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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mumbai Under Siege - War Zone and After Effects

I stay very close to all the three places where the terrorists have holed up and are even now engaged in battle with the armed forces, namely the Taj Heritage Hotel near Gateway of India, the Oberoi Hotel in Nariman Point and the Nariman House.

The surprise firing and attacks that started on Wednesday late night around 9.15 PM came as a shock to all of us as we first heard of it on the news channels on TV. This place is hardly 2Km from where we stay, and go often for shopping or watching a movie or eating out. I had been thinking of going out for a movie that evening as my husband had just taken a holiday and my son had just finished with his exams at school, but thankfully, I changed my mind and decided to stay at home instead.

We watched in horror as they showed the carnage and the after effects of the shooting that had happened at the Leopold Cafe, which is quite a popular restaurant in Colaba Causeway specially frequented more by foreigners. This place is also just behind the Taj Hotel and Gateway of India.

At first I thought, like many other people also must have thought, that it was just a silly random shooting by a crazed man or a gang shootout and that as soon as they had their fill, they would go away, but, unfortunately, and to the horror of all the policemen as well, the terrorists were not "running away" but instead very boldly in plain sight of everybody went about their business in a cold blooded manner shooting indiscriminately at the crowd and then went on to their next destination that was CST.

There was a bloody massacre at the CST railway station, which is almost always crowded with people, as the gunmen fired and killed many people before again pushing off on foot to their next place that was the Cama Hospital, where they added to the list of casualties.

The police tried their best to sort out the situation under the circumstances, but as nobody knew what was happening and who or where they were going with this, the police were also left helpless and some of them lost their lives trying to defend themselves and the innocent people.

Anyway, I am sure you have got all the details of what happened from the news channels on TV, so I will not go into those here. What I would like to bring out is that amongst all the chaos that was happening, it was the uniformed personnel at all times who came to the forefront to bear the brunt of the bullets.

The police, the firefighters, the staff and employees of the Taj and the Oberoi Hotel have been very helpful and most professional about their jobs and have taken care of the people who were trapped inside the buildings. I salute these people and the brave who laid their lives for others (and are still in the process of doing so). The army and the navy are doing a commendable job with their planned operations and also in reassuring those who are trapped within that all is under control.

These people are the true heroes of our nation and I hope all the politicians are sitting in front of their television sets and seeing how these brave people are fighting to save "Aamchi Mumbai" (as they keep saying) from these terrorists. So, where are these politicians now? Where is Raj Thackeray? And Where is the Chief Minister, Vilas Rao Deshmukh?

There is a lot of anger and anguish in the hearts of all Mumbaikars, which was evident in the interviews of the celebrities and top industrialists on TV. They had just one thing to say,"Enough is Enough".

This must be the first time that Mumbai looks like a war zone with the army and navy personnel taking complete control of the three buildings that are under siege of the terrorists with a hostage situation. They are all shaken up, as again, this is the first time that it is also the rich people who are being targeted and not only the poor common bystanders as is usually the case in Mumbai.

But like it is so typical with Mumbai, life goes on and people are calm and not in a panic. Everybody was being as helpful as they could and going about their business. But, the only difference is that this time it has gone a bit too far, and I am sure that all the citizens have the same thought in their minds as well. "How much more will we have to suffer"?

So, how much more pain and suffering and blood shed do the politicians want before they start doing something for the larger good of the nation? When will they give up their petty bickering and false assurances to the public and wake up to the realities of life?

I urge all the people to shout out loud, for there is no better time than this, "Enough is Enough".

Our True Heroes - "Hamare Liye Kuch Mushkil Nahi Hein" - Says NSG Commando (Nothing is difficult for us)

Today morning the fierce gun battle that was going on at the Taj Heritage Hotel Building trying to bring down the last of the terrorist, finally culminated with a huge fire breaking out at the first floor and the body of the terrorist was thrown out of the first floor window.

There was high drama the whole night as the terrorists who were battling with the NSG Commandos inside the first floor of the Taj building kept running from one side of the building to another, but finally our men got the better of them and were able to corner them and in the process, all the terrorists were killed.

All in all so far, according to the Director General of NSG, three terrorists have been killed inside the Taj Hotel and hopefully that is the end of this operation, although the combing process is still going on to rescue any staff or residents who may still be locked up in their rooms and to make sure that there are no more of the terrorists hiding anywhere.



