Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dateline Bombay – Oh Taj, 26/11

The Delhi walla's pretension in writing makes me want to lodge a bullet in his balls - Blogger Nimpipi, the woodchuck chucks
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*Picture by Arko Datta

All Delhi wallas are Mumbaikars today.

[By Mayank Austen Soofi; above picture taken by Arko Datta]

Today Delhi has become Bombay. The Delhi Walla is now a Bombay Walla. I talked to a few eminent people who shuffle their time in both cities.

Anjolie Ela Menon, Delhi-based painter
I was at home in Nizamuddin East when news channels broke the news. My son is visiting Bombay and I was panicked. But he is safe in Shivaji Park. However a businessman friend of mine is trapped in the Taj.

Anita Kaul Basu, TV producer, spends time both in Delhi and Bombay
It’s like being in Kashmir.

I was at home in Andheri West and since last night I haven’t gotten up from the TV. We thought terrorist attacks happen in crowded places like railway stations but this time they targeted luxurious hotels. They targeted People Like Us.

Even South Bombay is not safe.

Of course, I’m sorry about so many deaths but it breaks my heart to see the fire razing in the old wing of the Taj. That was exactly the place where we shot an episode of Mastermind India a few years ago. There are rumors of the central atrium filled with bodies. It’s tragic. Although all my friends seem to be safe but you don’t know just who are trapped inside those hotels. We had a TV shoot today in Goregaon but of course we have abandon the plans.

Roshan Seth, Delhi-based actor
Since I don’t have a television, I got the news this morning from newspapers. That all this happens in the name of God is so ultimately depressing. We are in a state of war without being in a state of war.

Anoushka Shankar, Delhi-based sitar player
I was at home in Panchseel Enclave when I saw the news on TV. I immediately smsed my friends in Bombay. Till late last night it seemed the situation would come under control but I woke up in the morning and realized the enormity of it. I’m shaken.

Vir Das, Bombay-based comedian
I was busy in the shoot of my new TV show in Kandivali East and I came home only this morning. I’m sleepy but thank God all my friends are safe.

Samit Basu, Delhi-based novelist
I was at home in CR Park when I got the news and I immediately thought of my friends in Bombay. Thankfully none of them live in South Bombay. Which is good in many ways. But I’m not catching the news on TV. I don’t have a cable connection.

Oh Bombay (picture by Peter Keep)

*Picture by Peter Keep

Oh Bombay (picture by Arko Datta)

*Picture by Arko Datta

Oh Bombay (picture by Gautam Singh)

*Picture by Gautam Singh

Shock in Delhi

Dateline Bombay – Oh Taj, 27/11

Shock in Delhi

Dateline Bombay – Oh Taj, 27/11


Anonymous said...

This whole terrorism thing in India has become more and more personal for me, as first, it was GK in Delhi that had the blasts, and now it's the Taj in Bombay. It practically amounts to having to witness one's home go up in flames. And what for?
If this is anybody's interpretation of any religion, Allah sure comes cheap to His followers.
It's a bit strange that British and American people should be targeted in this manner.
I feel very safe in Britain, and that's where I'm headed.
The natives can stuff this rotten country up their mozzie bums.

Anonymous said...

Kindly be honest enough to credit pictures to those who click them. These are AFP and Arko Datta materials. What you post is shameless, especially as it has your name and details and are linked to flicker too. You are such a sham.

Anonymous said...

In a time like this the last thing one needs to do is to run away.It's about resisting this fear psychosis that's engulfing us. You forget that 'Your' London was where it happened a few years ago.

Mayank Austen Soofi said...

Being a photographer, the last thing I would do is to pass off other people's pics as mine. If you let on your cursor stay over the pics, you'll see the name of their photographers. However, to make the photo credit more clear, I'll add names next to captions. Just now.

DurbanDaze said...

Mayank, thanks for capturing some of the mood of the people in Delhi. This is a situation that concerns us all, around the globe. It seems that the so-called "war on terror" has spawned nothing but more terror and division and suspicion. Our thoughts are with the people of Mumbai.

