Out comes the sun,
The job has been done.
The troops have gone home,
The people freely roam.
The survivors have returned,
The dead have been burnt.
Once again the city runs,
But it’s not over,
It has just begun.
Out comes the sun,
The job has been done.
The troops have gone home,
The people freely roam.
The survivors have returned,
The dead have been burnt.
Once again the city runs,
But it’s not over,
It has just begun.
Mumbai, (28th Nov. 2008 2030 hrs)
FOR EARLIER STORIES CLICK HERE
The Current Updates
“Operation Nariman House Over, All Hostages Dead”
After ‘Yes-No’ reports for over 3 hours, the NSG finally confirmed that the third floor of Nariman House (Now known as Chabad House) had been cleared and that unfortunately all five of the hostages had been killed. Two terrorrists were also slain in the encounter.
Since 1640 hrs, the NSG intensified their operations at Nariman House, systematically attacking floor after floor. Spectacular explosions were observed as the NSG used rocket-propelled grenades to clear out the said building.
At around 1750 hrs, the NSG blew out a window on the fourth floor. A major explosion earlier, left a gaping hole in the wall on the first floor. The commandos therefore could clearly be seen surveying the cleared floors. And so, at around 1840 hrs, amidst confusion and speculation, the media prematurely declared that ‘Operation Nariman House was completed and the hostages were safely rescued’ (India TV & Star News).
Unfortunately, at 1905 hrs, the NSG confirmed that terrorists had killed all five hostages.
Reports yesterday suggested that a Jewish Rabbi and his family were amongst the hostages. The terrorists had even released the Rabbi’s son along with his nanny. The focus then shifted to the rescue of the Rabbi and his wife. News reports revealed that there was increasing diplomatic pressure on India as far as their safety was concerned. The fact that the commandos haven’t been able to rescue the said hostages is certainly a big blow.
” Operation TAJ Still Unfinished. “
Despite all hostages being successfully rescued last night, the NSG commandos are yet to uproot the terrorists holed up inside the Taj. Reports as to how many terrorists were still inside the Taj lacked unanimity throughout the day. Some channels speculated that there was one terrorist who was possibly injured (CNN-IBN). Others claimed that there were two (India TV).
The NSG earlier requested the media not to relay live coverage of the operation as it was becoming a disruption. Subsequently there was a black out of news channels in several parts of the city, as well as in Thane and Navi Mumbai.
The operation has now greatly intensified with as many as 17 explosions being carried out by the NSG within a span of 20 mins between 1750 hrs to 1810 hrs. The supply of electricity which was earlier cut off, was resumed after sundown to facilitate the operations of the NSG.
In a freak accident, 3 members of the media were hurt by shrapnel after an explosion was carried out on the first storey of the TAJ.
“Operation Oberoi-Trident Accomplished, 24 found Dead.”
The NSG confirmed at around 1430 hrs that the operation at the Oberoi-Trident Hotel had been successfully completed and that the hotel was now under control of the NSG. Mumbai Police Commissioner Hassan Gafoor confirmed that 24 dead bodies were found in the premises today, in addition to the 6 bodies found yesterday.
The NSG claimed to have gunned down 2 terrorists at the Trident.
The operation showed encouraging signs as early as 1255 hrs when Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh confirmed that the Oberoi section of the hotel had been totally cleared and that the Trident section was almost clear.
The NSG is currently second-checking the premises and looking for possible clues that can aid the investigation.
Updates as of 28/11/2008 1330 hrs
There have been fresh rumors of firing once again at CST station. While initially the reports were played down as rumors, some media outlets have gone ahead and confirmed it.
Rediff reported at 1318 hrs: “Firing reported outside CST. The attackers used semi-automatic weapons”.
Aaj Tak speculates that 3-4 loctations including the RBI building have been attacked by firing.
CNBC TV-18, reported at 1330 hrs that terrorists may have taken 15 hostages and also showed footage from the CST CCTV cameras.
RPF continue to deny the attacks. Trains have been suspended at CST and the station has been evacuated. Further clarifications awaited.
