Monday, January 5, 2009

New Beginnings.....or????

Here’s to new beginnings…

New year…. new beginnings. Mumbai’s gloom and doom mood at the end of 2008, has been miraculously replaced by a more upbeat attitude towards 2009. This is the great thing about our city.Only, this time, there is a huge difference. Let us call it an ‘awakening’ for want of a better word. While the collective catharsis is still on (how can we possibly obliterate those all-important emotions that will eventually lead to complete healing of a deeply wounded city?), most people have decided to get on with their lives – but more sensibly. Nobody wants to dwell on the morbid details associated with the terror attacks, but everybody is pressing for fundamental change. This is a hugely significant and positive shift. Citizens are far more sensitized and pro-active this time, and not leaving their fates to some phantom figures of authority who are supposedly in charge of ensuring our safety. I have been receiving countless mails from some really intelligent folks who have concrete suggestions to offer. Take the Lok Satta movement for example, which is rapidly gaining ground. It is a group of aware, informed and educated citizens aiming to bring about the change we all seek in governance but don’t really know exactly how to demand it or make it happen. There are thousands of petitions and appeals being sent to various government agencies. But most get ignored or trashed. Our only hope lies in self help, decentralization, and the appointment of someone outside the system, with enough executive powers to actually get the much-needed work done…. before it is too late. Ideally, we should be able to elect such a representative directly ourselves. Which means that such a person will then be answerable only to the people of the city and not to a political party. There are enough capable, dynamic, motivated CEO’s in Mumbai who will be very happy to bring their expertise and experience to the table – on one vital condition – no meddling from politicos. This is really the only way forward. These are men and women who head gigantic corporations, have the skills , resources and time to devote to such a monumental task. They exist!! Given the new ‘awakening’, it makes sense to identify just five such leaders, persuade them to take up the challenge, and support them all the way after that. Unless we come up with a results driven, responsive and responsible agenda, we will once again pay a heavy price for sleeping on the job.
Even though Goa had been converted into a virtual fortress over New Year’s, the deployed security forces added so much to ones sense of comfort, knowing Goa was (and remains) one of the most attractive targets for international terrorism. It was heartening to see frequent beach patrols, with cops in jeeps driving along the vast stretch of sand between Baga and Aguada. Of course, tourist traffic is down – and how!Talking to listless, bored shop keepers around Candolim, it was clear Goa has taken a huge hit after 26\11 – dhanda was so thanda, they complained, it was down by as much as seventy to eighty per cent! Despite that, there were enough merry makers at all the favourite haunts, to give the brief illusion (needed!), that all was well…. God was in his heaven, looking down benignly at the world and saying, “ Just chill, chill…. just chill.” Most of the standard Goa parties stood cancelled (No Mallya. No Mittal ). Instead, everyone but everyone made it a point to attend Dipti and Raj Salgaocar’s 25th wedding anniversary bash at their spectacular home at Dona Paula. Friends and family flew in from all over India, to be with the one couple with no enemies\rivals\dushman – everyone loves Dipti and Raj. As their love story unfolded on the screen ( a marvellously put together film by the very talented Kaushik Roy), through Munnabhai and Circuit’s improvised take on love (“ Jab pyar ka headlight full rehta hai na….boley toh….majaa aata hai…”), the one person who loved every minute of it was Kokilaben Ambani (Dipti’s mother), who sportingly sat through the long and lovely evening on their expansive grounds, and clapped enthusiastically when her grand daughter, Ishi, made a sweet and touching speech about her parents. Oh …. Dipti’s brothers (Mukesh and Anil) were both there to raise a toast to the happy couple. As were the bahus ( looking superhot…. in hot western attires. Nita wearing a flowing caftan and Tina in a metallic mini ). This is how it should be. If business analysts are taking the rare sighting of the Brothers Ambani being seen together at the same venue at the same time as a sign of rapprochement in the year 2009, why not?? After all - isn’t that what new beginnings are all about?? You may never forget…. but forgiveness is always in your hands. Let’s drink to that. Let’s drink to shanti on all fronts in the year ahead…. Have a great twelve months…. and many more. Stay sane. Stay safe. Smile a lot. That’s my magic mantra for 2009. You are more than welcome to borrow it!!


