Tuesday, April 4, 2017

There we go again.

1. The Latest Offer from the US.

     During his campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump had said that he would put Pakistan
     on notice for its use of terror in the conduct of its foreign policy - in J&K in India and the
     dangerous game of playing the Taliban card in Afghanistan. As an Indian, I was happy that:-
           (a) Here was a good articulation of his-would-be-foreign-policy-initiatives having taken into
                consideration the ground realities.
           (b) Since he was a rank outsider, he did not carry the baggage of political ideology which
                 would have necessitated him to take the oft beaten path of making lip service against
                 Pakistani indulgence in terrorist activities in its neighbourhood and yet, provide it with
                 military aid.
           (c) He's a good set of people to advice him on foreign policy matters.

     But all that seems to have been misplaced optimism, after hearing Nikki Haley, his envoy to
     the UN, say that the US is willing to mediate between India and Pakistan to de-escalate tensions in
     the region. And mind you, Donald Trump, is offering himself to be the mediator.

     Mr. Trump, why don't you realise that we've been saying all along that Kashmir is a bilateral
     problem which we'd thrash out ourselves. Thanks and no, thanks for your 'offer'. And I thought
     that Nikki Haley, an Indian-American actually knew the ground realities! Sad!! Wonder why we
     swell our chest with pride saying that she's an Indian, doing well in the US?

2. Currency Crunch in the State.

    Shortage of currency affected the functioning of several treasuries in the state and disrupted the
    distribution of salary and pension for the month. The finance minister was quick on the draw while
    putting the blame on the RBI and the central government. Mr. Thomas Isaac, why do you cut a
    sorry figure always? Shouldn't you've anticipated the situation and taken adequate measures, well
    in time, to have thwarted the sad spectacle.

    The television grabs showing the sad plight of the senior citizens were heart rending. The look
    of discomfort coupled with the disgusting knowledge that the government accorded no priority
    for their needs shall remain ingrained in my mind for days to come.

3. Adieu Kishori Amonkar!

    Kishori Amonkar passed into the mist of time, late yesterday, at her home in central Bombay
    after a brief illness. She was 84. The highlights about her are:-
           * A classical vocalist recognised as the foremost singer in the Hindustani tradition and
              as an innovative exponent of the 'Jaipur gharana'(A community of musicians sharing a
              distinctive musical style).
           * She'd learned the finer points and techniques of the Jaipur gharana from her mother,
              Mogubai Kurdikar.
           * She was known primarily for her skillful singing of classical 'khayal' songs set in the
              traditional 'ragas' of Hindustani music. She, also, performed the lighter classical 'thumri'
              repertoire, 'bhajans' and film music.
           * Apart from being a musician, she was a popular speaker giving lectures on the theory of
              'ragas'(Feelings and emotions) in music.

   RIP Kishori Amonkar. My salute to a great musician and prayers.


It was during my 'one year ten month' tenure at INS Chilka during '89-'90 when I heard Kishori Amonkar for the first time at Surgeon Commander Sanjay Goil's house, one evening. Sangeeta, his wife, was a connoisseur of good music and it was she who put me through the groove of classical music. I can never forget many memorable evenings, at their place, as I got through the nuances of enjoying music! Thanks Sanjay and Sangeeta for those heady days!!


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