Anonymous said...

How about the quotes? I assume they are all shams since mine is. I'm Anoushka Shankar and I never said these things. In fact I was in Kolkata when the attacks occurred and not in Delhi, and the whole quote is made up. As far as I know, that's libel. Not sure if you did it yourself or picked it up from somewhere else but I wanted to point it out.

I appreciate your posting about the atrocities in Mumbai and I do of course share your sentiment, but please be advised those aren't my words.


Mayank Austen Soofi said...

I guess there must be many Anosuhkas in the world. I talked to the sitarist, Pandit Ravi Shankar's daughter.

Anonymous said...

That was rather apparent thank you very much! Surely no one would be stupid enough to write the way I did after you clearly mentioned you were speaking of Anoushka the sitarist?

I'm that Anoushka sitting in a Kolkata hotel waiting to see if we can fly to Delhi tonight after tomorrow's Mumbai show has been sadly cancelled. And I never said those things to you- have we ever even spoken? Kindly remove my quote.

Mayank Austen Soofi said...

It’s bizarre. You sound so convincing. But I talked to Anoushka Shankar on phone yesterday. And yes, she was that Anoushka Shankar. Please send me a proof that you are that Anoushka Shankar and I will issue an apology and also remove that quote. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

how about the fact that I don't live in Panchsheel so you're wrong on that count? Call up the Ravi Shankar Centre in Delhi and ask to speak to me or ask if I was in Delhi two nights ago. Or look at my tour schedule for God's sake. I can't have been in two places at once and I was at a press conference, rehearsal, and party in Kolkata the day of the attacks, and performing there the next day (yesterday).

My next step if this doesn't end will be to have someone from my office or management contact you. This has been an interesting jaunt into cyberspace as I don't normally respond to these things myself but if you're going to stand by this ridiculous story it's going to get lame. Come on.

I hope you and people you know are safe. Best, Anoushka

Mayank Austen Soofi said...

I stand by my quote. I won't reply more to your comments.

Anonymous said...

send an email to my work email address,

If you go to the website you'll see it's me. And then I'll reply to you and repeat the same thing, which is that you either spoke to someone else or picked this up from somewhere that misquoted OR have made it all up.

You don't even need to post this to your blog for any reason- just see proof is available if you want it.

if you're so sure of your quote you should really check who you spoke to. or maybe i should since someone is pretending to be me!!!

Shawn said...

As I put my views let me make it clear that I do not represent RSS, BJP,VHP, Shiva Sena or any other hindu fundamentalists. I have no political ambitions and I do not want and need any positions-of-power.

I want an India where people are united as its citzens, period. No discrimination be it religion, caste, sexual orientation, food preference or financial status.

What has happened in Mumbai has taken out the last amount of tolerance & patience in me. How long can we resist & tolerate . We are not ignorant bigots who will blow ourselves up in the name of Lord Shiva/Jesus/Buddha to get 72 virgins in heaven. But if some motherfuckers constantly abuse & torment our nation in the name of Allah, we will not remain quiet.

The terrorist attacks in Mumbai may mark an inflection point in the war against India by Islamic forces. Over centuries of terror — and tens of millions of innocent victims — India has been reduced to Kaafir status. Whether or not India has been finally pushed to wall is the question. Will the collective grow a spine or will it continue to just total up the lives lost while meekingly submitting to Islam’s avowed goal of claiming India as well as Europe and America as dar ul Islam? Is there some hope that India will finally turn the corner and defend itself instead of cowering in the corner?

The signs are not hopeful. The Prime Minister, Mr Manmohan Singh, as usual made his empty threats of going after the terrorists — like he always does following each attack. But then he backpedals furiously with an eye on his vote bank. If the Indian voters don’t kick out the UPA in the next elections, I think that they deserve every bit of the continued rain of terror they suffer.

I will not be surprised if the Pseudo-Secular Media & people like Mahesh Bhatt, Arundhati Roy and Teesta Setalvad say that martyrs like Kamte, Karkare & Salaskar were killed in Fake encounters by the police themselves and that the terrorists in Taj & Oberoi that got killed were all innocent people.

