Thursday, July 27, 2006


its monsoon season in bombay and i'm commuting on my trusted motorcycle. to protect myself from the elements i got myself water-proof riding gear.
but it never rains when i'm all dressed up in it. and these plastic things are too stuffy to be wearing if it isnt raining.
every morning when i'm leaving home i diligently put on the water-proof gear over my clothes and then proceed to ride to work, but then it never rains. the one day i had a tear in my rain gear it poured and i got drenched through that perforation.
so i got myself a new set of rain gear, the ironic bit is that i haven't had the need for it yet. it rains before and after i'm on the road.
in another era, i could have made a career out of this 'talent' of avoiding the rain. i'd get villagers to pay me to ride around their fields without any water-proof covers, i'd get thoroughly drenched and they would have irrigation. they could even pay me to ride around their rivals fields wearing rain gear and it would never rain there, ensuring his bankruptcy.
darn city life! i have no enemies who depend on rain water.

Friday, July 21, 2006

censorship - a fallout of terrorism

a delayed negative for those of us in this city who were not killed, injured or personally affected by the 7/11 bombings, at least for the ones who post/read blog pages.
the indian bureaucracy in its infinite wisdom has ordered the internet service providers to disallow access to blog pages. the reason being that apparently blog posts are the new communication medium of choice for terrorists planning large scale bombings.
the inherent idiocy of their actions are obviously not apparent to them, which makes it pretty evident that it will be impossible to make them see the futility of the same. it's akin to shutting down cellular networks because gangsters also use them, or banning all seafaring ships since thats how smugglers move their loot, or even better, prohibiting air travel since airplanes are what terrorists hijack the most.
how is it possible to indulge in a conversation based on logic with bureaucracy? i'm not even going to get into a tirade against state sponsored censorship, though i must admit i find the prospect quite tempting.
i do think that the governments action is going to make blogging even more popular, as is always the case with any prohibited product/service/idea. when will they ever learn that telling someone "you can't!" is the easiest way to get them motivated to do exactly the opposite.
what's wonderful is that technology allows you practically infinite options. the link below will get you access to the pages that the department of telecommunications would not like to see.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

a city under attack

some unidentified chaps managed to blow up the first class compartments of 7 local trains here yesterday. as of now the body count is at 183, with another 714 injured.
and panic struck the city. the television channels outdid each other in trying to repeat cliches about 'the lifeline of bombay', 'the spirit of the city', 'resilience of the citzens' and more such blah-blah.
interviewing angry and afraid commuters seemed to be passing off as reporting. watching the entire sordid affair was akin to entertainment. ok, one can sympathise with the commuters who were stuck there but realistically what can any government do in a situation like this. shouting yourself hoarse about injustice, inadequate security, ill-fortune or demanding an attack on pakistan will get you airtime on national television but will achieve little more.
lets face it, bombay is a soft target. the way i see it there's absolutely no way that its possible to protect this city from a terrorist attack. there are just too many options on offer, such as various forms of public transport, public spaces, utilities, etc. the same crowd thats clamouring for security today will badmouth security guards frisking them tomorrow when they are getting late to get on a train. detectors are practically no good anymore since most devices are plastics.
so what does bombay do, other than get back on to those very same trains and get to work the very next day itself. this is supposed to be the much talked about resilience of the citizenry. but the truth you'd know if you asked them is very different. there's not much else they can do. for them no options exist. for a majority of this city the trains are the only way to get to work. and taking a day off is a luxury many cannot afford.