Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kya keh ke gaya tha, shaayar woh sayaana

It's a shame that history is taught the way it is, in school. It is much like a conscious attempt to strip us of any little interest we might be harbouring towards it. Back then, it was a chore; it was about memorizing names with silly roman numbers after them and god-knows-how-many battles and the years they were fought. The sole aim - to remember long enough to pass the exams. No one cared thereafter. But history can be made so much more interesting, something that I have discovered outside the social studies text book.

If it were not for the knowledge of what transpired in yesteryears, how could we ever hope to answer the 'why' of things happening today.

Anyways, the Middle-East is on boil again. If you are done following the traditional media coverage, here is where you should head to, if you, as Lustig says "want to know what bloggers in Gaza and Israel are saying about current Israeli military operations there, rather than just reading what people thousands of miles away think about them".


Kya keh ke gaya tha, shaayar woh sayaana,
Aag ka dariya, doob ke jaana.
Tu sabar tho kar mere yaar,
Zara saans tho le dildaar.
Chal phikr nu goli maar yaar,
Hai din zindadi de char.

Lyrics – Jaideep Sahani
Music – Salim Sulaiman
Movie – Rab ne bana di jodi
New year resolutions and all that is done to death. Lets talk predictability. Do you know how the new year is gonna be for you? How much of it is going to be as planned and laid out? Or are you in for a wild ride?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Did you know why Romania will survive the end of the world?

Robin Lustig makes his case for how journos are not very good at dealing with stories that move slowly, here. Stories of steady disintegration - bit by bit.

It's true ain't it? The big spectacles make headlines and grab eyeballs. We rattle of the names and numbers real fast... WTC, London, Madrid, Bali, Mumbai. Lustig talks about Congo, Darfur and Zimbabwe. We needn't go that far. Closer home, have we really took notice of just how many have been killed in Maoist attacks in the past decade or so? Or the ever-volatile North-East?

Not really pointing finger at the media or the administration, but rather wondering if we, humans, are wired that way?


Meanwhile, much is being made out of the so-called united face the parliament put up yesterday. I am not in a hurry to paint rosy pictures of optimism yet and prefer to ask, did they really have a choice and did it take any effort? Once the L-e-T links were established, it was quite easy to call the attacks, a war on India. And talk in glorifying terms about standing united against the outsider. After all when the country is at war, as Mr Advani would like us to believe, it is the obvious and expected stand for you to take.

Enemy, however, does not always come from across the seas. What about the case when you are up against an insider? Mr. Advani, when you will not have the refuge of nationality, would you still refrain from identity politics? When you will not have the convenience of branding them as outsiders, will you still say that terrorism knows no religion?

Having said that, I admit it was relieving to see some civility return to the parliament sessions. To see young MPs talk passionately about reforming the security infrastructure and de-politicizing the police force, is mildly comforting. But the political process has made such cynics out of us, that words don't really mean much.

Not really pink with optimism, but still willing to hold on to hope.


Like I said. If you are in IT now, you are looking at potential bachelorhood for quite some time to come.


People engage, stay connected and comment upon the political process in their countries in varied styles. The drawing room discussions, college debates, the dejected shaking of head seeing the news everyday, media, taking out rallies and sometimes even voilence.

How would a populace denied basic rights under a totalitarian regime cope with it's grim situation?

Here is a nice piece on humor in Communist Romania.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

tumhein bhi kabhie yeh sataatein hain?!!

Curtains raise... the tamaasha begins.
With the general elections due, the recent assembly polls in 5 states (Delhi, MP, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and Mizoram) were widely being held as some kind of semi-final.
The results have left everyone scratching their heads and scrambling for theories.

-The terror card works? No.
The general elections might shower more light on this, though.
-In-fighting, an exclusive Congress bastion? No.
Raje's loss in Rajastan has widely been attributed to this.
-Anti-incumbency, a factor? No.
Dixit just won her 3rd term. Phew.
-Indian voter comes of age, as some journos want us to believe?
Er, I doubt it sire.
-The mild mannered politicos won over the flamboyant ones?
Alright Dixit won and so did Gehlot. But Modi is still ruling and so is Mayawati.
-Predictions for big polls due next year?
Congress is not going to do as badly as BJP wants it to.
-Is a coalition still the most probable outcome?

Reminds me of the first general election I followed. Back in the days when 24X7 news channels were unheard of. Back when Pranoy Roy's NDTV used to make news for StarPlus.
I remember staring wide-eyed at all those graphics that Roy threw up and uttered his favorite word - landslide. I still like the sound of the word from his mouth.

Before the news channels/shows segregated on linguistic lines, there was a news-show that delivered the goods in an appealing mix of English and Hindi. It looked like common sense. Most of us talk that way after all, substituting words from other languages. ZEE tv was it?
A route which I considered to be safe enough even after 9 in the evening, turned out otherwise, at 1300 hours. Yesterday. What is one supposed to do? Let out a prayer each day on reaching home, for miraculously still being safe?
Tumhein bhi kabhie yeh sataatein hain,
Muskurake dil ko churaatein hain,
Jeene ko tho dil yeh chaahta hain,
Jaane phir kyun sharmaata hain

Lyrics - Tanvir Shah, Arshii
Singer - Lucky Ali
Album - Aks

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I have a friend who was to take a train that day in CST. A friend's friend who saw people drop dead infront of him. 2 out of 9 blogs linked here, have first person accounts of how they 'missed' it by a whisker.

Have been trying to avoid writing about the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Have however decided that its best to get it out and out of the way. Most households in India with a cable connection have spent a good 60 hours in the past few days, watching that horror unfold, LIVE.

Some talk of enough is enough. Some have written passionately about it. Some are taking candle-lit marches. Others are filing PILs.

I, for one, have no words to say. Not even those which come loaded with angst, anger and exhaustion.