Posted by SMM on 09:55
In reply to my previous post, Raven made the following comment beautifully written and very thoughtful comment:

"I understand the place of pain from which they come, though I don't entirely agree with you.

A very wise man once said to me, "You become the thing you hate." I think that's one of the most awful parts about acts of extreme violence - beyond the death and the immediate
suffering - is that they suck us into the very evil which we so abhor.

Personally, I think violence begets violence. I don't think killing discourages killing. Instead, I think it fuels the flames. Terrorists think of themselves as noble martyrs. Killing them feeds rather than deters such beliefs.

It seems to me that no matter how tempting and how temporarily it feels like you have gotten your own back, holding true to the law and the values of society is the best way to go.

Otherwise terrorism wins. More damage was done in my country in response to 9/11 than was done by the maniacs who flew into those buildings. In fear and anger we allowed our government to trash the very values they were allegedly defending. The terrorist just had to sit back and watch us destroy ourselves. The bombs are only the infection planted. The worst sickness came after in the world wide deaths justified in the name of defending ourselves against terrorism, in the acts of torture justified in the name of defending ourselves against terrorism and on and on and on.

My older sister was stabbed to death 20 years ago on October 2nd (Gandi's birthday). For me - killing her killer would not heal anything. It wouldn't bring her back. It would make me part of a kind of violence I know she would have hated.

I don't want to let hate and anger consume me. I think the bad guys win when that happens. I don't know what the answer is to terrorism but I don't think joining in the killing is it. In the end - creepy and vile as they are - terrorists ARE human. Dealing with the injustices in all our societies, listening to one another seems a better response, though a much slower and less certain one - than killing.

That said - I'm understand your rage and you have expressed yourself with beautiful eloquence and passion.
I wish with my whole heart that this kind of insanity could be put to rest and that nobody anywhere ever had to feel such pain again."

Raven, I had so much to say in reply that I had to write a post to do it justice.

Before I say anything in reply though, I'd just like to tell you a little where I (and most of my friends and people from my generation) come from. We come from a place where we learnt there are many religions, but when we played and fought and ate and cried together, we did so because we were friends and not because she was a Muslim, and I was a Hindu. One of my closest friends is a Muslims, she would always come attend the Saraswati Puja (Festival of the Goddess of Learning & Education) with me, and also place her books and pens at the feet of the Ma Saraswati for blessings. When she kept Ramzan, I would fast with her one day a week and celebrated Eid as well. I have celebrated Navroze (Parsi New Year) with my Parsi friend, and had langar (food prepared by the Gurudwara for people of all sects and communities) at the Gurudwara with my Sikh friend. We have celebrated Christmas and attended Midnight Mass , though none of us were Christians. For us, religions just meant that the God we pray to has different names.

People may argue that being from a defence background, I have been brought up in a more liberal manner. Maybe. I cannot argue on that since I don't know anything different. People may argue, that had I been from a smaller town or from a more conservative background, I would have thought different. Maybe. But the point is that since I am not from a small town or from a conservative background, I don't know anything different.

What I have seen is the communal riots in my country in 1992 over the Babri Masjid issue, the Gujarat riots in 2001, the blasts in the Mumbai trains in 2006, the blasts in different parts of India this year. What I have seen is the devastation caused by this - and this goes on both sides of the fence. I have read some of the Human Rights reports of the Gujarat riots, and what I read was horrifying. I couldn't read them. I was horrified at the atrocities committed by both Hindus and Muslims in the name of religion. I condemn that totally as a human.

I have read the Bhagvad Gita (Holy Book of the Hindus), but not the Vedas and Puranas (other Holy Books). I have read a little of the Quran (Holy Book of the Muslims) and the Bible (Children's Bible though). Nowhere have I read that killing another human being is justified because he belongs to a different religion or sect. I cannot believe that blowing up thousands of innocent people in the name of religion is justified.
Gandhiji said, when someone slaps on one cheek show him the other cheek. Then there is "An eye for an eye."

They are both two extremes. Today if I showed my other cheek to someone, his hand would not fall in shame, it would only lift to slap me again. Neither do I believe that because you have planted a bomb and blown up people, therefore that gives me the right to blow you up as well. Then there would be no difference between me and them. I cannot become them, because I am not them.

