Sunday, November 30, 2008


Mumbai - 26th November 2008 – 28th November 2008 – 3 days that terror ruled the city, held it at gun-point, ruined and destroyed families & the peace of mind of every Mumbaikar. Terrorism was the only thing on TV, in the newspapers, in discussions – everywhere. It was the only ting I read, I saw, I spoke about. I will never forgive these 3 days. And neither will you.

In New York on September 11, 2001, when twisted, horrific minds flew passenger jets into the Twin Towers. As a believer in the free world, I can never forget that day either. Or forgive those who wrought upon such terror on the rest of us.

I cannot but notice that the United States of America, which then declared its biggest offensive since Pearl Harbour and which action brought it tonnes and tonnes of international criticism -- not to mention unveiled threats of attack from Osama bin Laden, abduction of US nationals and their murder -- has not faced any terrorist attack since 9/11.

Whereas we in India have come to accept terrorist attacks on our soil as just another karmic fact of life -- no doubt with the same stoic acceptance that we took in invader after invader over centuries. Since 1993 Mumbai alone has faced at least 12 more terrorist strikes – over 5 in 2008 alone – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, and now my home - Mumbai

So what has the United States done that India did not?
For one, Uncle Sam displayed the majesty of the American State.
On the evening of September 11, 2001, as I sat glued to the television, US President George Bush addressed his nation in a measured and calm manner. Through the solace he offered his shell-shocked countrymen, he said: 'We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbour them.'
With these words America went to war.

I had waited all these years for the majesty of the Indian State to similarly display itself. I waited for it this time as well, and finally I saw the display.

The PM addressed the nation like he was talking about some financial policy – dry, unemotional & cold – the last thing that scared, panicked Mumbaikars were looking for. We wanted assurance, confidence that things will be taken care of. We did not get any.
He, along with Advani, Sonia, Modi etc come down to Mumbai for their unnecessary, customary visits to the hospitals & the terror sites. WHY ??? what difference did their presence make, other than engaging the security personnel in their security, rather than at the terror hit sites

This was the majesty of the Indian State on display. I could have wept.

When somebody directs terror at you, nation-States are expected to hit back with maximum force, carry the fight into the enemy camp. It is not enough to possess unrelenting, unremitting muscle power -- it also becomes necessary, once in a while, to display that power. And not merely through caparisoned missiles parading down Janpath once a year, but by responding forcefully to challenges to the State's very existence.

All your nuclear weapons, your missiles, your tanks, come to nought when you don't have the steel in your soul to defend yourself and your subjects -- at any cost.

Has the Indian State done this? Ever?

The first serial blasts in Mumbai happened 13 years ago. Enough water has flowed into the Arabian Sea since then for the guilty to have spent part of their sentence in jail. But 13 years later even a fly has not been sentenced for the worst-ever terrorist attack in India. If you were a terrorist oiling your Kalashnikov and checking your grenades somewhere in the western sector, what exactly will you think of India?

What he does think is evident from the fact that in the last 13 years, Mumbai has faced six more terror attacks -- an average of one every two years. This, not counting the almost daily terrorist strikes in Jammu & Kashmir.

India believes, too, that the prime accused in the Mumbai blasts, Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, is a guest of the Pakistani establishment. Not only him, official lists of others accused of waging a war against India and hiding in Pakistan have periodically been handed over to that country. Ordinarily, you would think, if Pakistan is harbouring India's enemies, providing succour and sustenance to them, it needs to be treated as an inimical nation.
Yet, India has been engaged in a peace process with the very neighbour it knows is out to dismember it through any and every means available to it.

Is it any surprise that terrorists continue to attack India with impunity?

Contrast this with the way America has gone about its business since September 11, 2001, and you will see why that nation has not faced any attack in the last five years. Osama may fume and fret from his mountain hole, but there's little more than that he and his terrorist hordes have been able to achieve against the only remaining superpower.

That is because America understands that war can only be won through war, it cannot be won through peace, a belief India has been labouring under for so long. When the very articles of your liberty become your enemy's hand tools to destroy you, it is time to revise notions of liberty and freedom.

Civil liberties are for those who believe in civility and practice liberty, not inhuman monsters who think nothing of inflicting untold horror on innocents.

The tragedy with India is that successive governments have ignored one fact of life --India has been at war for many decades now. This is not an enemy who will come at you over the Khyber Pass; this is an invisible enemy who uses your own resources, your own freedoms, your own laxities, to hit at you. If you don't stop him first, he will stop you.
Till we turn around, realise that those who fight India in the name of religion do not represent the millions who practice that faith, and fighting the terrorists is not fighting the practitioners, we are condemned to suffer terrorist attacks - again & again ...


