Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mumbai Terror Attacks

I couldn't believe that it was happening; that it was real. In my country, in my city, on the same street where I used to work not so long ago, in the terrace restaurant I loved, on the railway platform I've waited at, in front of the cinema halls I've eaten popcorn at. It could've been me; I'm glad it wasn't me; but I'm sad & pained that it had to be some 155 (or more) others; probably just like me.

But sad as I was for the death of inocents, the thought that has bothered me the most is that these terrorists were 17 to 20 year olds.

When I was 20, I had dreams, I had little or no worries, I had a full life to look forward to. There was just so much living yet to come, early 20s is the time to hope & dream. And yet, here are 20-year olds who have so much misguided, misdirected anger within them that they believe in a cause which assures their death; which involves opening fire indiscriminately on men, women & children they don't know; which involves attacking sick people in a hospital; and actually believing that it is all for the greater good of their people & feeling no remorse for it.

No amount of brain-washing in a terrorist camp should be able to convince a 20-year old that this is worthwhile; that this is justified; and that there should be no remorse in killing. And yet, there are these 15 young kids who were convinced. And plenty more of them where they came from. Why? How? These weren't stupid young men; they were smart; they were determined, they were focussed.

I don't know why & how they were convinced, but they were. Figuring out the whys & hows probably is the solution to terrorism. I hope India doesn't launch the American brand of "war on terror"; it may be useful in appeasing the immediate anger in the public & keeping the Narendra Modi's of the world silent for a while; but I don't think killing terrorists will kill terrorism; there would in the end always be more terrorists born than killed. The problems are much, much deeper than that.

PS: I feel so grateful to the NSG commandos & all the other men & women in uniform who fought in the city these past 3 days!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Holiday in December!

We're going to Dubai in December & I'm super super excited about it! How I've missed Dubai this past year & more!

We're looking forward to meeting all the friends we left behind in Dubai; it's going to be great catching up with them all. Like it usually happens with friends who've been away for a while; a lot of things have changed for most of them since we left Dubai, and yet very few things have changed between us.

Also, its going to be like an "end of an era" trip. Dubai was the city where H & I started out as a young care-free couple & now we're on our way to parenthood going back to the same place. Yeah well, maybe I'm getting too dramatic! :) But can I at least call it a 'mini-era'?

Another big item on the agenda is food! Between H & I, we've already planned every single meal we're going to have in Dubai. Including breakfast :)

And finally, there's some baby-related shopping & some partying on the to-do list...although I hear 360 degrees is no more :(

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Its a boy!

The doctor told us yesterday that our little baby is a boy! :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quantum of Solace

Watched "Quantum of Solace" this week. I have to say, getting into the movie, Bond was my least favourite secret service agent. Jason Bourne is hot; Ethan Hunt is passble; but James Bond, absolutely puts me off. Firstly, there's something very unattractive about a man with vanity. I also imagine Bond would be really fussy & irritating to be with (will have martini only shaken not stirred; won't stay in a budget hotel) -- snobbish & high-maintainence. And then there's that smug confidence of getting women into bed, which is so very unattractive in men.

But having said that, I find Daniel Craig the most likeable Bond so far. Probably because he was the first to fall in love. And also because he wears jeans to work sometimes (as against the previous Bonds who have always been in expensive well-tailored suits that eventually get soiled by blood & dirt).

About the movie -- well, it's a Bond movie -- there are good action scenes, exotic locales & pretty girls.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend in Macau

I had a stressful last week at work thanks to all the market turmoil & was looking forward to a totally stress-free weekend. So H planned a weekend getaway for us in Macau. It was an impulsive holiday -- we literally booked our flights on Friday & were off on Saturday morning.

Macau is all about casinos. And casinos. And then there are casinos. A world so far removed from all the recessionary fears we hear about everywhere these days. The casinos were crowded, money was being bet in millions, & towards late evening it seemed like the whole of China was in Macau (we were probably the only two brown-skinned people there). Yes, we did gamble, but I won't get into the painful details of how we quadrupled our money on day 1 & then watched it all evaporate on day 2 into the hands of a sympathetic but lousy dealer. Then I vowed to settle the score with him & lost some more. If only we had some more time there....!

"The Venetian" was surreal. Really. Re-creating Venice on a Chinese-Portugese island can be neither easy nor inexpensive. It reminded me of the movie "The Truman Show". It was amusing how our gondola-driver (who insisted on singing an Italian love song for us on the canal); looked Asian but spoke with an Italian accent; and told us made-up folk-lore about how true lovers always kiss under the 'bridge of reality'. It was romantic, but in a really really cheesy kind of way! :)