Sunday, December 7, 2008

Koi Mil Gaya

Every time a movie channel is showing Koi Mil Gaya, my wife looks at me! Why not, she has married an IITan. We are expected to be technologically superman and woman. Getting inspiration from Hrithik and trying to impress my wife, I tried my Communication and Signal Processing skills. I was trying to send signals so that some ‘Jadoo’ will respond to me. I tried and waited till late night thinking there might be time difference and ‘Jadoos’ may not have woken up. After all we always believe the mightier, richer, western world are in a different time zone, they wake up later and sleep later than us. I also wanted to keep trying as it is the only way I can pass my time when my wife was sleeping. All TV channels show terrorist or politics in one way or the other. These days even shows on discovery also seem like politics, after all survival of fittest is the biggest political theory we have. Just when I was losing hope and about to sleep I received a response..

Me: Hello, Hello.. Anybody getting this message?

{I hear some noise like the mis-tuned radio signal, grrrrr.. grrrhhh and then a mute}

Me: Hello, Anyone there?

 Just then I received a signal, on my screen it says ‘From Mars’

 Mars: Hi

 {I got a reply from aliens, and amazing, they talk in English!}

Me: Hi, I am speaking from planet Earth. Who are you? Where are you?

Mars: I am from a planet not far from yours, won’t tell you exactly.

{May be these guys are afraid if they tell me then humans will invade them. What we have left anyways}

Me: How are you? I am too eager to be friends with you.

Mars: Ya, I know. Now a days we are getting so many messages from your planet. Why are there so many people looking for friends outside planet.

Me: May be because here people like each other less.

Mars: How?

{How?, I was thinking he might ask Why? But he asked How? As if disliking is not a possibility at all}

Me: Yes, because people are from different religion so they follow different ideology.

Mars: What is religion?

Me: Following God

Mars: So why do people follow different God

{May be because they follow different ideology, but isn’t it circular then that we have different ideology because we follow different religion and we follow different religion because we follow different ideology…what should I answer, isn’t it hen-egg situation}

Me: Do you have only one God

Mars: We haven’t thought actually.. We just pray to Light when its day and darkness when its night

Me: So don’t you have separate groups who pray light more and other who pray dark more

{God! I am acting like a politician..shi…}


Me: Anyways, how many countries you have?

Mars: Now what is that?

Me: Countries, piece of land separated by boundary

Mars: You really sound interesting; we do have pieces of Land and seas of Lava. But we don’t have boundaries. But tell me in how many different ways you people are divided?

Me: Only religion and boundary, and yes colour as well in some countries

Mars: What? Colour of what?

Me: Skin

Mars: ha? You guys are crazy

Me: Yes, I know.. that’s why people dislike each other here.. ehh.. That now answers your question that we dislike each other..


Me: Hello? Tell me how you guys are distinguishing each other if you don’t have different religion, country, and skin colour?

{what has happened to my thinking? Is dividing in terms of this parameters necessary in first place?}

Mars: Each one is different in his thoughts, emotions and intelligence. Are you all same on these parameters?

Me: No, here also each one is different in his ways. But we haven’t actually found it that important to classify.

{Really pathetic, we hardly care for human emotions, ideas and intellectual these days}

Me: So do you have families? Do you have money? What do you eat?

Mars: We have small groups staying together that we call family. But we don’t mind adding people of other families to come and join us if everyone wants a bigger family. What is money?

Me: To buy something, to buy food, clothes, house? To get these things you must be giving something?

Mars: We don’t need to give something to get these things. We grow what we eat.

Me: That’s interesting {actually sounds impossible to me}

Me (Now coming to the point): Hey, Can you come to our planet to meet me? I want you to meet my wife and friends.

{To prove that I talked to an Alien}

Mars: We can’t come there. Our elders say that if we go to Earth then we’ll get impure. But it is good to know that you have ‘friends’.

Me: Ohh!!           



Me: Hello..Hello…


{It seems connection broke}

 It was already quite late. Its better I go to sleep now. I anyways have record of this conversation to prove I talked to my Jadoo. On my way to bed, I was thinking of only one thing: It was so difficult to talk to a naïve. It’s so difficult to explain a pure person by heart why there are boundaries, why there are differences, why there is hatred and why human hate human. Why countries war? Why one army kills other. When is this going to end? What if every demand is met? If we make Kashmir independent state, Israel gives Palestine its piece of land, China gives Tibet a status of free nation, LTTE is given part of Sri Lanka they are demanding. Will that end the woes? Will that put an end to Talibans, LeTs, Al-Qaedas, and LTTE? Will that put an end to terror, hatred, fears?

Is there an end?

Monday, December 1, 2008

B for Bombay

Here I am again for Bombay, which is not only a city, it’s a metaphor for ‘struggle for existence’; synonym for ‘importance of life and time’. Bombay is not a common city, it’s a phenomena. It’s a city of dreams, city that never sleeps; it teaches how important each minute of life is. Bombay is the most important metropolitan city also the commercial capital of India.

Bombay has gained its reputation from the way it has faced calamities for more than a decade now. City was shook on Black Friday in 1993, twin blasts in 2003, blasts in local trains in 2006. Not only the terrorist attacks, city come out strongly after heavy rains in 2005 and many more calamities, natural and from enemies. Every time Bombay rose from the shock the very next day. Every day millions of people travel to Bombay for their job, Business and work. Hence it gets the reputation of the liveliest and one of the most important metros of the country.

