Friday, March 6, 2009

The Neighbourhood just got Scarier

When PC suggested that it would be prudent to delay the IPL tournament as providing security cover for both the general elections and the tournament would not only stretch the security forces, but also elevate the possibility of a probable terror attack, the IPL chief Lalit Modi wasn’t too keen on changing the dates as this would lead to big losses for the BCCI and the sponsors. The IPL tournament since its inception has always been mired in controversies, there has been attacks on the format of the game, the method of acquisition of the players, the cheerleaders and the over commercialization of the sport- If that is indeed possible in cricket. Now all arguments for and against these very many issues stands open to debate and discussions-It is cricket and this is a democratic country. I agree with people who are for it, and I also understand the ones who are against it (though it is so much less tedious to watch a 20 over match and Shah Rukh dancing, and not getting paid for once and instead paying, wouldn’t you say!).
However to weigh security and lives of people against money is something I cannot bear to either understand or witness. India is a mob (As Rome was), the basic sensibilities lack in crores, and they will throng in lakhs to the various IPL matches. One would expect the educated, the informed and the ones in power to be more responsible and honest (pun intended). Lalit Modi and the BCCI refuse to postpone the tournament, they suggests holding the matches on non polling days and hire private security; the government response to it is Luke warm. Where it should be sternly barring the IPL tournament, it is only seeking non disclaimer certificates from the organizers, so that in case there is an attack, it can safely wash its hands off any responsibility (see TOI, 6th March).
I realize that rescheduling will be tough, with a crammed ICC calendar, sold broadcasting rights and many other encumbrances it will be no mean feat, but I know all this is negligible when compared to a cost of life. We can argue, that just because hotels are attacked, people cannot stop going to hotels, just because trains and certain cities are bombed, one cannot stop travelling or visiting these places, however we fail to understand, that an IPL tournament is not a way of life. It is entertainment. Postponing few matches isn’t succumbing to terrorist might or giving in to fear, it is about respecting life, fear and the consequences to be suffered. In more practical terms, it is about understanding feasibility and limitations of the already stretched, bullied and harrowed security forces, the easy exposure to terror tournaments of such significance would have and would you really trust Private security in an event of such magnitude?? Lets us not make it even easier than it already is for the terrorists.
Our neighborhood is indeed scary, where private interest and self of the government and IPL takes precedence over a human life. The government will get the non-disclaimer letters, IPL will go on, TERROR…it seems to be lurking in every nook and corner. And as for you and me if anything happens, rest assured we’ll move on….
CHUCK de India...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I missed my train..

I have a right to be angry...
So I end up writing a heart felt anecdote on Elsa, and then a critique on Women..
It's been a long day...

Elsa Diaries-2

We decided to call it a night. It was late (about 11 pm) and I had a chemistry paper the next day. I liked chemistry. We got up from the dining table and looked around for Elsa. It was a daily ritual and a habit before sleeping ;like sleeping itself, no matter what, we’d always take Elsa out for a walk; be 10 at night, or 2 in the morning after some party, and not any of those short- do your sussu walks, but a long walk. The walk was a healthy custom. Especially during our (dad and me) stormy fights, we would always resolve it on our walks, it always initiated a dialogue, then a discussion and finally a reconciliation. You see in these walks, Dad and me could never walk apart or too far away from each other. Elsa always made sure of that. If one of us would lag behind (it would always be me), Elsa would stop, and not budge an inch, till the person caught up.
When my parents were in Bombay, we lived on a tiny hill which was a small army cantonment with only one unit called Kalina military camp. It is a really charming place, with lots of trees, plants, flowers and a massive play ground. Very green and picturesque. It looked as if a small hill station had been compressed between two gates. There was only one concrete road which stretched between these two gates. Our walk started from one gate to the other, it was a reasonably long walk. Elsa loved these walks and would always get excited.
So this particular night, just when Dad was about to leash Elsa,I’ll have to stop here and interpose,Elsa loved chasing dogs, cats and lil children. When I look back at the initial years with Elsa, most of my memories get eclipsed by the chases. They were classic out of the movie chases; Elsa would just zip out and off we’d go running behind her, the entire camp echoing with my, my dad’s and Munnu bhaiyas screams. .. Elsaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. It used to be quite a spectacle. The chases were innumerable and each with a unique twirl.
Back to the story; door was slightly open, there was a dog outside, sleeping (blissfully I am sure), Elsa barged out, my father was unable to leash her on time, and Elsa ran behind the dog. My father panicked.I’ll have to stop here again and include another piece of information;couple of nights before, an officer of the unit had lost his dog Pasha, it was a smart mountain breed, and it was never found again.
My father ran after Elsa, his slippers came off, and off he went chasing Elsa barefoot with extremely loose jammies on. I followed, went a short distance, came back picked up the forgotten leash and started again. I could see my father had already reached the next block. Now between our house and the next, there was a dark patch, no street lamps and flanked by heavy undergrowth. I kept running, panicking at the thought of Elsa being lost and sound of my father screaming.
Suddenly in the middle of the dark road, I noticed a silhouette and an outline of two standing ears. Elsa was sitting in the middle of the road, quite shaken. She had not gone very far, I think our screams and shouts and her inherent nature of not being too far away from us made her stop in her tracks, my father of course missed Elsa in the dark and continued running. By the time I called my father back, he’d already sent a search party out -perks of being a commanding officer in the army.
He bellowed at Elsa, who was clearly befuddled by our reaction. I could not help but grin after a huge sigh of relief…. My father had outrun Elsa.
We got home and related the entire story to mom, she infuriated dad even further with her Milkha Singh jokes. … Elsa retreated to her safe corner.
We were abruptly awakened at 2 in the night; Dad had forgotten to call off the search party… Elsa retreated even further off.