The government can't stop talking about the "spirit" & “resilience” of Mumbai. 98% attendance was reported in offices & workplaces (other than south Mumbai) 2 day after the attacks. This is not the "spirit" of Mumbai - it is the cruelty of the city that makes people go against conventional logic. The city waits for no one and for all "hand to mouth" people, there is no option but to work. The government can't jus go on praising the so called bravado of Mumbaikars and hide behind this facade. What Mumbai needs is not spirit from Mumbaikars, but SECURITY from the people we have elected.
Otherwise, the only thing left in Mumbai will be "spirit(s)".

Each time we are assured that a federal agency to tackle terror will be established. Then the ministers & their colleagues return to their business of doing nothing or doing more harm than good. Nothing has changed. Innocent blood continues to be shed. Terrorism, has, sadly, become a way of life in India.


I believe that we deserve the politicians we have elected. Elections are coming up. We should show our discontent. There is a FORM 49 (O) that one can fill in case he/she does not find any candidate deserving enough – in case these 49(O) vtes outnumber the votes of any candidates – those candidates will be disqualified. Let’s do this.

I believe that not everyone in the government is corrupt. This gives them a chance to flush out & cleanse the system. Get the bad guys out. Put in the tough guys. Mere resignations won’t do. We need to see some positive action & anger from our ‘leaders’. Look at the disrespect shown to all politicians by the media houses. If they have any ‘sharam’, they’ll get their act together.

We need to ask certain questions to the politicians – is this enough to stir you from your sleep ? Are you going to go back to playing politics with our lives ? How many more deaths will it take for you to realize that too many people have died ?


Yes, I will go light a candle in support of the dead … Yes, I ll buy shares of Indian Hotels in support of The TAJ. But, uska kya faayda .. yes, it’s a show of solidarity – but that’s exactly what it is – A SHOW.

It’s time to think & start a citizen’s movement. Yes, our security is the government’s job. I do my job, get my salary & pay my taxes. The government gets its “salary” from my taxes. And, does it do its job ? I think the 200+ dead in the last 3 days will answer that question.

We have the knowledge, but no INTELLIGENCE. The Govt. should get its act together. The masterminds behind these attackes should be caught & given a fitting end, even if it means an end to peace processes with our neighbours. All of them should be killed in public & the act should be covered by the media. It's high time India made a statement. It's high time India made a headline other than "terrorist attacks".

We can't take this anymore. and we shouldn't.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Bucket List

Dasvidaniya released this weekend. As most of you would now know, it’s about this 37 year old guy who gets to know that he has just 3 months to live before he succumbs to stomach cancer. Then, he realizes that he has never ‘lived’. He makes a list to 10 things he must do before he dies. It includes stuff like – standing up to his boss, telling his childhood sweetheart about his feelings (a scene straight out of Love, Actually), owning a car, going on a trip abroad, mending family feuds etc.

This got me thinking. I should have a list of my own. Below is the 1st draft of my list. It’s rather long . . but I’m thinking I have more than 3 months to live (Amen !)

Things I want to do in my life:

1. own an expensive automobile (not a BMW – we’ve decided, right va ???)
2. learn to drive the expensive automobile (or hire a chauffer, in case I start driving it like I do in the PS2 video games)
3. own a small yacht
4. learn to navigate in the yacht (or hire a captain, in case I get frustrated and decide to sink it)
5. own a private plane
6. definitely hire someone to operate it
7. OPTIONAL: file insurance claim for smashed car, sunken yacht and crashed plane
8. IMPORTANT: sue chauffer, captain, and pilot, in case of step 7.

9. own a ring of pure gold
10. IMPORTANT: try not to drop it in molten lava while calling it “My precious”, especially when wearing it.

11. own a medium size bungalow
12. own a large screen TV(at least 79 inch)
13. own a kick ass stereo system(at least a 7.1 surround sound system)
14. IMPORTANT: own a remote control that only responds to my touch
15. hire someone to teach me to operate these electronic devices
16. OPTIONAL: get a job to pay for all this

17. own a cat, a dog, a horse, an iguana, (a lion, a tiger, an alligator, a snake, etc)
18. make a zoo to house all the animals
19. IMPORTANT: never call it never-land, especially if inviting any kids

20. build a pool in the backyard
21. IMPORTANT: learn to swim on my own
21 a. IMPORTANT: Make sure it’s your own backyard.
22. OPTIONAL: make pool only 4 ft deep in case step 21 fails

23. learn to hold a conversation
24. PRECONDITION: learn to start a conversation
25. ask a girl out for a date, before she starts to run away
26. learn to do the 100 meter dash in less than 5 seconds (in case the girl decides to throw something at me, or to keep up with the girl when she is running away)
27. IMPORTANT: after step 26 is successfully executed set a new world record at the Olympics for the 100 meter dash

28. IMPORTANT: learn the meaning of life and realize that there is no spoon
29. buy a cutlery set

30. learn to cook
31. learn to eat what I cook
32. IMPORTANT: force others to eat what I cook, in case I can’t manage to eat it
33. OPTIONAL: open a restaurant if step 32 is successful
34. PRECONDITION: disable all fire alarms in the near vicinity

35. learn to curse in different languages
36. OPTIONAL: hire bodyguards
37. IMPORTANT: learn to dodge all manner of objects when making an exit.

