Now where do I begin? I was reminded of the movie ANNIYAN when I was going through some of the forums on Orkut and other blogs. Instead of being all vague and high fundaeish I shall try being clear. We people in India blame politicians for what they are. In the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attack, there was this politician who was planning to call a nation wide bandh! Agreed that he was downright cheap. And yeah some of the big shots in Mumbai pointed out to it. Even some of us came to know about it. So what about it? The next time before pointing out some flaw or fault in these politicians, MLAs, MPs etc etc let us have a look at ourselves. How many of us are prepared to stand in a security line at an Airport or railway station even if it takes an hour to complete the security check? Last week I was reading an article somewhere in which it was mentioned that the Taj Mahal hotel had a huge blanket of security even a week before the attack. So what happened in the lead up to the D day? This huge blanket of security, the metal detectors etc etc were removed because there was no parking space. These basic security check up stuff where occupying the space in the parking lot. It seems a silly reason to me. Now whom do we blame for the terror attack in the first place? The terrorists for being the perpetrators and killing the innocent? The politicians for being lackadaisical? The commandos and police forces for initiating the operation without a plan? Or ourselves for not following some basic steps to ensure a secure environment? I am not justifying what the terrorists did. Neither am I supporting the politicians. If we the people want to be in a terror free environment, is it not our duty that all of us go through metal detectors at railway stations? Is it not our duty that we wear our identity cards always when we are at work places instead of telling the security guards at the gate: "Arre thu tho mujhe jaantha hai! Tho fir kyon ye ID card? "? I agree that it would be a logistical night mare to ensure security checks at a station like the CST! But I definitely do not think that it is impossible.
Now the above thoughts on one side, I was also reading another forum where in it was asked, how do we make India a terror free country with better politicians who are not corrupt. I understand that such a forum could have even been started to vent out some frustrations at the terror attacks and the manner in which it was approached. What got to my nerves was the fact that each time some politician gets entangled into a web of scandals or controversies (like the R.R.Patil issue, the Ram Gopal Verma and Vilas Rao Deshmukh scandal) the people blame them for being so insensitive, for being corrupt, for not doing anything for the benefit of the country etc etc. This is utterly laughable. Because it is the same people who would have voted for such politicians. And in some cases some of the complaining people would not even vote or go near a polling booth during elections. We complain that some of the officials in India can be bribed. I disagree. The root cause of bribes is the common man. He does bribe and also accept bribes. For example during the last elections in Tamil nadu, the then opposition party in its campaign stated that it would give a free T.V to everyone if they where voted to power. In fact it was voted to power. During the election campaigns lots of free T.V's where given to the working class. This is one basic example when the common man himself is bribed. Let us consider a different example. As most of you readers of my blog would know, it is rarely a case of following the speed limits in India. And in case the traffic constable does catch someone for over speeding, the people being caught, instead of following the normal procedure bribe the official. The norm would have been to pay a fine of around 1000 bucks at the R.T.O office. Now to avoid that we end up bribing the traffic constable and give him around 300-400 bucks. On the talk show in NDTV "We the people" last Sunday, some of the celebrities where of the opinion that the people should not pay taxes to the government as the government was not doing anything. Is this the way a celebrity should speak? Especially in a country where the celebrities are worshipped like gods? Shame on the person. Yes the politicians might be corrupt. Yes the infrastructure might be inept. But what is the point in just blaming them if we ourselves are corrupt? Every nation does have its share of corrupt officials. But that does not stop many such nations from being ultra-developed. Every basket will have its share of rotten eggs. Does that stop us from eating those eggs? Food for thought may be. Without sounding all preachy, I am just taking a pragmatic view at the way we react to things. Some basic mistakes are contributing to the huge mountains of calamities. Instead of cribbing and getting emotional I believe we should set about correcting those basic mistakes so that in future mole hills do not become mountains.