9/11 was one incident in the US. people are stiff suffering because of what happened in that one incident. There have been innumerable such incidents in India. Today if we hear there has been a blast, we no longer display shock, we only ask "Now where?" This is the generation which I have grown up in. All I wonder is why. If these people have any issues with society and government, they should state that so that the same can be sorted out mutually. What is the point they are trying to make by planting bombs and then claiming responsibility for the death of so many? Why do they need to hide? If you are proud of what you have done, then have the balls to say so. Why hide like a rat in the ratholes? Why not tell everyone what is it that they are protesting against?

It is a very sad but true fact that most of the terrorists are Muslims. Today if I meet a Muslim, I will not be my usual self. I will hesitate and think a hundred times before giving any contact detail, even if it is in the line of work. I am not proud of that. I hate this feeling that a wall has sprung up between me and that other person because he is a Muslim. I have not been taught that, it is something I have learnt to survive in today's India. This is not the kind of things I want to teach my children, but I would have to.

Killing your sister's killer would not bring her back, but seeing him being brought to justice would certainly give her soul some peace. I lost my brother when I was 16 because of a buss accident. I had a fight with him that morning and however hard I try, the fact that I didn't give him the usual "Good Morning" hug and a big cheery bye as he left the house will forever haunt me. There is nothing I can do about that. I cannot go trace the driver and run his bus over him. What would have however, helped is seeing the driver being brought to book.

Justice is every person's right raven. I am a lawyer, I am an officer of the Court and I assist the Court in reaching its decision to do justice. Justice to me is not seeing any random person being shot to death by the police because they suspected him. Justice to me is giving the person a fair trial. The man behind the Parliament blasts was tried. But tell me, Raven what kind of students would have a full arsenal of pistols and AK 47 in their home. In this one incident, where the police killed some of the terrorists, as a citizen I support them. I support the fact they are doing the best they can in weeding out these elements of society and protecting me and my family. These people have wreaked enough havoc on other's lives for no plausible rhyme or reason. They thought they were God's army on earth. God needs no army to spread His message.
Raven, my rage was with the Human Rights people who are only trying to get publicity and media . They cry foul at this one incident. Why? Because people who were the cause of violent death of so many thousands of people died a violent death themselves? We need to speak to people in the language they understand. There is a saying in Hindi "Laaton ke bhoot baaton se nahi maante" which roughly translated means that people who only work with kicks, will never pay heed to mere words. And "an eye for an eye" is the only language which they would have understood. These people stopped being human a very longtime back. You and I are human because we cannot even dream of killing in the name of God.


Human Rights not always right

Posted by SMM on 16:10
Kudos to the Delhi police for the recent encounter where they killed two terrorists. My condolences to the family of the brave officer who died fighting terrorists. I appreciate the prompt and much needed action in weeding out some bit of terrorism. I salute the officers who got this information.As a citizen, I do not condemn the action one bit. An eye for an eye my friend, is what is the norm of the day. Gandhiji's dictum of showing the other cheek would not really work today. We would be bombed out of oblivion by all the terrorists.

However I am appalled by the reaction of various alleged activists of human rights activists who say that that the police encounter has violated the rights of those 'men'. Men? What men? Oh you mean those men who planted bombs in various parts of Delhi on 13th September to go off in tandem killing many and ruining many more or those men who master-minded the various blasts in Jaipur, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Mumbai etc. You mean those men have any rights? 
You mean that instead of taking swift action, the police should have taken them into custody, filed a complaint, be given all the rights of an Indian citizen, and then be given the  opportunity to escape when their many friends  will again kidnap some minister's daughter and demand the release of these men?

