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Showing posts from December, 2008

Poona's winter musings

While Poona may be one of the fastest upcoming cities in Maharashtra, presumably also in India, there is still the old world charm to it. A sort of fusion between the British era and Marathi culture and heritage. There are a few things I have to do whenever I am in Poona. Take a walk on the M.G.Road and East Street, visit the J.J.Agiary -and if time permits, like it did this time, visit the other two Agiaries (Nanapeth Agiary, pictured below, and Kombra, I hope I have spelt it out correctly), visit Bund Garden road, watch a move at Inox and buy Shrwesberry biscuits from Kayani Bakery. (pictured: M.G.Road)
Speaking of Kayani Bakery, I have yet to see a more efficient bunch of staff at any other over-crowded shops, than the one at Kayani. How they manage to regain their composure in the middle of total and complete chaos (customers scramble and almost fight it out to reach the counter to ensure they get what they came looking for before the items are sold out), get all the orders right t…

A rebuttal to Gnani Sankaran's article

Following the Bombay terror attack, last week I received, twice, an email that contained an article titled 'Hotel Taj: Icon of Whose India?' written by some Gnani Sankaran, 'a Tamil writer'. I have issues with that article and find it to be inappropriate and very mis-timed. I think authors should use their positions more carefuly and not try and divide our society more than that it already is. Following is a copy of this article and after that my rebuttal. 
Hotel Taj : icon of whose India ?

Gnani Sankaran- Tamil writer, Chennai.

Watching at least four English news channels surfing from one another during the last 60 hours of terror strike made me feel a terror of another kind. The terror of assaulting one's mind and sensitivity with cameras, sound bites and non-stop blabbers. All these channels have been trying to manufacture my consent for a big lie called - Hotel Taj the icon of India.

Whose India, Whose Icon ? 

It is a matter of great shame that these channels simply…

Do candlelight vigils work?

In light of the recent Bombay terror attack, several citizens and groups have come together in an unprecedented way to show support and solidarity to the victims of this tragic incident, as well as pull up the authorities for severely letting down the citizenry, by holding candle-light vigils, 1/2/3 minute silences, etc. The biggest such meeting was held at the Gateway of India on Sunday, November 30, two days after the deadly siege ended that killed around 200 people and injured around 1,000. But do these candle-light vigils, public show of solidarity/outcry help? 
Yesterday, I was standing at the Nariman Point bus-stop to catch a bus to go home around 19.45 hrs. The roads were quite empty and office goers were waiting to catch the next bus home, on my opposite side where the road goes to VT station, there was a long queue waiting for their BEST buses. Suddenly a large group of citizens, shouting slogans like "Bharat Maata Ki Jai", armed with a loudspeaker playing patriotic …

Shatabdi Express In Ruins

I just returned back, after a 2-day pilgrimage trip to Udwada, by the Ahmadabad-Bombay Shatabdi Express. I boarded the train from Vapi. This is a premier and completely air-conditioned train; seats in this train are more costly than similar seats in other trains because Shatabdi gives you extra services like meals and bottled water, just like a full-fledged airline. As against a regular chair-car ticket from Vapi to Bombay Central would cost Rs 251, a Shatabdi train ticket costs Rs 375.  However, apart from the speed and convenient timings, the Ahmadabad Shatabdi is junk and a crappy train. The entire train looks like junk-yard material from the moment you set foot inside.

Poor maintenance: Compartments are very dirty and not well-maintained. My neighbour's seat was broken and I am almost sure that by the time he would got off at Borivali, he would have had a bad back. Other seats were hardly better, the one in front of me was perpetually in a pushed-back motion and was almost fall…

Heads roll or cosmetic measures?

So heads have started to roll. Shivraj Patil's resignation was overdue, but it was nice to see our Maharashtra's incompetent due of Deshmukh and RR Patil also leave. If after the recent anti-north Indian violence,  Deshmukh and RR Patil hardly did anything to arrest the violence and the goons and bring them to book properly and instead kept on harping "the-law-will-take-its-own-course" cliche, this should be a lesson to them. This is how heads should roll and action needs to be taken or infact can be taken if there's a will, if you don't look after your people well. In any case, they have hardly done anything for Maharashtra, they were inefficient and inadequate, could not control domestic violence leave aside professionally and well-orchestrated terrorism from across international borders, it was a miracle that they survived in their seats for so long.
And as if all the lows that Deshmukh had sunk to uptill now were not enough, he also took along his actor-so…