The mood of the NSG Commandos was jubilant as they came out of the Taj entrance, all smiling and happy to have successfully completed their task in annihilating the Terrorists who had held the whole of Mumbai to ransom for more than 56 hrs. The mood and attitude of these Commandos who risked their lives and put themselves in the line of fire without fear was evident when a reporter tried to interview one of them. She asked them,"How difficult was it for you, inside there?"
And this is the pat reply that comes from the man all smiles, "Hamare Liye Kuch Bhi Mushkil Nahin Hain!"

Translated in English, "Nothing is difficult for us."

Hearing this simple statement from the NSG Commando just minutes after he has risked his life and saved the whole of Mumbai, allowing them to sleep in peace, filled my heart with pride.

It was these Commandos who successfully completed the task of eliminating all the terrorists from the Oberoi, Trident Hotel, The Nariman House and now finally the most difficult, The Taj Hotel.

I am very glad that for the first time in India, all of the citizens have been able to watch our men in uniform in action LIVE on TV and maybe this will make them realize the importance of these men in uniform and the risks they take to make us all feel safe. I hope that the citizens of India will now give more respect to the men in the defense forces.

Just a few days back the politicians were reluctant to increase the pay and allowances that were long time overdue to these men. They not only did not increase the pay and allowances as demanded by the defense chiefs, to add further insult to injury, they also downgraded all the ranks of the men as compared to their bureaucratic civilian counterparts who are now enjoying a senior position and double pay in the comforts of their plush offices and comfortable homes!

Inspite of all this, I am proud of these men of uniform who are still fighting for their country, the true patriots and our heroes and I hope that these words of the Commando "Hamare Liye Kuch Bhi Mushkil Nahin Hain!" will ring in everyone's ears for a long time to come.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai Under Terror Attack - Breaking News

Mumbai is under a terror attack right now. The attacks started at around 10 pm at south Mumbai according to the news reports that started coming in on TV. The Oberoi Hotel in Nariman Point was under heavy firing from inside and two blasts were heard.

Photo of Map of South Mumbai





Fresh Update: This is the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, a prominent landmark in South Mumbai just opposite the Gateway Of India, is the place where some terrorists at present are still holed up with hostages and the top story of the Hotel is on fire which is being doused out by the firefighters. The fire has been raging inside the hotel since last night when some blasts had occurred near the dome of the hotel.

There were reports of firing with AK-47 rifles at random by some unidentified people in the Leopold Cafe in South Mumbai in Colaba, Mumbai. This was the first place from where we heard about the firing occuring. Slowly, news reports also came in from firing also happening in the CST station, Churchgate station, Worli, Napean sea road and also a blast in Vile Parle. There are also reports of Hand grenades being fired at the police vans from Colaba Causeway.

Few people have been injured and taken to hospitals nearby, Mainly Kama hospital in Mumbai, Colaba is also been targeted.

The fresh news reports are coming in even now.

Mainly, Oberoi Hotel in Nariman point and the Taj hotel in Colaba seem to be the central point of the encounter that is happening. I myself heard two blasts that had occurred a little while ago, reportedly from the Oberoi hotel area. The police still seem to have no clue as to what is happening and who is behind all this chaos that's going on and why.

Apparently 3 poeple have been killed (died) in Taj Hotel. Police have surrounded all the areas in Colaba and local trains from CST have been stopped. Two grenades have been fired at the police in the Taj area.

The latest news is that the terrorists have planted some bombs in the Taj Hotel and the police are now trying to get the bomb squad to try and locate the bombs and diffuse them, if possible.

The terrorists are apparently in the Old Taj building and have grenades that they are throwing at the police.

Whole Mumbai is now under Red alert as more and more news of such attacks from other areas are coming in.

More and more people are getting injured as the situation is progressing. The injured are being taken to GT Hospital in Colaba.

Video reports from Oberoi Hotel shows people at their room windows, trying to escape. Some are standing on the ledge of the windows. Police are confused as to who they are. Police is trying to identify them by a flash light, but can't see clearly if they are residents of the Hotel?

News reports from CST just in that the firing still going on there too. The terrorists have taken over a bogie of a train and are firing from there. About 10 people have been reported as dead in CST.

Update: A petrol pump has been blown up in Colaba near market area. And reports are that these people who are firing are not running away but are holding their posts and continuing to fire away.

Mumbai is definitely under siege and looks like they have an agenda. Now what exactly is that nobody knows.

Two loud explosions have been heard from the CST station recently.

