Monday 1 December 2008

Irresponsible journalism

I am angry. I've just spent the last 4 days in front of the TV and reading newspapers. There are many pieces of trash out there, and this is one that managed to rouse my fury quite a bit...

Having discussed the article with a few friends, I find myself as the most tolerant of the lot. The guy is on point when he talks about the shabby response of Indian authorities. I understand the sentiment behind "Indians hope this is their 9/11" - It probably means we are hoping there is action now and no more repeats of such incidents. I understand when he says"This was more personal - it had characters" - you associated the incident with specific images of persons rather than a force called "terrorism" or "Indian Mujahedeen".....and so I can imagine it staying in our memory for longer....
But then, there are some parts that completely stump me! 

Sample this: “They took time to ask your nationality and vocation. Then they spared you, or herded you elsewhere, or shot you in the back of your skull.”
Much of the media started out with such reports. Eyewitness accounts from those initially rescued do suggest that some terrorists asked for British and American passport holders, and it is a fact that a Jewish center was stormed. But shouldn't reporting change, now that we know more?  
The body count of (Indian) Muslims is higher than that of Britons and Americans put together. Survivors have spoken of Holocaust style murder with people lined up against a wall and casually executed, and of men entering restaurants and spraying bullets without uttering a single word.
Whom, then, were these terrorists “sparing” or “herding”? Is there any evidence of any logic displayed by these men?
I do not wish to imply that anyone’s loss was more than the others’. But by attributing a rationale and purpose where there was none, isn’t Mr. reporter severely downplaying the sheer barbarism and lack of humanity displayed by these killers; and worse, effectively serving as a mouthpiece for the perpetrators of these mindless acts of violence?

Further down the article, It was unlike the many strikes of the last many months, bombs left in thronging markets or trains or cars: acts of shrinking cowardice. The new men were not cowards."
????????????????????????????????????????????????????
What were these men, if not cowards? Courageous heroes? Brave warriors? True, they were prepared to die. But a hero is someone who displays valor IN PURSUIT OF HIS GOAL. What was the goal here, other than cold blooded murder? By this fellow's definition of a non-coward, the student that gunned down 30 odd classmates at Virginia Tech last year before shooting himself was also “brave”.  
Doesn't calling such inhumanity anything other than cowardice serve to glorify it? Especially when followed by “They killed face to face; they wanted to see and speak to their victims; they could taste the violence they made.” It almost seems to savor the insane brutality.

I wonder if I am reacting so much because I am indignant about what happened......but then again, someone who calls such people ANYTHING other than a coward deserves to be slapped! 

Friday 28 November 2008

Anger management

Its been a while since I felt an emotion so strongly that I had to write down about it. 

Surprise attacks in Mumbai. Indiscriminate firing. Grenades. More than 100 civilians dead. More policemen than terrorists dead. And for what....no one seems to know!!!!!!!

My family is safe....but this is MY city. MY hangout spots. MY memories. I feel personally violated. 

I feel a pure, unadulterated, almost violent anger toward....I don't really know who! The security agencies? The politicians? The brainwashed, normal looking 20-something year old terrorists? None of the above? All of the above? 
And what do I do with this anger? I've just spent an entire day worrying and watching news reports and cursing....and now writing a blog. But can I really do something that will make a difference to anyone? 

I guess I am most angry with myself...for being and feeling so helpless......maybe I need to be more humble...or maybe I need direction....
I need an outlet for my desire to be useful in some way....and I need something truly sustained...not just as a knee-jerk reaction...not just a blog ramble....not just a blood donation....any thoughts anyone?

Friday 14 December 2007

A view from the heavens

5:30 pm; Friday, December 14th 2007; Kamraj domestic terminal, Chennai.
If they are the observant type, the last few passengers on board IT 233 may notice a young woman in a business suit, fast asleep toward the back - looking comfortably curled up in her seat with her head resting against the window, and wrapped in an airline blanket.

Two and a half years in the consulting profession and a 2-flights-a week routine qualify me as a frequent traveller with privileged status on most airlines. By now, I have mastered the art of arriving just-in-time at the airport, and know which juice I like at each airline's lounge.
The excitement of flying is gone - I once used to stay up staring out of the window (I admit, the scenery is pretty monotouous!) and sample everything from the lime juice to the candies; I now try to catch as much sleep as possible. The only thing that makes the routine worthwhile is the destination every Friday- I know I will be home for the weekend!