You mean that the police should now instead of actively tackling terrorism and questioning the men to get more information, should instead sit down and write  lengthy  reports for the NHRC and stand  trial for why they shot dead a man who killed so many innocent Indians  for no rhyme or reason?Go to hell Mr. Activist and may you be bombed from there by the 'men' who reside there. Men like these terrorists deserve no sympathy. They should all be rounded up and shot to oblivion. Set an example so that no other will again try these attention gaining tactics by blowing up thousand of inncent people again. They have been shot to death. They should be made an example for the rest of the terrorists hiding in their little cubby holes in other parts of the country. They have no rights. The only right they have is that they have none. Human Rights are for human beings, not for heartless soulless bastards who blow up innocent people in the name of Allah. They claim oppression? What oppression are they talking about?  Dude you want to be something in thsi world. Stop learning how to make bombs and counting your success in terms of the number of people who died because of your bombs  - instead learn how to build bridges literally and metaphorically.  If you still think that you are oppressed, let's see why - Oh because your a Muslim and a minority. Umm what about all those reservations for minorities? And have you once thought why Muslims have a bad name today. Because of you. One rotten apple can spoil an entire basket of aples. A handful of misguided Allah's followers have given a bad name to the whole community. 
So Mr. Terrorist, I am very happy that some of your ilk died a violent death.
You guys deserved that.
You guys deserve no sympathy.
You guys are not human,
You guys don't even know what is it that your fighting for.
You guys are cowards who hide behind your anonymity and do not have the guts to come out and state what it is exactly that your fighting for.
You guys are heartless.  
You guys should all be publicly lynched.
You guys have given the enitre Muslim community a bad name. Today if I meet a Muslim, I am wary. And I don't blame myself for that. I blame you. One rotten apple  spoils the entire basket.

And Mr. Human Rights Activist, if you think Mr. Terrorist deserves some sympathy, maybe you should go meet the family of the police officers who have died, or that kid who lost her father, or the wife who will never meet her husband again, or the artist who lost his hand, or the father who is still a missing name. Maybe you should go meet all those people who had the job of cleaning up the blast sites and had to pick up a stray leg here, an arm there. Maybe you should go meet the family who couldn't even cremate their  son because not a single body part was recovered for the cremation. Maybe you should go meet all those poor people who cannot be given their compensation money since they do not have a bank account. Maybe you should go meet the family which lost its sole breadwinner and the huge job of supporting his family has fallen on a 14 year old. And then come and tell me if you still think Mr. Terrorist deserves any rights at all?

Posted by SMM on 16:56
Just because I am a woman, just because I don’t have grey hair does not give any motherfucker the right to scream at me. I don’t care if your older. If you continue acting unprofessionally despite a few hints, there will come a time when  I will pull you up. I respect my elders – but I can’t respect people who are unprofessional and think they can get away with it just because they are older and are a male.


Just because...

Posted by SMM on 16:13

...I felt like writing

..I have been just too bogged down by work

...I haven't written in a while

...A couple of you actually missed me and asked where I was missing

...Its nice to be missed

...To know that I have friends whom I haven't really met but still connect with

...I need to go shopping but just can't find the time

...I also need to exchange my library books

...I like the grey trousers and the black knit top I am wearing today

...I wanted all of you to know that I feel and look good today

...One of my transactions have almost been wrapped up

...We intimidated the opposite side sufficiently enough to make them pay up their dues

...No tax payable on capital receipts

...Termination as opposed to lapse

...Agreement borne out of a lapsed document

...I forgot to charge my Ipod last night

...We were all in office today after ages and went for a noisy office lunch

...The one day I go for an office lunch my phone keeps ringing

...I need to buy a new black coat ...again

...I need to lose weight

...I hope all those nameless cowards lose their own families in blasts

...May God give strength to all those who have lost their near and dear ones in the recent blasts

...Noone even knows what is it that those cowards want besides trying to strike terror

...May God give strength to my maid whose daughter has been kidnapped

...I was helpless that as a lawyer I could do nothing for her - not even accompany her to the police station

...I hate that she is resigned to the fact that she has lost her daughter

...I feel scared whether I will actually see my family tomorrow

...People die and I enjoy a reunion with my friends after years on the same day

...Work never seems to come to an end - its like that serpent - each time you strike one head off, another two come up

....Life must go on - picture abhi baaki hai mere dost


Who am I?