Operation TAJ just doesn’t seem to end. Reports around the same time yesterday said the TAJ siege was almost over but it was not until 2337 hrs last night that the final hostages were rescued. The NSG are still speculating the number of terrorists still holed up inside the TAJ. Earlier it was suspected that there was one terrorist who was injured. But grenade attacks and fresh firing indicate that that may not be the case.
At the Trident, 2-3 terrorists may still be holed up inside. Intermittent firing and grenade blasts. A blazing fire broke out at around 1900 hrs yesterday.
At Nariman House, NSG suspects 4-5 terrorists are still holed up inside. A Rabbi and his family are believed to be amongst the hostages. The operation has greatly intensified with frequent firing and grenade blasts. Helicopters are still providing aerial cover.
A Round-Up of EventsYesterday (This section was last updated on 27/11/2008, 1800 hrs)
“Death toll rises, IB confirms MV Alpha, the vessel aboard which the terrorists came to Mumbai has been located.”
Police have announced a curfew in South Mumbai for today. All schools, colleges and markets in the city will also remain closed for the day. The local trains which were suspended last night have resumed services but are running empty as few dare to venture out on the streets today. The death toll has risen to around 101, as many as 287 have been injured in the blasts. The figures are expected to rise.
Five terrorists have been killed and one arrested so far. Six however still remain at large. The six have reportedly fled in a government Jeep and a Toyota Qualis stolen from the Police (the same one which was seen shooting at passers-by near Metro Cinema last night. Police have given out the registration numbers of these vehicles, which are periodically being flashed on major News channels.
A little known Terrorist outfit, The Deccan Mujahideen from Hyderabad, have claimed the responsibility for the attack. At around 1130 hrs India TV aired what was allegedly a phone call from the terrorists holed up inside the TAJ Hotel. From their accents, the alleged terrorists sounded like they were from across the border and not from Hyderabad, India.
The IB has arrested Ismail, a terrorist from Faridkot, Pakistan belonging to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba outfit. Terror emails have been traced to Russia. The terrorists, as the IB reports, came to the shores of Colaba aboard MV Alpha, a merchant vessel registered in Vietnam. The Navy and Coast Guard have managed to track down the said vessel at a port in Gujarat. Investigations are under way. Local eyewitness accounts near the Gateway of India suggest that the terrorists came to South Mumbai in several dinghies, each of them carrying haversacks and plastic bags, possibly filled with explosives.
The Police earlier today, found a boat laden with RDX explosives at Sassoon Docks. There were reports of a blast in a luxury bus near Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali earlier this morning, as well reports of firing in Borivali at around 0245 hrs.
The Army has deployed 200 more commandos to deal with the terrorists. The Mumbai Police Commissioner earlier said, “We will not negotiate with them. We will either nab them or kill them!”
The Grenadiers battalion of the army and the NSG commandos however are still engaged in hostage situations with the terrorists holed up in the Trident Hotel and Cama Hospital and Nariman House.
Here are the latest updates on the rescue operations at Nariman House, The TAJ, The Trident and Cama Hospital:
“Army prepares for Final Siege, Helicopters Deployed.”
Grenade blasts were heard outside Nariman house at around 1705 hrs. The Army and the Police are engaged in a joint operation to end the hostage situation at Nariman House. Reports suggest that seven terrorists around 25 years of age are hiding inside Nariman House and are holding seven hostages. Helicopters have been deployed to provide aerial cover to the ground troops
At 1330 hrs, reports came in about the death of a terrorist in an encounter at Nariman House (a residential building where many Israeli families currently in India are residing). Subsequently three of the hostages managed to escape from there safely.
The TAJ Hotel
“Four Storeys Sanitized, Fifth Goes Up in Flames. 40 Bodies Recovered”
Earlier this afternoon, all signs seemed to suggest that the Gun battle at the TAJ had ended. Reports that are now coming in say that Terrorists have set fire to the fifth storey of the TAJ after the army earlier managed to clear four floors. Forty dead bodies were found on the first four floors. Police claim that four of those were suicide attackers. The commandos are now locked in a final battle with the terrorists holed up in the TAJ. There have been reports of loud explosions outside the TAJ as recently as 1640 hrs.
