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Showing posts from November, 2009

Remembering 26/11

I’m not very good at remembering dates, usually – I forget what date it is unless I am writing an official letter to someone, I forgot to wish A on his birthday this year because I just had a complete black out when I woke up…but last year this day has been on my mind all day. Bojjandi was a newborn, less than 2 months old, dad was out of town, and we were all staying at my parents’ place, grandma included, when mom switched to a news channel and we sat, horrified, for the next few days as the crazy, nightmarish events unfolded on national television. It was horrific, it was tragic…and it was unnecessary.

Delhi, where I live, has been the target of terrorist attacks for years now, since the Punjab terrorism began all those years back. I remember, back in 1992, one of my classmates from the South came to Delhi for a vacation and two of us picked him up from the station. We got onto a DTC bus and he was startled to see a sign saying “Watch out for unidentified packages. There could be a …

RTI Works

Well, for one reason and another, I wound up having to file an RTI petition a couple of weeks ago to retrieve two critical documents. Just the day before I set off to the Secretariat in Gurgaon, I had read in a media report that only 23% of all RTIs yield the information asked for and that most citizens are pretty unhappy. Given the popular public opinion about Haryana, I was prepping myself to expect the worst as I entered the Secretariat building. The first ten minutes turned out as visualized – I entered one room, was directed to another, then a third…But then finally one helpful young man (HYM#1) told me the department I was looking for was on the third floor. I clambered up the surprisingly clean flight of stairs and met up with a polite, helpful young man (HYM#2) at the RTI desk. I told him what documents I wanted and he gave me instructions as to what to do – Go down to the Treasury office on the ground floor, pick up the challan form, bring it back to him for getting it filled…