Monday, 8 December 2008

Breaking The Routine - Part 2

Please read part one of this post here.

Any living entity that has been following the news closely is sure to know the word "jehad" today. Everyone who calls himself human would despise it. Anyone who watched the cold-blooded massacres in the financial capital of India would want all this jehadis to vanish from this world as soon as possible.

But the very same jehadis have given us a great lesson in breaking the routine. Whenever the whole world thought that it was the ultimate attack and it cannot get worse than this, they have found new ways to breaking the routine and instilling fear on the humankind.

After the 1993 blasts in Mumbai (then Bombay), everyone thought the terrorists would do nothing but plant bombs and run away. In a way, the people started getting used to the bomb-blasts. But the terrorists had other plans. They wanted to instill fear in more ways than one. They attacked the WTC and Pentagon (read 9/11) in a manner that no one had contemplated in the wildest of their dreams. Till then, terror was just land-borne. Bombs exploded in buildings, market places, etc. But they had broken the routine and introduced a new form of attack - the air-borne attack. All countries now had to protect even the air- routes.

The terror did not end there. Till then, terrorists were just suicide bombers who would bomb places or kill themselves. On 26/11, they again broke the routine and started a new form of attack- the fidayeen attack where the soldier goes on killing spree and taking hostages and fights till the last moment of his life. This kind of attack was not thought of before. Probably a TV watcher in the Taj hotel during the 9/11 attacks might have thought, "They will never attack me in a hotel in here! At least I am safe". But not anymore. They have broken all "routine" standards and nothing is safe today - neither the local trains, the markets, the places of worship, the five star hotels, corporate houses - nothing at all.

The terrorist network has established itself inside our nation so heavily that they can target any place and at any time. Neither the sacred temples at Varanasi nor the esteemed educational institutes such as IISc are safe. For all that we know, a terror attack can happen in that very place which we are considering the safest right now - be it the parliament or the Raj Bhavan.

And how have our leaders reacted to all this?

There is one deputy chief minister who uses dialogue form one of the superhit bollywood movies to tell us that we should start taking this as a routine matter. There is one CM who acts like a joker and tells that if his responsibility is to prtect people, then he is ready to resign. To top that he goes on a tour along with his actor son and a director whose movies are enough to scare any terrorist in the world. Then there is a CM who tells us what he thinks of about the brave soldiers of our land through his famous "dog" remark.

In a way, these politicians seem to me like the real dogs in our nation. They are infact old dogs who don’t even bark. When provoked they just give a "grrr" saying that they will attack the enemies of the nation. But even they themselves don’t believe in what they say. No wonder then the jehadi sitting on his warm couch somewhere in Pakistan laughs aloud watching our leaders' remarks on TV.

It is time we changed our attitude of looking at things. It is time we broke the normal routine habit of making harsh remarks on Pakistan initially and moving on after the sorrow dies down. Not even one leader has spoken about a possible war on our crooked neighbours. Not even one strong statement has been made against terror. To add to it, the netas are busy playing political games out of this attack. There are reports that some Congressmen were partying on the weekend when the whole nation mourned. All these days, the hotels which were attacked always had one or the other politician staying in it everyday except for three days before the attacks. Do you smell anything fishy? Doesn’t that explain why no politician got killed in this attacks?

To the never -honorable ex- Deputy CM of Maharashtra, I would like to quote another popular dialogue form the same superhit movie, "Aadatein agar waqt par badle nahin jaate to zaroorate ban jaate hain - Sir, if habits are not changed on time, they become necessities". The netas are already getting used to the habit of making soft statements each time an attack happens. I just hope that it does not go to such a level that we start getting used so much to terrorism in India that a terror attack every 2 months becomes a necessity.

I am deeply hurt by the tragic events that have taken place in the past weeks. Events so painful that even the most powerful pain killer cant cure - the pictures of bodies lying around like sacks of rice spilled all over in one of the busiest railway stations in the world; pictures of the burning Taj, the glorious world heritage site in India; pictures of the calm Nariman house in complete disarray after the attacks; picture of the terrorist himself walking around with heavy ammunition with him - these are the ones which will stay etched in our minds forever. But let us not accept this as a routine this time. The terrorists have shown us time and again how to break the routine. This time, let us give it back to them. LeT us show them what we are really made up of.

Jai Hind

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Breaking The Routine - Part 1

November 14 2008 - Rajkot
We have to find means to stop them. We have to regroup and sort things out. We will come back!

November 17 2008 - Indore
We have improved from the last game. But we still need to sort few things out. We have to find a way to stop their big guns (Yuvi and Viru). We will bounce back!

