October 31, 2005

India won!

Yahoooooooooooo! India has won the match. We beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets Tragedy is that we were following the match closely on TV and just when India needed 2 runs to win and the entire office was watching in anticipation, the TV was switched off. Sigh! I missed the last few glorious moments of the match. :(

Diwali-Cricket bash

I am having a gala time in office. Its Diwali time and we have switched off our work mode. TV is on and we are watching the match between Sri Lanka and India. India has scored 188 runs at the time of writing this post. We need to make 298 runs in 22 overs. Looks like it will be a nail biting match.

October 30, 2005

Saved from the green eyed monster

I have been behaving stupidly, irrationally, and utterly childish for the last one month. All because I could not relate to my guy's profession. My boyfriend has a long time dream of making films and though I have always claimed that I don't have a problem with it, I often felt insecure about him joining such a glamourous and in my view a notorious industry.

I was consumed by doubts and insecurities that my boyfriend would be snatched away from me by glamourous women, once he entered the industry. I felt sick to think that I had turned into a jealous and irrational girlfriend, who restricts her boyfriend and wants him to dance to her tunes. I refused to think of myself in those terms but sadly this is what I had become.

Things however changed for good today. I had a long chat with my guy and we both spoke about our fears, insecurities, doubts, cultural differences etc. We both spoke but our conversation this time was not laced with unnecessary arguments that ends up in a fight. It's amazing that when two people talk about their problems, without any bitterness, the issue in question gets resolved by itself.

Finally, I got over my fears and insecurities (I must say DJ is very persuasive) and promised my boyfriend that I will give him my complete trust. Since then I feel much better (and not like the bitch I thought I was turning into). I can only surmise that for a brief period, I was consumed by jealousy and jealousy as people know has no rhyme or reasoning. My jealousy too was over trivial things but what can I say, for some time even I had become a victim of the green eyed monster!

October 29, 2005

Al-Qaeda behind Delhi blasts?

Now the Delhi police suspects that the deadly Al-qaeda group is behind the Delhi blasts. Apparently, the bombs that were constituted were different from the bombs used by terrorists groups from J&K!

Whodunit

Who was responsible for the blasts ? Not suprisingly, the Union Home Ministry suspects a Jammu and Kashmir connection to the serial blasts in Delhi. The blasts coming close on the heels of the resignation of Mufti Mohammad Sayed as chief minister of J&K, makes it convenient to bring in the J&K angle.

According to Rediff, the home ministry had alerted the government that activists of the People's Democratic Party in J&K had close links with the Jammat-e-Islami and militant groups like the Hizbul Mujahideen and the LeT. I guess some kind of reaction was expected since the activists had not taken their supremo Sayed's resignation very well.

How did the three blasts happen inspite of the alert and the knowledge that the government had with it? Intelligence authorities surely have some anwering to do.

Chaos after the blasts


Police sifting through the wreckage at a blast site


Carnage at one of the blast scenes


Bystanders at one of the three markets in Delhi which were rocked by bomb blasts

Source:AFP

Delhi blasts claims 48 lives

The latest reports suggest that atleast 48 people have been killed by the Delhi blasts, which happened around 5:30 pm today. This figure may rise, as things become clearer.

I hate to talk about precious lives lost in terms of bodies and casualties but in times of such tragedies we journalists often end up reporting deaths in a cold and unemotional manner. It is a fallout of our profession.

Red alert in Delhi

A red alert has been sounded in Delhi following the blasts. The public has been instructed to stay at homes and avoid busy market places. Again, a case of warning that has come too late. I seriously doubt the terrorists or whoever is reponsible for the attacks would target a market area again.

Security has also been beefed up in Mumbai, Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal and Haryana.

Three serial blasts in Delhi


Source: Hindustan times

Three blasts rocked New Delhi today. The blasts occured in Paharganj, Sarojini Nagar and Govindpuri areas. The Paharganj and Sarojini Nagar blasts occured at 5:30 pm today, when the markets were crowded with Diwali shoppers. 15 people have been killed and 25 injured in Paharganj blasts according to some reports. 70 people have been injured by the three blasts. Earlier, there was a report of a blast in Gole market too but now it looks like that was a rumour.

Of course, the reports coming in now are still hazy. Police is keeping mum on the perpetrators of the blast though it does look like the work of terrorists. Will keep updating on the tragic blasts.

