On Nancy Pelosi’s Proposed Visit To Taiwan

(This chain of thoughts was tweeted late on the night of 01 August 2022)

Folks, sharing some thoughts regarding the proposed visit of Nancy Pelosi Ji to Taiwan.

Let’s see how it goes!

Firstly, a bit of history.

The ‘Renegade Province’ of Taiwan actually came into existence as a consequence of the bitter war for domination of China between the Communists led by Mao Zedong and the Nationalists led by Chiang Kai Shek. During the entirety of World War II, it was the Nationalists that fought and fought the Japanese, while Mao conserved his strength by offering only very minor engagements in order to keep the pretense of fighting the invaders.

Naturally, by the time the Japanese were defeated, the Nationalists too were quite weakened. Consequently, it was just a matter of time before Mao was able to rout them and establish full control over mainland China. Chiang Kai Shek had to flee via sea to the island of Formosa.

Thus came about the People’s Republic of China in the mainland, while the Republic of China was established in Formosa, now more popularly known as Taiwan.

Btw, it might be VERY interesting to note that USA was majorly tilted towards Mao in his ‘struggle’ against Chiang in the years immediately before the establishment of the PRC!

But then, who are we to question ‘history’, right?

Especially when the same USA practically forced Taiwan to give up its permanent UNSC seat & Veto to the same Mao!

Anyhow, coming over to the current day and age, it is fairly common knowledge that the People’s Republic of China rapidly transforms into the PARANOID Republic of China if someone even so much as has a dream that Taiwan is an independent country!

ZSDH

So one really wonders what was Nancy Ji thinking when she decided to go to Taiwan!

I’m sure she is quite a seasoned politician to know how China would react and predictably so, China has not disappointed one bit, what with their loud chest thumping and shrill warnings!

Or might it be that she misread the possible Chinese reactions?

Well, time will tell, including whether or not she actually makes good on her pre-announced plans to land in Taipei.

Since that bit about ‘Will She or Wont She?’ is still a few hours away, let me spend some time on what is at stake for both, the US and China.

But before moving ahead, hope you noted in the tweet above that Taiwan gets absolutely no say!
 
Feel free to disagree, but it is a firm opinion of mine that Taiwan’s own opinion will hardly influence what happens next. It is purely a game of chicken between USA and PRC.

Cold as this statement might sound, but IMO Taiwan is mere collateral damage, akin to the proverbial grass that gets trampled when elephants wrestle.

Getting back to the issue of the announcement of Pelosi to visit Taiwan, as well as the timing, it makes for a very interesting set of observations.

I’ll not go into what motivated this plan in the first place though because frankly, I am not a mind reader!

Instead, I will try & put into context the current realities in the midst of which this latest issue has flared up.

Firstly, current US Govt is not very popular domestically at the moment IMO, what with the economy headed into recession (despite how wikipedia defines Recession!)

Secondly, with the latest ‘expose’ of a much exposed Shri Hunter Biden Ji (which has practically vanished from social media, btw. Kudos to the ‘ecosystems’!) and Papa Biden getting COVID at about the same time, and then once AGAIN when the Taiwan visit issue flared up, things in Washington DC are definitely not very rosy.

And all this as the country heads out for a major election this November which many say is as good as lost for the ruling party!

Understandably, a govt that is already being perceived as weak or even sold out to China (thanks to the allegations of POTUS’ son being on the payroll of Chinese companies / his companies being paid ridiculous amounts of money by Chinese businesses), may not want to be seen as backing down in the face of Chinese pressures and threats.

Hence, the reports and visuals of all that American military hardware – ships, fighters, refuellers and all that – amassing in the region. Almost as if daring China to try and stop the visit!

So .. will China be the ‘Bigger Man’ and permit Nancy Ji to carry on with the visit?

Well .. I think we all know the answer to this question, right?

ZSDH

Xi Jinping has his own compulsions at NOT being seen as weak .. not at this point in his history.

Mind you, I say ‘his history‘ and not his country’s history because Xi Jinping too is well on his way to ensure that his legacy lasts long indeed!

In fact this is the very reason why he chose to anoint himself as ‘Chairman for Life’ aka Mao himself, by discarding the two term limit put in place by Deng Xiaoping. He has his own plans for China, you see!

These plans definitely do NOT include permitting Pelosi to visit Taiwan!

To top it up, the Chinese economy itself is not doing very well and then there is the ‘minor’ issue of the next People’s Congress coming up for Xi Jinping which though already fixed, still needs to be conducted the way he desires!

Consequently, all those visuals of Chinese military hardware heading out towards possible launchpads for the much threatened invasion of Taiwan, and the bombastic statements by govt and quasi govt mouthpieces in China ‘urging’ US not to go ahead with the visit!

Basically, both countries have painted themselves in a corner with no more scope for a diplomatic, or in other words a ‘FACE SAVING’ way out.

(Unless of course there is a major political event back home that demands Pelosi Ji return home post haste!)

All in all, diplomacy has truly and utterly failed. What will decide the issue is the perceived muscle power of the two belligerents now.

Sadly, it has become a zero-sum game due to the extreme positions taken up by both the sides with no scope of a negotiated climbdown!

I would sum up the above statement with the help of this visual for those who didn’t understand it.

You are welcome!

Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I describe this photograph as: ‘Chal dekhte hain kiski jaan jayegi .. Usne meri aur Maine Uski Kasam Khayi Hai!’

What I’m saying is that even if one side decides to take a pragmatic step and decide to cool things down on their part, they will find it politically impossible to sell to their domestic audiences. Events of past few days have put paid to any possibility of any pragmatic solution.

So the big question is ‘What Happens Next?’

I’ll try and make some sense of it based on my understanding of things.

Disclaimer: Based on MY understanding of things! Feel free to disagree!

Firstly, the trigger for what happens or for that matter, does not happen next is in the hands of the Americans. China have made their very rigid stand very clear. It is now up to Nancy Pelosi to either show up in Taiwan or not!

This is what I wrote in a DM group some days back:

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And then a day later came this tweet by the lady in question herself, without any mention of Taiwan whatsoever!

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Of course, I was patting my back!

And just a couple of hours later, in a totally unrelated news, THIS happened!

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In a way, it is also a very convenient excuse for ‘communication void’ in the midst of a very unappetizing situation, but then, that is mere speculation in some corners!

Just about 30 hours later, the latest announcements coming in from the US insisted that ‘No, she is definitely going to Taiwan. Here is her itinerary!’

Looks like they had finally realised that there was no way out now!

All in all, it must have been a sleepless weekend for diplomats in Washington DC & Beijing as well as the military folks rushing towards Taiwan from both these countries!

There still is time to see whether she actually does go to Taiwan or not. I still won’t rule out she NOT going to Taiwan even though chances of that happening don’t seem too bright. Because if there is one country that can ‘explain’ away a climbdown in this situation, it is the US.

Even though it would be a political disaster to now decide to climb down unilaterally esp after the shrill warnings from China, a relatively sympathetic media might still be able to soften the blow on the current US administration.

Yet, there will be some political cost to it.

Which brings me to my original question – Did they not know of how China will react to this plan?

I am still wondering as to what triggered this visit plan in the first place because I somehow cannot get myself to believe that they would be so naïve to NOT anticipate this.

So was it deliberate?

My gut feeling says it is. But to what end, I am still not fully sure. This tweet below does stands to logic, but then would China be willing to pay a price to ‘help’ out the US Govt? Or is it a trap? Like I said before – Sadly, I’m not a mindreader!

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Let’s just assume for a moment that hypothetically, Xi does indeed want to help Biden. So what can he do?

The lowest hanging fruits are the islands of Matsu and Kinmen that are practically PRC’s to take should they decide to.

Heck, even as early as the 1950s, Mao had shelled Kinmen Islands in order to register his annoyance at the US!

But then, those were the 1950s & these are the 2020s. China under Xi Jinping truly believes that their time has now come. Would they be willing to settle for just this?

The might of the PLA, PLAN and PLAAF that is being built up with great vigour for the past two decades is ‘potentially’ capable of taking much much more than just these low hanging fruits, no?

You know why I had the word ‘potentially’ in quotes in the paragraph above? Because when time came to show their mettle against a rag-tag militia in South Sudan, the ‘mighty’ PLA were cowering behind the walls of their compound. It was Indians that saved them!

Here’s the Link to the blog post that captures the above thread about PLA Myths. Do read!

People’s Liberation Army – Calling the Bluff

That reminds me, today (or rather yesterday, since it is past midnight now) was the PLA Day as well! A happy coincidence, I’d say!

Coming back to the topic at hand. In case she does land in Taiwan as scheduled, I don’t see any scenario in which force is NOT going to be used by atleast one of the sides.

Like I said before, Taiwan doesn’t really have a say in this matter any more .. UNLESS .. they chicken out and request Pelosi Ji not to visit. In fact, that would be the best case scenario for all concerned and especially for Taiwan!

The USA can sell it by calling it ‘respecting Taiwan’s Wishes’ while China too can declare victory by (rightfully) claiming they scared off the USA!

Taiwan too wins by getting to stay alive!

Jokes apart, as they say, we are all Prisoners of Geography. This is something that just cannot be wished away. Either make peace with it, or continue fighting it forever.

I wrote this not so long ago while talking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

(Here’s the link to the blog post that captures the above thread : On the Russia-Ukraine Issue

A LOT of folks were watching, and are watching still.

This is not about Taiwan being a part of PRC or otherwise. No way. This is more about who gets to be the top dog in the years to come. China thinks it is them, while the US disagrees. THIS, folks, is the bottomline!

Once again, another tweet from the Russia – Ukraine thread of some months ago :

As mentiond in the tweet quoted above, thanks to the horrific visuals from the initial days of the Ukrainian invasion by Russia, Taiwan might actually voluntarily give in to Chinese demands in order to avoid destruction. Call it a flight of fancy on my part, but I still cannot discard this possibility!