As of 1402 hrs all hostages were rescued as reports by CNN-IBN suggested.
At 1315 hrs , Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, CNN-IBN, reported from outside the TAJ that six dead bodies of hostages had been pulled out of the TAJ. One NSG commando also reportedly succumbed in the gun battle for the TAJ. The Army commandos have told the media that the rescue operation may stretch into the late hours of the day once again owing to complicated structure of the TAJ hotel. Pictures of hostages waving from the windows that have the words ‘Save Us’ written on them are constantly being flashed on our screens. Three Members of Parliament as well as many foreign nationals are still stuck inside the TAJ hotel. Earlier a top French Nuclear Scientist was rescued from the hotel as well. Reporters outside the TAJ claim to have seen smoke coming from the top floors of the hotel.
“NSG Clears Floor After Floor. 35 Hostages Still Held By Terrorists.”
The Army and the Police are engaged in a joint operation whereby floor after floor is systematically being cleared, often with the help of explosions by the NSG. Around 18-20 rounds of firing were heard coming from the Trident at around 1655 hrs. Figures suggest that the terrorists may be holding about 35 people as hostages.
The police had taken the hotel off the ‘critical’ list in the early hours of the morning after the commandos took over the operation. At around 11 o’clock , a woman and a child were successfully rescued from the Trident.
The Cama Hospital
“CM Says: No Hostage Situation”
This was the spot where ATS Chief Hemant Karkare and encounter specialist Vijay Saluskar succumbed in a battle with the terrorists last night. At about 0620 hrs, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh assured that there was no hostage situation at the Cama Hospital. At around 0900 hrs, the army entered the Cama Hospital and began firing at the terrorists holed up in the hospital. No further news has been reported from the said location since.
The Story Last Night
Mumbai (0209 hrs):
Mumbai has been under attack for over 3 hours now. It all began at around 2230 hrs with reports of gun shots at Cafe Leopold in Colaba. That has now snowballed into the biggest terrorist attack the nation has ever faced. Three top police officials including ATS Chief Hemant Karkare and a DIG have been killed in the violence.
Blasts and AK-47 attacks have been reported in various locations in Mumbai. Major hotels such as Trident and the TAJ have been under siege for over 2 hrs. Terrorists have taken many foreign nationals from UK and US as hostages. Police and CRPF are engaged in bloody gun-battles with the terrorists hiding in these hotels. Other five-star hotels such JW Marriot and Hotel Ramada in Juhu witnessed gun-fire as well. At the time of writing, approximately 60 civilian casualties and 190 injuries have been reported. 17 Police officials have been killed in various encounters across the city. 15 terrorists have been killed by the Police so far.
Cellphone networks such as Vodafone crashed for about an hour between 2300 and 0000 hrs. The IB has confirmed this as a terrorist attack. Citizens have been asked to maintain calm as far as possible. It would be advisable to stay home tomorrow.
The First Report
Mumbai (2300 hrs) : As I write this Mumbai is under attack again. Twenty minutes ago reports came in about AK-47 firing in various South Mumbai locations and soon there were reports of blasts.
Blasts have been confirmed in the following locations
Incidents of AK-47 firing have been confirmed at the following locations:
Nigerian men were allegedly involved in some of the firings. The blasts were RDX blasts, two of them used Taxis. Further reports are awaited. (India TV)
Sequential Updates As The Drama Unfolded:
(The following were real-time updates and may or may not be confirmed reports. Sources mentioned wherever available)
If any of you out there were looking forward to this one, rest assured that Max Payne lives up to its name. And by that I mean that this pseudo-noir flick is almost as hare-brained as its witless, punned title. Now I’m sure that some of you gamers may be thinking how something which was a cracker of a video game can be a such a listless dud. Well let’s put it this way. Everyone knows that the USP of Max Payne – The Video Game, is the adrenaline rush one derives from shooting people and exploding stuff for no good reason. Now, imagine that you’re not allowed to play yourself, and can only watch someone else dishing out the generous doses of mindless violence. Add the torturous ordeal of watching a wooden-faced Mark Wahlberg for two whole hours and suddenly this becomes a train-wreck of disastrous proportions!
