Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The year that was...

The year 2008 has been an eventful year with few ups and lots of down 'moments' for me, personally and professionally. Last year on 31 st December I and my family ushered in the New year at Kolkata with my mom and brothers and their families. Mom was always very enthusiastic about welcoming the New year by cutting a cake at the stroke of midnight and holding us close to her, would wish us with a hug, followed by lighting diyas and saying a small prayer for a healthy and peaceful New Year. We, her children were her world and everything she did was for our well being. I will miss wishing her in person, but memories of her vibrant and enthusiastic spirit brings to me a smile and a tear at the same time.

The last week of this year was eventful for me, as my 8 year old daughter took off on her first week long vacation alone, to Bangalore. Adithi was very keen to visit her paternal cousin, Chinmayi who is 9 months younger to her. They are very fond of each other. Luckily, our family friends who were travelling to Bangalore were happy to take her along and bring her back, and Adithi was more than delighted to travel with them. She was received at the railway station by Arun mama and had a great time in Bangalore playing non stop with Chinmayi and her friends; visiting Wonder La, Bangalore Zoo, a local exhibition, restaurant and shopping malls. She relished all the tasty snacks prepared by her Latha atte.

We spoke to her everyday and she did say she missed us, but I am not too sure about it. We throughly missed her histrionics, but nonetheless had a good time watching "Rab ne bana di jodi ", in a theater. I seem to have come out of my lethargy and suddenly grown fond of the friendly neighbourhood cinema house. Last month saw "Dostana" and liked both the movies. My sister-in-law Suma, a movie and theater buff is very excited about this latest development in my life. I am sure her nephew Aditya, another movie and theater buff will be pleased. He writes great movie reviews.

On a closing note, just before my daughter was leaving for Hyderabad, I called her to give some last minute instructions which obviously disrupted her playing session. I told her to thank her aunt and uncle, and she promptly asked me WHY ? and I began my sermon about them having taken her to visit so many places and got her gifts etc and the fact that she had enjoyed her vacation with them. Her reply was OH ! and as I am still on the phone she yells, " Latha atte, my mom tells me to thank you" and I can overhear my sister-in-law say, Why ? and my daughter yells back " my mom says because you have taken me to Wonder La ... blah...blah..." . I went, " NOT AGAIN Baby" and rumbled with laughter. She returned yesterday morning with lots of goodies which included 2 packets of crayons and a pencil box. She showed them to me and before I could say anything, she proudly stated "See haven't I chosen useful things for gifts". I am mighty pleased by the fact that she understands the word Useful.

So cheers to the child's innocence and the learning process and hope the New Year 2009 will bring peace and happiness to all of us. Have a great year ahead !

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

India Bleeds

India bleeds, whether terrorists strike in Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bangalore, Delhi, Assam or Mumbai; when a soldier or policeman loses his life for the country; when a woman or child is raped and brutally killed, innocents lynched in the name of honour killings and revenge, and when natural calamities wipe out families.

The recent 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai is an eye opener to all the Indian citizens. Lessons in crisis management is the need of the hour. We seem to have a short term memory, just like the media. When an incident such as this occurs, the media covers it 24x7 and is thrilled with the TRP ratings, as fools like us keep watching it like a TAMASHA . And soon, it fizzles out and the issue is dead; out of sight, out of mind. The 26/11 terrorist attacks has generated momentum amongst us to do something about the situation, because the victims this time were foreigners and people from the upper strata of society, other than the AAM JUNTHA.

But, I want to be positive and give the devil its due. The media is a powerful tool and has done its bit by taking up few issues and facilitating justice to the victims by generating awareness and mobilizing public support . I expect the media to play a vital and responsible role in creating awareness and empower the citizens to manage crisis of any magnitude. We just can't let India bleed.