January 2009


The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh goes under the knife ( only the surgeon’s) early tomorrow and my best wishes and prayers are with him and his family.May he come through this health glitch without a hitch and be back at his ‘hot seat’ as soon as possible.

He is the man in charge (Sorry Sonia Madam! Allow me to give him this credit this one time atleast ). He is the nation’s Prime Minister and it is a nation of over a billion people.His is a powerful position and his health is of importance for all of us,especially in this post 26/11 scenario. I doubt if anyone is unaware that our soft-spoken,fuzzy bearded,blue turbaned Chief is already in AIIMS in New Delhi in order to get a bypass surgery done. The media has made sure that we all know about this development and I understand the need to do this. BUT……….. now from early tomorrow morning prepare for the overkill and brace yourself for the massive circus that will take place outside the AIIMS hospital and its repetitive media feed to us for hours and hours.Enthusiastic reporters must be licking their chops in anticipation of this story and must already be setting their alarm clocks as I write this, so they can be up early to take their bleary eyed positions outside the hospital.

 My sympathies are with all those hapless, ordinary patients and their caretakers who will arrive from towns far and near to get good quality,affordable treatment at AIIMS only to find themselves in the midst of a media twister. Some might get pushed around and out of the way as the army of reporters well armed with its microphones and cameras jostles to catch any ‘medical’ person they can to get UPDATES on the venerable Sardraji’s condition.Hey, it’s all in the interest of our ‘national security’.If they can catch a family member of the PM that would be an added bonus.

It doesn’t matter if they themselves get a ‘coronary’ in the process as long as they get the latest on how far the operation has progressed.Is The PM still conscious? Has the anasthesia got him ? How far has the surgeon’s scalpel travelled? What did sardar ji did or did not eat before the operation? How is his wife feeling? How is his daughter feeling? How ís his dog (if he has one) feeling? How is the surgeon feeling? How is the ward boy feeling? How are the nurses coping? Heck,even how is the sweeper feeling?

The scramble to pounce on anyone who is emerging from the ward (whether connected or not to thePM’s office) will be serious and can and will turn ugly. The pulse rate,the first words the first meal( defintely not sarson ka saag and makki ki roti) and maybe the first …………also will be reported to us.

It is ‘fame’ time for all doctors of any repute.They will be summoned by various channels to explain coronary disease and the Bypass surgery to us.While the good channles will get Dr.Naresh Trehan ( ex Escorts,present Apollo cardiac surgeon) the others will have to make do with the lesser known ones.

Across the border the militants must be having a coronary episode of their own in their excitement at PM being incapacitated temporarily(they can add it to their publicity and jihad recruiting pamphlets that they gave the sardar ji this coronary episode ). Given that Pranab Mukherjee would be standing in for the PM must be an added bonus for them.The bhadralok from Bengal has been tickling their funny bones with all his “posturing and threats’ to Pakistan and now there is bound to be more fun to look forward to.

 With the PM groggy with general anesthesia and Pranab Da holding the reins of the foriegn ministry,the finance ministry, and his dhoti things are going to be really strange around the power corridors of New Delhi.Outside the AIIMS it will be a virtual mayhem.

School bachchas will have lot of fun cutting and pasting and making Get Well cards for the PM. The older ones might be roped in for a candle light vigil for the PM’s health and long life.The sarkari karamcharis could maybe take a day off to go to various temples/churches/gurudwaras and mosques to pray for the PM.The traffic signal wala paper seller will have a bonanza screaming ‘Pradhan mantri hue be-hosh’ and selling extra copies with that misleading line.

AS I SAID,BRACE YOURSELF FOR THE STORM (TAMASHA)TOMORROW

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When all the effort of months of planting and nurturing bears fruit it is a sight straight from the Heavens.
I know,I know,I just posted a post yesterday but nature waits for no one so I do not have the luxury of being well spaced between my posts.

 

 

1) I spent hours today to get the Salvia right. The fact that it is a naroow spike was ‘spiking’ all my amateur efforts at clicking it well.I finally got it.I am happy that I have got the exact mix of blue and purple color.In most pictures it was showing up as only blue and that is not how the actual flowers are. Can you see a white blurry blob in the background ( at the top end of the picture)? Well,that is the Carnation of the next picture!
 

 

2) I thought of getting the fat ant off but he/she seems to be having such a party,I decided against interfering with his/her fun!
 

 

3) The orange Calendula looked prettier than the yellow one I clicked yesterday so it also deserved to be in this post.
  

 

4) The Snapdragons are also tricky(for me atleast) to click but I think these picture does capture the blushing beauties reasonably well.
 

 

5) The pink ones are gorgeous too with that little dusting of yellow freckles in the centre.
6) Verbenas don’t seem to like the cold, blustery winds(shamaals) of Bahrain but I still persist with my efforts to grow them.They remind me of my Dad. He always used to grow them at the front  of the flower beds.Mine are in a pot though.
 