The list of flaws however doesn’t end there however. The biggest problem with this movie is the script (or the lack of it). Max Payne is a clichéd good cop living the American dream, with a beautiful wife and a charming little baby. One dark day, three drug-junkies high on a super drug named Valkyr break into his house and murder his wife and child. While two of them are slain on the spot by Max, one manages to escape. From thereon, getting his hands on the third assassin becomes Max’s only goal in life. The ‘story’ in itself ends at this point. What follows is 90-odd minutes of mindless violence and video-game like special effects.
Performance-wise too, there aren’t many good things to say about this one. Mark Wahlberg’s expression-less act as Max Payne does not even hold a candle to his foul-mouthed cop routine in The Departed and is undoubtedly one of his worst ever. The stunning Bond-girl Olga Kurylenko too doesn’t do much except for going topless in the first few scenes of the movie. Amongst other things, Nelly Furtado and Ludacris appear merely to make up the numbers.
At the end of the day, if you still wish to watch this one, beware, for the Hollywood avatar of Max Payne does not come with a quit button!
Rating: 1 out of 5.
What the Ratings Mean:
0 – Terrible Beyond Imagination
1 – Mostly Pathetic
2 – Strictly OK
3 – Good
4 – Very Good
5 – Bow Down and Worship!
Anyone who knows me or has followed this blog, definitely knows that I’m a connoisseur of bad Bollywood cinema. To be honest with you, I’m the kind of guy who enjoys The Dark Knight and Purani Haveli in pretty much the same vein. Naturally then, I had more than enough reasons to be excited last month . For starters, Himess Bhai was about release his second movie Karz (with extra Zs free), which was destined to deliver a truckload of laughter for ‘fans’ like me before it went straight to hell on a haath gaadi. Sadly I didn’t manage to catch that awesome movie. Himess Bhai crashed out of the theaters before I could say ‘Ooooo Huzoooor!’ But all hope was not gone, because over the last month or so, a strange little man had emerged out of nowhere and suddenly taken over all the bus-stops and TV screens at Shoppers Stop, McDonalds and even the new digital signage at the railway stations. That man of course was KRK, producer and lead actor of Desh Drohi a man who we’ve already exalted earlier this week.
7th November was to be the D-day when KRK and his motley crew of 2 item girls and 15 villains would roll into town with their drama, emotion, action, comedy and social messegwa! What made the day even more exciting was that Dasvidaniya a bonafide, well made film was to be released on the same day. The Thursday before D-day however, both movies were nowhere to be seen in the movie listings though the TV promos proudly declared Coming November 7th. As it turned out later, Bollywood had gone into a frenzy and for some reason, every Raj, Rahul and Prem wanted their movie to be launched on November 7th. As a result, our two diametrically opposite, small budget movies couldn’t afford the theaters that week and both pushed back their release dates to the coming week.
While Dasvidaniya managed to stay controversy free after that, Desh Drohi faced a different fate. A B-grade, shoe-string budget movie, that until recently few (like me) cared about (mostly for a quick laugh) was now the talk of the town with everyone from the Delhi Tribunal to the Maharashtra CM giving their opinion on it. Unfazed, the great KRK pooled in all his remaining financial resources (remember he financed his own damn movie!) and went on an all out rampage to campaign the crap out of Desh Drohi. If earlier one saw Desh Drohi posters at Bus-stops, one could now see them on the buses too. Heck my harmless KRK blog-post started receiving hits by the hundreds after some alert Manoos linked it to the Orkut community of a party which seemed very concerned by the movie.
Amidst all the hullabaloo no one really seemed to notice that Desh Drohi, if it managed to make it to the theaters, would now get a decent amount of curious spectators who’d want to see what exactly was so ‘inflammatory’ about it. If all went as planned, KRK would even make a buck or two in profits. That, however was not meant to be. After screening after special screening, the Maharashtra government finally decided to tadipaar Desh Drohi from Maharashtra for 2 whole months, a time frameafter which, let’s face it, most movies are completely erased from the juntas memory. This probably is the end of the road for Desh Drohi, but it is also the start of a discussion.