Of course, the Taiwanese themselves must already have calculated the risks of a kinetic engagement with China that goes beyond mere airspace and maritime boundary violations!

Btw, here’s a quick question – Name ONE war that the USA has decisively won ever since the end of the second world war and left with its aims achieved.

Try.

Saying Panama or Grenada would be an insult to the military might of the USA, I’d say. So try harder!

And if Chinese and American militaries start having a go at each other over Taiwan, guess who else will be forced to jump into the fray?

Ans: Japan!

Not just because American bases in Japanese territory may come under attack, but because the Senkaku Islands and Okinawa itself are hardly one step ahead for the PLAN once they gain control of Taiwan!

All in all, the world is rapidly heading towards another major, and dare I say, inevitable clash of civilizations. On that note, I’ll just leave this eight year old tweet here:

Moving on from an eight year old tweet, I’ll also share a more recent tweet from five months ago: 

What this ‘Manthan’ throws out in the end remains to be seen.

We may be well advised to remember that the oldest Manthan that Indian epics talk about, churned out ‘Vish’ before ‘Amrit’ came by.

At that time there was the Neelkanth to take care of it.

Who fulfills that role this time, remains to be seen.

So what role does India play in this?

Well, I’d say the role of a passive spectator suits us the best!

Just as the US did with us in the past!

On a more serious note, a fight in Taiwan Straits, if it comes, is not our fight. Even a notionally victorious China will definitely be a threat in future. But given our current capabilities, I’d say we need to sit this one out if they come to blows.

Feel free to disagree!

On that note, I’ll start to wind up this thread. In the context of the mention of Japan some tweets above, I’ll share this here:

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They all know that the waters around them are heating up and they for sure don’t want to get boiled like that proverbial frog!

All I’ll say is that the first shots in the upcoming war wherein China seeks to assert its supremacy and USA seeks to retain theirs, have already been fired by the way of Pelosi’s visit plans. What remains to be seen is whether further shots come by in the form of shot and shell.

I’ve said all that I could, especially at this late hour in my part of the world and an early office tomorrow!

All we can do is to wait now and see whether she lands in Taiwan or not, and if she does, how far is China willing to go to make good their threats.

Hope this longish blog post made atleast some sense to you. Will do another thread in case the situation so demands.

Cheers!

:fin:

The Sabji Courier

A beautiful story of empathy and compassion.
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We had just taxied in on our An-32 and switched off late in the afternoon. It was towards the end of November in the year 1997, a large western disturbance had just passed, the temperature was about -2°C. Snow was piled on the side of the runways and the taxi tracks in Srinagar. The sky was covered with low clouds threatening to bring in snow flurries or at least some rain, a brisk 10 knot breeze added to the wind-chill factor. As the vegetables (Hence the name Sabji courier) and cargo was being offloaded, I saw a long line of passengers waiting to board the aircraft. This was my first trip to the valley, my aircraft was also the first one to enter the valley and I had been briefed that there was a lot of rush of passengers. This was because due to unusually heavy snowfall and the Banihal…

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Muhilan the Legend

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He and I were busy chatting about aviation and flying and the works (A Flight Cadets life is limited to two basic topics flying and food).

If I remember correctly he was talking more, though I was answering some sharp questions. His questions were long and probing and involved a lot of gesticulating (Much to the irritation of fellow passengers). His prompt apologies would follow as soon…

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Number Eight: “Touching the Sky With Glory” or You’re Going To Go And Land At 22,000 ft on A Glacier!

A short, concise and brilliant account of the men and machines who go to the very limits, and beyond.

BEHIND THE DRAG CURVE: ANECDOTES FROM AN AVIATION CAREER

I’ve always enjoyed a challenge but never did I imagine that one day I’d be invited to try my hand at flying in the Himalayas with the Indian Air Force’s elite 114 Helicopter Unit, also known as the “Siachen Pioneers”. I was Officer Commanding 28(AC) Squadron in 2007 when I was notified that I plus one other pilot were to pack for a trip to India to observe their helicopter operations in the mountains of the Himalayas.

This was a new bi-lateral exchange and we were to subsequently host their pilots for a visit to us at RAF Benson to fly in our Merlin Mk3: I think we got the best part of the deal! I selected a junior pilot, Kevin ‘Kevlar’ Harris to accompany me (he subsequently went on to be decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross for his exploits in Iraq) who proved to be an excellent choice…

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On the Brahmos Landing in Pakistan

Folks, sharing some thoughts on the recent trip of a not so distant cousin of Shri Brahmos Ji to the Land of the Pure.

So once upon a time, there lived near a small, nondescript town, a young lad who aspired to run .. run as fast as he could .. run beyond the speed of sound .. and run straight into the lands of the impure ones not very far away in order to fulfill his destiny.

A thorough team player, he would never complete a sentence without referring to his Bros. So let’s call him Mah’Bros for the sake of this story, so as to not let out his true identity!

So Shri Mah’Bros Ji trained hard during his growing up years, and by the time he became a teen, he could actually run really fast. But the way his brains were programmed, meant that his elders kept him on a tight leash, lest he go and run amok!

But they did take good care to keep him well exercised so that whenever needed, he could actually run into the lands of the impure and do whatever was expected of him.

All was fine and dandy, till one day when he suddenly found his tethers loosened!

He couldn’t believe his luck and decided to make a go for it!!

And before anyone could yell ‘Oye Pakad Usko’, our guy Mah’Bros had already gotten a headstart!!

Oh he ran .. and how! Soon he was at nearly 40,000 feet above sea level where atmospheric resistance was minimal and the inevitable happened – a BOOM!

After the initial ‘shock’, he suddenly remembered a Class IX Physics lesson about speed of sound and some such useless stuff .. and realized he’d made a personal speed record!
 
Meanwhile down in Sirsa, people could only stare at the mooli parantha vapours he had left in his wake!
 
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As he flew blissfully, singing the ageless Kishore Kumar song ‘Chala Jaata Hoon’, there was a sudden itch on the left side of his metallic body which caught him by surprise and made him turn to his right.
 
It was a moment before he realised that he had actually crossed the borders and was flying over the lands of the impure. ‘Otteri .. mera Passport!!’, he thought as he ‘strayed’ across the borders. But then with all that fire behind his backside, he could not help but keep moving!
 
Mah’Bros couldn’t help but curse Shri Newton Ji who had come up with his third law, which was now propelling him faster and faster towards .. err .. Mian Channu, as he checked out on his google maps!
 
Thinking on the fly (pun may or may not be intended!), our man Mah’Bros decided to stop by that town and seek directions back home. So he decided to find a suitable place to ‘touch down’.
 
THIS was when he realised a deadly problem – he had no brakes!!
 
‘Ohhhh … Shiiitttt …’ he cried out for a moment, before grim determination took over as he realised his true purpose in life – to scare the Shiiittt of those in the lands of the impure!
 
Thus, he made a beeline for an open space because, well, he wasn’t at war .. YET!
 
Soon he landed in the erstwhile lands of his forefathers .. with a DHAMAKA .. what with his supersonic speed and all that!
 
In his last moments before all went blank, he yelled some ‘not so parliamentary’ words for the unfortunate souls down below which he had picked up while binge watching Netflix over the past few months!
 
A million curses were cast upon them before Shri Mah’Bros ji died!
 
That was the end of the body of Shri Mah’Bros Ji.
 
Soon his predecessors’ souls appeared and started to take him to his allotted plot in the heavens above. As he rose once again (this time WITHOUT the fire behind his backside!), he took a look down where his body lay, destroyed!
 
Thanks to the sheer kinetic energy that he had generated, quite a bit of the area around his mortal remains had been flattened, even without the explosive payload that he would have otherwise carried.
 
NOW he understood his own potential, and those of the hundreds of his clones back home!
 
Once they did a similar run with their warheads, the ‘Flat Earth Society’ would definitely make them honorary members because they would ensure the flattening of a large chunk of land!!
 
He wanted to linger on just a bit longer, just to see how the Brown Panted Ones that ruled the lands of the impure, would now react. You see, he was a keen, though silent follower of a wonderful twitter handle of Shri Harpreet Ji and knew there would be a thread soon!
 
But alas, it was not to be. So with a humble bow to his motherland to the East and silent prayer that he would be able to get broadband in the heavens above in order to follow the thread, Shri Mah’Bros Ji ascended to the heavens above!
 
On the ground however, things were .. well .. flat!
 
The headless chickens had started running around and soon photos of his mortal remains were running amok on social media, though not as fast as he had run!
 
‘It’s a Bird .. No, It’s a Plane .. No, It’s Shri Superman Ji,’people cried variously!
 
Finally, the Brown Panted Ones made an appearance & took over the area!
 
Soon, an initial consensus formed that it was a bit too metallic to be a bird or Shri Superman Ji. So it was a plane!
 
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Of course, it was a private aircraft, as the ‘good’ folks of Dawn reported. But thanks to the technological advancements in the lands of the impure, even private aircrafts had ejection seats and the pilot had ejected.
 
However, this factual error was the least of the worries of Shri Editor Ji of Dawn Ji. He checked and re-checked the word ‘ejected’, atleast 13 times and then to be doubly sure, checked it thrice again. You see, he didn’t want to lose his job like this Mohtarma below!

So .. the story was published!

And the Brown Panted Ones carried on clearing and cleaning the area, much like they had done to a supposedly non-existent terror camp for 42 days after 26 Feb 2019!

Meanwhile, peoples of the lands of the impure kept harping upon TWO blasts!

Thankfully, the second blast was attributed to some high quality pindi chana consumed by this Minister Ji in Islamabad, who actually got De-Panted in the process, much like the Brown Panted Ones!

For the next 48 hours, the Brown Panted Ones kept a studied silence, especially since the loss of hundreds of their ‘Otherwise Panted’ comrades of Balakot and the two unfortunate pilots a day later was still fresh in their minds!

