Saturday, May 7, 2011
Geronimo:Kahani abhi baaki hai...Happy Mother's Day!
I love tea....and everything to do with it. These pics were taken inside the famous Tea Room at the Grand Hyatt, Bangkok. The dim sums were to die for, and the ambience outstanding.The choice of teas was awesome.... sipped a lapsong after years... sipped it slowly, lingering over every smokey sip. I love teapots as well, and have a small collection. I lusted after these two, but they weren't for sale!
It's a gorgeous Saturday morning.... it's Mother's Day.
Here's wishing every human being a fabulous Mother's Day... without mothers, none of us would be here!!
Okay, Obama devotees.... do your bit .... bash me! I love your faith in and adulation for the man. I'm sure Obama is a great guy.... but it's totally okay not to adore him unilaterally. Khair.... I do understand the passion of the newly converted.... go ahead, guys. Worship him!
This appeared today in the Asian Age...
“ It’s a go!” said Obama.And they went…!
How I love that line : “ It’s a go!” said President Obama. And they went! It is so quintessentially American. So cowboy! On Friday, April 29th, the mighty President of the United States of America ordered the historic raid that killed one of the most dreaded men who ever lived – Osama bin Laden. Strange, but not even a week later, all the drama witnessed by incredulous viewers across the world, is beginning to resemble a bang bang Western from the early ‘80’s. “Geronimo EKIA…” was the terse confirmation from Leon Panetta,CIA chief, to his boss, after those mysterious SEALS descended on an ugly mansion in a peculiarly named town ( Abbottabad) deep inside Pakistan. Nobody in India had really heard of this blessed place, nobody… except our very own actor Manoj ( Bharat) Kumar, who was born there. Listening to President Obama’s precisely delivered televised speech ( strictly, no emotions), it was impossible not to rub ones eyes in sheer disbelief and ask, “ Is this really the whole story? Will the world ever know what really happened on that moonless night?” The answer is obvious : No, we won’t. The sensible thing to do is take Obama’s word for it…. and move on. There will be versions galore in the years to come. Military analysts will deconstruct and point out the obvious holes in the official version.But for most observers, it’s enough that Obama took out the man responsible for the deaths of so many innocent people, not just in America, but across the world. Why probe? Or go too deeply into how it was done… why now… or even that it came nearly a decade too late. Let’s just say, ‘Thank you, Barack,” and khisko to the nearest disco. The euphoria of this victory needs to be savoured just a bit longer, without nit -picking or bitching. Though, it’s hard not to indulge in either activity, given some of the obvious absurdities and contradictions that are now emerging. Kyunki, think about it: is a dead Osama better than Osama alive? Does his death make the world a safer place?On the contrary, we are back to square one, looking over our shoulders at possible retaliatory action planned by members of the dreaded al-Qaida. Some say the backlash is inevitable.
Two nights after Obama’s announcement , I was with a low key , self styled America expert. This is a very clued in person who hangs out with sources most professional journos would give an arm and a leg to cultivate. I was pretty sure he’d be in the mood to brag a little …or even, a lot! People like him make a pretty cushy living out of creating ‘clout perceptions’ that suggest their proximity to powerful insiders. I asked my acquaintance some basic questions about Operation Geronimo - questions that demanded common sense not military intelligence. From where did those attack choppers take off ?If they flew in from a distance, even a short one, how come they went undetected for close to an hour? What about the noise? Sure, it was a moonless night and black birds ( even gigantic ones) in the sky are hard to spot.But we are not discussing visibility here. What about hearing? Those guys in the neighbourhood may have been asleep, but were they also deaf…did nobody hear the roar of those killer machines hovering over their heads? The expert leaned forward conspiratorially and said, “Why are you forgetting one thing? It is the Americans themselves who have given all the hardware to Pakistan, trained their men, set up the systems. How difficult is it for the very same Americans to use the systems, facilities, locations, codes and machines to conduct such a strike from within the country? Who would suspect or stop them? It is the Americans who have equipped the Pakistani military, armed them to the teeth, given billions of dollars to create sophisticated establishments all over. They merely used their own expertise and free access for this operation. Smart move. I’d call it a good return on their investment!” I immediately bought the guy two more drinks. Whether or not this is an accurate assessment, it made sense. The Americans neatly turned the tables on their ‘students’ and pulled off one of the biggest coups before those sleepy chaps could blink.
The hard work begins now. According to Mr. Know it All, this has been one of Obama’s shrewdest moves, not just to assert himself and work on falling ratings ( up, already), but also to show Hillary Clinton her place. Apparently, Barack is a bit tired of Hill and Bill running the show in Washington. The Clintons were seen as an annoying, interfering duo, trying to dominate the White House with the full support of key aides loyal to both of them. It was time to show them who was boss. It was also time to tell the world he was indeed the Most Powerful Human Being Alive, and never mind detractors constantly reminding him of his failings… his weaknesses. The ‘Situation Room’ images had their own story to tell. Hillary looked worried as the team waits for more live feeds from SEALS in Abbottabad. Obama appeared the coolest customer in the group, casually attired in a white tee and bomber jacket. But it was the President’s calm and strong address to his people and the rest of the world, a few hours later that will become the definitive moment of his Presidency, regardless of what follows. I have to confess, I have always been critical of his much acclaimed oratory. No doubt, he has a great speech writer and Obama delivers those evocative lines faultlessly. But a tele- prompted speech remains a mechanical performance and somehow doesn’t touch hearts in quite the same way as an old fashioned, unrehearsed bhaashan. Clearly, I am in a minority on this one going by the spate of nasty comments posted on my blog after my spontaneous reaction to the address.
Acchha… now to clear the debris left behind by those 79 SEALS in four choppers…. physical and psychological debris.
Khel Khatam? Hardly. Kahani abhi baaki hai. A new khel has just begun. Kyon, Kayaniji?