Friday, December 12, 2008

What next?

Two weeks have passed since that terrible week which saw the whole of India gripped in the face of terror. The amount of column inches devoted to news about that is already shrinking. Other topics will soon occupy our minds. Will Sachin score another century? Would the next SRK blockbuster be a hit or a flop? Is the sensex showing signs of recovery? Then Christmas, then New Year Party and we will be all back with our lives.
Or will we? Didn't we say that enough is enough? Some of us went and lit candles. Some of us wrote blogs. Others held peace marches. Is there anything further we can do?
Here's what you can do. Join the Rebuild India mission. Go on, give some of your time. We have spent a lifetime being skeptics in India and hid behind that oft-repeated statement over the fourth peg of whisky - "nothing will ever change in our country"....
Its time to change some things. And change will have to begin with oneself.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Headphones, anyone?

Here is another amazing signboard in Pune.

Often there are one or two mistakes in the brand names, but this guy obviously has no regard for accuracy. ALL brand names but one are wrongly spelt. Or juuuust in case, I wonder now, if this is actually a marketing ploy? Although going by the location of this board in Pune, that would be a rather far-fetched expectation.
As of now, I am surely deferring my plans of buying headphones..... I presume these will come with a statutory warning. Listening to music can cause serious injuries to the ear!

Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, stop behaving like an ostrich - PLEASE

Rajdeep Sardesai writes in today's DNA, and I quote -
"The situation was changing by the hour, and if you look at the overall picture, our television channels did an excellent job..... There may have been attempts at sensationalising stories, but such instances of not-so-good journalism happen everywhere.....We didn't indulge in irresponsible reporting..... I wouldn't buy the logic that TV coverage compromised security and the rescue operations....."
Exactly under this very piece of nonsensical writing, there is the story by a foolhardy and stupid reporter, who claims to have been very brave and courageous. Ms. Preety Acharya, who I am sure is wanting to become a clone of Barkha Dutt overnight. She says - "By the time I reached the Taj the cops were not allowing the media to go near. But this was an opportunity of a lifetime.....I circled back and tried to enter through the South entrance. Along the way I met Lorenzo - I convinced him to take some photographs for my story - and a youngster who decided to accompany us for a lark".
What???? Come again? You took a youngster with you who wanted to be 'on a lark'?? You didn't even have an iota of common sense to tell him to go back and get home? But wait, there's more, as she then continues -
"...we could see the cops getting ready to enter the hotel. It was like a movie with the cops standing at their marked positions, guns in hand."
Movie? MOVIE??? Preety Acharya, are you out of your mind?
But let me quote further - "We scooted past as they tried to stop us and reached the lobby entrance to observe..... a grenade in the lobby which caused considerable damage. The hotel shook and I saw that a piece of glass had pierced my thigh. I started crying, realizing for the first time the danger that I was in."
First time? FIRST TIME? How many times do you see police surrounding the Taj hotel stopping people from going inside? You thought it was a picnic (sorry, you said movie, I forgot) till the shattered glass left you wounded? You are today alive because of the very policemen and other security forces who tried to stop you.
Stupid sense of bravery, nothing else. So our Ms. Brave Acharya actually added to the total number of people who were held hostages. Does she know that she was making the job of policemen even more difficult?
And you, Rajdeep, are saying that the TV media showed restraint. They in fact went OVERBOARD.
What was the need of screaming "THERE IS MAJ GEN XYZ (guess why I am not taking the name? Although half the world knows it by now?) GENERAL OFFICER COMMANDING, MAHARASHTRA AND GOA AREA. THERE HE IS, TO THE RIGHT OF THE SCREEN WITH HIS HANDS FOLDED BEHIND HIS BACK. HE IS THE MAN WHO HAS BEEN RUNNING FORM TAJ TO OBEROI AND BACK FOR THE PAST SEVERAL HOURS, MASTERMINDING THE OPERATIONS. THAT IS MAJ GEN XYZ." Did the media not realize that in such situations, the masterminds' names should rather not be broadcast? Such coverage can lead to them (and their families) being targeted later on. Rajdeep (and Arnab Goswami too, of Times Now) - did you so easily forget the fate of one of our country's most decorated soldiers, Gen Arun Kumar Vaidya?
One channel was insensitive enough (I feel like throwing up even now) to broadcast a telephone interview with Santanu Saikia (Sabina Sehgal Saikia's husband). Going by his anguished voice, anyone could have imagined his state of mind. But that would be too much to expect from our great TV channels, isn't it?
"So Santanu, what time did you last speak to her? What did she say to you?"
What right do you have? WHAT THE @!%^#$X right do you have to ask a person such an insensitive question? That telephone call could well have been the last one between the husband and wife. And you want to know what she said to him???
Sick. Truly, undeniably sick.
And on top of that, Rajdeep has the gumption to say that TV media were responsible this time around. Please apologize to every dead person's family, Rajdeep. You owe it to them. If you want to read a piece of responsible balanced journalism, read Bachi Karkaria's column today.Maybe you need to go back to the basics. The basic of maintaining human dignity. Which every victim of the terror attack deserves.
I am glad only about one thing. I don't have a TV at my home. And I don't think I want one now.