They tried their BESTEST to clean up the supposed cold-storage facility even as their higher ups STILL ran around in circles, seeking an explanation. Finally, a call was taken and they decided to do an URGENT press conference, about 48hrs after Sh Mah’Bros had embraced Virgati!

Out came the latest Propagandu-in-Chief!

This one was a bit better rehearsed than his predecessor who had ‘inadvertently’ let out the loss of an     F-16 in his exuberance to be the ‘FIRSTEST‘ to break news of Shri Abhinandan Ji’s exploits!

To sum up, the Brown Panted Ones expressed their outrage in a very polite and ‘sehmi sehmi’ language since everyone and also wikipedia knows the actual capability of the 100s of Bros of Sh Mah’Bros Ji which had spooked them into releasing Shri Abhinandan not so long ago!

In fact, rumour mills also have it that this time he was wearing knee braces as well, just in case someone saw his own knees shaking, as was the case with the Brown Pants-in-Chief in Feb 2019 at the mention of Sh Mah’Bros Ji and his brothers by the Indians!

Anyhow, the Propagandu-in-Chief managed to give out a brilliant graphic for which his agency is the most renowned for. In this, he described the last and the longest run of Sh Mah’Bros Ji who had come nearly 124 km inside the lands of the impure, that too WITHOUT any visa!

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‘YES!! We had tracked him!!!’, the Propagandu-in-Chief crowed .. apparently in the memory of the crows that his predecessor had killed on the day of the Balakot strike!

‘YES, India will explain’, he thundered with clenched fists and an involuntarily clenched butt!!

Soon, the clean-up squads of the Brown Panted Ones vacated the ‘वीरगति स्थल’ of Sh Mah’Bros Ji and their malnourished populace rushed in to make TikTok videos of the terror unleashed upon them by him in his last moments!

Of course, with a better knowledge of what transpired, the Air Chief was able to explain what Shri Mah’Bros Ji did to the Lands of the Impure with the help of some simple hand gestures which the Beggar-in-Chief, with his limited technical knowhow, could easily comprehend!

Soon came the response by India. ‘It was a mistake’, they said. But they said it right under the phrase ‘हर काम देश के नाम’, much to the satisfaction of the soul of Shri Mah’Bros Ji!

CHEATING CHEATING.. cried the Brown Panted Ones.

The Beggar in Chief also had this to say!

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Meanwhile, social media in the lands of the impure was going ballistic!
HOW DARE THEY, HAINJI?, some said, while the others crowed about now reverse engineering the body of Shri Mah’Bros!

But the reverse engineering jokers didn’t know one thing – Shri Mah’Bros Ji had ensured utter and complete destruction of any useful body part of his! At best, the Brown Panted ones could sell the leftovers for some scrap metal and feel happy at the jump in their GDP!

Then there were those who were crying for retaliation!
NUKE THEM, some said.
SEND OUR OWN MISSILES, others said.
KEEL THEM ALL, more shouted.

Meanwhile, the Propagandu-in-Chief was furiously working on releasing the next song about the Mah’Bros issue in order to improve his TRPs!

You see, he was well and truly aware of his ‘Soft Power’ and the lack of any ‘Hard Power’ to go with it, which had come back to bite his predecessors bumpy after India had abrogated Article 370!

Here’s the story of that day!

Do read it!

I INSIST!

PLEEEEEZ!

On the events in Pakistan in the Aftermath of Revocation of Article 370

With a silent pat on his own bumpy, the current Propagandu-in-Chief went about drafting a new outraged message to India.
 
WE WANTS A JOINT PROBES, his staff drafted.
 
He did a facepalm, corrected the grammar and issued the grammatically correct statement – WE WANTS JOINT PROBES!
 
‘Be a good doggy .. err .. neighbour .. and know your place’, India said as they dismissed the ‘grammatically correct’ demand of Shri Propagandu-in-Chief Ji!
 
To them, the case was closed. Nothing more was owed to the Brown Panted Ones.
 
Period!
 
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Of course, they still had to ‘satisfy’ their rabid populace in the lands of the pure. So out came their social media warriors!
 
‘We didn’t respond so that our secret stays safe’, crowed (once again, NO PUN INTENDED. Sachchi!) their favourite keyboarder!
 
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India Lost!, he danced!
 
But little did he realize, he had inadvertently let out an even bigger secret – of their VICTORY in 1971!
 
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Bechara Shahid bhi Shaheed ho gaya twitter pe!
 
And then someone on the social media of lands of the impure came up with this brilliant explanation – THEY WANT TO SABOTAGE THE AUSTRALIAN CRICKET TOUR!!
 
I swear, even I heard the laughter of Shri Mah’Bros Ji ki aatma, sitting all the way here in Delhi!
 
With this, folks, I conclude this blog post on the story of Shri Mah’Bros and his trip to Mian Channu.
 
He is already a legend, with mothers as far away as Islamabad telling their children – ‘So Ja Khotay De Puttar, nahi toh Mah’Bros aa jayega!’
 
I sincerely hope ALL your questions regarding the incident are now answered fully, and to your satisfaction. If not then, read this blog post again!
 
PS: Share this thread with ALL your contacts for two years of uninterrupted good luck. It works. Try it!
 
Cheers and Jai Hind!
 

On the Russia-Ukraine Issue

(Note: This chain of thoughts was tweeted by me on 01 March 2022. Putting it here in my blog for the sake of archiving it on another medium as well)

Folks, sharing some thoughts on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis. Thoughts have been floating about in my head ever since this thing flared up yet again, some weeks ago and now with the military part of it a week old, I feel emboldened enough to share my thoughts.

But one thing I wish to make absolutely clear right at the onset, I am NOT going to be talking much about the military operations as such. There already are enough handles doing a great job on that, for both sides!

Thoughts are still disjointed, though. Let’s see how it goes ..

If you seek inputs on the military part of the campaign, this is one of the threads to follow, as well as a worthy handle to follow on Twitter.

That said, let’s get going with this monologue of mine!

I had written this tweet below in March 2014, at about the time Shri Viktor Yanukovych was either in the process of being ousted from office, or had already been ousted, unsurprisingly, in yet another ‘revolution’!

Well, out came his book all over again, last week! It is a worthy reading for those interested. It’s been more than two decades since I myself first read it, followed by a couple more re-readings.

So .. going ahead, let’s see what has brought us to where we are on this first day of March of 2022.

Well, in one word, or rather in one acronym, the reply is NATO!

Let me tell you why ..

Post the breakup of the Soviet Union, NATO was NOT supposed to expand any further, having lost the primary reason for its existence in the first place!

In fact, Russia was explicitly promised about this.

BUT .. We wouldn’t be here if that had indeed been the case, no?!

Despite the literal collapse of Warsaw Pact, NATO galloped eastwards, unshackled, or as I originally wanted to say, UNHINGED!

But why did they do it in the first place? Well, it wasn’t the Soviets that were the enemy, it was Russia that was the ‘Other’, CIVILIZATIONALLY speaking.

Feel free to disagree, but European history bears witness to the fact that a strong Russia has always been a threat.
Talking about continental Europe, I’ll just leave this 8yr old tweet here for the time being. I’ll come to this 👇 later in the blog maybe

Most of the former Soviet republics have balanced the opposing pulls from Continental Europe and Russia well enough, including those that have already joined or rejected joining NATO, except Georgia and Ukraine, that invited overt military response from Russia.

Georgia is way past in history (relatively speaking, of course!), so I will talk about Ukraine. Remember the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis? Or atleast heard of it? For the sake of repetition, it was precipitated by the USSR placing ballistic missiles in Cuba about 60 years ago.

In response to Soviet missiles in a country about 200km away, the US reaction took the world very nearly to a nuclear Armageddon.

And here we had Ukraine, dreaming of joining NATO, sitting right on the borders of Russia.

A HUGE miscalculation, in my opinion.

But then, why did this miscalculation happen in the first place?

Well, I would say that both sides are to blame for this – NATO for leading on Ukraine, and Ukrainian leadership itself, for not seeing the clear red line that Russia had laid out.

As they say, we are all Prisoners of Geography.

This is something that just cannot be wished away. Either make peace with it, or continue fighting it but without success. I guess any astute political leader would have seen this from afar.

But then, Ukraine elected a comedian!

Well, nothing against Shri Volodymyr Zelenskyy Ji personally, but I don’t think he appreciated that NATO would merely pay lip service and lead Ukraine into actually believing the crap about getting inducted into NATO so that they can fight Ukraine’s wars with Russia!

Zelenskyy is just another manifestation of Leftist Liberal ‘experiment’ with political power through revolutions of various kinds, but one which has bounced back at them so badly. Ukrainian lives don’t matter to them, just like Syrian/Libyan ones. Period.

It was clear as day to anyone who cared to see that Ukraine was being prepped up as yet another ‘frontline state’ against the Russians. But then, an inexperienced ‘leader’ may not have been a wise choice to ‘lead’ the country under such circumstances, no?

Instead, what he has ended up doing is to ‘lead’ his country straight into this mess because of a black and white worldview, that is generally the forte of the ‘liberal’ cabal, instead of the navigation through a LOT of grey that seasoned political leaders are required to do.

Sad as it is, IMO the responsibility for all the loss of lives of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers as well as the civilians in Ukraine, lies solely on the shoulders of the inept leadership that failed to read the tea leaves and kept on dreaming about NATO coming to their rescue.

Yup, this continued even as the Russian forces were already INSIDE Ukraine!

Like I’ve said before in this blog, NATO will happily fight Russia till the last Ukrainian. Even thereafter, Ukraine will NOT be a part of NATO.

So let’s get on to the current conflict as such ..

It has been a personal belief / opinion that I’ve held since long, so I’ll not mind you not agreeing with what I write next.

The world as we knew it, had changed long ago, what with the Arab Spring and states arming militias to go after governments in countries that fell out of favour with the Western establishment that was overrun by the ‘Liberal’ cabal.

