Friday, January 28, 2005

Did New York Orchestrate The Asian Tsunami?

Controversy theory is not one of my favourite themes for a blog post but this article was really an interesting read.

Did the thought ever cross your mind that Tsunami that killed around 60,000 people could have been engineered by a nation. The article that I read claims that Tsunami was a result of an under water explosion by America somewhere close to Sumatra. It goes on to explain how US military and Naval activity post the disaster shows a high degree of planning, which was not have been possible if the tragedy was unanticipated.

It further goes on to explain how America is the biggest beneficiary of the event.

I am not a great supporter of America and neither am a great at America bashing but the article is still a great read for you to be aware of the possibilities in this case.
Disclaimer: I do not know of the credibility of the source.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The memories of a city: Mumbai

I am a born and bred North Indian. So much that I often describe Delhi as the place I belong to, to cut short the details. The first time I visited Bombay ( The old name symbolises some things & I prefer it to the new one) was ten years back. The first impressions of the city have been such that I rank it above any other. One of the few cities (in India) where people queued for buses, where a female could safely take a taxi at 11 pm , place where people have much more civic sense then our national capital, where taxi drivers would not cheat you if you did not know the way (unlike delhi or chennai). A city that was untouched by the fundamentalism & culture police and, had a night life.

For those used to bus travel in Delhi, let me recall an incident which happened 10 years ago.
I was boarding a BEST bus with my travel group (5 people), when the buses conductor said he could take more than two of us on borad. Reason, the standing capacity of the bus was X (I don't remember the number) and he could accomodate only two of us. So either we split or wait for the next bus (15 minutes or something). For us, used to passengers hanging out of Delhi buses and the scant regard of traffic rules generally around the country, this was a welcome surprise.

That was Bombay ten years ago. Things have changed since then. With the mounting population pressures , Mumbai's infrastructure seems to be creaking. But, what has not changed is the spirit of a Mumbaikar (the new term for Bombayites).

Salaam Bombay

In spite of being a born & brought up in North India and having spent the last eight years of my life in NCR(National Capital Region) I have always been a great fan of Bombay. My recent visit to Bombay reinforced my faith in the commercial capital of India.

I was in Mumbai on Dec 20, to receive the CRISIL Young Thought Leader award.. Tired due to the train and the flight journeys which did not let me get my required sleep, I ended up taking a little nap in the cab which transported me from the office of CRISIL to the venue of the award ceremony. I was woken up by the cab driver at the destination where I walked into this multistory building with groggy eyes. Once inside the building, I realized my wallet was missing. The fare was paid by a colleague so I had not noticed this earlier. Desperately hoping that I had forgotten it in the office, I called up only to be told that it wasn't there. Then it hit me - I had left my wallet in the cab. That's it, my wallet was gone. Neither me nor any of my fellow travelers had the cab number. It was a cab we hired from the roadside so no way to reach/find out. I tried to think positive. Maybe the taxi was still standing outside for some reason. Highly unlikely, I told myself. The taxi driver would have left the place as soon as he discovered the wallet. Anyways I did try and have a look at the taxis outside the building. That I did not recognize the driver did not help matters at all. I came back resigned to fate - My wallet was lost.

About an hour later, the HR person from CRISIL came with a slightly fat middle aged man who had come searching for me. He didn't look like one of the audience members or the participants of the presentation ceremony. The guy was the cab driver who had driven back and was searching for me. Strange indeed, considering locating anyone in that multi-storied building would not have been easy task. He found my identity card and tried calling only to realize that those were Jamshedpur numbers. He refused to hand over the wallet to anyone except me. The wallet had everything intact - cash, ATM cards, credit card and some bills.
... The spirit of Bopmbay (Mumbai).

Another salute to the city which I have always held in high regard. There is something about this place which makes people the way they are - professional , stretching to their limits , honest and efficient. Why I rave about Bombay so much? That question requires another huge post. Maybe my next one. Till then, Salaam Bombay.