True to the instructions I had given her, the air hostess does not try to wake me up for drinks, refreshments, candies or feedback. I sleep through most announcements on the PA system. I finally wake up, 2 hours later. As I sleepily gaze out of the window, I see city lights...........
City lights!!!! I am about to be home. Adrenaline rushes through my body as I think of seeing my family and hot, home cooked food...I am fully awake in minutes! And then, realization hits me - I am not going home this Friday, and the city below me is not Mumbai. I am actually hovering over Delhi, going there to prepare for an important presentation . My energy levels have dropped in seconds.....

As I sit there, gazing at the twinkling yellow lights below me, it strikes me how remarkably similar all cities look from 35,000 feet above. If you didn't know where you were going, you could believe that this was Detroit or Mumbai or Frankfurt!

And then, the philosopher in me takes over (it always does when I am a bit low!!!). I wonder, if that is how God wanted to see the world - where age, gender, geography and such worldly measures lose their relevance; and what you see is a beautiful canvas - no matter where you see it from.
Maybe that is why the heavens are up there - so that the view from God's balcony is that of a world he wanted to see....while the devil lives in the detail!

Friday 23 March 2007

The Bitch

She's tall, slim and fair
and intoxicating
The seductive enchantress.
And yet, once you've tasted her
She's harsh and bitter
Evil personified.

Each time he puts his lips to hers
my blood boils and freezes over
And her fragrance lingers
Long after they've parted
Tormenting me with its whiffs....

He loves me dearly
and he knows I hate her
and yet, he adores her so...
She's got him under her spell, the scorceress
And all I can do is eulogise her.

Inspired by and dedicated to some very important people in my life. I hope you quit smoking soon.

Saturday 17 March 2007

The mobius strip personality

"Nice blog. But I am surprised you write about a wall around you...you never came across as the kind of person who had one" - Sample reaction 1
"Hehehe....finally, you acknowledge the wall. I wonder if we'll discover more....or will you construct a virtual wall here too!" - Sample reaction 2

Conversations are wonderful inspriations, and I dedicate this post to all those who took the time to read and react to my previous piece :-)

I can't claim to be surprised by the completely contradictory reactions above. For a while, I have been hearing such things from people. For a while, I have been observing myself swing from being extremely bubbly, cheerful and transparent to being the very quiet and shy "mysterious woman". I have often wondered which part of the personality is a cover up act and which is the real me - but everything seems to be a mask, over a mask, over a mask, over a.....you get the point! Both aspects are as real or as unreal as the opposite and I am thoroughly confused. So here is my latest attempt at explaining myself...to whom, I still don't know!

Imagine a strip of paper that is jet black on one side and pure white on the other. Each side is distinct - it has a definite identity and is starkly different from the other. Now give it half a twist and turn it into a ring. There are still two opposite shades and the boundary between them is still well defined. Yet, the transition from one to the other is seamless. There are no shades of gray, but both extremes seem to coexist in perfect harmony.

I am like the mobius strip. Sometimes I am the complete extrovert - human contact is my oxygen and wearing my heart on my sleeve is second nature. And then, I can shut myself off for days, I can blend into the furniture and change my middle name to diplomacy! There are no in betweens - I am always on one extreme or the other. And I am comfortable being both. There is no attempt to fake a particular trait. I don't miss the part of my personality that is not with me at that moment.

A paranoid person might name it schizophrenia, a cynic may call it lack of personality - but I like to coin it the "mobius strip persona"- it just seems so much cooler!! :D

Wednesday 14 March 2007

Hello World!!

So here I am.....after resisting, procrastinating and losing passwords, I've finally made my first post :p
I am still at a loss to explain why I have created this...maybe I want an outlet for all the absolute frenzy of thoughts, ideas, feelings and images in my head. My cognition finds it difficult to keep pace with the mad rush within, yet do I expect my typing to race them? Will this become a window - a tiny opening in the wall I have so carefully built and preserved around myself? And is this window meant to let the ray of light enter - or is it a peephole to my inner self for the world to use?
I guess the words reflect the confusion within...if anyone reads this, let me know!

Till later...