Yup.

Do read the above statement once again.

But this was the first instance that one Nation was forced to militarily attack another. I do believe that this may not have been the Western gameplan originally, but then I still have my doubts. So I’ll not go there.

For me, the first inkling of the imminent commencement of military operations by Russia was the day US/Europe announced the first set of sanctions against Russia, after weeks and weeks of threats.

In fact, the first thought that crossed my mind once I learnt of the sanctions was that now there is no more leverage to threaten Russia with!

Threats of sanctions can still expect a pliable behaviour from the other party, but with sanctions actually imposed, that threat is gone!

Of course, with a comedian presiding over the rapidly sinking Ukraine, any chances of backpeddling / deal-making that some other, seasoned politician might have done, were simply non existent. Small wonder then, that the Russian troops soon entered Ukraine!

The moment that happened, I swear if you tried hard enough, you could have actually HEARD all those High Fives in the corridors of power in various ‘major’ world capitals! Here was Russia, fighting Ukraine!

(Implication – Ukraine, and NOT a NATO member European country!).

The sense of glee must have been infectious enough!
But one thing was amply clear – No country would be overtly sending their troops in harm’s way.
No way!
Not even in the ‘light banter’ in which the British Defence Secretary dreamed on about the 1853 victory!!

Of course, all this happened behind closed doors and threats of ‘We Can Send The Gurkhas‘ were not to be shared outside, but for their own idiots inside their own conference rooms!

But act they had to, especially for optics if nothing else.

Hence came all those renewed sanctions and promises and what not. All, except overt military help that Shri Zelenskyy was so hopeful of.

Btw, even the sanctions were carefully calibrated so as not to harm the West’s own interests!

But STILL .. no troops!

Yet, experiences of Libya and Syria came in handy when they started to wildly cheer on the ‘militias’ and the ‘volunteers’ that promised to fight Russia!

Also came in the narrative building on social media and very very compliant mainstream media in the ‘free’ world! Visuals of Shri Zelenskyy Ji freely walking on the streets of Kyiv, of countless Russian tanks etc destroyed along the roadsides (Hint: They were Ukrainian tanks!) soon filled up the social media landscape as well as were faithfully reported by the various large media houses.

Of course, Russian voices were conveniently cut-off from these very social media platforms that swear by their neutrality and commitment to free speech!

No wonder, Ukraine is already winning the war handsomely, atleast on social media, and kicking Russia’s backsides!

It’s been six days and Russia STILL hasn’t taken Kyiv, shout the TV Channels, announcing the defeat of Russia. If only they knew a bit of history, they would realize that the famous BLITZKRIEG of Hitler still took SIX WEEKS to overrun France!

But then, agendas rule!!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Soft Power is meaningless without hard power. We ourselves learnt it at a great cost in 1962.

Once again, I have nothing against the thousands of dead Ukrainians and Russians thousands of miles away from my home, but then, whey our own people and news anchors start swallowing the ‘Liberal’ pills being peddled by the cabal in West, one cannot but do a facepalm.

Ok, before moving ahead, I will plug in this totally unrelated meme here! 😂

So back to the more serious business of blog writing and all that!

As I mentioned before, Ukraine seems to be winning this war quite handsomely, atleast on social media. But then (and I may be totally wrong), when Russians enter Kyiv, the heartbreak will be even more intense.

Let me now talk a bit about Indian response, both at the govt as well as non-govt levels.

Personally, my own take is – ‘Not my dog, Not my fight’. I think the GOI too did its bit by abstaining in the UNSC vote.

However, our own social media fed ‘liberals’ were aghast!

How could India go against the ‘Popular’ opinion, hainji?, they asked!

In their hatred for the current govt of India and love of their ‘liberal’ heroes, I guess we all know what wins. Each and every time. (Hint: Logic is definitely NOT the answer!)

Before moving ahead, I will just plug in this well compiled thread here. Let’s hope the ‘good’ folks of Twitter don’t do their magic and make it vanish on whatever pretext!

Ok, back to the Indian ‘liberals’ and media now.

Their hearts bled for Ukraine, and in fact they still bleed. They themselves don’t know why, but they still bleed because .. well .. the masters’ hearts bleed as well!

Unsurprisingly, reporting of the situation by Indian media too has been very one sided with absolutely NO perspective whatsoever that I have personally come across, from the Russian point of view.

Yes, we are THAT shallow in what news we peddle and what news we consume.

Indian students getting stuck in Ukraine was a good ‘sad’ story to sell. But the same Indian students now held practically hostages is something that is just not worth telling the audiences, because they might question all the careful narrative building that media has been up to!

Come what may, Ukraine just HAS to be painted as innocent victims of Russian aggression without telling people why Russia invaded in the first place. Also, ‘non-white’ people being prevented from leaving Ukraine by gunmen who should instead be fighting Russia, is given a miss!

^^ Just in case you don’t believe a ‘random tweeter’ above, here’s a video as well

One can go on and on about the military conflict as such, but that is not my aim.

Before moving ahead, all I will say is that the conflict doesn’t affect us, YET.

Atleast not directly.

Let me delve on that a bit before moving ahead.

We are going to be all alone in the battles we fight. A perfect example is the immense ‘outpouring’ of wanton racism from the West just because we ‘dared’ to abstain from the UNSC vote. The way they came about to ‘scold’ India was .. well .. amusing, to say the least.

Why amusing? Well, because they forgot that India wasn’t the only country that abstained.

China did too!

But will they dare even WHISPER sweet nothings to China?

I think we all know the answer!

Here’s one such sanctimonious idiot that I chose to engage with –

The world as we know it, folks, has changed for good. This is just the beginning. Much much more is to follow, fairly soon. All we can do now is to brace ourselves. We all are already witnesses to history in making. Mark this.

Possibly this is the reason why the West is so furious in their reactions, even if non-military for the time being. Of course, another reason being that continental Europe is already effectively disarmed, thanks to NATO!

Had tweeted this thought some days ago, but I worded it wrong. I should have instead said that the Complete and Utter DESTRUCTION of countries and Nations has been the ‘monopoly’ of the Global West, atleast for the past half century. And I stand by it.

What Russia has done now is to have broken this ‘record’ of the West.

Georgia wasn’t destroyed, neither was Ukraine in the Donbas conflict. But this time it is different. V.E.R.Y different indeed. Hence the reactions from US / Europe that we see.

Try as they might, they can’t wish away the Bear. Not even with no overt military support. No way.

On that note, I got reminded of this one as well!

Seems quite apt under the current circumstances!

Fight or perish. Period.

I personally believe that this conflict (not specifically the Ukraine situation) was already in the making over the past decade and half or so since ‘liberalism’ became the flavour of the day. But I also believe it was mostly being shaped in the cognitive domain without any overt involvement of National militaries in the physical domain. It was a war of narratives thus far which has now, for a change, turned kinetic with both sides being sovereign Nations. Yet, some ppl continue to feel happy in the cognitive domain!

THIS, folks, is what social media and the war of narratives has done to us.

A successfully trended hashtag gives a sense of victory, even as Russian tanks are knocking on the doors of Kyiv!

Physical domain is where u will finally be told to put your money where your mouth is.

And it is here that the West is facing a decision dilemma.

You see, they hardly have any military power left in continental Europe!

Hence, the economic warfare being waged against Russia, of course with adequate checks and balances lest it come back to bite them.

But in their haste to satisfy the hysteria that they’ve built up in their own minds as well as their citizens’, they seem to be headed in a rapid downward spiral with ever increasing stringency of sanctions.

Never before has the monetary system been weaponized in this fashion!

Mind you, this is where it will impact us all as well.
If not today, then tomorrow for sure.
As I wrote above, the world as we know it, has changed for good.

Once the guns stop firing, there will be a mad scramble to find alternatives so that other potential adversaries don’t find themselves held hostage to a monetary system controlled by the US / UK.

The reason why the West has chosen to react so ‘violently’ (without boots on ground of course) is because they see the writing on the wall. If Russia is not defeated, yes DEFEATED, the world order that they have lorded over since the end of WW2 is likely to slip from their grip.

Dare I say, the West have got it wrong this time.

The balance of power has already shifted. What is happening now & what will happen next is merely the assertion of their power by the new leaders.

Of course, this transition too will NOT be pretty, or peaceful.

The current tools that the West is using is their control over the monetary system and info system, thanks to their social media giants. But what of their appetite for actual warfare against a well armed adversary in case it comes to that?

Here’s a quick question – Name ONE war that the USA has decisively won ever since the end of the second world war and left with its aims achieved.

Try.

Saying Panama or the other similar operation would be an insult to the military might of the USA, I’d say.

So try harder.

Btw, just came across this very interesting map. What is of interest is not what is written, but the relative divisions of the world. These more or less match the civilizational boundaries mentioned by Huntington, of course with some civilizations subsumed into these divisions.

So back to Western appetite for war.
With all the woke shit going on to which even their militaries are not immune, one can understand their reluctance to actually put boots on ground, despite Shri Comedian Ji of Ukraine crying desperately for that.
In fact, this just happened 👇

So what comes next ..

Well, for one, I’ll wait for Kyiv to fall, or for Ukraine to beg Russia for peace. When this happens, there will be a LOT of heartbreak all around primarily because of the propaganda fed to us all, thanks to the insane control over narrative by the West.

What has already happened, of course, is that Putin has called the bluff of the West once and for all. Western leaders (currently atleast) appear to be headless chickens even as Ukraine gets systematically dismantled by Russia, even as the Comedian’s calls get increasingly desperate.

He was created by social media.

He is ‘leading’ on social media.

He is PLEADING on social media.

Heck, he is even WINNING on social media!

But the Russian tank crews and other soldiers outside Kyiv haven’t got the memo!

West continues to hang on to fig leaves, even as the desperate pleas by Zelenskyy get louder and louder. So long as some Russian soldiers die, it doesn’t matter to them that thousands of Ukrainians – soldiers as well as civilians – die as well. Period.

