, "And the wisdom to know the difference", because so many of us give into despair when faced with an impossible choice.The good news for those who utter these words is that God will hear you and answer your prayer.The bad news is that sometimes the answer is no.
In a world filled with darkness we all need some kind of light..wether it is a great flame that shows us how to win back what we have lost, or a powerful beacon intended to scare away potential monsters or a few glowing bulbs that reveal to us the hidden truth of our past.We all need something to help us to get through the night, even if it is the tiniest glimmer of hope.
Spring comes every year but not everyone remembers to stop and smell the flowers.Some are too busy worrying about the future or mistakes the have made in the past.Others are preoccupied with not getting caught or thinking of ways to catch someone else.Still there will always be a few who remember to take a momet and appreciate what spring has given them just as there will always be those who prefer to sit in the dark, brooding over everything they have lost.
The opposite of love is not hate but indifference as hate means you and I are still connected.
Friday, February 15, 2008
The other day I was watching the NDTV Indian of the year.The awards went to all deserving individuals like Dr.Manmohan Singh,Rajnikant,Vishwanathan Anand, Shah Rukh Khan,Mukesh Ambani,Dr. R.K. Pachauri but the overall Indian of the year went to not one individual but to the Indian Soldier. As on the dias I saw the widows of the soldiers who lost their lives,I was overwhelmed with emotion. These women who have lost so much in their lives are doing everything silently. I just then wondered if we really honour our soldiers. Whenever a soldier dies, we talk of his bravery and his sacrifice.But has the soldier to be dead to show that as a proof of his valour.Not only the soldier but also his family is sacrificing each and every moment of their lives for the motherland. The people and the government in particular should realise that a 'living' soldier's contribution is of immense importance to us.When it is 2.c in Delhi, people talk ofweather being too cold.Let us spare a thought for the armymen braving sub zero temperatures upto -30 c in the extreme conditions in Siachen or any other place for that matter for six months in a year. Contrast this with our politicians who are fighting with each other to get the Bharat Ratna as if they do not get anything already.It would not help to just ceremoniously put badges and give a meagre amount as prize money to soldiers but to give them and their families something more than that. Let us honour our soldiers the true place they deserve and show it to them in every way we can.
There are many unsung heroes in our society whom we don't acknowledge. Bilkis Bano symbolises the grit and determination to attain justice in spite of the innumerable obstacles one faces. During the state sponsored pogrom in Gujarat in 2002, Bilkis was gangraped when she was seven months pregnant, her three year old daughter butchered in front of her own eyes and all her family members brutally murdered by the rioters. She had practically lost everything but she didn't lose hope and fought for justice. She has been living life as a refugee for the past six years not telling her whereabouts to anyone.The accused were given life imprisonment last month and she was in tears when verdict came remembering her daughter. Let us honour her for her great will and support her.
Irom Sharmila, Auto Raja, Manjunath, E. Shreedharan, Sabrina Lall, R.K.Lakshman are our real heroes who have inspired so many of us.
And when Bobby Jindal became the governor of Louisiana, everyone applauded him.I was quite cynical of this.He has never been to India nor will ever be, nor can he do anything for us then why we are claiming him to be an Indian.Sunita Williams,unlike Kalpana Chawla was born and brought up in the USA and she has even served in the American Army.Then why we are proclaiming her to be one of us. And when Mrs. Sonia Gandhi could easily have become the PM, our very own Sushma Swaraj wanted to go bald and eat 'chana' to protest a foreigner ruling India.Why are we so happy about PIO's getting into politics in other countries when we cannot see the same process in our country? And we have people like M.F.Hussain who made us so proud but after a few controversies we disowned them.Let us acknowledge them instead of a Bobby Jindal.