Another Kiran In NYC said...

Leaders in Industry and other spheres may have all it takes to become effective administrators. However, I expect leaders to take the initiative and come forward themselves to makes a difference, because they belive in themselves and have a vision for the city/state/country etc. If I have to identify them and recruit them to take this responsibility, I am leery of how committed they are to the job at hand.

I just read about Dharmendra bemoaning the fact that he is in politics. Amitabh Bachhan said the same when things got tough. If you did not think it through and have the commitment to see the job through and stick with it whether you win or lose, isnt my vote and trust in you wasted? Dont they think about how much voters are invested in them, once they are elected? I have scant respect for them in thier work ethic or commitment. If we had to recruit 100 leaders, I am convinced a majority would fall by the wayside or not have a long term commitment. What good governance needs is a long time commitment to be on both the winning and losing side. If these recruited and elected leaders are in it only while the going is good, what use are they?

In that I have to respect the NYC mayor Bloomberg. He did not need recruitment. He had a vision... himself as mayor and the city doing well. By his own admission, he is in it for the long term. He has been bashed and praised but he stood firm to lead the city. He did not turn tail and head back to his Billions and call it a day whenever the press or legal systems cried out for his blood.

As for the Ambani brothers talking civily to each other, well woh toh hona hi tha! The very rich only talk to the other very rich and the business and very elite bunch in India is so incestous they all need to scratch each others backs.

Waise at the risk of sounding parochial I will say, Anil and Mukesh are both baniya bhai and grew up in the same home. Blood will always be thicker than water... and money makes blood in the veins flow faster!

Anonymous said...

good one ^^^

I think Indians need to cultivate a slightly more military thinking culture. We are otherwise very lax in our dealing, promises, negotiations and that sorts of thinks. The change has to come from within. Finger pointing serves no cause. Its just an outlet for lazy citizens to vent.

Anonymous said...

I meant 'things' not 'thinks' ^^^ :D

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

There is actually a marked difference this time round. Isn't it? Hoping that this wave of change continues.

Anonymous said...

what do u think of urself??
u want to c srk in ur saree?? give it ur husband.. giv bangles and ear rings too..God knows.. he maybe wearing them always.. and u think deepika is ugly?? then who's beautiful?? ur daughter?? i'd seen her wedding photos.. she's not half as beautiful as rakhi sawant.. what to say abt ur daughter.. look at u.. ha ha.. look who's commenting on deepika's beauty.. zaraa aaina isthamal karo..

harpreet said...

Shobha ji , if u can pass it on to your readers, perhaps this can help!!!

Government of India has an online Grievance forum at Can you imagine this is happening in INDIA?
The govt. wants people to use this tool to highlight the problems they faced while dealing with Government officials or departments like Passport Office, Electricity board, BSNL/MTNL, Railways etc.
Many of us say that these things don't work in India. Couple of months back, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation laid new roads in his area and the residents were very happy about it. But 2 weeks later, BSNL dug up the newly laid roads to install new cables which annoyed all the residents. A resident used the above listed grievance forum to highlight his concern. To his surprise, BSNL and Municipal Corporation of Faridabad were served a show cause notice and the guy received a copy of the notice in one week. Government has asked the MC and BSNL about the goof up as it's clear that both the government departments were not in sync at all.
So use this grievance forum and educate others who don't know about this facility. This way we can at least raise our concerns instead of just talking about the 'System' in India.
Invite your friends to contribute for many such happenings.

Anonymous said...

if SRK was the PM of India, this would sound wise.. he's just an actor.. You think we people are waiting for what the actors have to comment when such a big tragedy has happened to our country.. Sick people like you are the ones who's waiting for them to comment.. whether they comment or not.. if yes, how was it politically?? You are missing the big picture.. try to understand the situation.. how i wish you were in one of those hotels..

snischal said...

