Friday, November 28, 2008

Enough is Enough...

Nov 26th: A dozen armed terrorists create mayhem in South Mumbai attacking prime hotspots such as CST station, Taj Mahal hotel, The Trident-Oberoi hotel, Leopold Cafe, Cama hospital and Metro Cinemas. Hostages are taken, people are killed and police tries to tackle the situation.
Nov 27th: The terrorists are still fighting. NSG Commandos, MARCOS, Police and army is called in to save the day. The terrorists even take hostages at a peaceful 'Nariman House', which housed jews; a rabbi and his wife who provided shelter and food to travelling orthodox jews are taken hostages and then eventually killed.
Nov 28th: The mayhem almost ends in all the locations except The Taj, where a lone terrorist is still determined to not give up...but so aren't we!
What do we make out of this? 3 days, 155+ dead and counting, more than 500 injured and battling for life... where is this nation headed to? There are millions of questions, doubts, anxiety and fear in every Indian's mind. It is not just a Mumbai tragedy anymore, its a national grievance and the Nation must stand up and take ownership of the situation..NOW!
I am sitting here in my safe house in Bangalore, yet scared, yet anxious of every step i take, yet startled by every sound that I hear outside... is this how we, of the 21st Century, are meant to live now? Watching the horror unfold on the news channels, on one hand, makes my blood boil and on the other hand, sends shivers down my spine. The iconic buildings in Mumbai that we all came to love, that we all admired, are fighting a battle to continue standing. When will be take stock of the situation and make amends? 

When will the politicians stop bickering like kindergarten children and accept their faults? When will the politicians and the so-called elected leaders of our country stand up for its citizens and tell us - "we will keep you safe. Dont worry." ? When will we hear a passionate leader (someone like Barack Obama) stand up for his people and 'feel it' when he says - "We Can do this and we will." ? How many more such incidents are required in this country, for its leaders to take notice, and step out of their air-conditioned houses and well-manicured lawns to do something about it? After all, we chose them... when will they fulfill their responsibilities towards the country and its citizens?
We must take pledge to stand up for 'us', for our county..and if not for anything else, then atleast for all those brave heroes who, sans-politics have only gone and done their duty of saving lives! The politicians need to know that this is not a political battle, its a human battle for survival. They cannot continue taking each incident as an example and still be extremely unprepared about it. It took us more than 50 hours to bring down 12 terrorists, are we ever well-prepared? The government knew about infiltration from the sea, they knew about the hotels being targetted and they knew about an attack being planned 3 months ago (Source: NDTV) and yet, they pretended to be clueless. 

I, for one, do not want to live a life of fear. If I have made Manmohan Singh my PM, I expect him to be a little more passionate about his country and its men, rather than looking like someone dragged him out of his bed and gave him a speech he has to be forced to say! If I have elected Shivraj Patil as the home Minister, i expect him not to wear his freshly-ironed safari suit and equate us to 9/11 and talk a whole lot of bull$%^&! I certainly dont want a leader like Narendra Modi, come to the scene of terror and start accusing the government of failing its task? Well, Sir, what were you doing when the terrorists entered from the waters of your state? I want a leader who can stand up for us, cry with us, give us hope, tell us that things are going to change and share with us his plans to change them!

Enough is Enough... We need to bring in a change.. NOW. We need to behave like adults and stop the bickering and the politics - stand up - for our country  is in danger! Enough is Enough...We need to stop looking like fools. We cannot have the elite and respected NSG commandos dance to the tunes of 1 terrorist in 1 room of a hotel for hours. We need to be stronger...louder...more aggressive...and we need to choose our leaders who are not 'puppets' but real men...real leaders...who, given the chance, can wear a life jacket and carry a rifle and jump to the scene of terror, if required! Enough is enough....I want to feel safe on my own lands! I certainly dont want a Bal Thackarey making headlines with his "..Mumbai is for Maharashtrians.." crap!...Enough is Enough...

