Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bush: It's Shoe Time!

What a pick-me-up on the news yesterday. The whole family laughed deep and loud from our bellies after a long-time.
Iraqi journo Muntadar al-Zaidi (Saab singing "Tu mera hero hai..." to man on left) let loose two good ones but Monkey Man dodged both. Damn. Maybe someone else can try elsewhere. A new trend has begun!
(Can you imagine what Bush will now feel before taking the podium at any press conference? As if he wasn't shifty-looking enough already.)

Anyway, here's the video. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mumbai: 26/11

Arundhati Roy with another gripping read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/12/mumbai-arundhati-roy. (Thanks for the link, Sir Fahad.)
Ms Roy mentions something that hit me and my folks here in Kashmir during the long hours we followed the TV broadcasts. Here's an excerpt:
"Over three days and three nights we watched in disbelief as a small group of very young men armed with guns and gadgets exposed the powerlessness of the police, the elite National Security Guard and the marine commandos of this supposedly mighty, nuclear-powered nation. While they did this they indiscriminately massacred unarmed people, in railway stations, hospitals and luxury hotels, unmindful of their class, caste, religion or nationality. (Part of the helplessness of the security forces had to do with having to worry about hostages. In other situations, in Kashmir for example, their tactics are not so sensitive. Whole buildings are blown up. Human shields are used. The U.S and Israeli armies don't hesitate to send cruise missiles into buildings and drop daisy cutters on wedding parties in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.) But this was different. And it was on TV."

Exactly. This sort of an 'encounter' would be over in half a day here in Kashmir. Hostages/civilians be damned. Blow up the damn block if you must. But it's easier to just set the building on fire, if you ask me. Okay, let's do that.
Then. Ms Roy makes a mention of one Arnab Goswami, which was a pleasant surprise in a bitter sort of way. This man has infuriated me from the time he's been given that front-runner role for TIMES NOW. (Blehh.) Frothing and foaming at the mouth any time there's a big, dramatic news incident. Check him out in any of TIMES NOW's news broadcasts of a terror attack or a kid stuck in a well, or when interviewing a subject he doesn't like. I've seen him go into scary, straining falsettos of diatribe when he's primed for it. And spouting personal opinion instead of reporting objectively. Well done, Goswami. Where did you learn journalism?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Recap of the near past.

Long time no blog. Here's a quick recap.
First off: It gives me great pleasure to wish my dear BB a very happy belated birthday dated the 4th of December. As he has himself mentioned, BB has finally turned 21 and can now start drinking Red Bull and other poisons at parties. Menny, menny congratulations, Jimmiya. Will wait for full debrief of the debauch party you must have had.

Here's Jimbo with his gorgeous daughter Zara, who unfortunately is spending a lot of time with him and is thus developing some similarities with the Pater.

Secondly: Had a fun trip to Assisi (halfway up to Brausuna), for a couple of weddings. Huge numbers, great hospitality, simple and wonderful food. Burp.

Thirdly: Eid al Adha came and went. (So did the two sheep we had with us for said occasion. One day they were loved domestics, the next they were barbecue.)

Love the live transmission of Hajj and the gorgeous booming "Labbaik Allah humma labbaik" prayer. Also, must mention how I was foolishly trying to spot Badi Pupho and family among the millions there.
NB: Eid Al Adha is the Eid of Sacrifice and the backdrop is the story of Prophet Ibrahim's (Abraham's) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) to Allah. Very lovely tradition. Please Google it.
The spirit of this Eid entails that we sacrifice that which we are attached to, which is why we should try and rear the animals ourselves for a few days and then offer them at Eid. It's always a little tragic at the final moment but that's how it is.
For this Eid we had a studly ram called Baa Baa and another little fella called No Name right here at Doda. Got chokey at the final moment because you're supposed to look at the animal just then (sacrifice, okay????), but it was done.
As per the rules of Eid al Adha, at least two thirds of the meat is to be distributed to family, friends and more importantly, the poor and needy. Which means we had a lot of meat coming in from everyone else and we had a lot of meat to distribute across cities, towns and villages. Most challenging logistical enterprise.
And Finally: Our school opens for admissions tomorrow. My Ma and I are starting a 'finishing school' here in Doda. For grown-up kids who've had schooling and college, but, because the education system here is so bleddy good, they really aren't ready to get jobs anywhere. We're throwing in a mix of English fluency, etiquette training, open discussions on current affairs and general knowledge, a little confidence building yadda yadda yadda and hopefully we'll soon have a bunch of polished young ones come out say silly things like, "Excuse me. The world is my oyster."

Update concludes.