November 20 2008 - Kanpur
It's frustrating! The matches are getting closer though. We can still fire back in this series!

November 23 2008 - Bangalore
It's not nice to lose 0-4. They are playing very well. We are not sure what we are going to do in the next few games.

November 26 2008 - Cuttack
We have tried all our tricks. They have simply been the superior side in this series. I think even 450 would be chased down by them.

April 10, 2000
Chintu's seventh standard exam results have been announced today. He has scored 73% marks

April 10, 2001
Chintu's eighth standard exam results have been announced today. He has scored 71% marks

April 11, 2002
Chintu has passed his ninth standard exam by scoring 72 % marks.

February 2003
Dad : Beta, how is your preparation for the board exam this year?
Chintu : It's going on as usual papa. I am putting in efforts to score a first class.
Dad : But Beta, is "first-class" just enough these days? Can you not put extra efforts and score high marks? After all, it is not every year that you face board exams. This is your chance to excel.
Chintu : Forget it papa, I have always been a 70% student. I don’t think I have it in me to score more marks. So I will be happy if I score a "first-class"

10:30 pm, January 10
Hi Sheela, I am home! Sorry I am late. It was a really hectic day at office. I had loads of work. There is this big project with tight deadline. I guess it will be like this for 3 more weeks.

11:00pm January 16
I am really sorry, sweetie. I could not make it to your dad's birthday today. I tried really hard to leave on time at 6'o clock. But this project is now really tight and the work keeps getting hectic. I hardly get time even for sleeping. But its only for two more weeks, dear. We will definitely celebrate next month's Valentines day at the beach side hotel. I promise you that we will have the best time of our life there!

Midnight, January 25
Sheela, please open the door, honey. I know it is a weekend and I should not have gone to work today. But this is the last time I am coming home this late. The project is almost done. No more staying back from tomorrow- I promise. Please dear, this the last time.

11 pm February 3
I know Sheela. I had promised that last week would be the end of all this hectic schedules. But what shall I do? There is this "damn critical" client requirement that has come up. And I have to work on that. Please honey, try to understand.

11pm May 15
Pritam : I can't believe this Sandeep. Sheela and you were the perfect couple - made for each other. And you both loved each other so much. What is this "Divorce" news that I hear?
Sandeep: I don’t know what went wrong in our marriage, Pritam. Sheela always kept complaining that I didn’t have time for her. I guess I just got used to the routine of "Working late" so much that even when I didn’t have work, I used to stay back at office trying to keep my boss happy. I forgot that those intimeate moments of togetherness are very essential for relationships to work. Or else, life just gets mundane and boring!

Anil Kumble Circle 10 am
Police: Hey Pulsar wala! Stop right away. You were over speeding. I am going to fine you for that. It is going to be Rs.200. for rash driving and Rs.200 for over speeding.
Pulsar Wala : Here sir, take this Rs. 100 bribe. I am late for work and have an important meeting. I don’t have time for all this now. Let me go! (hands the note and speeds away)

South End Circle 11 am
Police: Hey red-scooty girl! Stop there right away. I think you are still in school. Who gave you a vehicle so soon? Show me your license.
Girl : (sweetly) I am so sorry uncle! I am late for an exam at school and forgot to carry my license. Take this 50 Rs and let me go uncle. Pllleeeeease uncle
Police : (after taking money) Ok girl! Drive safe. Make sure next time you carry your license.

Each of the above cases present to us how life becomes routine and we start accepting things as they are. When the English team lost the first few matches against India, there was still hope that they could come back in the series. But after losing at Bangalore, it seemed that they had accepted the fact that they had come here to lose all matches. It was routine for them. Same is the case with Chintu and Sandeep. They both started to believe that life was nothing but what they got all these days. They had started to accept the routine and never challenged it. They just existed for the sake of it. In an easy exam, Chintu could have scored high marks than the "normal" 70% and on easy work days, Sandeep could have got home early and spent a nice evening with his wife whom he loved so much. But they had just started to accept what life had given them before and never tried to change.

The same is apparent in case 4 presented above. We have grown so used to corrupt cops in Bangalore that it is now a way of life. Regardless of the offense that you are caught for be it over speeding/rash driving/driving without license, the easiest way out is pay a small bribe to the ever-obliging cop and get away.

It is dangerous when we start to accept "routine" as a way of life. We turn a blind eye to the problems that we face and never try anything new. The drainage in the locality, the traffic jam at the busy junctions, the frequent power cuts during the day, the fly-over/underpass work at signals that go on forever - all these become a way of life. And it becomes very difficult to change them once we get used to it. So how do we break this routine?

[..... continued]