Todays incident should finally convince us that we can not solve the terrorism problem anymore with concepts of love and harmony. We have been stupidly following these mis-guided principals of non-violence while Turks, Arabs, Aghans, French, Portugese, British, Chinese and Pakis have been raping our motherland. Love and harmony would have worked for instance with a pacifist minority of buddhists or some sub-sect of Christians and Jews. My friends I am not instigating violence. If we don’t rise and fight now history will judge us as cowards unfit of independent existance. If Islamic Jihad is not stopped, in another 100 years India will be like an Iraq or Sudan with a very very tiny number of Hindus, Sikhs & Christians working as slaves

The greatest success of these cowards like Taliban and Al Qeeda, has been to indoctrine the most powerful media men in the world, with their “victimhood”. They have succesfully, in my opinion, presented a picture of a David vs Goliath fight where the “oh-so-innocent” and “weak” followers of "Religion of Peace" are fighting the super powerful forces of the world. Be it USA or Isreal or India

Personally I have never been against any caste, community, ethic group, nation or any religion. I've always admired the good things all different religions preach, and for me all religions are the path to god and a method of praying to the All Mighty. There have been bigots in all religions, but the ones in Religion of Peace have outnumbered the ones in all other religions

As a free thinker I believe that we should allow all sorts of books, philosophies and practises to exist.There should not be control over thoughts. Sadly a large majority among the Religion of Peace don't agree with this. The want their "Religion of Peace" to dominate the world and an evil law like Sharia to be implemented throughout the world. They want to make 'Dhimmi' women (Christians & Jews) as their concubines and want to eliminate all 'Kaafirs' (Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Zorastrians & Athiests)

For peaceful co-existance in the world, all the people on planet earth should follow the maxim that No religion is greater than humanity and that all the people irrespective of their ethnicty, race, nationality or religion are equal.

I and most thinkers in our community are human beings first, then we are Indians, then we are citizens of our respective cities, then we are of a certain ethnic region, and lastly we are followers of a certain religion or athiest/agnostic.

But there are large number of people in every community/nation who have prejudices towards other communities/races and religions. There have been extremists, radicaks and fascists everywhere. Be it Nazis in Germany, or Ku Klux Klan in USA, or Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, or the Evangelist Church of Australia, or Zionists in Israel, LTTE in Sri Lanka or for that matter Khalistanis, ULFA, Bodo, Naxals, Bajrang Dal and MNS in India.

But after the Nazis, the radicals that have been most venemous & threatning to humanity are Islamic Jehadis. And in todays changing modern world, its these people whose heads are stuck in the 8th century Arabia.

India’s development is not insulated from global forces shaping the world. Islamic terrorism is a global reality that only the seriously deluded can deny. Its bloody hand reaches deep inside the global human breast daily and wrenches the heart out.

Islamic terrorism impedes the free flow of law abiding people, it hurts commerce, it hurts development, and most importantly of all, it destroys lives and families. Around 130 dead and 300 injured in Mumbai today was just one more the hundreds of incidents of jihad the world suffers each year.

Islam, the self proclaimed “religion” of peace and love cannot stop killing its own people in the name of Islam and Allah. Islam is a religion that proclaims murder is wrong, and the killing of a fellow Muslim absolutely forbidden. Despite that, Muslims seem to have no problem killing a fellow Muslim if it is convenient or will lead to one sect having more power than another.

I remeber clearly in July 2006 in Iraq, Shia Muslims stopped buses and cars and anyone who was not a Shia Muslim, was executed. Over 40 Sunni Muslims were murdered by their fellow Muslims. Apparently, that was done in retaliation for the bombing of a Shia mosque by Sunni Muslims. Few days later, a funeral procession was stopped and all the mourners were executed. Muslims are killing Muslims and there isn’t an American soldier in sight to blame. And USA gets all the hatred for this. Such Hypocrisy.

