Monthly Archives: September 2010

Memories of terror…

This was chosen as Blog Adda’s Spicy Satuday pick

Dear Politicians,

Your head honchos appealed for peace but my blood is boiling.

We are a nation on tenterhooks, choosing our words carefully. However, your flunkies like Uma Bharati and Ravi Shankar Prasad are shooting their mouth. A Barkha Dutt is attempting to silence you. Haven’t u done enough for the nation.

Dont u feel guilty of the blood you have shed in the name of God? Do u believe God wants a “house” to be made from blood stained mud. Dont u feel bad that the seeds of distrust u have sown in 1992, flamed further in 2003 continues to cause fear in our hearts 18 years later.

This city i live in – continues to be haunted. Yes the ghosts aren’t moving around in broad daylight. But dig deep and you will see it. I wasn’t here in Mumbai in 1992 – but i have heard stories from my friends. South Mumbai friends who had never witnessed anything like this before – Hindus and Muslims alike. They saw flames from their upmarket homes. They tell of people pulled out of their flats in areas like Cuffe Parade and murdered.

A close friend of mine – who dad’s is a muslim and mom’s a hindu once told me his experience. He is a privileged boy who lives in Peddar Road -yes his mom’s family had disowned her when she married a muslim. He the only son. A close-knit family – just the three of them. Then came the riots. Apparently his house was marked for “taking care of” coz his was the only flat in the name of a muslim.

They knew the hindu mob was coming. His dad asked his mom and him to go and hide with the neighbours. The neighbours were ok with taking in the kid and mom but not a pure muslim. His mom refused to go. The three of them decided to face the mob together.

Can u imagine the tension they went thru? The fear a 10-year-old felt – he could hear the mobs.. His father blaming himself for his religion, his mom praying for her husband and her son. Yes the mob was shooed away by the police. But the 10-year-old boy was scarred. No he didn’t become a terrorist…

But yes he is convinced that the he will marry only a hindu (and his dad insists too) – so that at least his kid will be 75% Hindu and hence safer. His dad didn’t want him to apply to IIM – Ahmedabad – any guesses why?? He talks endlessly of his dad and he are ganeshji devotees and never talks of the eid i know he celebrates.Every time friends taunted him of supporting Pakistan in a cricket match – it hurt…he had to be extremely vociferous about his support to India in a match…lest someone point a finger! He feels bitter…

In one of my “love your country” lectures…he actually asked me WHY SHOULD I? I know i can tell him about the other things that India has given him…but can i ever convince him enough to wipe out the memories of the fear he felt in 1992?

His memories may not ever be wiped out…but please help us not create any further non-erasable memories for our children.
Help us to continue to believe that God does exist!
And Help us believe that humans (you) have a conscience!

Regards
Just Another Nut

Disclaimer –
While i did mention only 2 leaders from the “Hindu party” there are muslim leaders making equally callous sentences. So in no way am i supporting either side. Please bury the pathars (stones) u want to throw at me -if i remember my science well- it will help prevent soil erosion.

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On my bookshelf

For me books are sacred. I barely ever venture to give a person a review of the book if i have enjoyed it. Mainly because i don’t think i will do the book justice. I don’t think telling a person the story or words can capture the essence, spirit or romance of the book.

But i have ventured on a review – mainly because i think it is *ahem* my duty to let people know of these two books. I think that they are not as well-known as they deserve to be.

Both Books – Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk and Chowringee By Shankar – capture the essence of society at a point of time.Coincidentally both are translated into English. The translation is smooth and at no point do you feel that the language is not doing justice to the book which is often the case with a lot of translations.

Chowringee takes u to Calcutta probably sometime after independence…where u can explore Calcutta at a time where foreign liquor was not so easily available, where even “modern” indian still women wore sarees even though they have moved to chiffon, where foreign dancers were a rarity.

A young not so affluent boy takes up a job in one of the best hotels in Calcutta where he observes society – the rich who come to stay or dine at the hotel, the people who work in the hotel – their lives and relationships are depicted. The characters in the movie- Sata Bose, Marco polo, and Karabi Guha remain with u much after you put down the book. I read somewhere that the book mirrors to some extent the life of some of the socialites of that time.

While the book may not have an obvious story line, it very beautifully weaves the thought process of this young boy, his sensitivities towards people and relationships against the backdrop of a newly independent india.

Museum of Innocence is set in Turkey in the 70’s and 80’s and tells the story about a young man from a rich family in Turkey, who falls in love with a distant relative from the impoverished part of society. While the story is about how he pines for this girls – i love the tit bits on the turkish society which is the background of this story. Like the bits on the civil wars in Turkey, the curfew, the affluent turkish woman’s thought process on losing their virginity. It beautifully weaves in Turkey’s passage into modernity and the thought process of youth battling between modern thoughts from the west and their traditional learnings.