We need to ask: Was it Desh Drohi that was a threat to the decorum in Maharashtra? or was it the people who threatened that the city would burn once again if it were released? Who really deserves to be kicked out of the state, the movie or these mindless vandals who kill in the name of cultural pride? Let’s face it people, if Desh Drohi was even a tenth as influential as the government that banned it built it up to be, KRK would be a millionaire by now. Desh Drohi was at best, a B-Grade movie filled with has-beens and never-will-be’s. The only ‘negative impact’ it could have caused would be the mild-headache that one is left with after watching movies of the Himesh kind. Yet we’re made to believe that Desh Drohi is the problem here.
Sadly, the ones who have both the power to influence minds in Maharashtra and spoil the decorum are the ones the state has catered to. Today, it’s an obscure B-grade movie that has fallen at their hands. If something isn’t done soon enough, soon the state will too.
I mean seriously, does this look like a man who can convince you to come out on the streets and break stuff?
Disclaimer: The above interview was a work of fiction. Any resemblances to any politicians dead/ alive are purely co-incidental. Even if not, we don’t claim responsibility.
In November 2008, Americans voted in record numbers in a landmark election which gave America it’s first African-American President, Barack Obama. With his message of ‘Change’, the young Obama has managed to unite a divided America. Closer home though, we didn’t really have a leader to match Obama, until recently that is. Last year, a young, fiery politician, won the TV reality show Bleed India and since then has taken the politics in India by storm. I present to you ladies and gentlemen, the chairman of the SMS (Super Maniacs Sena), Mr. PK Kulkarni. Here are some excerpts from a free-wheeling JAM interview that covered everything from his views on President-elect Obama, to his plans for the forthcoming elections.
JAM: Both you and Barack Obama have risen meteorically in politics. Do you think it’s fair to say that the two of you are similar politicians?
PK: Of course of course, I totally agree that Barack and I are very much like each other. In fact, I can name so many similarities between us right now: He is the first Black President in the history of America. I am the first leader in the history of India who blackens the faces of other leaders! He supports the minorities in America, my supporters are a minority in India. He is in favour of change, my party workers will kill for loose change. Arrey, in fact, our slogans are similar too! He says ‘Yes, We Can!’, my party says “No, You Cannot!”
JAM: Your party has been at the receiving end of a lot of flak because you said that non-natives should leave Maharashtra and go back to their home states. Are you really against all immigrants?
PK: This is entirely false, I have always welcomed immigrants to the state. In fact, I’ve always maintained that people from all over India can come to Maharashtra and stay as long as they want…provided they leave the next month.
JAM: The Supreme Court has recently said that Maharashtra is becoming increasingly unsafe for Non-natives because of your party. What are your comments?
PK: Once again, these allegations are absolutely false. My party does not believe in discrimination against anyone. Yes, I admit Maharashtra is unsafe, but then it is unsafe for everyone no? Tomorrow if the Supreme Court orders that I should be arrested again, my party workers will attack everyone: native or non-native.
JAM: As a matter of fact my next question, was about your arrest. When the Police took you into custody last time, your supporters went on a rampage, destroying several PEST buses and auto rickshaws in protest. Isn’t this ‘Jungle-Raj’? (no pun intended)
PK: No no, you are unnecessarily tying up two unrelated issues. The destroying of those buses and rickshaws had nothing to do with my arrest. If you remember, my party had given an ultimatum to PEST and the Rickshaw Union to replace their old vehicles with a new fleet as a part of the MM-Mar-Diya Infrastructure Development Project which expired on that same day. As both PEST and the Rickshaw Union failed to replace their vehicles with new ones, we destroyed their old ones. So you see, we were doing a great service to the citizens!
JAM: Recently, an angry young man hijacked a PEST bus and even threatened to kill you. Is this a matter of concern for you now that the Police has lowered your security to B-Grade?