Photos of Chennai after the storm


This is Srinivasapuram, a slum near the Marina beach in Chennai. The photo was taken on October 28th morning, the day after the storm.


This is the huge sandbank created on the Marina beach, where the sea had come in on the day of the storm. It literally looks like a river snaking its way through the sand.

Photo Courtesy: Joseph Pradeep Raj

North Chennai submerged

Parts of North Chennai (which is where I live) is still submerged in rain water. I just saw a report on NDTV on how North Chennai is partially submerged in water. The channel had clips of people wading through waist deep water and complaining about the lack of action on the part of the Chennai Corporation.

I have been hearing similar reports about certain areas in the city still submerged under rain water. The corporation is being blamed for the delay in manually pumping out the rain water.

To be fair to the government, the Corporation and other government authorities have been working round the clock to restore normalcy to Chennai. I guess help may reach some parts of the city (especially the suburbs) a bit late, but this is expected considering the fact that many areas of the city have been severely hit.

its fun to be cut off

Sometimes it is fun to be cut off from the world, the way I was yesterday. Power was cut off in the city to avoid electrocutions. My mobile phone was not working and my house lines were jammed, so therefore i was technically cut off from the rest of the world.

Suprisingly, I didnt miss my phone much except when I felt like speaking to my boyfriend (that really hurt). Free from the interference of electronics gadgets, I spent my time chatting with my family, drinking cups of hot steaming coffee and reminiscing about old times. I had loads of fun!

Honestly, I don't remember the last occasion when I spent quality time with my family. My routine is kind of fixed. I rush to the gym in the morning, leave for work and when I return by 8 pm, my family is already glued to the TV watching sob (oops soap) operas. Myself, I have dinner and spend my time browing the net.

Though I am still basking in the memories of the good time, I had yesterday, I am sure that today our lives will return to our fixed routines. Anyways, yesterday was surely a memorable day for me.

Calm before the storm

An eerie calm prevails in Chennai. The skies look so strange and clear today, quite a contrast to the dark menacing clouds which wreaked havoc on the city yesterday.Chennai is warm today with no hint of rain bearing clouds. The water logging on the roads has dried up and the roads are again visible.

The much dreaded storm is crossing Tamil Nadu and the latest news reports suggest that the depression, which is centred 150 km north east of Chennai, is moving in a northwesterly direction and is expected to reach Andhra Pradesh today afternoon. In AP, people living in the coastal areas are being evacuated. The storm is expected to move towards Orissa where heavy rains have already started.

More updates on the rain will follow.

October 28, 2005

its raining men

Its raining cats and dogs over here. In fact, I am using the UPS on my computer to write this post. Will keep posting updates. Tata

October 27, 2005

Rain drops are falling on my head

Weird Weird Weird! Yesterday, I did everything, I possibly could do to avoid the lovely rain drops. Normally, I would have gone and done a jig or two in the rain. But, I had a meeting at the Taj Connemara and naturally I did not want to arrive at the meeting looking like a wet kitten.

Things however did not go according to plan. Inspite of the raincoat, that I had on, I was a bit drenched but I was you can say presentable. Smug at having avoided the rain, I started climbing the steps of the Taj, when suddenly I felt drops of water falling on my head. Imagine my suprise!

Apparently, there was a leak in the hotel ceiling and to my amusement the hotel had placed muddy buckets all along the staircase to catch the rain drops. Guess, the five star hotel follows an ancient method of rain water harvesting. :)

October 21, 2005

dark fate

Is it a curse to have dark skin ? In the Indian system of arranged marriages, to have dark skin is surely a curse for prospective brides, though interestingly, skin color-the ridiculous measure of beauty in India, does not apply to men. "Wanted a fair, slim, tall, beautiful girl" is a cliche often used in the matrimonials ads and sadly enough, the ads speak a much larger truth.

I was in the marriage market for some time (though I am now out of it, since my knight in shining armour has arrived) and have a first hand experience of arranged marriages. This is how it normally works: A dark or a wheatish skinned girl is forced to pay double the dowry that a fair skinned girl pays. The logic is simple. Nobody wants a dark skinned girl and if a family is generous enough to accept a dark girl, they expect to be adequately compensated for it.

