30 November, 2008

Loose ends

My list of unanswered questions:

1. How many terrorists were there? Have we been able to recreate their steps that evening?
There were statements made that there were anywhere between 10 and 26 terrorists. In the end 10 are accounted for. There are so many unanswered questions or maybe I have just missed this in the media? I for one would worry about this no end, because it takes 2 people and a few guns to wreak havoc.. do we know for sure that there are no many in this city?

2. What are we going to do about this?
Barkha Dutt is wailing about the ceasefire on the LOC being withdrawn and a troop buildup. A troop buildup will scare Pakistan, but Pakistan I think has been scared of India since it came into existence. I for one do not believe that a troop buildup alone accomplishes anything. A troop buildup would make much more sense if India takes a stand that it is now going to take care of terror camps on either side of the border and the troop buildup is to support that. Similarly, India should go after Dawood if he is involved - I wonder if bribing the Paki army could do the trick. Can India be a little brash for once? Can we not throw some muscle around? Can we not hold our own?

3. Will the media ever behave?
We all have been subjected to inhuman stupidity, insensitivity, callousness of the media lost in a blind zeal to track the tragedy. Did we need all the details of the commando operations - knowing that the terrorists would also see it? Do we need all the sentimentality on TV - can we not feel the way we should without any handholding by the media. I think that the media is setting lower and lower standards for itself to beat. India TV was flashing information which was given to it by the terrorists over the phone call (Assuming that whoever had called India TV was actually a terrorist) as News. If the terrorist had said that they were from Bangladesh, that is what would have been flashed.
Barkha Dutt was getting a high shouting herself hoarse and coaxing exactly what she wanted to hear from everyone she interviewed.

27 November, 2008


This is a page just to record this day. There will be plenty written about this and all of us will remember what we were doing when this happened.
I hope for the following:
1. More resources and political will behind counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism
2. I think that our existence lives is a pendulum between minority and majority excesses -
Babri Masjid - Mumbai riots - Mumbai Blasts(1)*- Godhra** - Train blasts - Serial blasts serially in cities - Mumbai attacks

Will we able to break out of this bizarre game of ping pong. What we need is not magnanimity... I think we need to ensure justice - fair and time bound. Not for this attack - but also for this attack and for all such attacks on India. I think that is one way we can break out of this ping pong.

05 November, 2008

Its only a name

Saurabh happens to be quite a popular name for people my age. My mother wanted me to have a name like Amit (full marks for uniqueness). My father advised against this as this would put me me at the beginning of every roll call and every lab exam (roll numbers are usually alphabetical). During engineering, I have uttered many a silent thank you for not being in the first batch going in for practical tests and viva.
I have always had people with the same name around me. There was a time in DPS when there were two others with the same name in the same class - Saurabh Khanna, Saurabh Kumar Das and yours truly. Many a time, we used to be called for each other's doings - be it exam scores or pulled up for bunking classes. The confusion was usually only mildly irritating but had its high points as well.
Once in class,  a teacher who had just received a piece of paper from a peon, asked me to stand up as she read it out to me. I was expecting a visit to the accounts department as they were supposed to refund my hostel fees. The teacher, smiling mildly, read this out, "Saurabh, you are hereby suspended for 2 weeks and are asked to stop coming to school from tomorrow." Even though my behaviour was on an average somewhat unruly, I was not sure why the school was taking such a strong exception to this. After about two hours of tracing the root cause, I came to know that it was my hostel warden who had volunteered my name. Apparently, he knew that some Saurabh had done it and he remembered my name.Real culprit - Saurabh Sachdeva (ofcourse yet another one).
There has also been a time in life when I had the right name but was the wrong person, but there are better tales to share here. 
With the internet ofcourse, things have become more interesting. I have received the following emails: 
1. Dear Saurabh Sir, please find attached the production and attendance report for yesterday
2. Dear Saurabh, the amount in your account is Rs. xxxxxx.
3. Dear Roopshree, your shaadi.com profile has been updated.
4. Congrats Roopshree! there are three people interested in you.
5. ALERT! A cheque of Rs. 5000 has been debited from your account.
6. Saurabh, please submit the cash tomorrow as I need the money urgently
7. Saurabhda how is australia?
8. Saurabh, congrats on joining the naukri.com mailing list. you will now get 100 emails every day with suitable job openings. 


Thanks to my name (or actually my email address on gmail), I get occasional glimpses of someone else's life.

I wrote an email to my bank when the bank emails started coming to me.

This was their reply:
This is with reference to your e-mail dated October 17, 2008 regarding e-mail alerts.
We request you to provide the below details to enable us to assist you:
1. Account number or customer ID
2. Copy of the e-mail received by you as attachment.
Warm Regards,
Bhavya XXXX

Customer Support

Next email from them after I provided the above details:
Dear Mr. Jain,

Thank you for your confirmation.This is with reference to your query for the e-mail alerts.
Your query is being attended to. We will revert to you within 5 working days.Looking forward to your co-operation and patience in the interim.
Warm Regards,
Bhavya XXXX

Customer Support

My obvious reply to them was somewhat disturbed:
I am not MR. Jain.
I am saurabh kumar

To which they replied:
Dear Mr. Kumar,
Thank you for writing to us.
This is in reference to your earlier e-mail regarding insta alerts.

We are sorry for addressing you incorrectly

And then, their parting shot -
Dear Mr. Jain,
Thank you for your patience and co-operation.The necessary rectification has been done. Hence forth you will not received the alerts of other customer.We regret the inconveniences caused to you.
Warm Regards,
Bhavya XXXXX
Customer Support