Tag Archives: Kashmir

The Siege – The attack on the Taj, by Adrian Levy & Cathy Scott-Clark

Book Review

Rating: 7/10

Book Poster_The SiegeIndia recently observed 6th anniversary of the unfortunate event of 26th November, 2008 when just 10 terrorists from across the border had held the world’s fourth largest city to ransom. We looked back at the incident when innocent families at CST were shot dead by Ajmal Kasab, who somehow became the face of those attacks – the attacks on India. However, the most shocking picture from that attack was the one with the dome of the Taj Mahal Hotel set on fire.

The Seige, written by Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, takes back its readers to those unfortunate 68 hours starting from the evening of 26th November, 2008. Every incident explained in this book is a real incident from those 68 hours, and that is what gave me goose bumps. The narrative of the story is based on the multiple interviews with the survivors, policemen and journalists, complemented by investigation reports and site visits. So, this is as real as it can get.

While I am not a great fan of the writing style of the authors who have jumped between multiple characters, incidents and places in just a few pages creating confusion, I liked the details that they went into. The book starts with the David Headley story, leading up to Lashkar-e-Toiba and finally to the Taj. For me, there were times when I felt angry about the incompetence of the Indian security forces to manage just ten rats. There were other times when I put down the book to do my google search and reconfirm if all what I’m reading is actually true, because it seemed to be fiction.

Overall, I liked the storyline, I liked the research and I liked the detail. But I think it could’ve been a little less confusing at times, and that it would have gone a little beyond just stating the facts and incidents.

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P.S.: The pictures have been borrowed from internet with thanks to the owner of this picture.


India versus Pakistan (Nobel War)

10/10/2014 is a very unique date in the history of both India and Pakistan, when the only two Noble Peace Prizes of the year have been awarded to Kailash Satyarthi (India) and Malala Yousafai (Pakistan). Congratulations to the people of both the countries for this feat! The celebrations have already begun in both the countries; social media and news channels is full with the congratulatory notes to both the winners.

Nobel Peace Prize

But the ironical part of this victory is that while the world might want to acknowledge these countries for peace, the Prime Ministers of both these countries have opened guns against each other. On one side of the border is PM Narendra Modi whose party is facing elections in two states and he has to prove his ability to meet his pre-poll promises of national security and integrity. And on the other side is PM Nawaz Shareif who is being blackmailed into getting off his post and has to prove his mettle to be prepared for an election, just in case. And what better way than to fight at the border.


Source: http://tearsofmanomajra.weebly.com/historical-reference-pakistan-india-conflict.html

I watched a very nice movie – Haider – very recently and have been thinking ever since that in this constant fight of political forces, the ultimate sufferers are the people of Kashmir – Jammu & Kashmir in India (Indian Occupied Kashmir) and Azad Kashmir in Pakistan (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir). Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafai have something in common – both have fought for the rights of children in their own way. Isn’t that a responsibility of the governments and the armies of both these countries to help forward this cause? Isn’t it more sensible for both the countries to spend this money on child education, child welfare, healthcare and infrastructure development, rather than showing muscle to each other?

I would like to congratulate both Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafai on the great work that they have done in their own capacities. And it’s my urge to the people and politicians of both these countries to listen to these two great personalities and help them spread their message to the world.

Haider – Hats off to VB

Movie Review

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Wow! What a movie this was!

Haider is a movie set up in the background of a disturbed situation in Kashmir. The movie is a take on the Kashmir situation from various different perspectives and does send a subtle message that it is none but Kashmiris who are suffering in this continuous war between India and Pakistan. Set in this background, this movie is the story of Haider whose father has been ‘picked up’ by the Indian Army for helping militants in the valley.

Our protagonist Haider (Shahid Kapoor) is deeply attached to his father and sets off to search for him in the camps and prisons of Kashmir. In this search, he finds out that his uncle (Kay Kay Menon) is the police informer who had informed the army about his father, through her mother (Tabu). With its twists, turns and edges, Vishal Bhardawaj has handled the issue of terrorism, AFSPA and unrest in the valley with the due care and sensitivity in this amazing adaptation of ‘Hamlet’.


All of the main characters were impressive, but Shahid Kapoor stands out big time in the movie. He has made a very strong case for himself in this industry. Kay Kay and Tabu have performed their roles with honesty and sincerity and you can see that. Shraddha Kapoor’s role is ignorable. While she is trying to make her presence felt, her role is almost ignorable and redundant in the movie.

Overall, I’d say this is an amazing movie and a must watch for everyone who’s waited for good Hindi cinema.


P.S.: You might feel it’s a little stretched in the second half, but just be with the movie.