Monday, September 15, 2008

Live for today!

Saturday, the 13th of September, was my first weekend in Delhi. I have probably visited Delhi about 30 odd times in the last two years but most of my visits have been for a day. I fly in very early in the morning and catch the late night flight back to Bangalore. On odd occasions I have stayed for an extra day but never got a chance to see Delhi per se. I felt guilty everytime I fly back without being a 'tourist' in this vibrant city. But when I spoke to my colleagues in office and realized that they themselves hadn't seen Delhi's landmarks, despite being residents, my guilt would somewhat subside.

And so on my first weekend in Delhi I decided to pack in as much as I could. I woke up at 6, got ready by 7, and headed to Pragati Maidan to catch my first experience in the famed Delhi Metro. I had told my cousin who is a colonel in the army that I would drop by his house in Dwarka and in return he promised to take me to the massive malls in Gurgaon. After having lived in London for many years the Metro didn't bring out too much excitement inside me except I did notice that our trains are wider and cleaner and frequency of stations is twice as much as in London.

My cousin, his kids and I decided to head to the Ambience mall but as luck would have it we got lost on the way. He is two months old in Delhi and I am two days old. So what was a half hour drive turned out to be one hour but it was worth it. The malls in Bangalore are puny compared to the ones in Delhi vicinity and it was not difficult to see why the infrastructure development in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon was always in the news. We shopped a bit, particularly a dress for my nephew who turns four on the 15th, and had our 'Happy Meal' in a McDonalds just as dutiful tourists should.

I got back to my guest house in Greater Kailash area by around 4.30pm and after freshening up a bit I headed out to the M-block market to try and find a courier office so that I could send the gift to my nephew. It's Saturday, market is packed, and the researcher in me was thinking where will the inflation head considering there is so much demand for goods. I roamed around the M-block market and I couldn't find a courier office which would deliver the package on time. Disheartened I walked around for a while and around 6.00pm I headed back to my guest house. Just as I bolted the door I heard a loud bang. I was wondering if a bus tyre burst or someone exploded a massive cracker.

It's not in our instinct to think it could be a bomb. I opened the door and in the distance I could see debri still flying in the air in the midst of thick smoke. Even then I thought some chai wala's cylinder must have burst but it was only after I saw panic striken people running did I realise it might be a bomb. Within minutes I was near the area where the blast had occured. Four people lay on the street, dead or unconcious, with twisted limbs and burnt flesh while two more were crying in agony. Despite what news people tell the police did act fast. They cordoned the area within minutes and asked people to move. Some samaritans were already taking the injured into autos.

That evening I was shaken. Not by the blasts but by the sheer uncertainty about our lives. This is the third time I have been in the vicinity of bomb blasts. The first was in London on 11th July '05 when I had just got out of the Liverpool street station. The second was recently in Bangalore where the blasts occured right outside our Madivala office. And now third time lucky!!

I realised half our lives we spend planning for tomorrow, the week after, the years ahead and our retirment. We postpone doing things that we really want to do in lives because we are either caught up in work or we feel there is always a next time. Somehow there is an innate feeling within us that we will all live to a grand ripe age but the reality is that we don't know what will happen five minutes from now. I am not advising against planning for tomorrow...but in the process please don't forget to live for today.

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Blogger Prasanna Kumar said...

Nice Post

Now this is becoming quite tricky, you say that the bank managers are the one’s who need to be blamed, but the sub prime loans as far as I know are loans issued to people who have a heightened perceived risk of default, the banks involved themselves in such riskier transactions because they got convinced by the honchos of wall street that it would be more profitable, more over the nature of sub prime lending seems to lack any thrust of moral hazard, in that case what do you expect the bank manager’s to do, when they are pushed to meet their targets . I don’t quite buy your argument that it was the American masses wishes that Wall Street tried to full fill but I think it’s the other way around. After all who would choose a riskier investment which might jeopardize their life savings or pension money?

2:04 AM  
Blogger said...

I just don’t know when I will stop hearing horrifying stories like that of yours; I am so tired of all these bomb blasts that have taken place in our country…. There have been many instances where in I have run out of patience and really wished something like what happened in the movie Wednesday to happen in reality, or what the mossad did with the terrorists who killed the Jew athletes in 1975 , I want to see change happening, I sometimes get so frustrated seeing all these devastations happening right in front of my eyes.

10:15 PM  

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