For the first six years and a bit of my professional life, the common man was an intrinsic part of my life. Every morning, a little after 9 am, two individuals would file into the Times of India office, almost like clockwork. One was close to 70, the other was just 23
Every Republic Day brings back memories of another day, another time. I was entering my teens when I arrived in Delhi for the first time to participate in the 1978 Republic day parade as an NCC cadet. My memories are fading but still alive. I remember having to get up at 5 am every morning in the biting cold, get my shirt starched and buckles shining: parade practise was at 7 am sharp.
Dr Kiran Bedi is an accomplished woman, one I respect and admire. A few years ago, I was a media representative at the National Police Academy in Hyderabad and Dr Bedi and I along with other senior police officers were attending a meeting of the NPA. By 6 pm, most of the menfolk were getting restless: the sun was setting and the throat was parched. But Dr Bedi -- the only woman in the room -- determinedly made a stellar presentation on the citizen police equation. The rest of us had lost interest, but Dr Bedi was pushing ahead with her speech.
So, the bugle has been sounded: after exactly a year Delhi is set to get an elected govern
And then they came for the cartoonists. The Indian Express headline this morning is quite brilliantly apt, more so because it reveals the cowardice of the hooded men with guns. A cartoonist is one of the most incisive beings in a newsroom, someone who uses the sketch pen as a weapon, not of mass destruction but of universal wit, sarcasm, laughter. You turn to a cartoonist for relief from the daily rigours of life: amidst sadness, death and destruction, the cartoon is meant to inject humour into our lives.
Shashi Tharoor went to my school in Mumbai; an old school tie can be a special bond. I do not choose to defend Mr Tharoor or give him a clean chit. Nor will I pronounce him guilty in the 'court' of a television studio. What I do call for is a swift and transparent investigation into the Sunanda Tharoor case. Sunanda died on January 17,2014. Now, almost a year later the Delhi police has filed an FIR in the case for murder under section 302 against 'unknown persons'.
Like most South Delhi colonies, Panchshila park where I live, is seeing rapid construction. The old leafy houses are being demolished and three, sometimes four storey buildings are being constructed. Every morning, I walk past these houses, watching young men (and a few women) lifting the stone and gravel, knocking in bricks, carrying the sand.
I have been to Peshawar once. I didn't have a visa for the city but sneaked in because I was desperately keen to track the Taliban. The year was early 2001, just before 9/11 awakened the world to the horrors of global terror emanating from the Afpak region. I couldn't quite get into the rugged wilds of the FATA territories but I did manage to meet a number of Taliban sympathisers in Peshawar