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Archive for October, 2006


with 53 comments

Few pictures taken while I travelled to Ratnagiri for a day. Some have been taken during the 6 hour train journey, some in the town vicinities. Your comments, as always, welcome.

Written by aditya kumar

October 26th, 2006 at 11:03 pm

Posted in Personal,Travel

Happy Deepawali…

with 3 comments

…to everyone who reads this! May this festival of lights bring you joy, happiness and prosperity!

Meanwhile, I’ve reached Goa and I am still nursing my injured arm. Thank you for the comments in the last post, thank you for the emails…I am going to reply soon!

Written by aditya kumar

October 21st, 2006 at 9:02 pm

Posted in Personal


with 7 comments

I always thought that since I hardly ever speed when I ride, I could stay away from accidents. But this is Bangalore. This careless pedestrian, a seemingly well educated man in his 20s, let me have this terrible accident that I have just had, rendering my right arm, well, unusable for at least a few days.

I fell on the road, upfront. By the impact with the pedestrian (who fortunately, got no injuries, but I hated when later he smiled to me and said ‘sorry’), my scooter went down before me. My body went on, came to a screeching halt on the rough road about two meters ahead of the point of impact. A matter of three seconds, and I was blinded with shock. I was unaware of everything, but it was not a void. I had seen a car coming from the opposite direction and at the end of the third second, when I realised what had happened, I had a feeling it was only a matter of a moment and this car could be, would be over me. Not a matter of if, but when. I tried to get up, but my body failed to respond.

The mob that had gathered helped me to come over it. People were talking to me and I can’t even recall the language they spoke. Someone pointed at the right arm, a part of it covered with blood. My mind failed to register the pain. The damn thing registers the pain now. and how.

I saw death today. Up, Close and trust me, very, very Personal.

I can’t even change my shirt. Another disadvantage of staying alone, but well, I guess, one more learning experience neverthless.

To the few readers I have, you have to excuse me for a few days. It might be a week or so before you hear from me again. But I’m alive and kicking.

Written by aditya kumar

October 16th, 2006 at 11:37 pm

Posted in Personal


without comments

Written by aditya kumar

October 11th, 2006 at 10:32 am

Posted in Books

That war, 44 years ago

with one comment

CNN-IBN has dug up old wounds by claiming that the absence of IAF in the 1962 war against China proved to be the deciding factor for the conflict.

I write this, almost exactly 44 years after the Sino-India war. I feel there is still much to be learnt.

It was 10th of October 1962, when the Chinese attacked India. Of all the weapons used, the one weapon which India had no answer to was surprise. The Indian military was caught off-guard while this could be taken as one of the earliest instances of a string of failures that have followed Indian Intelligence till date.

Air Vice Marshal A K Tewary is quoted at Ibnlive here, that the war could have turned out a ‘debacle’ for China, if the Indian thinktank had allowed the IAF to prove their air-superiority.

This has been a well known, a well advocated theory. Anyone who has followed the chronicles of Indian Military has at one point of time or the other come across the events that unfolded in the 1962 war. Why exactly was the Indian Airforce Fleet not allowed to be the aggressor, when it was common knowledge that the IAF held an edge over the opponent from the east?

There are various reasons. The Indian administration expected the Chinese to retaliate heavily and to the highest possible degree if the IAF bombed the China mainland. The IAF was superior technologically, for it had the best of the British Fighters that included The Hunter while the Chinese held the edge if one considered the number of aircrafts. But the latter claim could be safely assumed to be of less significance as the PLAAF had only six air-strips in Tibet, the place from which the attacks on the Indian soil were carried out. The argument was that The IAF could not afford to loose planes, which it was expecting to, if the Chinese expanded their military action to attack Indian cities as a part of the retaliation.

Some argue that this assumption was flawed because with only six air-strips in Tibet, it was hard for China to even think of penetrating deep into Indian targets. In the days to come, the notion which the Indians held, of the Chinese ‘retaliation’, turned out to be nothing but faulty intelligence.

The other reason for not using The IAF as an offensive force was a fear of Pakistan attacking from the west. This was indeed a real possibility which had to be taken into account.

But overall, it turned out to be a disaster, not using the IAF as an offensive force (I am forced to think that the Indian thinktank, at all levels, fears crossing the International borders, even in the case when attacked upon. If you notice, a very similar situation developed in the Kargil conflict too). It should have been kept in mind that the Chinese onslaught could not have continued for long, as they were having a rough time themselves getting reinforcements for the advance. It was impossible for the Chinese army to continue operations at full-throttle with inadequate airfields along Tibet, which had been the base camp for the operations (and I like to think that this was one of the reasons, that has made the Chinese to build a rail link to Lhasa but that’s another story).

Nehru, the then PM, turned to US for help. The demand was of fighter (and bomber) squadrons, manned by USAF pilots only to patrol Indian mainland cities (not for action outside the borders). The US declined to provide India with combat planes. If the IAF was not using their own pilots for combat, the US was not to fight India’s war, it was argued (and rightly so). What the US agreed was to give 12 USAF transport aircrafts and an aircraft carrier in the bay of Bengal.

Jawaharlal Nehru was not much of a military man and he failed to recognise India’s military needs as early as in 1947, when he was quoted as saying, “We foresee no military threats. You can scrap the army. The police are good enough to meet our security needs.”

There was much learnt after the Sino-Indian war, after which Nehru admitted the mistake and said that we have been living in an unreal world, created of our own.

And, he continued to say, that in today’s world, there is no place for a weak nation.

1. The 1962 India-China War and Kargil 1999: Restrictions on the Use of Air Power
by R. Sukumaran
2. “You can scrap the Army” by Wing Commander (retd) R V Parasnis
3. India is loosing by Dr Michael E Marti
4. The Cuban Missile Crisis

Written by aditya kumar

October 9th, 2006 at 1:28 am

It’s a Sony

with 5 comments

This last weekend, the long weekend that just went by, I decided to check out digicams. Deepawali is around the corner, shopping has been on my mind. Since SonyWorld showroom happens to be next to my workplace, it was obviously first on my list.

Turned out, I am not eligible to buy a Sony Camera.

The reason being, of all things, my marital status.

Since I can’t afford to buy the camera by a single upfront cash payment, I have to consider buying it on EMI (Monthly installments). Usually the process takes two to three days for this to get approved, since you have to submit documentation like bank statements, rent agreement and sometimes even the employment letter. But the unsaid rule is that if you are a bachelor your application does not get approved, even though all the other prerequisites are met with.

Exactly my case. But why? Bachelors tend to move places a lot, something unhealthy for the creditors. I was told this by the Sony Executive. He told me not to even bother thinking about buying the product on the EMI option since I am a bachelor.

That was my cue. I had to leave the place!

So what is going on I wonder. A man who is not married can’t buy a Sony Product on installments? Is it so convenient for them to assume all bachelors behave in the same manner? All bachelors go to a Sony Showroom with bad intentions?

Let me put this straight, I think it was shitty.

The feeling that I had when I was leaving the showroom was this: I am NEVER going to buy a Sony again. MARRIED OR NOT.

Written by aditya kumar

October 3rd, 2006 at 9:02 pm

Posted in Personal