It’s still a wonderful world to bring a child in to. I think or I hope or I wish or Am I just plain wrong?

Or rather I think, I think. I have to be right on this one. I am bringing a second one out here, in a few months.

I have a couple of friends who have chosen not to have children. Ever. They are both borderline cynical, but one actually loves kids. They managed to convince their respective partners to not procreate, because they think the world can do without another innocent soul being corrupted.

I am not really Ms Sunshine, but I am an optimist; I have a lot to be grateful for. And I still see the world as a wonderful place. Not a perfect one (but then if it is, how will people sell their religion as the path to heaven?), but a beautiful one.

But somewhere deep inside, my Jiminy Cricket asks me if I am sure. Absolutely sure? And I am not.

I think by hugging my child(ren) everyday, dozens of times a day; by listening to them; by teaching them right from wrong; by loving them unconditionally; by educating them; by giving them a good social environment, I am ensuring that they will grow up as good human beings. Who may sometimes falter, who may have flaws, but who will always try to be better.



I feel by doing all this, I justify bringing a child into this world. I am assuming every parent wants to do this too…

So, did the parents of 21-year-old Mohammed Ajmal Mohammed Ameer Kasam really mess up?

Or are hugs and love and education not good enough? Where is his mother? Or for that matter, the families of the other nine youngsters who we know as ‘terrorists’.

What will happen to 2-year-old Moshe? He will never be allowed to forget how his father and ‘heve’ (6 months pregnant at that) died. Eighteen years from now how will he be moulded? How different will he be from the pitiful child crying out for his mother at the funeral service.

Everyday, every moment, there are human achievements and nature’s miracles that makes me grateful for being here.

It may be a spider weaving its web, the process of birth, the process of making the baby, a kiss, a lioness chiding its cub with a heavy paw on the head because it’s going astray, pollination, a baby’s laugh, breast feeding, a Bollywood entertainer, a fantastic cricket match, the Mars rover, Chandrayaan, Usain Bolt’s victory dance… and so I think it’s a world worth bringing another child into.

Sadly, everyday there is death and terror.

But like all of us I want to believe it won’t happen to me and mine.

For how long can I continue to believe this?

When will my beliefs be dismantled brutally?

When I board the flight to India?

When I next switch on the TV to watch FRIENDS and stumbled upon a news channel showing a blast somewhere?

When I go shopping for a new bag or underwear?

When I decide to go for an anniversary dinner?

When I am attending a friend’s wedding?

I dread the rude awakening. I hope it never happens.

I want my life to be boring and uneventful.



I want my hugs and kisses to be protection enough for O, Plus and R.

I want to believe that Mohammed Ajmal Mohammed Ameer Kasam has never been soothed by his mother, and didn’t have a normal childhood.

I want Moshe to have someone step in and be his mother and hug him, without crippling him with sympathy and hate.

I want to believe that’s all that the world needs. More hugs.

ETA: A colleague pointed out this video on reading the post. Free hugs. What a wonderful idea indeed.

I am sick and tired…

I am sick and tired
Not just of the bastards who did that to my country – and I don’t mean the politicians alone…

I am sick and tired of those who take on a holier-than-thou attitude

Of those who see demons in everything and everyone

Of those who blame without basis

And of those who dub any opposing view as a ‘generalisation’

Of those who talk about being open to discussion… but only if all that is discussed is in agreement with what they feel or say

I am sick and tired of those who want to act as if sectarianism doesn’t exist in India, or if it does, talking about it makes you a culprit too

I am sick and tired of how bloody indifferent people can be

When I commented here that “I am totally dumb struck by the non-Mumbai folks out here who seem to be rather unmoved by the incident” it was taken as an accusation of me generalising, and making it a Mumbai-nonMumbai thing. When in fact I was making it exactly the opposite!!!!!!!

I don’t care to be rude to people who have an opinion on what I say or write, as some people are wont to do. Because I know when you are rude, your meaning is never heard, only your rudeness causes hurt.

Why did I say that in that comment? There are dozens of reasons why…

I am stating a few here…

1. A friend of mine (born-bred Mumbai, origin somewhere further south) was actually asked with a smirk by at least 3 ‘non-Mumbai Indians’ – What is happening to your Mumbai now? Her Danish and British colleagues showed a lot more sense and sensitivity. They enquired about her family, and then her country!