Fresh reports from Oberoi Hotel says that the lobby of the hotel was on fire and two explosions from hand grenades were heard. According to the news reports on TV the terrorists have now got 15 British residents as their hostage and Commando operation is now under way at the Oberoi Hotel.

Let's see how the situation develops further..

8:31 Am Mumbai: Fresh Update:

As of now there are three places that are under siege still by the terrorists, namely the Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel in Nariman Point and the Nariman House in Colaba Causeway.

The NSG commandos have arrived from the Capital and are now trying to smoke out the terrorists from these buildings. Schools and colleges have been closed today and the whole areas surrounding these buildings have been cordoned off by the police.

The situation is still tense as Mumbai is burning today morning. There is a severely injured and bleeding man inside the Taj Hotel who requires urgent medical attention, but they are not able to get him outside. Hospitals namely, the JJ hospital and GT hospital in Mumbai are falling short of blood as more and more victims are being brought in since the incident started around 10 PM last night.



This is the "exclusive first picture of the gunman seen by the times reporter of one of the terrorists at cst station taken by the photo editor Sebastian D’Souza from barely a few feet away".

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

India Lands The Tricolor on The Moon - First Pictures

Saturday, 15th November 08, was a historic day for India as we succeeded in landing our first Lunar Probe on the surface of the Moon. India is now the fourth country to have joined the elite club of space-faring nations like the United States, Russia and Japan.

It is indeed a proud moment for our country and a great achievement. “The TV set-sized probe, painted in the green-white-and-orange colors of the Indian flag, made a "precise-to-the-second" landing on the lunar surface late Friday after being released from the unmanned moon-orbiting Chandrayaan-1 satellite”, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said.

All Indians rejoiced and hailed this milestone in India’s space history including the politicians, who for once buried their differences and united to call this event worthy of being recorded in Golden letters. Abdul Kalam, the former President, who conceived the moon impact probe (MIP) is ecstatic with the successful moon landing and hopes that this would fuel a dream in Children for the future and in 15 years he wanted to see an Indian on the Moon. Well, I am sure that day is not very far off.

You can read all about the lunar mission and Chandrayaan –1 on the official website of ISRO which has all the details about the spacecraft.
http://www.isro.org/chandrayaan-1/announcement.htm

Well, the results of the Moon Impact Probe landing on the surface of the Moon have begun to filter in with the first clear pictures of the Moon surface. Apparently, The images sent by the MIP will help ISRO determine landing sites for future missions, including that of Chandrayaan-2’s rover.



Photo of the lunar surface sent by Chandrayaan-1's MIP on November 14, 2008



Close-up photo of the surface of the moon sent by Chandrayaan-1's MIP


Photos from:
http://www.dancewithshadows.com/tech/chandrayaan-1-moon-impact-probe-sends-lunar-surface-photos/

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Children's Day - 14th November



Here is wishing all the kids a very "Happy Children's Day". Today, 14th of November is being celebrated as Children's day in India to remember fondly Chacha Nehru (Pdt. Jawaharlal Nehru)who was our first Prime Minister and was very fond of kids.

So how do you celebrate this day? Well, for one thing, the schools in India make this day special for all the kids by organizing some special functions in school. They will probably have a half-day at school so that they can come back home early and spend the rest of the day doing pretty much what they like.

This day is a wonderful opportunity for all the parents to spend some quality time with their kids. But, what about those poor kids who are orphaned or staying in foster homes? See if you can do something special for these kids too. Taking small gifts like used old toys, clothes, shoes, books etc can make a lot of difference to these kids. So, open out your hearts and donate generously today to the Children's institution that is near you.

There are several charitable NGO's that are helping the cause of Children like the CRY (Child Rights and You), and the Smile foundation in India.
http://www.cry.org/index.html
http://www.smilefoundationindia.org/donation.htm

You can make a huge difference to the life of a child by just donating one rupee. Check out these sites and read all about their work and how you can help online. Another way to help out is by adopting a child and funding its education all the way to college. Bring a ray of hope to a child's life today.

