Posts Tagged ‘9/11

18
Aug
09

Much ado about nothing

Shahrukh Khan arrested and detained  for suspicious behaviour. If you assumed that I’m talking about the recent ‘detainment’ of SRK at Newark International Airport, you are wrong. The arrest I’m talking about is in fact a part of the story of an upcoming Bollywood film.  And guess what, it stars none other but the mighty Shahrukh Khan himself. A mere coincidence? You decide.

Of course, I would be exaggerating if I say the Baadshah of Bollywood planned the ‘detainment’ in advance as a publicity stunt for ‘My Name is Khan‘, his next movie which follows a Muslim’s tribulations in post 9/11 America. You don’t have to pass through the immigration checks at Newark or travel to the USA to realize the ‘torture’ faced by the actor is something every Asian, Muslims in particular have long  faced. But to make such hue and cry about it was absolute shame. Whether you like it or not, these checks have prevented possible security violations.

Shahrukh couldn’t have asked for a better promotion for the film. He was simply in the right place in the right time. He is possibly the best person to know how to handle the media in the right way to hios own advantages. Now all he has to do is to wait for the media to highlight the similarity of the film to this real-life event faced bu the star of the film himself.  He may have shed crocodile tears and threatened ‘never to set foot in the US again’. But at the end of the day he is Bollywood’s biggest star and a big percentage of his moolah comes from overseas, in particular North America. Not just that, the whole incident also would also increase awareness about him among the Americans, probably even land him a future Hollywood role.

Shahrukh should learn a lesson or two from former President APJ Abdul Kalam. He kept his mouth shut and did not want up to stir a controversy after the ‘mistreatment’ meted out to him by an American airline. Be it SRK or Kalam, they are no different from the common man. They may have done great deeds but that doesn’t mean they get special treatment wherever they go. Very few Indians are aware of the fact that even former American Vice President Al Gore was checked after he inadvertently bypassed security. Unlike SRK, he made no fuss about it and politely went through the check.

06
Jun
09

A grim day

This may sound creepy and straight out of a Hollywood flick but it happened to me yesterday. A premonition is defined an impression, often perceived as a warning, of a future event. Makes me wonder whether what I went through was a premonition too. I woke up as usual yesterday and justlike every morning mom was piseed at me for not bothering to clean up my room and other things. she then asked m to get some stuff from the shop outside. I blatantly refused screaming, ” Who would you order around if I were to die today or tomorrow?”. She ignored and even I forgot about what I said after sometime.

After a while I left for office and just as I got down from my share-auto another auto whisked past me, missing me by less than an inch. I did not think of anything odd and proceeded to catch a bus. As I sat in the bus and looked outside I saw another MTC bus with a fleet number AMH 911. Now that got me thinking; fuck 9/11? Was it a mere coincidence? Nothing much happened till I got down near my office and began to cross the street. Out of nowhere came a Tata Sumo and I just managed to move out of the way. Not too many incidents while at office. While returning home when I was walking towards the bus depot, I had another near fall. It was a one-way and traffic was moving in my direction. Now, as I was walking there was a car parked on the road side. I chose not to go around it through the sidewalk rather continued wallking on the road. I almost crossed the car when one of those air condintioned MTC bus sped past me without any warning, missing me by the skin of my teeth. Fuck, not again. This time though I even managed to garner some not-so-sweet words from the driver of the bus and a few other passerbys. I knew I had to thank God and thats just what I did. 

I got onto my bus and and sat calmy through the trip. That was until I saw another bus with a fleet number of 911. I don’t remember the depot code of this bus though. Two 9/11s and  three near death experiences are more than a co-incidence to me. Don’t blame me if anyhting happens on 9/11 this year, or for that matter even if anything happens to me on the date. Guess my days are counted.

11
Sep
08

The World post 9/11

Its hard to believe seven years have passed since history’s worst terror attack. It was on a September 11 that most of the World woke up to the news that one of America’s symbols of Economic supremacy, the World Trade Center complex was reduced to mere dust by the al-Qaeda. Thousands were either killed or reported missing after the shattering attacks on the Twin towers and the Pentagon.

A lot has changed in the World after the attacks. The so called War on Terror was initiated. The irony is that even after seven years, the mastermind of 9/11, Osama bin Laden is still very much at large, apparently ‘somewhere along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan’. Only God knows where Laden is. Don;t be surprised if you come across intelligence reports that a man with a long beard, a turban and an AK-47 on his back was last seen in your neighborhood, especially if you are a Pakistani. There emerged a new entrant to the never ending list of phobias – Islamophobia. Let alone Muslims, anybody sporting a beard or a turban and looks South Asian is looked upon with bulging eyes by the white man. 9/11 was supposed to be a eye opener to authorities around the world. A wave of new security measures followed. Even medicine became a strict no-no in some airplanes. But despite all the ‘increased’ security levels, the we are still reeled by at least one terror attack a day in some part of the World. According to Wikepdia, since 9/11 there has been over 420 reports of terror related incidents (including arrests, foiled attempts, assasinations etc). This includes various banned, extremist or separatist organizations like al-Qaeda, ETA , PLF, LTTE, FARC among others. The countries that are the most affected are India, the Middle East and other countries which are ‘friendly’ to the US. The most high profile attacks were in Bali (2002), Madrid (2003), Bombay (2003 and 2006), London (2005),  not to mention the ‘usual’ bombings in Iraq, Sri Lanka, Kashmir etc which has become more or less a way of life.

The money which goes into security measures itself is in billions. But what is even more staggering is the various fundings available to banned organizations through ‘rogue’ nations and such is bigger than what is invested in security covers. Big events such as the Olympics in 2004 and 2008 might have been heavily guarded. But it is the common man who travels in public transport to his office or a school kid in his school bus who are more vulnerable.