Saturday, November 29, 2008

Where is our PM?

Everyone seems to be writing about the Mumbai attacks and even though I may be repetitive I would still like to talk about this.
As I checked my emails today morning, I recieved an email from my college condoling the loss of 2 students from the 2007 batch. I felt very sad for them. Then I moved on to read the various blogs my friends have written here and discovered about this to-be-married couple on Nisha's blog. Turns out this is the same guy from my college. I visit their wedding website (they were to get married on 6th Dec) and I can't describe my feelings. My heart goes out to this girl who has suddenly lost everything she had planned for. So many dreams, so much to look forward to and then suddenly everything has changed.
Every person who lost their lives in the Mumbai attack has a heart breaking story. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan's mom cried inconsolably when his body arrived in Bangalore. The NSG Commandos, Maharashtra Police, Hotel staff and Army - all have earned the respect and love of the people. We thank them for all they have done to secure and help their people.
But in such trying times, one expects the leaders to come forward and offer something to console their people. What did our PM do? He came on TV, read the speech from the teleprompter, no emotions and no authority in his voice whatsoever. Everytime we are told to calmly bear the situation. Why are we never told "Don't worry we will go after them. Wherever they hide we will find them and destroy them. They have killed our innocent people, they have attacked our people in our country and they will not go unpunished for this"
First they bombed the trains, then they attacked the parliament and now they come and kill the top Police officials and many more innocent people - and all that the PM can say is be calm? Is this some kind of a joke? We are paying taxes to the country for getting a proper infrastructure and a decent security. Are we getting back any of it??
All public places in India have a security system in place. Hotels, airports, malls, cinemas - we are serached everywhere. And the citizens are very willing to cooperate. All these places have armed security personnel standing outside. Still no one could stop these terrorists from entering the hotels/railway station/restaurant? The amount of ammunition they were able to take inside the hotel is not funny. The ammunition lasted with them for the entire 40 hours. I read in a Gulf News article yesterday that when a policeman entered Taj immediately after the terrorists entering it, he was already crying that he had only one bullet left in his rifle! We know such things are happening time and again, so why are they not properly trained and properly equipped? Sending them out to battle, without proper training and equipment is like ridiculing their precious lives!
If a citizen fails to pay proper taxes, the govt imposes various penalties etc on them. What are the penalties for a govt not taking care of its citizens???

Friday, November 21, 2008

To India and Back

I am finally back from my trip and still feeling quite lazy. There are so many things I want to write about but am getting confused where to start! So in this post I will tell you all about our experiences and observations back home.

We landed at the Delhi airport at dawn. As soon as we reached the arrival area we were overwhelmed by the number of people reuniting with their families. While waiting for our pickup Hubby and I were amused looking at the people around us. A typical scene at the airport - families uniting, children meeting their uncles and aunts after a long time. The most amusing quote was "beta tauji ko pehchana?" We heard this one from atleast 3 different well loads of nephews/nieces were meeting their uncles on this day!

The first day H and I took the car and went for some work. And boy it seems we have to follow everything but the traffic rules here. Even though we have lived mostly in India and driven there a lot, it takes a day to come back to our ruthless selves :). There are some simple rules one must follow -

  • cross a signal no matter what the signal light indicates - that's just a colour!
  • if you see a pedestrian crossing the road - NEVER stop! remember you have to win the race here
  • if you need to turn right, stay on the left most lane and then cut at the last moment
  • you are free to overtake a vehicle from any side - afterall we live in a free state!
  • keep driving forward till your bonnet touched the vehicle in front - coz if you don't someone will surely come in front of you (remember? it's a race...)
  • The side mirrors are supposed to remain CLOSED. Yes if you try opening them, someone will just brush against it and break it. So it is safe till the time it is closed
  • Blow the horn at every opportunity you get
  • All drivers must compliment their driving skills with some verbal abuse without which it is just no fun!
  • Remember - it is a race - and you have to win!
Nevertheless we were back to our normal selves the next day - driving as if we never left.
The weather was very good and I hated coming back at this time. I love the wintry cold hazy mornings with fog (which sometimes meant no school in the good ol days :) ), the festive atmosphere, winter clothes, red cold nose, drinking loads of ginger and tulsi tea. In short everything that Renu is enjoying in Lucknow right now...
Well other than the weather, going back to India means loads of treats for us. It's as if we don't get any food here in Dubai. Everyday was reserved for one speciality which we had to eat since we were in Delh/Lucknow. So from Moolchand ke paranthey to Haldiram ki chaat in Delhi and Basket chaat and yummy Chilly Paneer of Royal Cafe in Lucknow, we ate it all. To top it all we carried Tundey ke Kebabs for all family and friends in Delhi and Gourmet Ice's Chocolate Truffle for the folks in Lucknow. That's our way of showing we care ;)
What do you do when you go back home? Other than meeting family friends and relatives, what is it that you must do when you visit your home town/country?