Here are some links to other such charitable NGO's in India:

http://www.pratham.org/aboutus/aboutus.php
http://www.aryagan.org/index.php?divoff=yes
http://www.cini-india.org/
http://www.childlineindia.org.in/faq.htm

Children's Day Stamps

Children's Day is celebrated on 20th November in the rest of the world, but for India this day has been preponed to the 14th November to mark Pdt Jawaharlal Nehru's Birthday. Every year Indian postal service has been releasing new stamps to commemorate the Children's Day. Take a look at some yesteryear stamps from 1957 to 2005.
http://www.xomba.com/children_s_day_stamps

Friday, November 7, 2008

Popular Toy List for Christmas 2008 - Hottest New Toys

Popular Toy List for Christmas 2008 - Hottest New Toys

Here is the hot list of the Toys that you would want to consider buying for this 2008-2009 Christmas Holiday Season. The list contains some of the best new toys that are selling like hot cakes online as major toy retailers are now starting to heavily discount toy prices early this season. Check them out here:

http://xomba.com/top_toy_list_hot_2008_2009_christmas_holiday_season

Hot New Releases in Toys from Amazon
Check out these Hot New toys released on Amazon.com and available online. The List includes Hasbro Toys like:

1. Monopoly Here and Now World - Price: $27.97

2. Hasbro Electronic Catch Phrase Game - Second Edition - Price: $24.99

3. Stratego - Price: $8.46

4. Electronic Battleship Advanced Mission - Price: $41.99

5. Trivial Pursuit Digital Choice - Price: $39.99

6. Twister Moves Hannah Montana - Price: $15.47

7. Star Wars- Clone Wars Plug N Play Game - Price: $49.51

all these amongst many other games. Check out the complete list and if you buy any of these toys online you can save upto $10 or even as much as $28 on some selected items. Get the best deals here NOW.

http://xomba.com/hot_new_releases_toys_amazon

The Hottest Christmas Holiday Toy List From Amazon

This is by far the Hottest Toy List for the Christmas Holiday this year from Amazon website. This is the best place to shop online for your family. There is something for all age groups shown in this video. There is a wide range of good quality toys to choose from and the kids are going to love them all for eg:

Toys from Fisher Price include Trikes, Transportation system Geo Air High Flying Airport, Fun 2 learn computer cool school

Leap Frog - Tag reading system could be a good educational toy
for your kid.

The Rand Batman Dark Night 12 inch Kids Bike: Your son will absolutely love this bike.

And lots more of such enticing toys that would make your kids happy. Check them all out here:

http://xomba.com/christmas_holiday_toy_list_amazon

For Christmas Gift Buy Video Games From Amazon - Get Great Discounts

Here are the latest video games on offer for Xbox, Nintendo or playstation with great discounts. Buy any 2 games and get one free. Many games available including World of warcraft: Wrath of King Lich, Valkyria chronicles, New Arrivals of Games & Gear include Fallout 3, Fable and Gears of War 2 Limited Edition.

You can also get $10 Amazon.com Gift Card with Pre-order

Order any one of the great games shown and get a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card. Check out this link for more details:

http://xomba.com/christmas_gift_buy_video_games_amazon_get_great_discounts

Most Popular And Hot Toys On Christmas 2008 Wish List

As the Christmas season approaches everybody gets busy with their shopping lists. What to buy for the family and kids can be a very tedious task to keep up with every year. Well, that's what the internet is here for. No sweat, guys and gals for you will get the latest and the best deals right here on your PC.

Here are some of the most popular and hot toys that are on everybody's wish list this Christmas. These toys are available online at the best prices possible. So hurry and grab yours today, before they all vanish. Take a look at what's hot and selling right now.

http://xomba.com/most_popular_and_hot_toys_christmas_2008_wish_list

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama - Elected First Black President of USA



History has been created today as Barack Obama, the democratic candidate of the presidential elections in the USA, has been declared the winner and elected as the 44th President of America. With this win, he also becomes the first ever black President of the USA proving the elections to be truly "Democratic" this year.

Barack Obama has different views regarding the economic crisis that is causing the recession in America and has some plans that could affect the outsourcing of jobs to India. He also has some very strong views regarding the Kashmir and terrorism issue in India. Here are some links to the latest developments in the elections and more details about Barack Obama, the new President of America.

Obama Wins Virginia Presidential Vote

The 44th President of Unites States of America - Barack Obama

Watch Barack Obama Live in Grant Park Tonight

Barack Obama - Facebook Profile Page

Barack Obama on Myspace - Profile page

Kashmir Issue and Barack Obama - Is Barack Obama Good News for India?

Barack Obama Against Outsourcing Jobs to India

"India will be top priority" - Says Barack Obama

Barack Obama - Obstacle Course Ahead for the Next President of America

Barack Obama Creates History - Watch Video


Barack Obama: All about America's first black president

Barack Obama's Victory Speech From Chicago

Presidential results 2008 - Electoral Votes State-by-State