PK: (Laughs) Arrey these people are amateurs. Everyone knows that you hijack planes and destroy buses and not the other way around! As far as my security goes, my party workers are enough, I don’t need the Police. As you have seen before, they can destroy a bus (hijackers included) before you can even say, “Cha Mailaa!”
JAM: On a lighter note, rumor has it that you were asked to participate in the TV-reality show Bigg Dogg. Considering that you’ve already won a reality show, why didn’t you participate in Bigg Dogg?
PK: Let me tell you the inside story on this Bigg Dogg fellow. Three years ago, he came from another state for the Railway exams and was hired as a Railway Announcer. Back then he had no issues making announcements in Marathi, Hindi and English, but now since he has a high paying job, he makes announcements only in Hindi. I refuse to take orders from a Railway Announcer, especially if does not speak the state language! And who is he to tell me what to do and what not to do? That coward doesn’t even show his face!
JAM: Thank you so much for your time, Sir. All the best for the upcoming elections.
PK: Thank you very much…wait what did you say your name was? Paras SHARMA? Cha Mailaa, that is a North Indian surname!
JAM: Er…something wrong Sir?
PK: No no, nothing, just turn the camera off, my party workers just want to have ‘a brief talk with you’. Thank you for coming.
P.S. No Animals were harmed in the making of this interview, not even this writer. Now if you will excuse me, I need to go get my stitches removed.
– Paras Sharma. With Camera-person Satish S.
Yesterday I blogged about how Barack Obama showed even when the odds are seemingly insurmountable, dreams can still come true. While Barack may be the man of the hour, one man could soon overtake his popularity. I have just three letters for you, ladies and gentlemen, K-R-K. That’s no typo you idiots, I didn’t actually want to type S-R-K , he’s old news. I’m talking about the fresh new wave of awesomeness that is about to sweep the shores of Bollywood, and possibly the world – Kamaal Rashid Khan! Known in his hometown as the ‘Prince of Kameenas’ or ‘Kameena Raj Kumar’ (which is also a forced backronym of his initials), KRK has shown the world that awesomeness cannot be held back, no matter what! Any time now his debut phillum Desh Drohi will be released.
So what if no producer was willing to invest on him, KRK didn’t need their money! He went ahead and financed his own freakin movie. In your face Farhan Akhtar! Now you might say, “Big deal, he’d probably make some shoe-string budget movie with a bunch of unknown actors!” Wrong again my fraands! KRK has not only managed to rope an actress whose last two movies have both been declared tax free (one of them even went to the Oscars!) he has also has not one but TWO item girls in his movie! Now before you scream ‘Holy-Dhan-Dhana-Dhan-Goal’, hold your ghodas…because there is more!
Now any sadharan, mamuli actor would fight one villain, chalo two…okay chalo three bas! But KRK is no ordinary actor my fraands, he fights not four, not five, heck not even half a dozen villains. He fights over ten of them! Rumor has it that when the censors refused to clear Desh Drohi on the grounds that it had too much violence, KRK shot three of the five censor board officials through the screen with his lethal gun locket! The other two have since gone underground, never to be seen again.
I know what you’re thinking, “This is a mad man! All that his movie has is sex, violence and narcissism”. Well that’s where you are wrong again. Desh Drohi, features all that PLUS a brilliant social message and not to mention, world-class dialogues.
Tickle your tastebuds with this one : “Ayyy Inspector, mera naam Yadav hai Yadav! Aur Yadav kabhi Bhikhari nahi hota, hamesha king hota hai king!”
Hungry for more? Here’s another one!: “Kabhi UP-Bihar aa kar to dekho, mehmaan ko Bhagwaan maante hai Bhagwaan!”
As you may have guessed, KRK has descended upon our planet not just to start a trend with his awesome hairstyle and glares but to also unite the nation. “Hindustan Ek hai!” he proudly proclaims.
Now I don’t know about you guys, but I personally am sold on this one! So though right now Desh Drohi’s release has been postponed, I’m sure our herowa will defy the oddwas again and come soon to a theaterwa near us!
Be prepared for awesomeness, KRK aavat hai!