Sunday, 30 November 2008

Mumbai is dying. Long live Mumbai.

My city has become scary. I want to yell my wrath out. I want to weep endlessly.

I don't want to hear Mr. CM declare 'we had information but it was not direct information.' I don't want Mr. Advani's futile presence in my city. I don't want Mr. Modi's crore. I don't want hon'ble Mr. Singh's 'strong words'. I want people not to come out & camp at rescue operation sites.

I want martyrs revived. I want Mr. Karkare back. I want innocent people to at least finish their meal before they meet their deathly fate. I want bullet-proof jackets that actually work. I want Moshe reunited with his parents. Irrational? What has been rational in the last 4 days anyway?

I want to appeal to all Indians & foreign nationals alike, daunting as it might be, to revisit & reunite with the phenomenal legacy that is the Taj Mahal Palace. For if we don't rebuild & embrace the Taj, terror wins. I want to spare a thought for the first 56, seemingly forgotten, who got killed at CST.

I don't want to hate that 21 year old. I want to make him fall in love with Maximum City - so much that it alters his meddled brain, so much that it fills him with overpowering remorse for what he has done to it, so much that it makes him cry. Did he not once see the beauty of the Taj, the grandeur of the Gateway by night? Did he not once feel like other 21 year olds at Leo's? Hell, wasn't that backpack too heavy? Wait. I'm talking crazy again, aren't I? What has managed to even border the limits of sanity in the last 4 days anyway?

I am not terrorised. I have retained my spirit but it certainly has been dampened. Empty local trains, empty offices, quiet colleges, bloodied railway platforms, bullet cases & grenade shells strewn about my city's streets. I am not resilient. No one is. I will not move on. This time, no one will.

I want to dine at the Golden Dragon someday. I don't want to 'wonder what that sound was' when I hear firecrackers, scooters, stray dogs playing with empty plastic bottles. I don't want my mother to be worried every time I step out, in my home city.

Enough. I want peace in Mumbai. Godspeed.

PS: Quote of the season - "Mr. Terrorist, I'm alive. What can you do? Mr. Politician, I'm alive despite you. I'm a Mumbaikar."

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Bloody Wednesday..

"..their point is to terrorize people. But I am not terrorized, and you can't be terrorized" - Mariane Pearl, wife of slain journalist Daniel Pearl

I'm tired of asking why. I'm tired of watching the news for so long. I'm shocked all this is being tagged 'mundane' because it is happening a time too many. This has to stop!

Our city is not a battleground, you know? We won't let it be. Tears. Blood. Bullets. Grenades. In the streets we walk on? At the tables we dine at? In the trains we hop?

I do not hate the faces of terror that are splashed all over the dailies today. I do not hate their fanaticism, their selfishness, their madness because there's too much love in me - for my city & its people.

I drift away in thoughts of Mumbai, flipping through these old pictures of trains, the now cordoned Marine Drive, the now eerily empty Gateway, now ground zero for the war against terror - the Oberoi-Trident by night & the sea that brought to our shores bloody aimless violence.

Global financial crises, new age terrorism - arbit, brazen & shamelessly brutal. Is this the doom our grandparents told us tales of? Or is there yet more to come..?

Before new age terror changes the face of my Seven Islands, I pray for life, happiness & peace.

Please stop the madness!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

While you were sleeping..

Dear Sir,

Hope you've been fine. What's up? Not much, I hope! :D Haven't heard from you since your last visit to Bandra, so I thought I'd write in!

Its politics season, globally at that! This morning, I was reminded of the recent displays of factionalism in Mumbai when Anderson Cooper got the TV camera to pan across most of the state-wise stats of the Prez elections for more than 50 states of the US of A. It was fun to venture out to work that day, even as parts of Mumbai shuddered to acts of fanaticism. It was also fun to see a pattern unison in the voting stats - mass patches of blues for the Obama states. A black man just became President of the United States! Even I feel an inkling of excitement sitting so far away from the action! Don't you?

Ah! I almost forgot. I primarily am writing to you with regard to this matter. As a fellow Mumbaikar, I care for you & wish to express my concern. You see, the times they are a changing. If the greatest nation on earth can metamorphose enough to elect a black African-American as its Commander In Chief, it won't be long before our Seven Islands evolve into a truly cosmopolitan, diversity-respecting, peaceful society. We are seething with positivity & our horizons go beyond North India, all the way to Times Square. Then why can't you be so kind as to inspire people (youth, especially) to channelize their energies in directions of education, art & culture? So let's look at constructive acts & give peace a chance, yes?

And hey! I was wondering if you woke up early enough this morning to watch history being created in America. Like most folks I asked, I guess you weren't awake either. Everyone was too occupied in mundane things & some even got into petty fights in the bus to work this morning. But there are still some of us who wake up everyday & hope to see a better world; some of us who share the warmth of smiles with the people we share our amazing city with. There are still some of us ready, more than ever, for a change.. & a wave of change has already hit the West Coast, while you were sleeping..

Jai Hind. Jai Maharashtra. Jai Obama.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Yes. Bollywood music, with a few exceptions, is the pits. And I don't see that fact changing anytime soon. So instead of complaining, I have decided to join the party. I knew I might have to do this, ever since Himesh became crown prince of Bollywood music.

So let us spare a thought for the unbelievably singable, danceable, hummable, messable songs of the season - Desi Girl (Dostana) , Jane Kyun (Dostana, again. This is one of the better ones though), Hari Om (Karzzz) & Thaa Kar Ke (Golmal Returns). These are the songs that take post-Diwali blues away!

Join in Muddu! Haan desi girl, haan desi girl girl girl girl girl girl girl..

Cheers. Keedas. Peace.