 

7) This one looks so much like the Salvia in the first picture but is actually  not like it at all.It comes in a tight little bunch instead of a tall spike.
 

 

8) No post can ever be complete without my buddies, Petunias.They are not fussy at all. As long as there is plenty of sun they fire on all cylinders: in rich soil and poor soil, in sheltered corners and out in the face of the 35 knots ‘shamaals’.
This post is already too long but I just have to add some pics from the productive end of the garden,the vegetable patch.

 

1) The purple beans are out in a strong show and I love their sweetness. The crunch-o-meter is high too. I got the seeds from Australia and have been religiously collecting more at the end of each season to keep my stock going.
 

 

2) The tomatoes are making life miserable with their abundance. I have gifted so many to anyone who will take them and I am still snowed under !!
 

 

3) The family favorite, eggplant (brinjal) is looking to compete with the tomatoes in abundance. 
Bhartha anyone?
Ok that it’s folks. The show is over.Will return (whether you want me to or not) with aerial views of the garden from where all these pictures come to you.

 

 

 

It seems to be the season of flippant remarks and drawing ill-thought out conclusions. First David Miliband,UK’s Foriegn Secretary, arrived on our shores all pumped up with adrenalin(one supposes) at his visit to two countries that hold part of the troubled spot, Kashmir.

Looking youthful and very telegenic he perched elegantly on the edge of a high stool in the NDTV studios and poker faced made those infamous statements about Kashmir and how it provides a stage for jihadists to raise their jihad call from. In one fell swoop he gave the notorious Lashkar-e-Taiba’s anti India stance a legitimacy that even the Pak administration had not openly given.Oh how our liberal/Left media must have loved this school boyish looking Brit when he drew a direct link between the unsettled dispute of Kashmir and the Mumbai attacks!!

Suzanna Arundhati Roy must have hyper-ventilated with excitement at his line of reasoning.After all she has been drawing the same facetious and dangerous links between the riots in Godhra and the terror attacks in India, in various articles in Indian magazines.She is the darling of the Pakistani media and Pakistani bloggers revere her for the blame that she puts squarely on the Indian state for every terror attack that is perpetrated on Indian soil. She is an amazing writer.Years of terror all over the world,Muslim as well as non- Muslim, by the jihadist who answer to the call a pan-islamic ideology of a return to ‘pure Islam’ and a world wide caliphate has not made her draw a link between Islam and terror.She only has to look at the poor Muslims of India and to ‘know’ and state with authority that it is their condition that is inspiring radicalisation amongst them.She never questions why this connection(if it exists at all) should justify Pakistani nationals attacking Indian cities. Yet one Malegaon bomb blast case with its saffron suspect list ( and they could be guilty-I am not gong into denial mode here) and she joins the chorus of “Hindu Terror’.But enough of Suzanna Arundhati Roy.Let us get back to that ‘boy’ from Britain.

Looking younger than your years should not automatically translate to being less mature than expected of your age. Miliband had the audacity to sit amongst an Indian crowd in the post Mumbai-attack climate and state that Pakistani state/ISI/army had no hand in the well planned and well executed attacks of Mumbai(this when the investigations are in the early stages and no clear picture has emerged).He should be thankful that India has imbibed the spirit of democracy and freedom of speech enough to politely listen to him and not take him to task there and then. He not only felt the need to de-link the Pakistani establishment from the attack but also ‘restate’ that position while joining the dots randomly to link the very same attacks to the Kashmiri question.

 But let us cut Miliband some slack.He is still a bit green behind the ears in diplomacy,especially foreign diplomacy.He probably jumped the gun because he imagines he has a very real chance to make a bid for the post of the Prime Minister of UK. Gordie dear is uninspiring and has been running low on popularity and ideas.As he fumbles and stumbles along the Tories seem to be gaining ground and the only real chance that the Labour Party has of retaining power is to counter the youthful Tory leader with someone even younger looking and with the same penchant as Tony Blair for making school- boy-debate-team type of speeches in inspiring sounding but hollow words.He has also been going hammer and tongs at Bush,trying to distance labour and himself from the 8 year long disaster of he Bush presidency.He is ambitious and realises that aligning himself favorably with the Obama team will stand him in good stead when he makes his run for the Premier’s post.Politicains everywhere plan and staretgise their gains while making statements.That is as true of a Miliand as it is for a Laloo Yadav or Mulayam Singh.

The Indian government ofcourse woke up from its slumber and made its objections to Miliband’s remarks(made at multiple venues) only after the media and common citizen’s made an issue about them.