However, what they do not (or perhaps they do) realize is that Russia has moved decisively not merely into Ukraine, but into Europe as well, by staking a claim as a major power.

I doubt that short of nukes, continental European Nations can individually, or even collectively, stand up to Russia, militarily. Reminded me of the full form of NATO I heard some years back – Needs America To Operate!

Sad, but true!

Come winters, they will need Russian gas as well and with it will go much of the sanctions. Of course, US elections of November will only get that much more ‘interesting’, to say the least.

So that is about Europe and NATO. Now a word about America.

Europe / NATO are but proxies for America, atleast in the current conflict and the western response to it in terms of sanctions.
That is a fact.
But .. there is one major actor that isn’t yet involved in this mess, yet.

Europe / NATO are but proxies for America, atleast in the current conflict and the western response to it in terms of sanctions.
That is a fact.
But .. there is one major actor that isn’t yet involved in this mess, yet.

Yes, China!

Of course, they must be furiously taking notes. Just as they did after the First Gulf War and launched their military modernisation programme!

That modernisation, btw, is nearing completion.

Now put into context this warning by the Taiwanese President BEFORE the Russian Attack!

Well, China has potentially the MOST to gain from this war.

A weakened and isolated Russia goes that much faster into a Chinese embrace, economically as well. Remember, Putin waited for the Beijing Olympics to be over, before launching the attack! Yup, a Conspiracy Theory indeed!

Of course, Russian being the first ‘recipient’ of economic sanctions helps China prepare that much better for when the inevitable comes their way as well. But the question remains – Which way will China turn? Towards Taiwan, or towards Himalayas? Will they even do such a thing?

The last question in the tweet above is relatively easier to answer.

It is INEVITABLE, I’d say.

If not now then maybe a short distance in the future. But happen, it will. Especially, with Jinping Ji looking at going beyond a 10 year term soon, that too amidst a rapidly challenging internal situation, a diversion of this kind might actually come in handy. Of course, his role model – Mao – did exactly the same thing! As millions died during the ‘Great Leap Forward’, he attacked India!

Btw, that happened when West was busy with Cuban Missile Crisis! Just like currently and for the forseeable future as well, no?

Personally, with all my biases and opinions, I’d say that a war in the Himalayas, while not entirely implausible, may not be as likely as one over Taiwan. But then that is just my personal opinion. Feel free to disagree.

Of course, Taiwan too must be seeing the emerging situation keenly. If at all, one lesson that they too must have drawn by now is that they are going to fight all alone.

The USA has already lost in this respect, though not yet overtly.

A Chinese attack on Taiwan will require an American response for sure because otherwise America of 2022 becoming like the UK of post WW2 – a power in perpetual decline – will be there for all to see.

Thus, China gains doubly by going towards Taiwan – Reunification as well as Pre-eminence. Mind you, they may not even need to go kinetic (atleast to the extent Russia has gone). Even mere posturing, if met by a tepid American response might actually convince the Taiwanese to agree to an altered political status as part of the PRC, thanks also to the horrific visuals of the carnage that Ukraine is suffering, just because their Comedian-in-Charge chose to take in the snake oil peddled by the US / Europe at face value.

A Chinese attempt at Himalayan borders may not be as easily successful, without paying a larger cost, even if it succeeds at all. Hence my bet on Taiwan front getting activated.

But that does NOT mean that we need to lower our guard. One can never be too sure, or too prepared.

But regardless, the world will be a much more violent place over the coming decade or so. Remember, it took TWO world wars and a failed League of Nations to arrive at the current world order. The next world order won’t come any easier.

Talking about UN, I’ll just leave this here!

All I’ll say as I end this thread, folks, is ‘BRACE YOURSELVES’!

It is blood which moves the wheels of history..
Given the current situation, I bet the wheels are moving faster and faster each passing day.

Thanks for your patience. I think I will end this blog post here 🙏

:fin:

On Pakistani ‘Warning’ about an Imminent False-Flag Operation by India

So this report below landed on my TL some days back.

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As soon as I saw this, I let out an involuntary OTTERI!!

Let me take some time and some tweets to explain why that happened. Thoughts are, as always, disjointed so I’ll be doing this blog post on the go.

So .. here goes!

Well, the first thought that crossed my mind was that of this incident :-

It is something that no one talks about or even remembers because, well, it was foiled! Kudos to the security agencies for foiling what would otherwise have been another Pulwama type attack.

At that time too I did a blog post on the attack. May have a look before moving ahead, if you have the time: PULWAMA – A CLOSE CALL!

Now for the question as to why my mind went back to this particular incident,right? Well because in the preceding 3weeks, the Beggar-in-Chief selected by the Brown Panted Ones to warm the PM’s chair had made no less than FOUR statements regarding an IMMINENT FALSE FLAG OPERATION!

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Interesting, no?

Now imagine if that particular attack had succeeded in inflicting yet more Pulwama CRPF Attack type casualties, he would have been hailed by nothing less than an oracle by his population!!

Hence my hackles getting raised at this latest statement as well.

Of course, with the benefit of hindsight, this attempted terror attack and all those ‘Warning Statements’ by Imran Khan happened right about the time when things in Galwan between India and China were heating up. In fact the clash of 15th June was just about two weeks ahead.

Now tally this latest statement with the happenings on the LAC, what with the PLA abducting an Indian citizen from Arunachal Pradesh and the latest video of a scuffle between the Indian and Chinese troops doing rounds on Twitter. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination ..

Carrying on with this thread, anyone remember the bomb recovered in Ghazipur Market in Delhi on 14 Jan 2022, just ONE DAY AFTER the latest ‘warning’ from Pakistan?

Sharing a screenshot of this ANI tweet for those who missed it:

To put things in a more ‘visual’ manner, here’s a video of the NSG destroying the bomb, taken from atleast a few hundred metres away from the site. Do watch it.

Heard the blast?

Now imagine this thing going off in a crowded market. But .. why even imagine when we have a real life example from Delhi itself – The Sarojini Nagar Market bomb blast that happened in 2005. 43 lives were lost that day.

FORTY THREE.

Here’s the wiki link to the bombings of that day which took a cumulative total of 62 lives in three bomb blasts – 2005 Delhi Bombings

But we just brushed past this report of yet another similar attempt in the National Capital!

Why?

Because it was foiled!

On that note, once again let’s take a moment to thank our security agencies and vigilant citizens that ensured that this didn’t become a lasting scar instead.

Yup. Once again, this happened just ONE DAY after Packie Foreign Office WARNED the world that India was planning a false flag operation to malign the ‘good’ name of Pakistan! If only they could utilize this ‘divya drishti’ to sort out their own mess within their own Bhikharistan!

Talking about the ‘good’ name of Pakistan, I’ll just leave this video here before moving ahead!

Ok, moving on after that reality check!

Basically, they seem to be building an alibi for something that ‘might’ happen in India that would naturally result in fingers being pointed at the usual suspect – Pakistan.

This time they have gone even further than ever – bringing out an entire National Security Policy document that purportedly talks about keeping the ‘unresolved’ Kashmir issue aside and working ‘with’ India instead!

V.E.R.Y clever, I must say, especially when within the little bit that they deemed worthy of declassifying, the mention of India comes with words / phrases like ‘regressive approach’, ‘hegemonic designs’, ‘illegal & unilateral actions of Aug 2019’, ‘occupation forces’ etc!

Oh, and not to forget this gem! (Rough Translation – If Bhikharistan cannot afford to match it, India shouldn’t progress either!)

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Unsurprisingly, the usual Non Resident Packies (or Non Resident Indians, as some call them!) within our borders were almost immediately selling the narrative that ‘Dekho, Dekho Pakistan Badal Raha Hai!!’

To them, I’ll just quote Arora Uncle from a famous comedy show – ‘Ack Thoo’!

The favourite one amongst them all was this one – Pakistan is Hurting!

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Why, you ask?

Well, because it reminded me of something I wrote some years ago.

THIS is what it reminded me of – a tweet from nearly three years ago!

Packies are hurting alright, but due to circumstances of their own making – Political, Military, Economic, Diplomatic or, specifically in case of Pakistan – Terror.
Period.

And with people within us that like to concentrate on their lips because it makes it that much more easier to ignore the guns in their hands pointed at the Motherland, or the suicide vest strapped to their body, job of ‘soft-selling’ Terroristan is made so much more easier, no?

So what do we expect next?

Well, at the very least, I expect nothing less than yet another attempt at executing a terror attack in Indian hinterland, especially with major elections coming up and atmosphere already charged, making a ‘false-flag’ accusation much easier to make.

They’ve tried it before.

They will try it again.

They WILL mobilize ‘sympathizers’ within us to actively argue their case of innocence.

This cycle goes on and on!

Remember, even Musharraf ‘promised’ on 12 Jan 2002 NOT to let Pakistani soil be used for terror against India!

We all know how that promise went down the drain with the blood of innocents in Kaluchak barely five months later.

Remember, we are not even 50 years into the 1000 year war promised by Shri Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto!

And the new security policy only promises a 100 year ceasefire!

Bottomline – Keep your powder dry, and NEVER trust those that are sworn to destroying you, even if at the cost of their own country.

Things in the immediate and far neighbourhood are heating up as the winters recede. These are critical times indeed. We would be fools to be taken in by soft propaganda, helped by the usual suspects within.

Like it or not, if we are lucky to live till the end of the next decade, the world we shall die in, would be vastly different from the one we were born in.

The onus is on us to ensure, or atleast try our level best that things pan out favourably for the Motherland. For those that still doubt what I said, I’ll leave this statement made in the Pakistani Senate by a Federal Minister here without any further comment. Do NOT miss the applause by his fellow parliamentarians.
Jai Hind

Travelling on a Green Passport

So this article landed up on my Timeline some days back:

‘You may be strip searched’: Pakistani cricketer shares boarding pass for USA flight with ‘SSSS’ stamped on it.’