"Aapki ladki kaali hain. Hum use apne ghar ki bahu bana lenge, lekin dahej mein koi kamin nahin honi chahiye," is the silent and sometimes overt message that is conveyed to the bride's family, who after innumerable attempts at getting their daughter married off, agree to the heinous demands. The prospective groom (who is sulking because his would-be wife is dark) and his parents play on the `dark skin factor' to squeeze out every penny from the bride's family.

This is indeed a sad reality and one that is silently being tolerated by a large section of the society. "How will we get our daughter married, if we dont pay dowry," is the popular argument. Dowry, sadly is still perceived to be a necessary evil.

I will end this post with a fact that pains me no end. In India, every year, there are 15,000 dowry deaths, mostly, `kitchen fires' set by greedy husbands and in-laws. Is this the fate that parents rush to buy for their daughters ? Is it worth it?

cost of marital bliss

I am furious, incensed and angry beyond words. All because of an agony column that I read in a daily today. Agony columns do not figure on my list of `must read' sections in newspapers but today a colleague suggested that I read an agony column titled, `Grandma's tips for a happy marriage'.

Male chauvinism is intolerable but female chauvinism (if indeed the writer was a woman) seriously gets on my nerves. The column dealt with the problems of a woman who is being harassed by her in-laws and her husband for dowry that can be paid only by a king. The demands included 50 tolas of gold, a car, a plot of land and in time would have included even the cost of constructing the house. The woman wrote in saying that she left her husband because of the harassment and wanted to patch up now.

Now comes the worst part. The advice from the ridiculously titled columnist `The Grandma', is like a slap on the face of every self-respecting woman. The columnist advices the woman to be submissive to her in laws and give in to their demands since, `she can afford to give the dowry'.

Here is an excerpt from the column. "You must work hard at impressing them and be in their good books", "Give in to their demands. Since you say your parents can give you gold, car etc, let them give it to you". Of course as an afterthought, the writer warns the woman that dowry is illegal but the purpose of this warning is lost when she says that if the lady wants to save her marriage she has no choice but to be submissive to her greedy in-laws.

While this may be true, it made me wonder about the heavy price some women pay to preserve a marriage. Should a woman sacrifice her self-respect, dignity, pride and everything else that is so dear to any human being, just to save her marriage. Is it really worth it? Frankly, in my opinion, a woman should walk out of the marriage rather than suffer such indignities.

October 20, 2005

Long live PR plants

Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is not to hail or bash the Public relations community.

Ya ya, a disclaimer should ideally figure at the end of a statement but in this case, I thought it made perfect sense to have it at the start. The truth is I had a shock this morning when I read an article on IIPM in a leading English newspaper. Believe me the entire article reeked of a PR plant. Irritatingly enough, the article did nothing but praise IIPM and the book, "Count your Chickens before they hatch" by the institute's director, Arindham Chaudhuri.

In newspapers, very often you will find PR plants. This is of course nothing new. The cause for my irritation is however the fact that journalists invariably can do nothing much to ward off the PR plants, especially if the order to do the story comes straight from the top.

Spot the PR plant: Here is a tip to spot PR and marketing driven stories. Inevitably in such stories, you will find a large ad of the company in question either right besides the story (normally it is not this obvious) or it will figure in some other section of the paper.

Do try this out!

October 17, 2005

Oily revelation

I am a self-confessed foodie and inevitably any conversation I have ends up on a `foodie note' (No don't look up the dictionary, there ain't no such word). In a similar conversation laden with food topics my colleague made a revelation which I thought was interesting.

Remember, the hot cauliflower bajjis dripping with oil that you get at the beach. Have you ever wondered the cost cutting measures that bajji vendors do to make a living. Yes, cost cutting though a jargon mostly associated with large inefficient corporates is more widely practised by the roadside vendors. Here is one cost cutting measure that will put off many bajji lovers. Apparently, the oil that is used by the vendors has passed the hands of atleast three owners previously. Here is how it works. Five star hotels dispose off used oil to smaller hotels who again resell it to roadside vendors at (you guessed it right !) dirt cheap rates. Sigh! I think it will ages before I have a bhajji at the beach again :(

October 16, 2005

First of all First's

Yippie Yippie ya ya!!. Finally oh yes finally I have done it. Who woudnt do it? The ones who have been there and done that can vouch for its pleasures. Ladies and gentlemen, I have finally created my own blog ! Yes I have arrived late into the world of blogging but what the heck I have ARRIVED!!!