Whether it is the attack on 9/11 in New York, 7/7 in London, Madrid, Russia, Bali, and the multiple attacks in India (Except maybe for the Malegaon and Samjhuata Blasts as the Pseudo -Secularists claim) and Pakistan, the common denominator in all these attacks is Islamic Jihad.

If a large number of followers of such a religion belive in terror, bloodshed and massacre of those who follow a different way of life, then terming it as a "Religion of Peace" is Preposterous

The so called diversity has become a curse to our mother land. We can't today even trust our prime minister who behaves like a numb head when terrorists attack and kill our innocent brothers, sisters, sons, daughters. We have only been treated as a sheep in the world so far. Nobody gives a damn about India's problems. And why should anyone since we couldn't even assassinate one Dawood who killed almost 800 innocent people in 1993. We have to prove we are not a looser nation. We have to use aggression. Peaceful means don't work with brain-washed jihadists. For god's sake, all us Indians should get this straight in our heads, minds and hearts.

So what do we need to eradicate terrorism in our country, once & for all: -

What we need: -

1. A counter attack measure like America so that Terrorist camp in any other country can be destroyed(America didn’t suffer any terrorist attack after 9/11 due to this)

2. A POTA like law for countering traitors present in country

3. Ousting the Pseudo Secular UPA government immediately, otherwise in its remaining tenure it will take lives of thousands more. And not even bringing BJP guys cause they will make us burn with communal riots. And forget about the communists, they want to take us back to BC Period.

4. A unified central agency for countering terrorism

5. Minority appeasement should stop immediately and shoot to kill orders for all terrorists irrespective of their ideology or religion.

6. Ending all sorts of relations with Pakistan, Bangladesh & Afghanistan including suspending Bus & Train services and making India a No Fly Zone for them.

All this is possoble only and only if we have a Nationalist leader.

What India needs is a revolution led by the people. When the Czars in Russia became fat and lazy and the people were suffering, the Bolshevik party gathered the citizens and, to quote a certain Glaswegian manager, knocked them off their perch.

Similar revolutions led by the citizens of country took place in France, China and the US. India has never really had a revolution post independence. Behind the facades of Demo- crazy lies the same tyrannical system that existed in the pre-'independence' years. What India desperately needs is a visionary leader they can rally behind, someone with the determination of Hitler, the will of Lenin and the faith in ideology of Lincoln. That is the kind of person India desperately needs.

Anonymous said...

my dear Shawn, you are the one..

Anonymous said...

What of this whole drama re: Anoushka Shankar?
If it's true, this blog and its blogger have indeed been exposed to the world as truly and completely Delhi wallah. The usual standard of lies and hypocrisy. Just as everyone and everything else in that charming city of rapists, murderers, politicians and other varieties of cheats.
Quite a shame, one would have said, but then one does not expect anything better of Delhi. It's something chromosomal in the people it produces.

N said...

Have long been a reader of this author's work.Some of it is excellent and some is just rather affected and pretentious.

The last comment on this post just begged for a loud "Bullshit!"
Dear Anonymous.
You seem to quite enjoy your stereotypical views.Would be futile to attempt to reason given the sentiment of your comment.
Live and let live,has quite been my motto.Perhaps a better one would be to Live and Let Die.

I'm not a fan of stereotypes.
But Anouskha Shankar just won herself a new fan with her responses to Soofi.
The truth of the situation remains to be seen.

Vandana said...

It's funny how we are talking about the 26/11 attacks and then getting parochial about Delhi, Bombay , London etc. Terrorism attacks humanity.Period.

I'm a Delhiite but was in New York when the 3 day siege occurred. I'm doing something about it. Have a look at It's a media project about people having discussions in Mumbai taxis about what took place.

Vandana said...

I find the parochial comments about being from London, Delhi or Mumbai rather trite. Terrorism affects humanity. Period.

I am from Delhi and was sitting in New York when the attacks took place. I have started a project, 'The Taxi Takes on Terror' in response. It's a new media project based on conversations in Mumbai taxis about terrorism. if you want to add your own perspective.