The World This Week / Aaj Tak
News has never really fascinated me. I managed to stay abreast of latest developments when I was thinking of pursuing a degree at Symbiosis and had to give the SNAP test. (I got through SIBM and SIMC, but then decided to pursue M.A... But that’s a different story...) I find the news boring and monotonous – same old scoops of corruption and accidents, hijacks and cricket. However, after the current fiasco in the state capital, I find myself regularly scrutinizing the newspaper as well as news-sites.
So, the news (both old and new) is that following the Mumbai mayhem, Home Minister Shivraj Patil has resigned and Chidambaram (earlier Finance Minister) has taken his place. The Deputy CM, Mr. R. R. Patil has also quit office, and all fingers are now pointing towards the CM Mr. Deshmukh, who is expected to make way for Mr. Shinde. (The Congress has come under the hammer in a really bad way. But I hope India and her issues are also being targeted through these moves rather than just politicians’ strategies and selfish ambitions.)
The entire nation (and world, too) is shaken up by what has happened in Mumbai. Candlelight vigils and petitions, emails and sms-es are doing the rounds and every update and word is spreading like fire. Indians are questioning Raj Thackeray’s disappearance at this juncture, and the power and efficacy of the Indian government and officials. Hundreds of NSG commandos being called to Mumbai are North Indians, all ready to lay down their lives to save the Mumbaikars. (What is outrageous is the deployment of these troops for VIP security, instead of actually helping the citizens.)
US support is forthcoming, and Rice has reached Delhi in a bid to extend help. India has demanded 20 terrorists from Pakistan (don’t we all know what the result is going to be...!) Attacks are occurring in Pak, too, and ties between the nations are obviously strained. India and Pak are both ruminating over whether to maintain their cricket connection, as citizens of both nations are strongly condemning visiting the other country.
Talking about sports, Team England has decided to come to India despite the terror attacks, but their precondition is a change in venue (which India merrily approved).The other lively game, tennis, also has some updates; the most relevant of which is that Sania Mirza has lost her footing in the list of top players. Her ranks have been dipping, and she’s gona face tough times ahead, if she wishes to regain her lost glory.
Business-wise, too, the news is dismal. Bajaj Auto has declared that the company is hit by slowdown, as auto sales have nose-dived. Sakaal Times, the new English counterpart of Sakaal (Marathi) has shut operations in Delhi owing to financial losses. Exports are declining, and grape crops are destroyed due to the bewildering downpour.
Closer to home, Pune recorded a rainfall of 6.6 mm in one hour on Monday. There have been a number of bomb hoaxes in the city after Mumbai, including places like IBM and ICC. Apart from that, Pune is now affirmed to be the most accident-prone city in the world, as per the UN safety body. It’s stale news that Pune has the highest number of two-wheelers in all of Asia, but that the number of accidents are also plentiful is a startling and distressing revelation.
Quite a depressing picture everywhere, eh? Leme give you some good news – one of my ex-colleagues is now a second-time daddy and the proud father of a baby girl. Ditto for one of my relatives. And even our neighbor’s daughters have delivered baby girls. I can’t help noticing that the maximum number of infants this year have been female. I guess it’s Nature’s way of restoring balance!
About movie-dom, I’ve heard that “Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!” is a good movie. Hoping to catch it this weekend. What I did watch this week on TV, was Humse Hai Muqabla starring Prabhu Deva and Nagma. (Rings a bell when I say it has the famous songs “Patti-rap” and “Take it easy” - where PD dances aboard a bus with his pals, and “Muqabla Laila” - where the “invisible man” does a terrific jig?) I like South Indian movies and actors (not actresses – all portly and stout females without weight and figure concerns!) The dialogues, humor, plot and stunts are predictable yet extraordinary, and I believe some of the best movies in India have been made down south. I personally have not seen many, but of those that I have, I like Hindustani (the Kamal Hassan one about corruption) and Sadma (again Kamal Hassan and Sridevi), and others with Rajnikanth, Venkatesh, Nagarjuna, and Chiranjeevi among others.
Mum’s out this entire week. Home just doesn’t feel like home when she’s not inside. (It’s true that I get to sleep more peacefully without interruption, but it ain’t so pleasant when I return home to an empty house that I had locked while leaving for work in the morning.)
Other than that, both, my work and Mahabharata are going fine. I’ve finished sending out about 200 brochures (and making around the same number of calls for business development), and leafed through 400 pages of the epic. (I’m still disgusted with the sexual fixation this story is exposing, though I’m well aware of the fact that unlike the Ramayana, this classic is very much about real life and real people, with their various emotions and needs.)
Time to say goodbye, buddies! Keep the smile and the faith alive, and I’ll be back tomorrow with more action and reflection!