.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Santanu's Blog Page

Monday, January 31, 2005


It's a shame...


Thursday, January 27, 2005

Oh My God!!

The Tsunami killed so many!
168000 plus!!
And just when I was thanking the Almighty that at least there were no stampedes at the Haj pilgrimage this year (250 died at the Jamarat bridge in Mena last year), bang came the news from Satara, India! 257 dead due to stampede at a religious pilgrimage.
Strange are the ways of God!! But even more strange are the devotees. In such a rush to get close to Him -- and ending up getting closer than they ever wanted!!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Welcome to Sylhet

Eid Mubarak!!
When I arrived here last September, things looked bleak...the skies were gray with monsoon clouds...the fields were full of water...the roads were wet...footpaths were muddy and slippery. The view from the Dhaka-Sylhet flight was almost monotonous - flooded agricultural fields, with a few trees jutting out here and there in stubborn defiance to the devastating climate. The few settlements visible on elevated grounds looked desolate and defeated from up above. I was grateful to the clouds that shut off this grim view for the greater half of the flight. The one bright view - one that is still vividly clear in memory - was the lush green tea plantations along the road from the airport to the city. It instantly elevated my mood as I looked forward to a seeing a beautiful land with scenic tea gardens, natural waterfalls, the slow meandering Surma river and abundant greenery. Unfortunately, I was at the right place at the wrong time! Incessant drizzle, black umbrellas, muddy feet - even indoors, the walls seemed damp!
Bangladesh was recovering from the worst floods in recent times!!
Picture above shows a town near Sylhet during these floods. Sylhetis was spared these hardships due to the location of the city on slightly higher elevation!
This was my welcome to a new country... a country that was one with mine till 1947. As I discovered gradually over the next few weeks, the language was similar, habits were similar, the people looked similar, yet it was all so different! This was foreign land!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Believe it or not!

If Mr Hersh is to be believed -- though Pentagon advises you not to -- it would seem that USA believes it can wipe off terrorism in just 4 years flat! One has to admit that if anyone can do that, it is Bush. Not that I believe even he can do it. But he certainly is capable of believing, and more importantly, convincing his voters that he can do it. So now it will be Iran, followed perhaps by North Korea. Again, I find it difficult to believe that North Korea has any reason to worry since it doesn't have the oil to attract Bush & Co.
I only wish he used a more convincing line than "if it continues to stonewall the international community about its nuclear weapons program." Having turned a blind eye to Pak nuke trade with Libya and Iran, and failing to locate WMDs in Iraq, he badly needs a more believable reason. Does anybody believe that he really is concerned about any Nuclear programs? But then, who cares about what you or I believe!!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Happy Pongal

Wishing all Tamils a belated Happy Pongal. A happy Makar Sankranti to almost all of rest of India. For those who can't make head or tail of what this is all about...its a harvest festival marking the end of the harvest season. While Sankranti (meaning end..in this case, the end of the Hindu month of Pous) is celebrated throughout north India, Pongal is THE MAJOR festival in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Celebrations continue for 4 days here. The Sun God is worshipped since the weather plays a major hand in the creation of a good harvest.
Sadly celebrations were low-key this year due to the devastations caused by the Tsunami. Talking of Tamil Nadu also brings to mind the ongoing controversy involving the Sankaracharya. A very sad situation, to say the least.
There are occurances in life which you wish had never happened...the Sankaracharya incident is one of those!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Amrish Puri

I've never known a more fearful villian in hindi movies. Amrish Puri personified all that was evil. His screen presence was great...second only to the 'Big B'. His baritone voice, piercing looks, raised eyebrow, wicked smile --- it all added up to an unforgettable image that will linger long, very long in every Indian film buffs memory. His demise leaves a vaccuum.
May his soul rest in peace!!