This got me thinking about sharing my views on the woes of an international traveller from the Land of the Pure. Hence this blog post!

Here goes ..

Leave alone USA, even the good folks of Tbilisi know what to do when they see a Packie passport, even if carried by a ‘celebrity’!

Here’s a ‘Travelogue’ of a Green Passport holder to Brazil – Mexico – Panama City – Brazil. Khoob ‘khaatirdaari’ hui! Interestingly, she reports that Mexico had a RED ALERT ON PAKISTANI PASSPORTS!

Do read the ‘Travelogue’ below before proceeding ahead!

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Of course, there are people who vehemently cry that this supposedly photoshopped image below is denting the ‘image’ of those that hold the Green Passport!

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And why this ‘paranoia’ against ‘innocent’ Packie ‘travellers’, you asked?

Well, here’s an example – the son of a V.E.R.Y senior Pakistan Air Force officer wanted to blow up the Times Square in New York not too long ago! Of course, he was unrepentant for plotting to murder!

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Yup. Even the Hollywoodias know!

They too don’t trust those fcukers!

I’m not saying this, I’m merely quoting from this clip from ‘Homeland’ below.

Do watch. I insist!

Totally worth the 33 seconds of your life that it asks for!

Leave alone Americans, even fellow ‘birather mulk’ Malaysia doesn’t deem Pakistani airspace safe enough to fly over it! Here’s a report from a Packie newspaper itself!

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Now why is this so, one might ask.

Well .. Pakistan is a country where Parliamentarians PROUDLY flaunt successful terror attacks that have been carried out by their own country in other Nations.

This one talks about the Pulwama ki KAMYAABI of Feb 2019.

Do watch this video below.

Also note the applause from fellow parliamentarians as he dedicates the success of that dastardly terror attack to his fellow citizens of Pakistan.

Then there are these ‘chhoti-moti celebrities’ who think nothing of doing what this one does. For context, this is Pakistani Singer Rabi Pirzada in a traditional dress remembering PM Modi!

Not just Parliamentarians and ‘Chhoti-Moti Celebrities’, but even the hoi polloi are just as ecstatic at their own youngsters picking up the gun and killing innocent people. Then they cry at being treated like potential terrorists when they themselves travel abroad, legitimately!

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Above screenshot from this Reuters report after the hanging of Kasab.

Khud ke desh mein Khotey bhi suspect hote hain. But then, they are aghast at being ‘thoroughly’ searched themselves!

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Even Kenya knows that it is in their NATIONAL INTEREST to keep them from having a free run of their country as well! Heck, with Packies running amok in their own country and being .. well .. Packies, they have moved on to suspend the facility of visa-free travel that they had earlier granted to these holders of the Green Passport! 

Kenya suspends visa-free transit with Pakistan

Here’s another PROUD citizen of Terroristan, this one calling for a 26/11 type attack in Dubai by his govt agencies because New Zealand cancelled their tour of Pakistan.

And then his countrymen cry buckets when put through extra screening when visiting other countries!

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The above sample describes himself as ‘Anti-War’ in his twitter bio, btw!

Apparently, he is only Anti-War, while he continues to be Pro-Terrorism!

Heck, even the Afghans know what Terroristan truly stands for!

This is a V.E.R.Y interesting piece. Do read!

Historical Baggage at Kabul Airport: A Pakistani wonders why he’s made to feel unwelcome in Afghanistan Dated, but worth a read

The list of your average, everyday Pakistani and their fascination with terrorism is a never-ending one. This one so casually talks about the 9/11 terror attacks!

And the same idiots complain when people are cautious, or even reluctant to let them enter their countries!

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Here is a Pakistani Army General serving ‘fantastic’ tea to Shri Nek Mohammad at Wana in April 2004.
The same Nek Mohammad that was killed by an American drone just about two months later, on 18 June 2004!
Yup, grant them ‘hinder-free’ access to your countries, Dear World!

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Of course, they will keep killing American troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere too. But Americans should NOT hold that against them when they come visiting New York, even if one of them tries to blow up the Times Square! Don’t miss the loud applause in this video!

Here’s the same Hamid Gul, who used to be the top man of the ISI of Terroristan, sharing the stage with ‘world famous’ terror leaders, including Hafiz Saeed of the Lashkar ‘e Taiba that executed the 26/11 Mumbai Attacks

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And NATURALLY, he complains when he himself is denied visa to visit foreign lands, including those whose soldiers may have died directly as a result of his actions!

Pakistan’s spymaster Hamid Gul: angel of jihad or windbag provocateur?

Or maybe they are just worried for the ‘izzat’ of their chickens, and don’t want any more such specimens to immigrate and breed within their borders?!

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Terroristan .. Since their very birth!
Here’s ZA Bhutto, the most powerful civilian politician in 1971, greeting the hijackers of Air India ‘Ganga’ in Lahore in 1971.
Open and Brazen support of terror comes naturally to Terroristanis of all hues!

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Remember the screenshot of the Packie so casually talking about 9/11, above in this blog post?

Well, here’s his own Prime Minister, reverentially remembering ‘Shaheed’ Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani parliament not too long ago. Take that, world!

And this one is a doctor! He would have taken a solemn oath to protect and save lives. But thanks to his upbringing, he chooses to do otherwise.

And mind you, he is merely one of potentially thousands such countrymen of his that has been caught.

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9/11 wasn’t the first attempt at bringing down the Twin Towers. Just about half a decade earlier was the first major attack whereby an explosives laden vehicle was detonated in the underground parking lot, with the aim to bring them down.

The mastermind?

A Packie of course!

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Of course when Shri Ramzi Yousef above failed to bring down the twin towers, his uncle and fellow Packie, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed ended up masterminding the 9/11 attacks!

Yup, give them free access to your lands, you infidels!

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On the American ROUT from Afghanistan

Folks, sharing some thoughts on the Afghanistan situation as it unfolds. Been trying to gather my thoughts for the past few days, but events have been happening just too fast for that. So, I’ll just do this on the go.

Here goes ..

Firstly, the issue is not whether or not Kabul will fall. The real issue, IMO, is what happens AFTER Kabul falls, since it is more or less a given. This is what I hope to delve upon in this blog.

Firstly, let me plug a blog post from Feb 2020 when there was talk about Indian troops going to Afg. With the rapid rout of US military in Afg, I think that folks who were thinking about sending Indian troops there would have by now changed their opinions. Here’s that blog post – Indian Troops in Afghanistan

Yup, in case you noticed, I used the word ROUT for what has happened to the US military in Afghanistan. To that end, I’ll just let these two pics – one from Saigon in 1975 and one from Kabul earlier today, make my point.

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Call it whatever, but I’ll say they’ve been ROUTED.

Period.

Sneaking out of their biggest military base in the middle of the night without bothering to tell the hosts didn’t exactly look like a victory march out of Afghanistan now, did it? Well .. but they ARE the strongest military in the world, atleast in their own opinion, no?

Of course, in terms of hardware, software & manpower, they do make a compelling case for being the strongest that there might be.

But in terms of how their administration put these assets to use, one surely shakes his head, wondering about the logic they might have used to justify it!

While on the topic of logic of force application, I’ll just leave this 9.5 year old tweet of mine out here.

Mind you, this was amongst the first 50 or 100 tweets of mine when I joined Twitter!

Of course, I’ve said this many times since Feb 26, 2012 as well. It also figured in this thread quoted below that basically talked about the heads so far up the ‘Foggy Bottom’ in Washington DC that they thought that Soviets were still around!

But then, with the American rout from Afghanistan more or less complete, all these ‘I told you so’ kind of posts serve no purpose, especially when after two decades of willfully looking the other way, they are ok with the humiliation being heaped upon them.

So let me now try and make sense of what MIGHT happen next.

Mind you, no one can say for sure how the Afghan cookie will crumble this time round. So at best, I’ll offer my own guesses on the same.

Since the US has lost the two decade long war, it might be fair to start by asking who is it that has actually WON it?

A mighty difficult question, no?

On my part, I did try to answer this question as far back as March last year.

It formed part of a really interesting chain of thoughts in light of the recently concluded US-Taliban deal under the Trump administration. Do have look if you have five minutes to spare – On the US-Taliban Deal

But moving on to what might happen next, I’d say the decade of the 90s does offer a template of some sorts. Even though there are newer stakeholders this time round, the principal actors remain unchanged – Taliban and Pakistan Army.

Why PRINCIPAL actors?

Well, I’ll just leave this tweet here without any further comment.

Well, after Kabul fell in the mid 90s, came a wave of terror attacks around the world, mostly on American targets, ending up ultimately with the 9/11 bombings that brought the US back into the region with Operation Enduring Freedom.

Unfortunately, the operation was neither Enduring, nor did it bring about any Freedom!

The reason for that has already been mentioned above in the blog post.

In the days immediately after 9/11, America had famously asked Musharraf whether he was with them or against them. I guess they finally know the answer to that question atleast, even if at the cost of more than a trillion dollars and so many lives.

Of course, India too witnessed a surge of terror attacks in Kashmir as well as outside in rest of the country as a cocky Pakistan, drunk on the recent ‘victory’ in Afghanistan, channelized part of the terror machine towards us.

I remember reading newspapers during college days and for some time after that in the 90s, talking about Afghans and even Somalis fighting in Kashmir. At that time I couldn’t really fathom the reason why. But it became amply clear later on as I read more into the subject.

And then with the US finally back in Afghanistan, came the J&K Assembly bombing, the Parliament attack, the Kaluchak Massacre, countless bombings in the hinterland and finally the 26/11 attacks. Part of the reason why India didn’t take overt military action against Pakistan after the Parliament, the Kaluchak and the 26/11 attacks was thought to be the presence of Americans in Afghanistan and how diverting Packie military away from ‘helping’ them might impact their own war.

Well, the results are there for all to see.

So what is different now?

