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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Traitors, and then traitors...

Rajesh Ramachandran writes in Mail Today, that the only reason the Travancore Rajas could salt away such a huge amount of wealth in the Padmanabha Swamy temple is because they were traitors. When other Rajas in the Malabar rose in revolt against the British in the 19th century, they remained loyal. The other Kingdoms were annexed by the Brits, while the traitor flourished, and waxes eloquent today.
So with the case of Sir Sobha Singh, father to Khushwant Singh. He testified against Bhagat Singh, and while Bhagat Singh was hanged, Sobha Singh not only got prized contracts from the Brits to build Lutyens Delhi, he got a Knighthood to boot.
But the point is: are these the only traitors?
What about those who wrest land from farmers for  a few hundred bucks a square metre, using 100 year old legislations, and hand it over to private buccaneers, in return for fat bribes?
Is he not a traitor who forges examination marksheets for money?
Is he not a traitor who buys MPs to tide over a no-confidence vote?
Is he not a traitor who denies the poor their PDS grain and sells it in the black market?
Is he not a  traitor who puts a red light on his car, and shields himself with hundreds of commandos, in a country created by a man who did not allow the police to frisk those who came to his prayer meetings?
Yes, these are traitors, and they flourish in our midst, and they are more lethal, because they are a clear and present danger to our country, and are to be found, more than any other place, in New Delhi.....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Murder of the Boat Club Lawns

Time used to be, when on cool evenings, Delhiites would stream down to Rajpath, and park their cars, bikes and scooters, unpack their dinners, and have picnics. Balloon sellers would roam through the families picknicking on the lawns, chaatwalaahs would weave through the crowds, and ice-cream carts would be parked on the corners. For Delhiites, traumatized by the heat and dust, the green lawns, the water in the shallow pools, all would be a welcome relief...
No longer. The Sultan, or  in this case, the present Police Commissioner of Delhi, in his Majestic Wisdom, has decreed that parking cars or bikes on Rajpath obscures the view. So no cars shall be parked.  So, can they be parked elsewhere? No, thunders the Sultan. No, no, there is no space for parking them elsewhere, because this is a high-security area, and we will tow away any vehicle that is parked any where off Rajpath.
So, the last refuge of the heat-shocked Delhiite is now gone.
Yesterday, I crossed Rajpath.
Heavy yellow iron police barricades bar anyone from driving down rajpath. The lawns are dark and deserted.
The balloon sellers have gone away, chased away by the police. The ice-cream carts have been confiscated, and rust away outside police-stations...
Will spring come again? Yes, when the present Sultan either retires, or is transferred to another dusty town, or is caught with his hands in the till or his pants down..
Till then, the Commissioner hath decreed there shall be no life on Rajpath, and laughter on the lawns, and so shall it be....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Is this a persian cat, or what?

I went to the petfood store in Khan Market yesterday, to buy catfood for my cat, and i found this kitten playing around there. The shop owner claimed that it was a Persian cat  imported from Thailand, and he was willing to sell it to me for twenty thousand bucks. I clicked its picture on my cell, and emailed it to my brother in USA (who is crazy about cats, and who raises 7 cats), who simply wrote back, "If that's Persian, then I'm mickey mouse!). Well, I looked at the images of Persian cats on google images, and it seems to have some Persian features, like the snub nose...wonder it its a half-Persian
How does it matter anyway, since its one hell of a captivating kitten....

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A look at the sports facilities, six months after the Commonwealth Games

When there was criticism of the amount of money being spent on the Commonwealth Games, one of the things that Kalmadi and gang used to tout was that these were sports facilities which the average citizen would get to enjoy, once the games were over.
Well, the games got over over 8 months ago, and Sports Authority of India has moved slowly, reluctantly to open those facilities to the people of  Delhi.
Finally, they put out an ad in the newspapers, for the "come and play" scheme, where you would have to pay only nominal amounts to use the swimming pools, the courts, the tracks etc.
Yesterday, after a long-drawn out process for getting a membership to swim at the Talkatora pool, I was finally called for a trial,  to see if I could swim well enough to be in a professional pool.
I got through the trial, but I also got to see what had happened to the facilities.
The pool was clean enough, but the showers were stinking, and all over the place, there was enough dust to choke anybody. The floor of the showers, despite the expensive granite, was slippery and greasy. Things seem to be broken, and deserted.
Everything seemed to have been built at a grandiose scale - "international standards"- but everything seemed to falling to pieces...
I also went to the Siri Fort Sport Club, which was also one of the venues for swimming.
The shower cubicles had become airconditioned, and there was a canvas roof over the pool. It looked posher, but the crux of modernization was missing: the pool was not a heated one, so when winter comes, it will close.
How so typical of the way the Kalmadi gang functioned......a veneer of sophistication, and below, loot and grab, like the Thugs...