In MOI, the narrator and hence the *hero* of the story who is engaged to a suitable girl from the society falls in love with a not so suitable shop girl. He continues to remain engaged while he collects mementoes of his love with the shop girl. He loses both of them and continues to work at getting back the shop girl for eight years – visiting her family, attempting to fulfill her dreams hoping she relents while continuing to pick up little mementoes of their love.

What happens next would give away the whole story…but to all around, his life would seem that of a loser, a person who pines and lost both the suitable girl and the other one – an unfulfilled love and life…but on his death-bed, he says – Tell all that i lived a happy life.

The book is beautiful – the language depicts thoughts which u might have had, it simply portrays the turkish society and you can see it all in your mind’s eye. Like Chowringee, the characters remain with u for a long time after u put it down.

Disclaimer – these are my interpretations of the books and i might not be accurate…but accurate or not these are fantastic books…to own and re-read.

p.s. please clap for me i have learnt to upload images into a post

What do you do

When you know something unpleasant is happening which u have no control about?

Do u crib, rant and bring it up at all forums? Have long debates on the root cause of all problems? Decide who to blame for the same?

or do u act like the issue doesn’t exist?

I do the latter …particularly with the CWG….a bridge collapses, accommodation is filthy, it’s two weeks away…countries are likely to pull out of CWG…India is going to be disgraced…People’s view of India as a growing super power will now be that of a corrupt state…the way we view Pakistan.

Our hopes of this being the reason sports – other than cricket becoming popular in Indian dashed.
The few Indian sports people we have disappointed at the lack of interest and irresponsibility the government has shown

There is only one hope….PRAY HARD

Oh millions of Gods we have…please help us not look too bad 😦

Where is the Nut? What’s on in her world?

The nut world

– Visits goa once again…tans once again…the only person in the history of the world to tan while it is raining…!!! Dont ask me how…but i look burnt! and yes i did use SPF 60

– She who associates goa with relaxation learnt otherwise. Cute baby R is now a nine month Hurricane baby R…oh yes he is still a coochie moochie soochie coo…but he kept us on our toes…considering he can’t walk yet, it’s amazing he can get u so tired…but then he holds out his hand to come to you and smiles with his six teeth and u can “kind of” understand why people do this baby business

but until we become part of this baby business…NO holidays with babies…they are tiring!!!

The good part is a non relaxing long weekend makes it easier to get back to the slave drivers aka money providers.

– Falls ill in goa…Sob Sob…comes to work ill…no sympathy shown by slave drivers…*must have baby and go on maternity leave just to serve them right*

– did i mention the slave drivers have been creating havoc in the Nut’s yoga world…it’s been ages since she was “allowed” to leave for the same…Hmmmmphhhhh…

– Reads an awesome book – museum of innocence- must remember to review it

– must must renew passport….why mention it here…my blog so why not

– falls more in love with The Tall one…

Staying Alive

Prices of dals are soaring, fruits and vegetables follow suit, property is unaffordable – the value of everything seems to be heading north! Yet, there is one thing which i feel is loosing value – Life! And i am not talking about finer things like spirituality, living comfortably or work life balance – i am just talking about “Staying Alive”.

A couple of months ago, an acquaintance R was driving on the Munirka flyover in Delhi. A car behind him wanted to go ahead and R being a fairly aggressive driver himself (i am guessing) didn’t let the car overtake him. Post the flyover, when he did – the occupants of the other car got out of the car, stopped R and beat him up with an iron rod! Thankfully someone saw him and took him to a nearby hospital. The doctor pretty much said that if they had arrived later, he would have died or at least lost use of his leg. The poor man is now recovering from multiple surgeries and pretty much learning to walk again.

And for what?..Just coz a jackass thought his time was as precious as a person’s ability to walk or live!

Look at nooriya haveliwala and more recently Sushil Kotari. No – they didn’t intend to kill…but they did choose to be irresponsible. I do feel bad for them cause a lapse of judgement has caused them many years of dealing with the judicial system and a lifetime of guilt for snuffing out the life of a person. I dont even want to start thinking of the family they have cheated a loved one of. The pain and the “Why us” …

Most of us view the drinking and driving campaign as how to escape being caught. It’s thursday – they only check on weekends,they dont check on this road and promptly a person maybe “just a couple of pegs” gets behind the wheel. I hope the couple of pegs are worth the lifetime of guilt you might have to live with.

This careless attitude towards life scares me. There are times when i am driving and a two wheeler is acting all “Oh look at me” on and generally being a nuisance on the road and i think – he deserves to be knocked down…Does he now really?? Just for being an idiot should he be paralysed for life or worse?

I wonder if video games and all these X boxes games which are constantly about knocking things down or killing things are responsible for road rage and this urge to knock people down.

You hear of people being killed for some jewellery, inter-caste marriages or some other equally inane reason…Dont we get it …the person will die …his family will never see him again. And if u are someone who can’t think beyond your own nose…Think of yourself – there is a probability of being caught…and if u aren’t the fear of being caught will remain with u and if nothing else there will be some nights when u can’t sleep cause you have killed a human…a person for whom there is someone somewhere else who is unable to sleep coz they miss them.