A Week of Roller-Coaster Emotions, Changes and Closure

What a roller-coaster week this has been!

The biggest story obviously was Balasaheb Thackeray’s on-off death. From the time I started understanding things as a kid, the Sena and he have been part of our lives, sometimes central, most times peripheral, responsible for changing Bombay and its residents, for good or for bad. Interestingly, just as the only way to understand Mr. Narendra Modi is to talk to Gujjus in Gujarat, so also, people from outside Mumbai have no real sense of how a predominantly local leader could have had such an impact on us. I believe the Sena as we have known it till date…with its leader…is gone.

Our leaders, the police and the ruling bodies did a phenomenal job over the last weekend with virtually complete control over the situation…something that must be commended giving the rarity of such an occurrence…all of which was then instantly ruined by the arrest of the Palghar girls, an act so completely ridiculous that it belies any attempt at rational thinking. Frankly, if the comments my Facebook friends make about our leaders are any indication, more than half of them need to be behind bars by now. A serious sombre event complicated by a black comedy of the absurd.

And then came the 7:30 AM hanging of Ajmal Kasab on Wednesday. While it has helped victims and people at large achieve some kind of closure, I wonder if this is an event to rejoice about. Execution by the state is still a debatable and arguable topic and while Ajmal may have met the ‘rarest of rare’ criterion, instead of clapping our hands with glee, we need to do a lot more soul-searching about the events that led to the Mumbai terrorist attacks, all those needless deaths and their repetitive occurrence sometimes daily, the world over. As one publication said, Kasab was a measly foot solider, a pawn used by his mentors and then by our politicians.

On a lighter side, with a heavy heart, I have finally ditched the Apple fanboy tag. For the last 5-6 years, it has been everything Apple, with MACs, iPADs and iPhones. At some point after the Google Maps fiasco with iOS 6, I realised that I was missing out on an equally compelling ecosystem. I finally got myself a Samsung Galaxy Note II and have been pleasantly surprised in the last few days to find that it too is a terrific phone / computer and that Android is as good a system as iOS. Most importantly Google Maps on Android rocks! It actually shows real-time traffic densities, even in Mumbai, which would have never been possible even if Google Maps had survived on iOS.

And finally, on Thursday evening, I took the family (mainly because of my tween daughter) to see a paid preview show of what else…Breaking Dawn 2. The saga finally, and thankfully ends. I didn’t quite mind the very first film, but the rest (and yes I have seen them all) have been quite boring. The best part of BD2 was the fight sequence with everyone ripping everyone’s heads off and at the end, I was hoping that the four-expressioned Bella, would also rip Edward’s head off and then torch it, bringing definitive closure. Alas, if only wishes were horses!

It says a lot though, when for my daughter, in this tumultuous week, the most important event was her ability to see BD2, a day before its official release. And then perhaps, that may not be a bad approach to life!


  • Sunil Kamath wrote:

    Re. Balasaheb’s passing away and his funeral procession…That the Mumbai Police did a COMMENDABLE JOB, is in-fact ABSOLUTE TRUE..coz one untoward incident would then have led to another and one never knows it could have snow-balled into SOMETHING VERY BIG and become UNMANAGEABLE.

    The Mumbai Police, who has since TIME IMMEMORIAL been the Favourite Punching Bag.. Does deserve the Accolades, which rarely come its way.

    Though the arrest of Palgar girls, did leave a BAD TASTE IN THE MOUTH…it does go on to tell us Mumbaikars that…BALASAHEB MAY BE NO MORE…BUT HIS LEGACY LIVES ON .. !!

    As far as Kasab’s Execution was concerned..I SINCERELY BELIEVE that the secrecy with which the Execution was carried out sent out a wrong message. The Govt. could have SHOWN SOME SPINE. But then it was More worried about the Terrorists getting the information.

