Friday, May 29, 2009

French Open (?)

Ohk, I am totally wasted.. i have got nothing better to do than wonder as to what should I do... so well, I thought why not do a crappy post instead, you know the one where you don't have anything to actually wirte about but you still write. Well yeah, that's the sort of post this is. So you have been warned and if you continue to read, well, what can i say for you, except that perhaps, just perhaps, you are more wasted than me. No, not perhaps, you definitely are more wasted than me ;)

You know I have been following quite a bit of French Open since I don't have anything better to do and there's a limit to the number of good movies that HBO and Z-Studio can show in a day. Star Movies well is a different story alltogether. It seems to make new records of showing most number of crappy movies in a day. And it betters its record every single day!!

But let's not digress. French Open! Hmmm, well was watching Nadal's match and all that i could notice was his outfit. Gone were his trademark three-quarter shorts and his sleeveless tee. And what were they replaced with? Well if you don't know yet, please don't read further! It;s horrifying to say the least. A bright pink tee and a yellow headband!! Bright pinka nd yellow!! Seriously? Come on now, if he needed to be more colourful he could have gone in for the graceful and tradional Spanish colours: red and yellow. But no.. he had to make a statement.. and well he did make one.. but of all the wrong sorts.

Anyway, let's move on to something more sesible. Yeah I can't do a toal crappy post. Somehow I lack that talent. Having had a look at most of the leading players a few things are certain. Well almost certain. After all, barring death, what else is certain :)

Ana Ivanovic is not going to be able to defend her title. In fact I would be surprised if she makes it to the semis. Safina on the other hand is looking quite good for her maiden French Open title. On the men's side, it seems Federer's search for a career rand slam ain't gonna be over anytime soon. In fact I'll be bold enough to say that he won't even make the finals this year. And well, Sharapova, making her comeback after a long injury lay-off is as expected struggling. But she has shown some fight. And she is still in there, slogging it out and looking good for some more.

Till the next post, or death due to boredom, whichever is first.. :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The End

It had been breezy earlier in the night. But now, as he stood in the balcony there was no hint of a breeze. Everything was eerily still as if waiting in anticipation. He stood there wondering whether to go ahead or not, contemplating whether to destroy or to preserve. But as on that morning a few weeks ago, he decided to destroy.

As he lifted the first page, he couldn't help but notice the pretty handwriting. He noticed the salutation. However he was past this stage. The phrases that had once brought a smile to his face, the phrases that were almost guaranteed to evoke a response from him no longer mattered.

He read each page slowly, maybe, just maybe, trying to see something that he hadn't seen earlier. As he finished each page he struck a match and watched as the hungry flame devoured the paper. He repeated the same ritual over and over again till there was nothing left. As he was nearingt he end of the letter his eyes wandered to the signing off. He smiled a rueful smile. And with the smile still on his face, he fed that worthless piece of paper to the waiting flame.

That was it. It was the end.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Being Indian: A matter of Pride or Disgust?

In Memoriam

Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan
Havildar Gajendra Singh

Mumbai Police
Jt. Commissioner (ATS) Hemant Karkare
Ad. Commissioner Ashoke Kamte
Inspector Vijay Salaskar
Sub-Inspector Bapusaheb Durgude
Sub-Inspector Prakash More
ASI Balasaheb Bhonsle
ASI tukaram Gopal Omble
Constable Ambadas Pawar
Constable Arun Chitte
Constable Jayawant Patil
Constable Vijay Khandekar
Constable Yogesh Patil

Other Security Personnel
Inspector Shashank Shinde
Head Constable M.C. Chowdhary
Home Guard Constable Mukesh Jadhav
Constable Rahul Shinde

Are you proud to be an Indian,
posed with this question almost each and everyone of us is going to answer in the affirmative. After all don't we possess a rich cultural heritage, hail from a land that gave the world zero and the decimal point, are an emerging superpower with some of the best brains in the world? Indeed what all I said till now is true. But now I would urge you to stop for a moment and reflect. Reflect upon the fact that we hail from a country that has had it's Parliament attacked, doesn't care a bit about meritocracy, whose politicians are hell bent on deepening and indeed creating communal divides just so that they can retain their power, and to top it all, we hail from a country that was besieged by a handful of terrorists for 60 hours on 26/11. Feel disgusted yet? At least I do.

And this is not all. What disgusts me most is that we have come to such a situation that the politicians and the bureucracy of the country no longer care for the life of the citizens of this country. For them one more terrorist attack, more civilian casualties are just mere statistics. All goes as long as they can retain their vote banks.

Our internal security apparatus is a mess. And if we hadn't realized this till now, 26/11 proved it beyond any doubt. Critical intelligence had been ignored in the midst of the inter-agency squabbles. The RAW and the IB blamed the agencies such as the Coast Guard and the Navy for ignoring the intelligence provided while the latter said that intelligence was not actionable. Not actionable? Yeah right. As has been credibly proven, specific intelligence of an imminent attack on the 5 star hotels of the city via the sea route had been passed to the agencies. Intelligence becomes actionable by the ingenuity and the innovative attitude with which it is analyzed. We can't expect the terrorists to send us an invitation letter and requesting us to RSVP to the attack.
Moreover we have been guilty of pushing intelligence reports through just as if they were routine files, not beothering to follow up whether the intelligence has been processed and acted upon or not.

If anything, 26/11 also exposed our utter lack of preparedness to deal with an attack on our nation. With so many agencies around, there was bound to be confusion and it turned into chaos for nobody knew who was in charge! What we needed a cetral authority figure to coordinate our efforts against the terrorists but none was to be found. Our disaster management strategies showed up for what they were: crap.

Our Prime Minister, Dr. Singh, had stated just before 26/11 that we can not afford to be hit again. But we were. What we need now is to wake up from the slumber and realize the mess that we are in. We can't get into any more trouble because we already are in a big one! We need a well equipped and trained police force under the leadership of independent and visionary officers who realize and understand the gravity of the problem that confronts us. And we need to usher in meritocracy. At once! For as an individual who cherishes his life, I want to be sure that it's the best who's working to ensure my safety. I cretainly don't want any dimwit analyzing crucial intelligence just because he happened to be born in a certain family, with a certain lineage. If the powers that be are so concerned about social equlity and undoings the wrongs of the past, let them take a personal initiative. Let their security teams be manned and indeed led by those who ahve been wronged, let their attending doctors be the ones whose forefathers had been oppressed.

India has tremendous potential and the ability to be a world leader. But it remains just that: potential. To harness the potential we need to make certain choices. And it would be these choices that would determine our fate. For didn't Dumbledore, that old wise fellow, said, It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. We can choose to reform our system now, or wait till we are hit again and again, till we collapse. The choice, as I said, is ours. And ours only.