Yet again, on 26th November 28, 2008 terrorist took Bombay (or Mumbai) under siege. This time they was stronger, more planned and more dangerous than ever. Terrorist took control of some most important buildings of posh south Bombay. They took over the famous heritage, most renowned Five stars, The Taj, The Oberoi and Nariman Bhavan as well. They have all the courage to open fire at these spots along with VT (Victoria Terminus or Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus), Cama Hospital and at Sir JJ School of Arts. It took a huge troops of Police, army, navy and NSG (National Security Guards) to combat with them. There are so many questions that now rise. There are so many things to note.

1) These terrorist carried some very advanced weapons, AK-47, hand grenades, launchers, RDX etc. They came through sea route and landed at crowded Colaba. Now the question is: How weak our naval patrolling and radar system is such that a boat filled with weapons crosses the border and lands a city place and no one noticed? Pretty tough to believe, but yet it’s True and it happened.

2) They have done it at Bombay earlier in 1993 with aid of Dawood Ibrahim, in 2003 at crowded Zaveri Bazaar, in 2006 multiple blasts in local trains; they have attacked parliament and have attacked almost all major cities across the length and breadth of the country. Is there a safe place left in India? Shall we convert our city into a bigger jail? Check everything, everywhere, every time. This would fear us more. Aren’t we going to doubt every unknown person we see on the street?

3) This time terrorists are more pronounced. They have the audacity to come face to face. Unlike previous times when they were coward to face death, when they just kept the bomb and ran away to kill innocents, this time they faced army, naval commandos and NSG commandos and kept them on toes for two and a half days. Is there any plan ready with government? (I am not calling it current Congress govt. or previous BJP govt.) Has government not learnt with previous terrorist attempts? It seems these questions are not questions, these are facts. There has been no disaster management program. In such cases, what should be our course of action? What should have been the first step? Isn’t it carelessness that NSG commandos entered the site 10 hours after it all started? Shouldn’t all major cities have a unit of NSG commandos? Here, since they came so late they have to rush to the site, mostly uninformed about the inside of Taj or Oberoi or Nariman House. Also, there was no attempt to initiate a discussion with the terrorists. When it was clear that commando operation is getting delayed, terrorists should be tried to keep busy by talking. At least try for one conversation, for what they want? I may sound unreasonable but this could be done via speakers and exchange of words is always useful.

4) What is the point in having local policemen with sticks to protect railway stations? This is not useful even to face a mob throwing stones. How can they try even to fight AK-47s. That means these policemen can be replaced by scare crows. We already have cut-outs (big pictures) of traffic policemen on our express highways to ‘scare’ speeding vehicles. We can have this pictures of policemen at our railway stations, bus stops as well, in any case I have always seen them reading newspaper in between their meals. On a serious note, big stations like VT, Dadar, Andheri etc. should have some armed policemen instead of ‘stick cops’.

5) We should have a media policy. For such long time news channels were telecasting each and every live action. Good that local cable operators cut the cable connections for these places but in any case their lords are getting these feeds live. In turn terrorist were getting all information. So only uninformed people inside the hotels were the hostages, guests who were hiding i.e. the civilians. Media should behave responsibly in telecasting anything live. It would be better if they don’t inform anything to the masses, rather than serving as information media for terrorists.

The open area between Taj and Gateway where these journalists stationed to capture every event was trashed by these people. Can they behave responsible and at least keep the place clean, the least they could have done but no, one can see trash paper, bottles scattered everywhere.

When anyone came for announcements these media persons never let them talk. They just jump on him/them and almost not let them speak. Shouldn’t media be more on the listening side then giving? But the behavior is worth questioning and demanding to have a more stringent media policy. I suggest having a single media team to cover the incidence. This team will be irrespective of news channels, news paper. But any news to be covered should be informed to this team and only that news should be aired.

6) We need a strong management policy for such crisis situation. No politician, minister, VIP or VVIP should be allowed to visit especially during the crisis time. Isn’t it insane that Mr. L.K. Advani, Mr. Jasvant Singh, Mr. Manmohan Singh, Mr. Shivraj Patil etc. visiting this place when security is busy tackling the terrorists? Isn’t it insane to provide these VVIPs security when it is important to protect civilians in the city?

Local people must also understand that it is an unprecedented event. It is so foolish for hundreds of them to reach their with mobile phone cameras, digi cams, to take photographs. Is it a tourist place? Outside Nariman house there was such a big mob that commando Van was not able to move out easily. Shouldn’t police barricade the whole region for everyone?

7) Stop politicizing these issues. Instead of Indian ministers meeting to decide a stringent policy they were busy deciding who to put blame on, who all to fire on account of this to keep government clean. Home Minister Mr. Shivraj Patil nailed down. Here too our PM and super PM played their cards. Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram is awarded Home ministry. Even Chief Minister, Home Minister of Maharashtra might be sacked. But is it really time to play political cards. To play blame game? Are our politicians taking this as an opportunity to achieve their political will?

Terrorists succeeded in what they wanted. They created terror; Mumbai came to stand still for almost two days. School, colleges, offices, malls, cinema halls were closed. Stock market was shut for a day, investors losing crores. Very sad to note that Indian Hotel Group stock price fell by more than 16%. Even after the entire massacre, speech of our PM to nation was not as strong and pronounced as it should be. When it is evident that this involves terrorists from Pakistan occupied Kashmir why don’t we take a strong action. What if this attack was on US of A.? They would have invaded the entire region. Can’t we send a strong message to Pakistan? Why is our government appeasing Muslims and so soft on terror? Why is Afzal Guru not sentenced to death? There are many questions but it seems government and opposition is tackling issues keeping in view of upcoming elections. Till when we will keep quiet. Till when we”ll show our protest by SMS, messenger and orkut status, mails only. We, the people have to do something!