    Whatever COMPULSIONS the Indian Govt. may have had..THE MESSAGE THAT WAS CONVEYED WAS…It’s (The Govt.’s) confidence is at the proverbial ‘shoe string’ level..as far it’s own ability to prevent a Future Terrorist attack..PERIOD.

  • H.L. Chulani wrote:

    While the treatment meted to the Palghar ladies was reprehensible the Inspector in charge of the police station had little choice- on the one hand his duty not to arrest and on the other a huge mob of agitated people who could easily get out of hand, not only in Palghar, but even elsewhere. How many of us would choose to defy local sentiments? Therein lies the answer. It is fine to write and otherwise make a big noise about law but when faced with a real situation calls for quick decision. I guess the police did the practical thing (though not the right thing) given the situation!
    About Kasab hanging- i felt no emotion. Maybe not losing a loved one on 26/11 played a large part in the context of things!

  • Saying Kasab was just a foot soldier, absolves the entire chain of command that Kasab obeyed, of the crime of killing innocent Indians. because Kasab was brainewashed and so he is not guilty same will apply to his masterminds. I think the real guilty people are we Indians who complain and feel when our brethren are killed mercilessly.
    just like we amputate a gangrenous part to save rest of the body, we should execute people like kasab and his masterminds without any sentiments.

  • I think I am going to go out on a limb here and say just this :

    BEST news of the week – that thou have attempted to cross that bridge!

    Welcome to the ‘free’ and boundless world of Android!

    And also – FANTASTIC choice. The Note series is as good as any companion one could need to accomplish MAJORITY of tasks ever needed.

    Do try SwiftKey for typing rather than the default or Swype.

  • Ravi Jain wrote:

    I wonder sometimes how good u would be & interested in writing a feature film screenplay, considering your interesting take on the above issues…?

  • Bhavin Jankharia wrote:

    Always worth a try Ravi, always worth a try.

  • We are not far away from being a banana republic.
    Imagine the police are afraid of the mob?
    Was the magistrate also afraid of the same outcome. Did he apply judicial mind as rightly indicated by the ex CIC?
    If he could not protect the individual’s right. Then where are we aam people to go to get justice.
    As for Kasab. It’s not worth the trouble. Lets get bold/strong enough to get hold of the main culprits. If we cannot do even that. We should at the least be in a position to prevent any more 26/11 or whatever…to happen on Indian soil and affect us Indians.
    We should have more Obale s and Unnikrishnan s.Not to die for nothing, but with their kind of spirit.

  • Jayesh desa wrote:

    On socio-political front the last week demonstrated that we live in illusion of democracy and freedom. The Marathi manus did observe bundh out of genuine love and regards for Balasaheb. Same can not be said for others. The proof was Palghar.
    Welcome to android, the true democratic system where I can use sub 10K phone to do what someone with 40K phone does.
    Interesting read,

  • Welcome to the the Android world! Would be fun to have Android v/s Apple doubles against Neeraj and Mangal for this years BOS orthotech course

  • Doshi N.C. wrote:

    State has to enforce law and order. No mercy
    for Kasab or any other person who is against India.Our Government is still a weak and feeble one. Why so many cases are pending for President’s decision on mercy petition?
    Why not hang Afzal Guru and others, who according to Supreme Court, are fit cases of Rarest of Rare crime? I do not believe the President of India can be better Judge than S.C. Congress is taking all decisions
    on political considerations, having no logic or respect for Rule of Law.

  • My Dear Bhavin

    I am very happy that you have chosen this time to write on several events on lighter vein. Since i am yet to become Tech Savvy i couldn’t enjoy well on your ANDROID world enjoyment. Kudos for keeping your column live, Bhavin.

    Warm regards

  • Prakash Nanavati wrote:

    Dear Bhavin,

    It is now possible to get real time traffic situation on any smart phone. Try this link -http://traffline.com/services.php

    It has Traffic Map of Mumbai with four different colours showing congestion, slow, moderate & smooth traffic.

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