Mumbai.. 27-Nov-2008 (2)

I know this impotent rage. I understand it well

I want a gun. I want to drag each of those shit-eating-terrorists out on the road, and pull the trigger on them in broad public daylight. And then go drag the next one out. and then kick their bodies around. And I want to sit with the families of those who lost someone. And tell them that even though its never going to be alright, we need to live on. And cry with them.

And then there is that cringing feeling of impotence. Of sitting in a room inside a 9th floor apartment, reading-watching-calling-texting……….. I feel like screaming right now… For my life, i cannot calm down..

Mumbai… 27-Nov-2008

It has been a long night, with lots of checking on whether friends, relatives, colleagues, are safe. And checking the news over and over again for that incremental piece of information. Lots of emotions as the night crawled by. 87 people dead (so far – and how many families die as a result of that?) and several hundreds injured, some fatally so. 11 cops go down in the encounter. Its 9AM now. The traffic is sparse. Mumbai is not yet back on the roads. I am going to be working from home. The chief of ATS is dead (aren’t the india police chiefs always standing behind a few others who take the bullets on their behalf). Guests at Taj and Oberoi (many tourists and high flying corporates) would have experienced fear like never before. I just hope they dont  have to face it ever again. The violence has 2 associated words this time – indiscriminate and terrorism. I think I understand the second one. Its been there in our lives for a while now. We suck at eliminating the fear from our lives. We are humanitarians. We can’t kill people. We can watch people getting killed. Indiscriminate – terrorism is always indiscriminate, isnt it? When you plant a bomb, are you sure only hindus or only muslims will get killed? no children will be killed?  what does someone mean by discriminating terrorism?

latest – 3 terrorists shot. 5 tourists hostage (brazilians).

When I wake up tomorrow, will I feel safe? I had plans of being in South Bombay later this week. Will I feel safe? When I park my car, will I look around at all the other cars and people with suspicion? When I walk into the lobby of an elite upmarket restaurant, will I look around for guns, AK47s, grenades and magazines? If there are no more terrorist attacks in the next 15 days, will I still keep looking for guns? Or, will I forget everything and move on? Will someone be talking about how Mumbai bounced back within a week? Will people forget the 87 who died? Will we all forget that we haven’t bounced back…. that we have just moved on.. like ungrateful bastards… because we did not have a choice? because we never asked for a choice? because we don’t even know what our choices are?

Isn’t she beautiful?


That’s chote papa’s angel.. my niece..


Aren’t these beautiful moments? 🙂


I dont quite understand a few things

There are a lot of things that I dont quite understand – 

1. Indians and their “excitement” for Obama becoming the president. A lot of pravasi bhartiya peepul in India volunteered, campaigned, called friends for support, and celebrated for Obama. I can understand that he was the better of the two, and its a change that’s big for America. But what was different for the desis this time?
2. An army-man selling his soul and getting so many people killed.
3. A joker of a politician able to incite commoners into getting a debate about north vs. south divide
4. A joker of a government not able to stem the violence that ensues because of this
5. A young man getting killed as he decides to take the law in his own hands, and the law decides to act inhuman
6. Six couples I know divorced within the first year of their marriage. Reasons – compatability issues or ability to get along with spouse’s parents. Some of these were love marriages. 
7. The road in front of my apartment (in Mumbai) has been broken for the last 2 years in Mumbai. The road that leads to my village is being built for the last 2 years.
8. Lalu took over Bihar once, and the state went into complete darkness. He took over railways. It turned around and started making profits.
9. Is there truth in this statement – is  Bihar to India what India has traditionally been to the world – a land of snake charmers?
10. How many Marathi manoos are in US? or Gujarat? or dubai? How many gujjus are in mumbai? how many punjabis are in toronto? south-hall? how many tamils-telugus in the bay area? How many Biharis are in Delhi? Mumbai? Is Raj Thackeray starting a global confinement revolution where people stick where they are from? And there are people who dont find his idea ridiculous?
11. The richest city in India – Mumbai, with citizens with the best civic sense has the worst metropolitan infrastructure (I dont need to be reminded about the overloaded locals). And Delhi – with the worst civic sense, has the best? Even the most erudite and educated south indians are not able to match the will of the politically corrupt stablehouse of India?
12. Kolkata apparently had more than 100 days of bandhs in the last year. Did anyone calculate the loss? What was the government doing? Or is it a way of having as many working days in an year as one should have leaves?
13. Dynamic airline pricing in the indian context? Except for a few occasions (like Diwali), can’t you almost predict the prices to the last rupee? Is it really dynamic?
14. Deccan being rebranded as KF Red?
15. Delhi Gurgaon Highway Toll Plaza not ready to impose additional toll on cars that use the Tag/card lane without having Tag/card and clogging the traffic for TAg buyers?
16. The rise, fall, rise, etc of Indian cricket, and the demands on senior player’s performance. Is the debate always about merit? or is it often about our expectations from them?

and many such things. But then, its fine I guess! 

Music Review: Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi


RabNeBanaDiJodi (*ing Shahrukh Amol Palekar Khan)


This is the latest trend music – glossy YR Films or a lookalike movie (OSO, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Race, Dostana etc.) with about 6-7 songs – one romantic number, one sad song sung by (usually) Shreya Ghoshal or Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, a peppy number by (usually) Sunidhi Chauhan where some dude named Blaze uses words that I dont understand the meaning of,and lastly, if its not getting covered in the above categories, a song by Sukhwinder Singh/ Atif Aslam. One song per singer in the movie is the new paradigm. Remix of 1-2 sings in the main album itself is another (they are just not letting some the remixing DJs survive, I tell you!)


Look back at some of the musical hits that fall in the glossy category this year, and you will know what I mean.

Anyway, how does Rab ne bana di jodi fit on the trend line –

1. Romantic Song – Haule Haule belongs to the combo of Sukhwindar and romantic category. Or, you can add, TUjh mein rab dikhta hai
2. Sad – The shreya ghoshal version of Tujhme rab dikhta hai
3. Fun – Dance pe chance by Sunidhi 
4. Remix – Dance pe chance remix
5. Rahat/Atif not in this album. Ably replaced by Sonu Nigam and Roop Kumar Rathod.

Now – what do I think of the music? 

If you are ready to forget and forgive Aditya Chopra for setting expectations through DDLJ and Mohabattein, the music is not that bad. But if you are looking for that charm, forget it!! Salim Suleiman, do not even meet their own high standards! 

Haule Haule, as can be seen through the new found popularity of the RNBDJ promos, is the pick of the lot. Sukhwindar adds a lot of soul to the sing, the punjabi touches, and a lot of passion. It grows on you. And it is growing on me! Another Sukhi ace! 

Tujhme Rab dikhta hai – its a good song, but it does not hit you that hard. Shreya Ghoshal version is better than Roop Kumar Rathod version (probably because its sadder). I am a sucker for sad songs. 

Dance Pe Chance – Average joe. Will catch on as the song is promo-ed on air. Thats my forecasting model talking. But not my heart. Shut up and bounce is catchier than this one! 

Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte – is a spoof song. With lyrics made up of songs and hindi movie names of yester years. So.. my guess is that again, the picturisation of the song will do the trick. Otherwise, very difficult to hum along, and not that great either. 


Overall –
I would give it a 3 on 5 – Average – because the singers do put in a lot of heart behind the songs which are quite average. Recommendation – download/stream and listen. If you like it, buy the CD. 


Passing Thought – Do you also think the Sonu Nigam is loosing his touch with singing? I think his voice is flattening out now

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