I am not a political analyst. Neither am I a media honcho who knows the fundae about journalism. But I am a common man who is proud of being an Indian. A common man who is waiting for the day we can walk peacefully on the streets of our cities without being scared of a bomb going off nearby. I want to eat at a restaurant and enjoy my meal rather than being scared thinking if someone will attack and hold me as a hostage. The scenes near the Taj hotel in Mumbai and near the Trident where gut wrenching to be honest. More than sadness at the sequence of events and it is the anger that threatens to overwhelm me. How dare some 20-30 humans (I do not know if I can call them humans from here on!) attack the innocent in the name of religion or war? What right do they have to even take a life? Can't the perpetrators of the violence see that it is their community/nation that is being affected because of this? I do not often blog about terrorism but this time it is just too much to take. Every month some new city in India is attacked. Some of the scenes being dished out on the news channels where gut wrenching. Now if such is the state of people like me whose relatives or nearest have not been affected directly by the series of events in Mumbai, imagine the state of those who have been directly affected by it! I feel sorry for them and offer my heart felt condolences to them. It feels sickening to see a young kid(who should be ideally going to school on a weekday) answering questions from the media big shots on how he is feeling as his parents are being held as hostages in the hotels? A old gentleman (who should be sipping juice relaxing on some beach) instead has to anwer to the bull shit that Barkha Dutt has to ask him. She might be a great journalist. But for me she does not seem a great human. The old gentleman was close to tears. And hear she is asking about how he feels. That to me was not the right thing to do then. The old gentleman and kid deserved to be given moral support but not like this. I hope the politicians do not use this for political mileage. All said and done about how good the rescue effort or how good the police and army have been through out this ordeal, the leaders must answer to the people. After all they where also responsible partly for this. How could there have been such a serious intelligence failure? What was the coast guard up to? 30 odd and god knows how many more entered the city through boats. These are the sort of things we see in movies. What in the bloody hell were the intelligence services up to? The prime minister's address was hardly inspiring to top it all. These are people who take the common man for granted. I suppose all they care about is their seat, the vote bank, and money. I have a lot more to say but this being a public forum I do not want to. Such organization and planning on part of the terrorists could not have been accomplished without any inside help. :( And if there was no inside help, I am sorry to say as an individual I will be scared shit less and pissing in my pants right now if I where walking in any one of the big cities in India. A personal request to end though, to all the politicians: I do not expect anything great of you. I do not expect outstanding deeds. But at the same time if you are not capable of protecting the people from whom you beg for votes, at least let the people who are doing a good job work properly. In short do not act as fucking impediments.
P.S Sorry for asking but I could not help myself now. Where is Mr. Raj Thackeray and his bunch of goons? In fact it is good that they have not acted as hindrances. But not even a single comment from him? Surprising!
This is my first post for quite a while and the first time I have been tagged...
The rules for the tag are: RULE #1 People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves. RULE #2 Tag 6 people to do this quiz and those who are tagged cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by continue this game by sending it to other people.
So here is how it goes...
1.If your lover betrayed you, what will your reaction be? May be sit and cry for ages just like what happens in those good old Hindi Movies...:D WTF? Are you kidding me? Havent even had the chance of falling in love....only then does the question of betrayal comes up...
2. If you can have a dream come true, what would it be? Right now the priority would be to get a job?? Kicking the ass of ppl who destroy world peace comes a close second.
3. Whose butt would you like to kick? TWO answers this question.
4. What would you do with a billion dollars? Give my parents and brother all the comforts with it. Remaining I shall may be do something in the SIVAJI ishtyle back home...
5. Will you fall in love with your best friend? If my best friend does happen to be a girl and if I am given the chance to fall in love with her?? hell yeah..
6. Which is more blessed: loving someone or being loved by someone? Loving someone.
7. How long do you intend to wait for someone you love? Ages? Naa...am someone who is practical and tries to get on with life...so I dont think i ll wait long!
8. If the person you secretly like is attached, what will you do? My love or liking would not reduce for the person...
9. If you could root for one social cause, what would it be? Illiteracy.
10. What takes you down the fastest? Close friends ignoring me!
11. On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy are you? 7
12. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? A man who is happy with what he has acheived and who looks forward to the next challenge in life...
13. What’s your fear? Of not being able to do what I like the most for a living.
14. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is? An independent yet sensitive lady!
15. Would you rather be single and rich or married and poor? How about the married and rich option?
16. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously who will you pick? Naa...the chances of that happening are one in a zillion...
17. Would you give all in a relationship? Yeeeaaaaassssssssssss Absolutely!
18. Would you forgive and forget someone no matter how horrible a thing he has done? I have a decent memory. So forgetting is impossible...Forgiving is something I can try..
19. Do you prefer being single or in a relationship? I usually do have a policy. If I am single I have the entire world to look forward to. But if I am in a relationship that person would become my entire world. So I prefer being single...
As I say in Tamil "Irrukaravanuku Orutheee...ilaadhavanuku palar!"
Disclaimer: It is totally fictitious. This is an attempt to write something different. The story will be continued in the next few posts.