The latest(but by no means the last) to join this camp of half baked politicians with little or no knowledge of either history or geography of the conflict spots they love to talk about is Susan Rice,US ambassador designate to the UN. While trying to make an eloquent speech about the hot spots (read dangerous conflict zones) of the world that the Obama administartion is inheriting she clubbed the Balkans,Liberia,East -Timor and Golan heights with Kashmir! Excuse me. She has in the past also referred to the Kashmir as a recruting ground for the Al-Qaeda along with other conflict zones like Iraq and Chechanya.What similarities she sees between Chechanya,Iraq and kasmir only Ms. Rice knows. She like our very own Suzanna Arundhati Roy clubs the huge Indian Muslim population with the Muslims in  other countries and thus tarrs them with the same brush………the brush of terrorism and indiscriminate violence towards achieveing some medieval form of a Muslim caliphate.

This is the biggest insult to the Indian Muslims who by and large for the last 61 years have lived as law abiding Indian nationals,sharing the same democratic freedoms as other communities and suffering under the same yoke of poverty and under development as his Hindu,Sikh or Christian brethren.Only a miniscule number of young men have answered the call for jihad against India and when they have done it is usually at the behest of Pakistan.Forget about the Kashmiri youth,even Sikh youths were lured by the guns,drugs and easy money that Pakistan provided during the Punjab insurgency.

As 2009 moves ahead at speed,bouyed by the swearing in of Obama, in a few hours from now, as USA’s 44th President let us resolve to solve our problems ( and we have many)ourselves, while remaining vigilant against those who are wont to thrust fallacious theories about us and our nation on to the world stage.Let the blunders by Rice and Miliband serve as a reminder to our government  that signing a nuclear deal with USA does not automatically make it and its allies our NEW BEST FRIENDS.

That time of the year is coming closer….Madam’s birthday. No, this is not a reference to Sonia Gandhi but to our own Behenji -wanting -to -turn –Madam, Mayawati. If you cringed last year on seeing senior police officials and state bureaucrats giggling nervously and feeding (stuffing is a more fitting description of the act) the pink clad, Mayawati chunks of birthday cake then there is worse in store this year.

 Back then she preened and smiled for the cameras, clearly reveling in the ‘naked’ power she wields in the, politically, most powerful state of India. This year the Madam will for sure repeat her act but before that in an unexpected preview, the Madam has been spotted on television looking visibly irritated and angry.

The reason is that just as her birthday celebration plans and the accompanying fund-raisers were rolling along smoothly one PWD executive engineer by the name of Manoj Kumar Gupta has gone and died a brutal death. Worse still the ‘cunning’ media in ‘connivance’ with Madam’s opponents are harassing Madam at every press conference and public appearance asking her to explain the connection between Manoj’s death and her ‘fund raising’ drive. No matter how many times she explains that there is no connection the media refuses to let go of the matter. The people of Auraiya (the unfortunate Manoj’s home town) are also not ‘behaving’ themselves and are busy protesting on the streets and burning down buses and public property.

What happened in Auraiya (Manoj’s death by torture and beating, allegedly by the Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Shekhar Tiwari and his men) was bound to happen sooner or later given the political legitimacy that Mayawati has been giving, over the years, to the questionable practice of the collection of funds for her and her party. She has openly said at public meetings that people must contribute for her on her birthday. She did try and make this sound more politically correct by saying that the people must see her birthday as a day of fund collection for the Bahujan Samaj Party.

In possibly the most naked expression of personal greed, on a public platform, Mayawati even went on record once saying that she had used the millions that her impoverished fellow citizen’s had ‘contributed’ to her to buy two palatial bungalows for herself in Lucknow and Delhi!

Her collection drives work through her network of party legislators and workers who divide territories between themselves and then fan out to extort money from business people, government servants and anyone else they can pressurize. Targets are given to usually unwilling donors and they are threatened with dire consequences if the ‘birthday party’ targets are not met. Most cough up and live to see another day. Some do not, and end up dead like engineer Manoj Kumar Gupta of Auraiya.

is no one to take on Mayawati’s open corruption in Uttar Pradesh because the state sends so many M.Ps to the Lok Sabha that any party that gets on her wrong side is bound to suffer when the time comes around for cobbling together a coalition government. This is how coalition politics works in our country. If the government at the centre needs the collaboration of Mulayam Singh then all corruption charges against him are dismissed and if it is Mayawati whose political allegiance is being sought then she gets a clean chit. And thus the ‘musical chairs’ of corruption continues birthday after birthday in the state.

 So while the common man and woman in the state continues to suffer on every parameter from education, health, infrastructure to socio economic development a certain oversized, pink clad, diamond ‘encrusted’, Barbie will have another expensive birthday bash soon. As she childishly blows out the candles this year she is unlikely to spare a thought for the life that her party men extinguished and the light that went out in one Auraiya household. Happy (bloody) Birthday, Madam.

 P.S: The accused Shekhar Tiwari is a MLA who even before this incident has 14 criminal charges against him !!!

Links for details: http://www.nerve.in/tags:shekhar+tiwari