Posted by SMM on 14:10
I am a Bengali who traveled the length and breadth of my country (since my Dad was with the Indian Navy) before we finally settled down in Calcutta. I was born in Delhi. I started my schooling in Vizag, Andhra Pradesh. I did my Law from Pune University. Of two of my closest friends in Pune - one is a Keralite Muslim and the other is a Parsi while my roommate was part UP-ite and part Kannada. I have spent 3 years during my school life in Bombay, 5 years in Pune and another year working in Bombay before I got married and moved up North. I am married to a man who is part Himachali and part Punjabi. I stay in Gurgaon, Haryana and work in Delhi. My maternal grandparents have never lived in Bengal - they were from Uttar Pradesh. My paternal grandmother grew up in Rajasthan & Simla while my paternal grandfather migrated from Bangladesh. I speak English, Hindi and Bengali comfortably. I can pretty much understand and speak Marathi & a little bit of Punjabi. Arjun converses with my grandmother comfortably - she talks to him in Bengali and he replies in Hindi. 
So what do I call myself?  A Bengali by birth, a Himachali by marriage, a Puneite/ Bombayite  by way of residence, education & work, a Delhiite by way of being born here and now work, a Gurgaonite by way of residence - I am really confused.
Mr. Raj Thakeray who am I? Since you have proclaimed that a person born in Delhi but working in Bombay cannot call himself a Dilliwala, what do I call myself when people ask me? Pray tell.


Broke really?

Posted by SMM on 14:52
We earn 5 - figure salaries today. We willingly spend 200 bucks for a movie ticket, another 200 bucks for coke and pop corn. We buy dresses for 10000 and shoes for 5000. We happily spend a minimum of 2000 bucks per head on a Saturday night party.

Yet on being asked to make a donation for a minimum amount of Rs. 800 for a charitable purpose, most of us end up pleading that we'r broke.

Two movies foregone by you could mean a year's education for a child.

One dress foregone and you could sponsor the education of 5 children for a sum of only Rs.6000/-.

Think about it. Missing one movie or not buying one dress is not the end of the world - but for that child it could mean everything. That child might even turn out to be the second Einstein if given a chance - and if not given a chance, just another child on the road with a bowl in his hand. Empower the child of today. Send in your cheque.

For more information go here.


Days of my Life

Posted by SMM on 13:36
I got tagged back by Anu (I guess it's her unique way of saying thanks for tagging me :P). The rules of this tag are as follows:

Two questions in each category answer them and then tag your friends from the blog-o-sphere Leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged and you are all set.


- Oldest Memory:
We were posted in Wellington and we had a big park near our house. My mom would take me for a picnic lunch everyday along with a few other mothers and kids of my age.We would get fed while also doing all our running around. Guess those early social lunches have had a big influence on me :P
- 10 years ago
That would be the year 1998. I had just gone to class 10 - the board year. Our final year in Turf View. We became civilians after that year. The following year was one of my alltime worst years in more ways than one. I grew up in the following year. So let's say 1998 was my last year of being a child.

-Your first thought today morning
Yipppeee no Court today and its a Friday. Maybe I can wear my light green suit to work today (You see i wear black and white everyday so days I wear something other than black and white are exciting for me)

-If you built a time capsule today what would it contain?
Photos of family and friends, my favourite Shikari Shambu photo of Arjun & me, the phone with all those messages exchanged between the two of us before we got married, a CD of my favourite songs which would inter alia include
- Annie's Song by John Denver
- Katra katra
- Dil hai chota sa
-  Bridge over troubled waters
- Fernando
- Tum se hi from Jab We Mey
- Uptown Girl
- Tere Liye 
- Sajna Ve
- Bhaage re man
- Garaj baras  saawan gir aayo
- Ab ke saawan
- Hakuna Matata
- Aashayein
Among the books I would include
- 2 - 3 Mills & Boons
- Three wishes by Barbara Delinsky
- The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
- A book of Fairy Tales


-This year 
Lots - Arjun's birthday, shifting house, buying a car, trip to Cal, trip to Corbett, losing about 5-6 kilos. I'm not allowed to disclose the professional stuff but there is something big that I have been asked to handle and well I am looking forward to it

 -What do you see yourself doing 14 years from now?
 14 years from now - well settled personally & professionally. A rounded family of 4, a nice house with a big library in it, a satisfying career, a diamond necklace, maybe a couple of books under my belt.