2. There are quite a few Indians in my workplace. Only some of us were frantic with worry. The others barely showed a passing interest. They didn’t have family there, they don’t know what or where Colaba and CST are. So the attack didn’t deserve more than a ‘ha, yes…” On the very day we were out on work, and at that meeting so many of the foreigners came up to me and asked me about the situation. They saw me as an Indian, and asked me about India.

3. Sun TV carried wide coverage of the cyclone (which all the ‘national’ channels totally ignored. Close to 100 dead and thousands displaced!). Sun TV’s coverage of the Mumbai attack was at best indifferent. While it showed a 15 minute footage of that nepotistic MK distributing bread to the cyclone affected, it dismissed off the ongoing Mumbai crisis in a couple of minutes.

4. When a fellow South Asian told me (in reference to the young terrorist) “When you see bad things, you do bad things”, the other Indians who were with me just nodded. They couldn’t even be bothered to take offence at what that guy was saying. The people who were so brutally murdered, deserved it?

5. Someone who obviously was not following the news told me, ‘I am sure they let go of all the Muslim hostages! And no Muslim died’

6. And more than a dozen people told me, “oh Muslims, no wonder!” I almost prayed then (and I never do) that not one of those terrorists turns out to be an Indian. Because we know what would follow.

7. Then 2 people on Thursday told me that this is in response to what ‘the minorities endured’.

8. I stopped counting at 10, when people either invited me or spoke about catching the latest releases that night.

9. And when I spoke about the indifference of some here, I was asked by a friend, “What if it had happened elsewhere. Not in Mumbai or Delhi or Bangalore… Would you still be so upset?” Would I? I seriously hope so. I would probably be far more devastated if it happened in Chennai, because it is my city, and the victims could well be my near and dear ones. But I would be scared and angry wherever this took place… I would feel threatened for my country.

10. One person told me (must be a cousin of R R Patil) that the whole thing seems so much bigger, because of the live coverage.

11. And then so many didn’t even mention the attack.

12. And well, every single person who had these weird comments/ideas was a non-Mumbaikar, they couldn’t identify with what was happening.

Does that mean I found no ‘Indian’ patriot here? It doesn’t. Fortunately, R & I are picky about our friends, and they (and their friends) were all angered/saddened/upset/concerned by what was happening.

Unfortunately, during the course of my work day, I interact with people who are not all to my taste or liking, many of whom are Indians. And quite a few of them figure in the list above.

I speak of my experiences, not my personal opinions, so how the hell can someone question that? Don’t we all make up minds based on our experiences?

I am not going to bury my head in the sand and claim every single Indian was affected by this. Because every single Indian obviously was not. And they anger me almost as much as those who did that to India.

We are so divided as a country. So bloody divided. North, South, West and we don’t even give enough thought to the East!

I am also sick and tired of people talking about my right to comment on India because I don’t live there… I have whole different take on that, but will save it for another post.

And one more thing, I here voices out there saying we can’t brand all Pakistanis as our enemies. Yes, let’s not. But Pakistan is, whether we like it or not. At the height of the Kargil crisis when R & I refused to buy Pakistani produce here (we work with Pakistanis and are cordial enough with them), people mocked us, saying we were new to the Gulf, and will soon forget all this. We haven’t. We still don’t.

I agree we cannot blame X who lives in Islamabad or Y in Lahore for this. But as a country, they can’t shrug off their responsibility in escalating terrorism.

I am not done with this rant, so will continue soon. And unlike some, I don’t mind being disagreed with, as long as it’s done civilly.

Bewildered birds

The pigeons kept flying back to around the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Pigeons that are as much a part of that landscape as the sea and the Gateway…
Even as they would fly away with every blast or shot, they would congregate again in no time.
They must have been bewildered… as the rest of the country. Bewildered that their neighbourhood is under attack!

Special Question to Raj Bhai

Dear Raj Bhai
How could you allow north Indian commandos and NSGs to enter your beloved city and interfere? What audacity that they could come and rescue Mumbai.
With no regards or love
Umm

Someone should tell this asshole now that is what a Nation is about. People not only go where opportunities lie (like to Mumbai), but when in need, it doesn’t matter where the eff or who the eff needs it, you pitch in as Indians.