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Well, first and foremost, there is a Govt in Delhi which will simply NOT accept terror attacks any more.

From the BSF plastering the Pakistan rangers in Oct 2014 all the way till Abhinandan shooting down an F-16, they have shown that they are willing to walk the talk. I’m sure the brown panted ones have not changed the colours of their pants for so long because they know it is good for .. err .. camouflaging .. their panic induced involuntary bowel movements. So to that end, I don’t worry too much. Here .. this video down below will help explain my point a bit more clearly 

Mind you, I’m not saying that there won’t be any more terror attacks inside India, or on Indian interests abroad. In fact, knowing whatever little I do about the Paakis, I am actually COUNTING upon them to oblige sooner rather than later, of course with a fig leaf of deniability.

The euphoria of a ‘victory’ in Afghanistan is likely to result in a terror attack or two on India in the coming days and months. But then, what comes back towards them in the aftermath is perhaps a topic for another blog post some day.

However, I am willing to bet that sovereign Indian territory stands a good chance at expanding by whatever degree it does, in case of a future attempt at being a bit too clever by the Brown Panted ones.

But then, it is just a personal opinion!

So back to Afghanistan, reports just coming in that President Ghani has made good his escape. A wise decision, I’d say, especially since his so called ‘ally’ too has run away, leaving him alone.

What comes next in Afg is a vacuum.

Why a vacuum, when the Taliban are likely to establish a govt, you ask?

Well, because they cannot sustain an independent country based merely on terror and drug trade. They couldn’t do so in the 90s, and they can’t do so now.

At that time, it was Pakistan that was their surrogate mother – feeding them to the extent it could, and reaping a rich harvest from the terror factories for export to India and elsewhere.

Mind you, the first major attempt on the World Trade Centre had a Packie mastermind!

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Back to the vacuum now.

Who might try & fill it up this time, is a question being asked far and wide.

China seems to be the obvious ‘winner’ in this debate, & for good reason too. A hubristic, self-anointed ‘Chairman for Life’ who has no option but to appear ‘strong’ rules China!

He wouldn’t want to be seen as shying away from leading the Middle Kingdom use its Mandate of Heaven to restore order in the ‘Barbarian’ nations on its periphery! So what if his much hyped PLA is just that – Hype!

Feel free to disagree, but do read this blog post below. I insist!

People’s Liberation Army – Calling the Bluff

Add to that the fact that the Chinese have been eyeing the seemingly HUGE natural resources deposits in Afghanistan AND have the money power to make their play, makes them a viable alternative to fill in the vacuum. Further, add to that the fact that they already have a direct land route via Gilgit-Baltistan to Afghanistan, and this makes all the more sense.

In fact the bomb attack on Chinese workers in Dasu in NW Pakistan too might have been an initial salvo in trying to lay down rules of ‘engagement’ by the Packies and their Talibani ‘friends’, for all I care.

But then, how might this affect India, is the question that bugs me at times.

Well, the answer that I am coming round to, is that it hardly has any material effect on India!

In fact, it will divert Packie energies away from own borders for the near future atleast, as they try to get the game to settle down to their advantage before looking elsewhere. It was easy in the 90s since Russia and China had absolutely no role to play.

But now, the USA, though having run away from the immediate battlefield, is unlikely to let the new benefactors of Taliban have an easy run, especially if they are the ones that bow to a certain Mr Xi.

Once the dust settles after the battle to formally capture Kabul is finally over, our brown panted ‘friends’ might just discover that they are caught bang in the middle of a shadow war between their two biggest clients!

Reminds me of this epic moment from the good old 90s!

This possibility of a shadow war leads me further to a conspiracy theory.

Feel free to dismiss it as a figment of my imagination, but I’ll still say it out loud here because .. well .. I can!

What are the odds that the sheer quantum of fully serviceable American military equipment falling into the hands of the Taliban isn’t merely a coincidence, but instead, a ploy to make things more difficult for the next superpower that tries its luck in Afghanistan?

However, that STILL doesn’t take away the fact the the USA has literally run away from battle. This tweet came to me via a DM earlier this evening and basically stole my thunder since I was thinking about saying pretty much the same thing in this blog post!

Capture

But then, the US does have a few military victories since WW2. Three, to be more precise.

These were in Nicaragua, Panama and Iraq (Gulf War 1).

The reason why they ‘won’ was simple – They pulled out in time!

I know there might be some who might be thinking this ‘pulled out’ thing is an attempt at inserting a pun in the middle of this blog post. Well, all I will offer to such folks is that you are entirely correct!

No bastards spawned out of these campaigns, atleast militarily!

In the current context too, pulling out after killing Osama might have been an honourable way out, regardless of who ruled Afghanistan thereafter. But time for that is long gone.

Then there are some who talk about Afghanistan being a graveyard of empires – mostly the Soviet & the American ones. To them, all that I will offer is this tweet once again, for them to find the common factor!

As far as successful foreign rule over Afghanistan goes, the last empire to rule Afghanistan successfully was that of Maharaj Ranjit Singh. So it is not something that has not been accomplished before.

But for the time being, this point is moot.

Of course, China may ultimately choose to simply NOT to enter Afg, either directly or thru proxies. But knowing them, this is unlikely to be the scenario. Whether they like it or not, they are most likely to get sucked in, either willingly or unwillingly.

The recent bomb attack on Chinese engineers in Pakistan is quite likely to have been just the first of some more attacks that Chinese interests in Pak and Afghanistan are likely to come under, in the near future. Whether Paakis can control this or not, remains to be seen.

I say this because I know for a fact that Afghans are no fans of Pakistan. Heck, even the Taliban regime of the 90s refused to acknowledge the Durand Line despite Pakistan being one of the only three countries that recognised them!

Oh, and this too happened less than two years ago!

The marriage between Taliban and Pakistan is merely a marriage of convenience, for neither own the Afghan Nation that never wanted to recognize Pakistan in its current form as far back as 1947!

Mind you, acrimony that Afghans feel towards Paakis goes beyond mere govt levels. It is a feeling that runs throughout much of the Afghan population who know for a fact that Paaki meddling in search for ‘strategic depth’ is the biggest reason for their misery

To that end, I’d rather say that Afghanistan is indeed a strategic depth .. but for India!

Yup, feel free to read that again.

An Afghanistan that sucks in Packie energies and resources is always good for us. It will continue to be so for atleast another year or so, if not more.

Of course, there will be some spillover across the LoC into India .. perhaps even in the hinterland. But then, all that will serve to do is to give another reason for the Indian military to overtly punish Pakistan as has been the trend lately.

A terror factory will be of hardly any use in case the Indian Army or the Air Force or the Navy come calling across the LoC or even the IB. They’ve shown it before during the surgical strikes and the Balakot attack, followed by the shooting down of the PAF F-16.

I’m sure the Packies know this.

Or maybe in their hubris, they might still try and overreach .. who knows.

But one thing is for sure – it is China that is going to have another front active, in addition to the Himalayan front and the South China Sea / Taiwan fronts!

THAT is something which needs to be looked out for.

THAT is something that I am eagerly awaiting to see happen & then to see how things progress from thereon.

THAT is something which I wish to see Packies try to turn into their favour with both their baaps as I mentioned earlier!

THIS is what the game is in the medium to long run in the days, weeks, months and years to come, as the wheels of history churn towards another turning. And as they say, wheels of history require blood to give them motion.

Thus far it was American blood.

Will it be Chinese next?

Like I said, we will need to wait and watch for how things pan out.

But then, one more thing that I don’t see may folks discuss is the fact that aside from the fact that the US is out of one war, this also means that the next war is just a matter of time, given their history!

Tweeted this more than two years back!

Let the conspiracy theories run wild, I say!

All said and done, what I await next in the immediate future is the visuals of the Taliban taking over American embassy in Kabul. Hopefully, such visuals will not be as gory as in the case of Libya and the US staff will have been successfully evacuated by then.

Oh, btw, these beautiful visuals of the Chinooks that I tweeted earlier in this blog post just led me to thinking where will these Chinooks go after evacuating the Americans .. Will they not go across the Durand Line into Pakistan?

Especially since American planes targetting Taliban continue to freely fly over Pakistani airspace even today?

Btw, those who are aware of the Kunduz Airlift might also want to draw some parallels with this currently underway evacuation of American personnel from Afghanistan!

Yup, give it a thought and you might find some newer insights as well!

As far as India goes, people getting alarmed at what might happen to us now, may want to relax a bit because what is fated, must be endured, but all I’ll offer is that we’ve endured much worse at a time when we were much weaker and much isolated and yet we lived to tell our tale.

So I conclude this blog post by offering this single statement: The 2020s are a bit .. different! 

#AanDeyo, is what I feel about the emerging situation, partly due to the fact that it is inevitable and partly due to the fact that the 2020s are a bit .. different!

Hope this long ramble has made some sense for those who cared to read!

Cheers!

A PERSONAL TRAGEDY AND A FLOOD OF GOODNESS FROM KIND SOULS

Folks, sharing my experiences with an elderly COVID patient at home and how so many folks came together to help in the hour of need. Despite the loss, the coming together of so many people to help out in whatever way they could, was really heartwarming indeed.

He was a veteran from the armed forces, having served for almost four decades before retirement. Used to stay alone in a flat after the passing of my wife’s mother and his son having moved out due to a domestic dispute. Of late, he had developed a myriad of medical issues – diabetes, prostrate and some neuro issues following a brainstroke some years ago.

I order to look after him, my wife and kids had been staying with him for over five years now, even as I worked out of town.

He got some major work done in his flat a couple of months ago. As it turned out, in the midst of all this, he apparently stopped taking his medicines for a while and a few weeks ago, he told my wife that he was feeling dizzy. Taken to a doctor, his blood sugar was a whopping 498.

He was immediately put back on medication, this time under strict supervision of his daughter. She made it a point to prepare all three meals and take those to him every day, along with his evening cup of tea, all the while keeping a strict eye on his food intake and his medicines.

