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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 1072

This was one weekend which will not be forgotten in a long time. Somehow, i continued the tradition, of being out of town for Diwali for the 5th year in a row. This time, it was for a short 1 day/night trip to pune. We stayed at the Oakwood Residency which is a service apartment and definitely better deal then staying in a 5 star hotel. This was exactly like staying in a suite and paying for normal hotel charges. The weather was very nice and the reports of today stated that at 9.5 degrees, it was the coldest night of the year in Pune. We had a nice lunch at Terttulia and then went back and relaxed. Then we got to hear the news that Bal Thackrey breathed his last at 15:33. What i knew, was finally official. As expected, almost all shops and establishments shut down and this will remain till tomorrow night. Whether its out of respect or fear of being lynched, cant be proved in any court of law.
As soon as the news came, there were lots of updates on social media sites. Some of them were heartfelt condolences. Some of them were anger at being targeted despite having nothing to do with the family of the departed. Some of them were making digs and mocking his death.
Whether i have a political stand or not can be discussed later. But i say, that person is no more. You have difference of opinion in his policies, way of thinking and functioning, thats one thing. If you have been affected  because of the uncalled for Bandh, you have a right to express your anger and opinion. That you could do it constructively and take the help of law is one thing but whether you will actually do that or not is yet to be seen. But what is of the lowest form of character assassination and actually making a mock of someone who has recently departed, is absolutely uncalled for.
I saw some real degrading messages sent on my mobile phones on his death and i found that absolutely untasteful. Allegedly,  Thackrey Sr is said to have made Anti-Islam Statements and i know of atleast 3 Muslims who have given their heartfelt condolences to him and NONE of it is out of fear. So when community he openly supported have people making distasteful remarks, one thinks, is this what the youth of today thinking ? Are these the potential who will be running our country and dreadfully bringing up our future generations ?
How many of you Had the balls to write all of this when he was alive ? Years back, i had written a letter to the editor of Mid-Day(A popular city tabloid) expressing my views against some of the Shiv Sena Policies of that time. The editor, published the letter verbatim. A lot of  "Well Wishers" called me and expressed fear of something happening to my life. Well, i am here and so are they. I had the balls and they didnt. But here, the question is not of what i think of Shiv-Sena or their counterparts. Here the question is, how right is it to make   fun of someone who has recently departed.
For others, who have expressed their anger against the bandh (and if you ask my opinion, it is good to have such bandhs once in a while in this crazy city), please step out of your comfort zone and file a complaint with the cops and law. What is expressing anger on social media sites going to get you ? Bal Thackrey has publicly said that there are rights, which you need to snatch and not seek or beg.
I again reiterate, i dont support any political party, i dont have any political leanings.
Oh did i forget, NONE of the essential commodities have been affected. Trains and Buses are running. The chemist shops and petrol Pumps are ordered to remain open. Any guesses who has given these orders ?

Well, its enough serious talk for a while. Saturday, was hence, spent inside the hotel premises, and we had a buffet dinner in the in-house restaurant. A few days back i was talking about the mission that i had gone to New Delhi for. Well, the news that i got on saturday is that the mission was not successful. There have been reasons given and its sad to hear about the reason of mission not being successful. I will not blame anyone for the mission failure. I just need to do some more soul-searching,. I only wish peace and happiness for everyone that i have had any association with.
Sunday, after breakfast, met up with an ex-office colleague and a fellow movie buff who is now settled in Pune. And although we have had a few difference of opinion, its been in the past and strictly professional. It was fantastic catching up with him and we had a kind of mini Pune-Darshan as well.
It was also good getting insights about a lot of things so it was a sunday morning well spent.
We left pune to come to Bombay at around 2 Pm and thanks to a near zero traffic, we reached home in just 2 hours.
And was just watching tv and reading the sunday dailies.
In a while i will be uploading the last of the Diwali pictures on facebook so please do look at them.
Tomorrow, another week starts.
We can only hope its calm.

Do read the below if you have time - Written by a friend and a well wisher.

An Open Letter To Mr Uddhav Thackeray

by Fenil Seta on Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 9:55am ·
Dear Mr Uddhav Thackeray,

Firstly and very honestly, it’s really very unfortunate to know about the demise of your father, Mr Balasaheb Thackeray. His contribution has been immense in shaping Maharashtra's history and also in shaping the lives of Maharashtrians. His legacy will live on for sure. May his soul rest in peace.

At the same time, I would like to bring to your notice the fear mania that gripped the city after news came out that your father has left for heavenly abode. People ran out of their offices and workplaces to reach home. Shops downed their shutters immediately. This is entirely a personal choice and I would not like to comment on it. But there are certain shopkeepers who preferred to keep their shops open. Also, chemists and milk shops rightfully chose not to follow the herd. Certain hooligans, according to reports, compelled them to shut shop as well. Some even pelted stones at certain stores. Buses and trains were stopped, which were full of scared people hoping to reach their homes as fast as they can. The goons toured the city in groups and compelled people to mourn for the demise of Mr Thackeray. Diwali celebration is still on and many homes were lit with Diwali lights and lanterns. Such people were ordered, not requested, to shut off the lights or else…

This is a wrong time to talk about these things with you as you have suffered arguably the biggest loss of your life. But do you really feel this is justified? People are in their homes and malls and shops are closed not necessarily by respect, but because of fear. After all, who desires that a mob destroys their shop? And do you think this is the correct way? Respect is earned and your father did that and the evidence is the lakhs of people who have turned up at Matoshree and at Shivaji Park. But respect is not forced and the Sena hooligans are trying to do that by forcing the whole city to mourn, even if they don’t want to, for entirely personal reasons. Most importantly, is it fair for to do all this in the name of your father, who would have never done something like this ever in his lifetime? Isn’t that shameful on the part of Sena workers?

I know there’s little you can do right now and I am not asking for any immediate move from you. My only request is – make sure all the Sena workers who did mischief on the roads in the name of your father be told to surrender to the cops and that they get strictest punishments. At the same time, if possible, on behalf of these troublemakers, apologize to the Mumbaikars for the inconvenience caused to them. Believe me, it would go a long way in winning the trust of Mumbaikars and will ultimately benefit Shiv Sena. I hope if this message ever reaches to you, it’s taken in the right spirit.

Fenil Seta

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