Behind every smile and partying of Business tycons are the happy mask in recent times due to recession. They are just calculating ways of staying in business.2009 brings host of oppurtunities,challenges and reward and we rise like pheonix to the pinnacle. Only a crisis will bring brotherhood and happiness to the world.
At the same time it is good to hear that security and peace still exists in India as this directly affects the companies FDI economy. Hope exisitng government which claims that they have quialified ministers as FM and PM, come up reforms and procedure.


Anonymous said...

Late in on your latest posting on New Beginnings; in fact, I'm a late arrival in Blogworld; trying to assemble some 'blogfriends' and just alighted on your splendid blog; taken the liberty to follow your blog; fascinating post...New Beg... Yes! We certainly need to look at and discuss vigorously alternates to the way we live, govern and are governed....Undoubtedly,those in the corridors of power will proffer a plethora of arguments seeking to prevent any radical change. Pity! Could be our undoing! Good to be part of your circle. :)

Ani S said...

This guy Anonymous is a coward and is looks like a paki bas***d..Just Chill boy..If you love SRK..then suck his di**..don't expect the rest of the world to follow. For some of us who have decent actors are nothing more than the guys acting in Ram-leela.. Atleast Ram leela is a live show..
You are sick. Whats wrong to offer a Saree to SRK when he calls Shobha a cynic draped in designer Saree..Secondly what was wrong about Shobha demanding the bollywood to condemn the mumbai act by terrorists. Afterall it was not even a decade ago when most of the bollywood films were sponsored by the same don in pakistan who is creating terror in mumbai since 1992..So basically bollywood does not want to go against its masters in pakistan and dubai and that was the whole point. SRK should not have stooped low by commenting against Shobhaa De.

Mili said...

srk is ryt.. this lady is cynic.. maybe the person above too. This f***ing lady is trying to grab attention by mentioning srk..

Nikita said...

Dear Shobhaa,
I never read a book of yours because somehow I was under the impression that you write depressing stories, woven together by heavy words, which are characteristically unreal.
However, I read your blog out of curiosity and am pleasantly surprised at the simplicity of your writing, also at the evident restrained liveliness. That might sound like being too judgemental about a famous writer but those are my views. I would definitely try reading one of your books to experience more of your style and to form a real opinion.

Nautankey said...

Hopefully the waves of change keep ebbing along.And no love lost for those goan shopkeepers who fleece tourists and don't even acknowledge the existence of an indian customer n literally shoo us away..The saddist in me is happy.

Anonymous said...

Respond please.

Anonymous said...

hei Shobhaa...don't mind these lot.. Saw the newspaper article on Bachchan's blog..

Must say you look stunning. U have a gorgeous

Another Kiran In NYC said...

My kaleja is on FIRE....Sunjay Dutt as LS candidate from Lucknow from the SP party... I am surprised he isnt being fielded from Azamgarh where most of the gun running and murdering "disaffected" youth have come from recently. He would represent them perfectly... like really represent!

What next... Kasab as South Mumbai LS candidate? He has been there for a while in jail so has he got his ration card and drivers license from there already?

Manoj said...


You have truely lost your balance in all the drama you have created and now you are more instiagted by the event of the day and like another of monron journalist on all India channels rather the n talking with some sense and balance. so CHILLLLL for some time!!

Deepak Murthy said...

Hi Shobha,

The photograph on Amitabh's blog portrays you in better light than the one on your blog.


Anonymous said...


Why doesn't she reply to comments! Is she really so busy. Can someone enlighten me?:(

Vijay said...

Why do you write CEO's in place of CEOs? Basic English!!!!!

hari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hari said...

nice article
I think Indians need to cultivate a slightly more military thinking culture. We are otherwise very lax in our dealing, promises, negotiations and that sorts of thinks. The change has to come from within. Finger pointing serves no cause. Its just an outlet for lazy citizens to vent.

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