Well I'm not tagging anyone. Go ahead if you want to do it..just drop me a message in my comment box so I can come read it :)


Award Time

Posted by SMM on 16:12
I'd like to thank my husband, my parents, my sister, my friends, my colleagues (and especially MS who wants to know when I'm going to write a book), my computer, my TV, my newspaper guy (for regularly delivering my paper rain or shine for me to read it every morning), my neighbours, their kids, the kid's girlfriend.... :P
Anyway now on a serious note, I'm super thrilled that I got FOUR yes FOUR awards in the past two days. Like they say "Dene wala jab bhi deta deta chappar phaad ke" (When the One Above has to give even the roof of your house will give way to accommodate all that he gives).
Well Keshi has given me three awards.
Firstly this ward for being a Fantastic Blogger Friend. Well Keshi not known you for very long, but I know I have a true and good friend in you. Thanks gurl!!!
Then the next award is for being a certified Honest Blogger. Thanks again Keshi for seeing that I write my feelings here and not what I think will be what people would like to read. As Arjun said it, this is my domain. I am the empress of my empire. A friend, whose opinion I generally value, once told me I write too much about myself. He said this is not your diary - noone wants to read all this. Write about the news and the current affairs and the law etc etc. I told him if someone wanted to read the news, they'd visit the news sites and not my blog. This is where I talk about my myself. Those who want to read are most welcome, and those who think I'm narcissistic - so be it.
The third award from Keshi was for a Brillant Weblog. Thanks gurl...once again :)
And this one is from Akelamalu and she has given this to the whole Wordzzle gang. Thanks Akelamalu for giving me a chance to walk on the red carpet.
This is Arjun & me on the red carpet collecting our awards 


Wonderful Quotes

Posted by SMM on 15:10
I am a print addict. I have been hooked to reading ever since I read my first Noddie. I picked up this habit of reading from my father. He showed me that a whole new world exists in books - I could be a dragon slayer or  an astronaut or a a little green man or a millionaire or whatever I wanted to be. I read Malory Towers and pestered my parents to send me there, until they were forced to explain to me that, Malory Towers like Santa  Claus was  fictitious.

Now Keshi has tagged me on this "Wonderful Quotes" tag. The rules are that I have to jot down 5 of my favourite quotes from the various books I'v read and also tag 5 people at the end. If I don't have the books with me, then I may google them. S0 here are my favourite quotes - quotes which really got me thinking: 
"...and they lived happily ever after."
This is from "Cinderella" . I loved the idea of the prince and his love getting married and living happily ever after right from the time I was a kid. Maybe that's why I so love Mills and Boons. They also believe in the 'happily ever after' ending. I like happy ending for everyone...and also for my meals :)

"After all...tomorrow  is another day." 
                                                        -  Scarlett O' Hara

This is the last line in "Gone with the Wind" and the first line in "Scarlett", the sequel to Gone with the Wind. I like her attitude. What has happened today has happened. Tomorrow is a new day. That's my philosophy too. Things always look better after a good night's sleep.

"Never pass up new experiences [Scarlett]. They enrich the mind."
                                                                                                           - Rhett Butler 

This is also from "Gone with the Wind". Interesting thought isn't it?

"If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does."
        - The Duchess

This is from "Alice in Wonderland" . I completely agree. The world today is an ugly place. We need more people who think like the Duchess.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."
                                                                                                              - Atticus Finch

This is from "To Kill a Mockingbird". I completely lived this book. Also one of my early influences to study law. My dad told me to pay close attention to this book when he gifted it to me. He also taught me that courage is not holding a weapon in your hand. Real courage is to finish what you began, including my food :P

I have completed the five quotes but I just had to include a few more:

"A day is like a whole life. You start out doing one thing, but end up doing something else, plan to run an errand, but never get there... Your whole life has the same shape as a single day."

I don't remember who said this. Anyway this is from "Jurassic Park by Micheal Crichton". Life does not always go according to what we planned.We have to be prepared for twists and turns which we had not even thought about.

"I live in two worlds. One is a world of books. I've been a resident of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County, hunted the white whale aboard the Pequod, fought alongside Napoleon, sailed a raft with Huck and Jim, committed absurdities with Ignatius J. Reilly, rode a sad train with Anna Karenina, and strolled down Swann's Way. It's a rewarding world."
                                                                                                           - Rory Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
My sentiments exactly.

In conclusion I quote Robert Fulford from "The Past Times of a  Print Addict"
"A print addict is a man who reads in elevators. People occasionally look at me curiously when they see me standing there, reading a paragraph or two as the elevator goes up. To me, it's curious that there are people who do not read in elevators. What can they be thinking about? "

I tag Utopia, Ria, Anu, Dianne and Raven.

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