38. learn to hold a tune
39. write a song
40. set the song to music
41. IMPORTANT: get a famous singer to actually sing the song
42. OPTIONAL: when using my own vocals for the album, set aside bricks thrown at the concerts to expand house...

43. make a lot of friends
44. OPTIONAL: owe them a lot of money in case step 16 fails
45. IMPORTANT: do not show gold ring, expensive car, and yacht, and private jet in case step 44 is successful

46. build a contraption that will change the course of history
47. OPTIONAL: call it a time machine

48. build an empire
49. IMPORTANT: make people an offer they cant refuse
50. AND LASTLY: resist the urge to behead horse from step 17

So, there… it’s done. Obviously, it’s still incomplete… would love suggestions from you guys.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Lost in Numbers

I am taking my CAT exam this year (yes, again) and am just tired & frustrated of all the complicated, twisted Math problems.
Not only are some of the questions quite senseless but also hilarious. Don’t take my word for it; take a look at some of the questions that I remember.

(Also supplied are some of the answers that I actually would give if it wasn’t a multiple choice thing)

Question 1: A tap fills a bucket at the rate of 2 milliliters per minute. The bucket has a hole at the bottom, which empties the bucket at the rate of 1.8 milliliters per minutes. If the tap is left running, what portion of the bucket is full after 4 hours?

Answer 1: Apply sealant to the hole in the bucket to stop the water from draining and in 15 minutes the bucket will be overflowing, forget four hours.

Question 2: A passenger train leaves point ‘A’ at 10:00 am at the speed of 4kmph. A goods train leaves point ‘B’ at 11:00 am at the speed of 6kmph in the opposite direction. Points A and B are ‘X’ kilometers apart. A bird flies from the passenger train to the goods train and back. Where will the bird be when the two trains meet?

Answer 2: hopefully as far as possible from the meeting point of the trains, because there will be a big mess when the trains do eventually meet.
A slight variation of the above question…

Question 3: A passenger train leaves point ‘A’ at 10:00 am at the speed of 4kmph. A goods train leaves point ‘B’ at 11:00 am at the speed of 6kmph in the same direction. Points A and B are ‘X’ kilometers apart. At what distance from ‘A’ will the goods train overtake the passenger train?

Answer 3-1: The goods train never manages to overtake the passenger train as there is a heard of cows on its track.
Answer 3-2: The goods train is behind the passenger train and on the same track; hence the goods train will never overtake the passenger train.
Another variation of the above question…

Question 4: A tortoise starts moving towards point ‘A’ at 1kmph, at the same time a hare starts to move towards the same point at 2kmph. The hare is 10 km behind the tortoise at the start. At what distance will the hare overtake the tortoise?

Answer 4: According to the story of the hare and the tortoise, the hare falls asleep till the tortoise reaches the end. This leads me to conclude that the hare never overtakes the tortoise, which makes the question invalid. (A rocket scientist he isn’t)

Okay so I am not that good at solving these questions in their right spirit, but that does not stop the exam papers from carrying such questions and neither does it stop me from asking some questions of my own.

For question 1: Okay so some genius realized that the bucket has a hole, and all he/she did was try to fill it up even though it would eventually empty out. Why would someone in their right mind try to fill a broken bucket?Secondly at a time when we get water for only two hours in the morning and three in the evening how are we supposed to keep the tap running for 4 hours, that too continuously?

For question 2: Why would the bird fly from one train to the other and back, does it not have any other work?

For question 2&3: Why would some one put two trains on the same track, going in opposite directions or in the same direction, so that they will actually meet at some point?

I am not even going to the last question…I guess maths will always be maths, but common sense will always be uncommon.

Anyways, I ll get back to my papers . .

“while recording the scores of the students in the mark’s register, the professor made a mistake – he exchanged the tens & units digit of the scores of the 2 students and wrote for two students marks which were 25 lower than their actual marks. If the average score of the class after these errors was 67, what was the actual avergae score of the class?”

What the f…. ! Do I care ????? Fire the professor, for God’s sake !!

Rate this Post