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The government goofed on yet another advertisement. This time, Delhi was in Pakistan and Kolkata in the sea (eating phish, I presume). This is what a BJP leader had to say :
“Earlier also the UPA government had goofed with an ad where a Pakistani official was shown–all I can say as far issues of the country are concerned, UPA is very non serious,” said BJP leader, Sumitra Mahajan.
The statement is unacceptable on two counts :
1. She is clearly infringing on the negative rights of bloggers. This was a perfect setting for bloggers to poke fun at someone, and the BJP is trying to hijack it.
2. It makes no effing sense ! At most, the ones to blame are some intern at the advertising firm who was surfing an adult website while doing this (the map, I mean) or the boytoy of some babu who was asked to run an errand while he was finishing up his task.
In a way, I am saddened that this is how low the BJP has to stoop to get across their agenda of security. But if they repeatedly haven’t been able to encash on the failures of the UPA, they are themselves to blame.
If I were a Delhite, I’d be really annoyed at this speech by P. Chidambaram :
“We should seize the opportunity of the Commonwealth Games to change our behavioural pattern. We must behave as (residents of) an international city,” he said in New Delhi after inaugurating a police station.
Mr. Home Minister, for them to behave as residents of an international city, shouldn’t the city be of international standards first ? I do hope Delhites take offence to this, and file a PIL.
If you observe carefully, many of the suggestions he gives have got to do with lack of infrastructure, something Mr. Chidambaram should be tackling without wasting time in speeches.
Now this is one new idea in the Indian elections that hasn’t been plagiarized from the Barack Obama campaign :
Isn’t it like telling the people, “You stink !”. Every second movie, third painting and fourth book insults us. Then how did we miss this ?
I am back to regular writing after exactly a month-long hiatus. For people who have been checking this blog, you would know what I was upto : Link.
Foreword : This is a very long post. Actually, even longer. And heavily judgemental [:)].
As much as I am going to miss freaking out people by saying that I am going to visit Ladakh alone, I must add that the best way to travel is undoubtedly doing it alone ! If experiences, people and adventure is what you are looking for, there is no better way than doing it alone. And in that sense, I had a terrific trip.
The highlights of the trip : The winner, hands down, meeting people. Be it the senior citizen, a photographer, whom I met at a park in Jaipur to the Bulgarian mountain guide who was on his world trip to a person who is a professional ‘vote-buyer’ to the security guard at the airport who chatted for over an hour ! The runner-up, visiting villages in India. Put the above two together and you have an experience.
The trip started off with my landing in Delhi, where I was graciously hosted by a friend at his apartment. But not before 4 of us squeezed into an 800 with 3 suitcases of mine. I was home. The first evening was exactly what Rabbi meant when he wrote Dilli. The next day was a trip around Delhi. I was really happy to visit Rajghat (I have gone through the fan-of-Godse phase, but thankfully, I am back to wiser days). Next, Jama Masjid. In my humble opinion, before making any generic statement for/against the Muslims of India, please spend some time around Jama Masjid, and I really hope the Javed Akhtar’s and Shabana Azmi’s are listening. Connaught Place was good, but by then I had already judged the crowd, not very flattering I must add. It reinforced the popular notion that Delhi is a bit unsafe for women, and not just the adventurous kind.
The next day was my long awaited trip to Agra, Mathura and Fatehpur Sikri, with a group of friends and the above mentioned 800. Getting past a toll-naka without paying up courtesy a police sticker is a joy and experience only an amit_123 (Definition) would know about. The Taj Mahal was beautiful, but a tad disappointing to my expectations but atleast I have that legendary snap in front of the Taj. The Mathura temple had all the ingredients of a successful temple : Huge crowds, loud chants, even louder chatters and a 1-second darshan. The return back to Delhi and boarding of a bus to Jaipur happened that night; just the routine drill of visiting-all-sightseeing-places-in-a-day.
The next day was big. Having the Free Hugs Campaign with a friend of mine. Details here : Link.
For more about the Free Hugs Campaign, this might be a good view : Link
The next morning I was in Leh, the biggest city in Ladakh, which in case you didn’t know IS in fact in India. I gave acclimatising a day and a half, considering Leh is at over 11,000 ft and did some small hikes around Leh the next evening including the Shanti Stupa, Old Caslte and Leh Palace. This was when I met Aleksander, a Bulgarian mountain guide, on a world trip, and arguably one of the happiest people I have ever met ! Although his main concern was why foreigners had to pay up anything from 2 times to 40 times the entry fees for Indians at all places. To quote Aleksander : ‘All foreigners are not rich !!’.
Continue reading part 2 here.
Marker – 30 Rs.
Charts – 10 Rs.
Getting a rundown on IPC sections 509, 144 et al from the cops, running
around Delhi to get permission and finally having the Free hugs Campaign .. priceless, truly priceless.
P.S. : For people without a clue about the Free Hugs Campaign, this might be a good start : Link