Some of us land in US with umpteen number of dreams. Umpteen number of visions! Most of us do succeed in achieving what we set out for. But there are a few who just struggle. No matter what, bad luck is something that would have caught them at the wrong moment. People who are nothing short of whiz kids in India face the music here! This is not a post about how good USA is and what can be achieved in this land of dreams. Instead this is a post of how ****** up life can get here if one goes astray. A la five point someone! What I-Hari Prasad aka HARRY- did not envisage when I landed in USA, was that things can go from great to weird to bad to worse in just a period of 2 months. I still remember my ride from the airport to Press Avenue on August 1, 2005. Though this was what I had wanted all along right from my early teens, there was this strange empty feeling within me. A feeling that would build upon on its own and later go on to be called as Home Sickness. Immediately as soon as I reach Rakesh's place, I realize that to make a single call to my parents I would have to shell out a dollar or two! Yet the first night that I was here, I had a sumptuous dinner-courtesy Rakesh and slept peacefully. The next morning (it being a Saturday) I woke up to the sound of some music and chitter chatter. I come out and I am introduced to Prashanth by Rakesh. Of course after freshening up I join in their idle conversation and I am introduced to the daily routine followed by these guys (something that even I will be following from now on I guess!). The first priority I realize is to find a good house for myself and the three others-Sai, Suniel, and Narayan. I met the three of them back in Chennai and we had decided to stay together. I realize with envy that Suniel and Narayan would still be in the cozy comforts of their parents in Chennai. Sai had flown down along with me and he was put up at Prashanth's apartment. I was brought down to earth from my day dream when Rakesh said that Saturday being a holiday would be a good time to start searching for an apartment! I retort stating, "Dude, after all I have landed here just last evening.". To this Rakesh stated with a shrug, "During the weekdays you will be busy contacting professors or looking for assistantships. You will have very little time to search for apartments. You might as well start today, and try to get settled in soon." With just a feeble nod in response I got ready to go out. I realized that it might as well be a blessing in disguise as I have my friend to guide me through this initial phase. So after a couple of days of tiring search and having contacted each land-lord in person, me and Sai were finally able to find an apartment which was close enough in its proximity to the College and also to our senior's apartments! By Sunday evening we had moved our belongings to this new place and after some hurried shopping (for our day to day needs) at the nearest Walmart, we dragged our tired bodies back home. Of course Rakesh was there to remind me that I would have to wake up early next day as I would have to open a bank account...I just nodded and fell asleep...So much for life in USA!
So many have written so much about this particular topic. It has been discussed to death! Yet each game the maestro plays the same question is asked of him. Even worse, he has to prove a point each time he goes to bat. It might be a cliche topic after all to write about but being an ardent fan of his, I thought I should. Lets get on with it. Statistics apart lets look at the genuine match winners India have produced! Other than Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Anil Kumble and to an extent Virender Sehwag, I do not think India has produced genuine match winners who can win us matches single handedly! I do not know much about the era before the 83 world cup and refrain from commenting about then! And amongst these, it has been Sachin who has played the longest, stayed the fittest and is the holder of god knows what record. C B series comes to the memory recently, before that last year's win in England, and so on...Remember the 2003 world cup folks and the India vs Pakistan game? Remember the Chennai test match against Pakistan when he nearly took India to a victory single handedly? How about the 1996 world cup and Sharjah? These are to name a few. In fact a couple of years back I remember a classic 90 odd by Sachin Tendulkar against a Pakistan bowling line up led by Akhtar and Asif at Lahore. And he led the Indians to a successful chase of a target of 282. Even this year in the test matches against Australia down under, Sachin scored centuries in Sydney and Adelaide along with a 70 and 20 at Perth. What more can a fan expect? The problem is that most of us fans expect him to score a 100 each time he bats irrespective of the fact that he might be struggling with injury or something else. Of course there is this media which plays the role of a magnifying glass. A Sachin duck would spark of comments about retirements and a Sachin century would spark off a discussion about his contributions over the last few years. It is high time that instead of examining and debating how good Sachin is, some of us should have our heads checked.
I have seen quite a few Hollywood movies. Most of them have been the usual action flicks or sugary romantic comedies. But there have been exceptions to this too, for a couple of movies like the LOTR (all the three movies), The Prestige, The Godfather I and II, made me feel as if I would like to catch them again sometime! In the modern day media frenzied world, I thought that the hype leading up to the latest installment of Batman on the big screen might have been a bit of a hyperbole. To top it all, I never read any of the batman comics nor had I seen previous versions of the batman movies. When I(just like any other individual in USA) reserved the tickets for The Dark Knight, apprehension was the foremost emotion I felt, wondering if the 8 dollars that I pay for the ticket might go a waste! But now after watching the movie, it is more of the Batman excitement that has caught up with me. What a movie it was! Not many action sequences, but the movie moved at relentless pace. Only once did I ever check my watch during those 2 and a half hours to have a look at the time. Without providing any spoilers (though I believe most of the folks reading this post would have already watched the movie!) I would just say that Heath Ledger's performance was haunting. Best comic book movie villain? Yes. Best comic book adaptation? Better than most (because I have not read Batman comics). My personal favorite scene would be when the "Joker" appears at the mob round table conference and provides the viewers with some magic using just a pencil! There are bound to be critics who would say that the movie was sadistic or the hype preceding the release was indeed an exaggeration. On a personal level though, I am going to watch the preceding Batman Begins too, for now I have become a fan of Christopher Nolan and his movies. Move along spidey...move along Hulk...It is time for Batman and his wildcard nemesis-JOKER!