Monday, October 10, 2005

Kashmir Earthquake

Very bad week, that was! First, the cable guy finds out the cable connection was illegal and takes it away. The share markets plunge and I might have lost a bundle, the new electricity meter increases my 'consumption' by 80%, and the trekking trip that was supposed to be on Sunday gets cancelled!

I was planning to go to Mahuli with a friend - he gets down with a bad stomach and I had to cancel it. My friend from Chandigarh drops in early Sunday morning. He misses the earthquake as he was on the train already and had crossed into Madhya Pradesh. Late in the evening, we went to Lokhandwala Garden for the Durga Puja festival. Some Bengali restaurants had turned that festival into an impromptu Bengali food festival with pricey food. Atleast I had some decent fish yesterday. I got a free cap, 'won' a free audio cassette, and got free internet coupons! That was the only consolation after a bad week.

Funny, how some disaster brings out the truth in politics. Before the earthquake, Pakistanis were saying Kashmir (Pakistan occupied) was a sovereign state and Jammu & Kashmir (Indian state) was 'Indian-occupied-territory', and the Indian government and media were telling it was Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. After the earthquake, we get reports of _Pakistani army bunkers_ caving in and killing _Pakistani soldiers_, media reports of the epicentre being in "Muzaffarbad, Pakistan". No reports of the "Kashmiri Prime Minister", only _Pakistani PM_ visiting the 'affected areas' and _Pakistani President_ appealing to 'friends' for support. He doesn't want to ask India for help because of his ego! Indian TV stations first report of Earthquake in North India (with tremors felt in Pakistan also), BBC reports from Delhi about earthquake near Islamabad (though Muzaffarbad is closer to India than Islamabad), CNN shows footage of an Indian TV (which shows footage of a Pakistani TV). I wonder how long something can be called a 'breaking news'; CNN was showing the morning earthquake as breaking news at midnight.

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