Enough is enough...will the real country leader, please stand up?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Crazy-Loud-fun World of SrivastavasAnandsVipinsMohakudsKamras

phew...that was one loonngg 'family name' and what to do..after 2nd gen's marriages into different 'surnamed' families..we like to call ourselves this -- The srivastavasanandsvipinsmohakudskamras. :) 
and yess...we are as close-knit, squished into each other's lives and as together as the name above! so i wanted to write something about our crazy-crazy family today... and i will give full credit to my 'didu' coz she suggested this!(u see i was having writer's block).. so after almost a month of silence on this blog, i have decided to break it with a 'bang'...the family shamily stuff... :):)

my family.. its a crazy one..and believe me when i say that..its loud..its funny like hell..and its one-of-a-kind..! We have never lived together as in a joint family.. coz we have always had a very pan-indian presence where all of us have been scattered around india... but somehow..we are all so close-knit..we can actually give a joint-family a tough competition! The cousins consider each other as real brothers and sisters...and believe me we share all our secrets with each other..

i remember our childhood days in that beautiful house of my Nani's in Lucknow - Kashila. We used to get together every Summer for 15-20 days to a month..and boy! did we freak out.. We chased each other..fought with each other..hid in my Nani's store room...played a lot..jumped from the balconies and landed on our A%^es in the garden..and picked up thrown-away lottery tickets from the market close by! :) yess..we did have the best childhood ever... and it never posed a problem for 25 of us to live at the same time in that house...coz we just toppled over each other..ofcourse me and my brother(cousin...who i will refer to as Mithoo) always fought over who will sleep next to Nani/Dadi...and me and my sister (cousin again...i will refer to her as Didu) always fought..well..for everything but primarily coz i cheated in games and refused to accept it! yes didu..i accept it now...hehe...we were so 'together' that we never felt the need to have anyone else or feel 'bored'...! i still rem my brother no.2 (i shall refer to him as A) one fine day...jumped off the first floor roof to the garden...just coz he wanted to do stunts! and came unscathed! :) and in the evenings..we would stuff ourselves in the black ambassador of my Nanaji's and go to 'Bhootnath market' for pani puri and chaat and kulfi to top it all... and there too Mithoo and i fought coz we both wanted the window..ofcourse! we were dumb enough NOT to see that there are 3 windows unoccupied.. aaaah those were the days of happiness..childhood fun...little escapades and adventures of our own..the simple life!

and then we grew up..we had boards..exams...entrances...etc etc etc..and getting together in lucknow became a Dream for many of was actually considered a miracle when even 2 of the families met in a year...we all got extremely busy with our lives..but..let me tell u..the spirit of our family never died and we never went 'away' from each other..hello! anyone heard of the telephone?? so we all had terrribly long bills..but wat the helll..we had to gossip! ;)... the last time when almost the entire family met (leaving aside the marriage occasions) was in Hyderabad for New Years almost 8 years ago...we had a BLAST! :)

Today...we no more have pan-indian presence....but..we have a "pan-World" presence... We have our little footprints in US, UK, Middle East, Australia, Africa..East-Asia and ofcourse India. and we are sooo proud of us..! But you know wat is even more shocking..these distances have somehow brought us even more closer than we were when we were kids.... we make it a point to talk (thanks to skype...msngers..and ofcourse facebook!) every 2 weeks..we dont miss on juicy gossips..and we definitely are the first people to know about any big news that any of the members have got to give! 

So let me descirbe my whacky family in a few words -- Crazy...Amazing Sense of humour(even my nani has an awesome one)...We invent jokes in seconds and say it with a straight face..we laugh a lot (u can only hear uncontrollable..extremely loud laughter noises from our house..)... we support each other in every decision we make.. we make sure that our family members and cousins are the first to know of any big thing in our lives... we run a crazy yahoo group... and we havent yet stopped pulling each other's legs (yes Mithoo still manages to poke fun at me...aarrgghh)..we are loving..very family oriented... will take the next flight out for anyone in distress.. will pick up the phone at 4AM too if any one of us calls.. we are the closest non-joint family one can have..and i am so happy/lucky/privilaged to be a part of it!!!

i could go on...but i need to stop somewhere..the memories are so many that my brain is producing them faster than i can write...What prompted me to write this post was family has decided to have a grand Reunion at Lucknow in Dec this year...and unfortunately i wont be there for it (damn the work...)...and i sure know that it will be a memorable one(thanks to Mithoo's, Meethu's, cheenu's and shiti's plannings)...but alas! i wont be kills me to be away but thats wat it is!...and i love my family so much that i know..even when i am not there..i will be present in their minds and through the telephone! :)

So i will tell u what... (if my family is reading this..) as a run-up to the reunion..i am gonna publish posts on various funny/embarassing/hilarious family stories.. ofcourse u guys can contribute too.. i will give u credits! :) I love my family a lot! and i love the recent additions (mohakudskamras) and hope that they get to experience the lovable..loud..funny...extremely crazy side of us too! mmmuaaah!

So below are some family crazy pics i have from my wedding (alas i dont have the hyd ones or the didu's wedding ones..) fun times unlimited! :) yeeennjoy!

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