Monday, May 23, 2011

Heat and Dust: A Taste of the Delhi Summer

We were in Delhi for a week and I experienced after a long time ( 3years) the sensation of a scalding back!! It was 40 degrees on all the days that we had to gallivant around town in the afternoons and it felt as if the sun had set my back on fire, beating down upon me reentlessly. This was a familiar feeling for I had spent 5years being so scalded during the college days! I cannot imagine how e managed to get by! I remember my friend Rachna and I had gone to Sasrojini Nagar in the dead of the afternoon to shop for our friends! That's the only time we were free after the classes at college! I used to carry an umbrella but the heat never bothered us noir crampoed or style! The Brat was very happy to be in Delhi, she could wear her short skirts and sleeveless tops and have ice cream every day. In Bangalore she starts off with the short skirt but has to switch to leggings and long sleeves as soon as it rains nearly every evening!! The Brat and I managed to go to our neighbourhood park on 3 of the 5 days and I took her to Sarojini in the afternoon too because the mornings and evenings were packed with work for me! I also had to travel by the metro to Gurgaon on three days and I have decided that the metro is a boon for Delhi. The roads have declogged and the journey time have shortened by half and it is such a picturesque ride when the train shoots up from the underground tunnel onto the raised piers. I am hoping for a similar miracle in Bangalore! One day we tok an auto ride from Gurgaon to our house, in the afternoon! Baba and I braved the heat and were nearly disintegrated in the process but it was an experience!! Previously autos were not allowed to cross the border at Gurgaon but now there is a free flow of autos to and from there. In the middle of the journey the driver got off and drank to glasses of water from those vans selling 'refrigerated' water. I remember during my college days we used to drink water from these mobile tanks. I particularly liked the salty nimbu paani with the ice cold water. I could not imagine myself drinking that now...Delhi, I have moved on, and you have changed too, but it is reassuring to see that some things have not changed....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Obama, Osama and Idoelogical Turmoil!!

Well, US managed to scalp their public enemy no.1 in a night time secret operation. But whom did they get? An ailing man in a hiding hole, a man who was a martyr without a country, a man whom a generation of youth of his community thought to be their raied finger towards the high handed West. Symbolically, the West has won this round, but many questions remain...Why now? When they knew for at least a year that he was holed up here while they were doling out money to the Pakistani government for their military needs? Why an order to 'kill' not to capture and ask questions, provide a trial like for Saddam? Why take Pakistan by surprise? Were they scared that Osama can reveal something abut them to the world? And most sickening, why throw his body into the sea?? Yuk! Why the hurry to get rid of any living proof of the man?? Given a chance I would like to shake the man till his teeth rattle and demand to know what he was thinking he was doing! His brain should be examined to see what could lead people to spew hatred and kill people. Osama, my friends, is still alive! In the hearts and minds of a whole generation of youth. One of the pro-Osama boys in Britain declares that 'many mothers would like to bear Osamas', hello? Why? How? Bear a child who preaches hatred, spends his life plotting an unattainable revenge, is hunted down finally meeting a gory death and being thrown into the sea? There are many ways of protesting than killing innocents and spewing venom!No ideology is great enough to warrent the death of innocents who were just carrying on with their lives in peace.
Islam brought peace and prosperity in Arab life, Islamic culture has a richness and grace, Islamic law was far advanced than any other law at one time, Islam supports learning, and Islam stands for equality between men and between man and woman. But what has Islam come to?? It has come to represent all things regressive and a religion which preaches violence. They can thank Osama's creed for that. Often the greatest form of protest is to just hold on to your beliefs and practice them in your life. If more poeple practice what is good in Islamic culture there is bound to be a regeneration and America, with all its high handedness cannot stop its flow.
Obama's swoop has also thrown the powers that be in both Pakistan and India into a tizzy, clearly the US is calling the shots here! At first it was said that Pakistan was not informed, I guess the US has free use of the Pakistani air space for helicopters were used in the operation, is it possible o deploy US helicopters over a military academy in Pakistan without anybody knowing of it?? Then it was said that Pakistan helped the US. The first statement had the Indians crying fowl, like a small tattle tale, "Pakistan is hiding terrorists", they screamed! Now everyone knows!!What do the indian authorities expect? The Pakistani government will throw up its arms and accept that they are breeding terrorists?? Where will their credibility lie with their own poeple, let alone the world! Then came Zardari's claim that they did not know Osama was in their midst! The only thing that this fellow did right for himself was marry Benazir!! The wiser thing would be to claim that they knew about it and was waiting to strike, I guess... Then it was the trun of our very own Chidambaram who started ranting against Pakistan!! Going on about how Osama was found 80km from Isamabad and 800m from Military academy!A new channel declared that the US -Pakistan alliance is in tatters! What should be clear to all these statesmen and political advisers is that the US will do only that and only that much which is required to fulfil their own political goals, and it is clear that Pakistan is America's buffer against India and it will go on supporting Pakistan monetarily, no matter what! Also if they can zero in on a building in the heart of Pakistan, they will also know what other activities are carried on the Indian govt need not scream from roof tops about Pakistani activities to let the world know about them. Our govt needs to accept the situation and strategise. In this way it is creating Bad blood with the Pakistani authorities and nothing else.
All these contradictory, confusing and convoluted statements can drive the ordinary people up the wall! I for one have a splitting headache and a bad taste in my mouth. I envy the people who are partying on the American streets, celebrating their little tit for tat moment, I wish it was as simple as that....but this I know, those who preach violence meet a violent end...I hope Osama has learnt this lesson in his death!