But the sugar continued to remain high and he fell down a couple of times as well.

Finally, last Saturday, she called me up frantically, saying that he needs to go to a doctor.

He had fallen down yet again and was thoroughly disoriented. Incidentally, this was also the day we had put him in an adult diaper, keeping in mind exactly such a situation. Rushed to a nearby doctor, his SPO-2 was detected at 82 & we were advised to take him to an emergency room.

We rushed him to a nearby hospital where we were told that they were only treating COVID patients and as such, even then they were short of beds. So the next stop was R&R Hospital where he was immediately put on oxygen and his SPO-2 went up to 93.

Even then we were under the impression that it was diabetes related. In fact he had been confined to his home for more than a month, coming in contact with just me, my wife and kids and two people who worked at his home. However, the doctors at R&R did a RAT test and told us he was COVID Positive.

This took us by surprise, as also changed a lot of things.

We were told that he needs to go to the Base Hospital since they were the ones nominated for COVID related cases. Moved there in an ambulance, we were dumbstruck at the number of patients out there.

Far too many, I’d say.

Finally when our turn came, the doctor said that he couldn’t admit him there and to arrange for oxygen, since he would need it.

What was said without words was that his condition wasn’t good.

Anyhow, we were given a cocktail of medicines for him, including one which the doctor said would further increase his blood sugar, for which an insulin injection was also given, that I was supposed to jab him with at night. So we went to the dispensary, standing in line with self-imposed social distancing, patiently awaiting our turn, till such time a gent with a Home Ministry strap around his neck cut right to the front of the line.

However we all in waiting in the line were far too drained mentally after all those hours waiting to get our loved ones treated that we let it be, not without disapproving looks, though.

After all, he might have had someone far more critically ill.

Finally, I got the medicines and we were on our way back, with my wife working the social media looking for an oxygen cylinder. Soon she got a lead of a guy called Ankit who promised to make one available for Rs 40K.

By this time my phone battery had run out and her’s was about to, so she requested her sister to transfer the Rs 15k advance. The oxygen would reach us by 10 pm.

Her sister called back that on PhonePe & Google Pay, the names associated with the number were showing Mushtaque Ahmed & Asmat Hussein respectively. Upon being called, he said that the names were of his associates. It looked dicey, but given our situation, I suggested we pay him.

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Of course, no oxygen arrived and the number was soon switched off (more on this in a while).

It took till 2:30 at night before my wife’s networks worked their magic.

This was the first good samaritan to reach out to us. The first of many more.

A little known acquaintance said that he had a spare cylinder and that he would get it refilled the next day and get it delivered to our society. All that he asked for was for us to pay the person bringing it, the cost of refilling the cylinder.

He also said that we need to procure a kit to go with the cylinder – regulator, pipes etc for it to be used by my FIL.

That struggle would commence in the morning. Thankfully, he woke up in the morning quite energetic and aware of his surroundings, having hearty meals as well. So I put out a query for leads on the kit in my WA groups the next morning. And I got a prompt call by a classmate saying that he had tied it up, thanks to a doctor friend and that I should go to a particular pharmacy to pick it up.

Since my FIL was doing fine, I decided to go post lunch. In any case, the oxygen cylinder would only be available by evening.

So I reached the pharmacy, and was promptly told that they don’t have the kit I was looking for!

I called up that classmate of mine and five minutes later he was there with me at the pharmacy. Check yet another good samaritan.

A quick call to that doctor friend and the pharmacist said that he indeed had a kit lying about. But to give it to me would be a difficult job since there were quite a few more people looking for the same thing right outside his shop.

As he tried to find a way to smuggle it out, my friend and I got talking.

He told me of an instance when the same doctor friend had to turn away two very senior bureaucrats looking for beds since he didn’t have any. At the same time he said with irony that one of them was probably the guy who had been sitting on the case file for increasing of the bed capacity of that very (govt) hospital for nearly one year.

Anyhow, I finally got the kit and paid the insane amount demanded for it and was soon on my way home. I reached just as the guy with the oxygen cylinder too arrived.

We thanked the guy who was from Delhi Police and had gone all the way to Ballabhgarh to get two cylinders filled, one for us and one for himself. That was the deal with the guy whom my wife had contacted. He had two cylinders and had requested the police guy to get both filled up as a pre-condition to provide him one cylinder for his own need. We paid him Rs 3k towards the cost he had incurred for the cylinder.

Incidentally, he was from the cyber crime branch and we gave him the details of the guy who had conned us the previous evening.

Finally I carted the cylinder to my FIL’s flat. Now came the question of installing the kit. The old man was doing fine, but still there was the urgency. In the meantime, biwi had spoken to the folks at the local Iskon Temple for oxygen. Not having oxygen, they said that they would send daily meals for my family.

Check another set of good samaritans.

Then they also mentioned that one of their volunteers had the special key needed to install the kit and got us in touch with him. 20 minutes later, I had the key and a set of quick instructions on how to install the kit. I requested if he could himself come over and install it for us but he said that he was rushing to get someone else admitted in a hospital. So I returned home, key in hand.

That guy didn’t even ask for anything other than requesting an early return.

And his positivity also took my mood a couple of notches higher.

By the time I reached home, my wife had got hold of a technician who came over promptly to install the kit. We paid him Rs 700 for a quick and professional job and as it turned out, it was just in time.

Almost as soon as he was finished installing, I got a call from the owner of the key asking for it back since he needed it for another installation. I rushed back to hand it over to him.

That person had been up and about for quite some time by now, helping out all who needed help.

Anyhow, the Iskon folks had delivered five meals by the time I reached back.

The sumptuous meals from Iskon were a big help indeed, especially for the kids who had been relying on Maggi for the past couple of days.

As I mentioned, the old guy was in good spirits throughout that day. So the day had been spent on video calls with all his children and grandchildren. In fact, even his long estranged son had called up and FIL was able to see his youngest granddaughter after nearly six years.

That night he started coughing.

I remembered what the doctor had told – he WILL need oxygen.

Thankfully, we had atleast 24 hours worth of supply with us which saw him through the night. Next morning saw another flurry of video calls to children and grandchildren.

However, his cough worsened and so did his overall condition.

At about 1:30pm, a technician from a nearby lab came over to collect my family’s swab samples for our own RTPCR test. It had taken nearly 36 hours to get that done after we started looking. They too were really swamped.

At about the same time, he said he wanted to go the the washroom. With his SPO-2 below 70, it wasn’t a good idea but he insisted that he needed to clear his bowels. I suggested he do it in the diaper, but disoriented, he kept pulling away the oxygen pipe and insisted on going.

I finally took him there quickly and realized that he had already soiled his diaper. Anyhow, after helping him sit on the toilet seat, I went out to give my own swab sample and my wife came over to clean him up. I soon returned and helped him put on a new diaper.

At about the same moment, the oximeter reading ceased. He was no more, even though he was expelling gases from his mouth, possibly due to the oxygen still flowing into him. He had gone. My wife and I were both there at about the time this happened.

The only consolation was that he had gone relatively painlessly and quickly.

Ironically, having cleaned him up just a few minutes before, his own daughter had given him a final bath of sorts as well.

It was less than 48 hours after his diagnosis at the R&R Hospital.

Now began another struggle – that of cremating him before the day was out.

And alongwith this struggle came about yet another bunch of helping hands, practically on their own.

After putting in a query about a hearse van / ambulance, another classmate called up and said not to worry, he was arranging for an ambulance. Next moment he added another guy on the call who would provide me an ambulance and an attendant to help move my FIL’s mortal remains. They happened to be from a hospital in Old Delhi and would take about an hour to reach.

So I took a wet towel and gave a sort of a ‘Panch-Snan’ to his dead body to the best of my ability. Meanwhile, my wife had stabilized and together, we both got him in a PPE suit for his final journey.

Just as we were finished doing this, the ambulance boys landed up. They had requested on phone (while enroute) that we try and arrange 2-3 people to help carry the mortal remains down. However, the attendants etc in the housing society politely refused, due to it being a COVID related death.

Looking back, I don’t blame them for it, even though it did take me by surprise at that moment.

The good samaritan of Iskon too was unable since he himself had gone into quarantine with a couple of suspected COVID cases within his own family.

Ultimately the ambulance driver, the attendant and I brought him down to the ground level where my wife joined us in lifting him up and putting him in the ambulance.

It was to be just me and my wife who would have to conduct the last rites.

No one else could make it. Both his other children were settled outside Delhi.

Anyhow, the same society attendants who were unable to help us with moving the body, had in the meantime, arranged for flowers for his last journey – something that we had just not thought about, swamped as we were making the arrangements for his funeral. And those folks were also there standing respectfully as the ambulance moved out.

Yet another bunch of good folks, doing their best under the circumstances despite their own fears.

I kept on the tail of the ambulance as the driver drove it fast and furiously through the traffic, seeking to reach the crematorium in time. Finally we reached the place, once again, in Old Delhi.

Here, yet another struggle awaited us.

At first, they were aghast that we had brought a body all the way over there, instead of going somewhere closer to home. Then they said we had not intimated them prior. Finally, the manager referred me to the Pandit Ji who was coordinating the cremations.

He was one hassled man. Not surprising, seeing the sheer number of funeral pyres all around. His first reaction upon hearing my request – get him tomorrow at 11 am. Nothing can be done right now.

Taken aback, I started calling people looking for a morgue.

I was in no mood to argue for a slot for cremating my FIL – firstly, because that just isn’t part of my nature and secondly, because that wasn’t the way he should complete his final journey – begging for a slot.

The ambulance attendant suggested that I ask him again.

But even before I could mull over it, the Pandit Ji himself came over and told us to wait for about 10 minutes and he would do something for us. Yet another good samaritan had decided to go out of his way. As I said, people are fundamentally good. He was just the latest one.

Finally he told one of the crematorium workers to load wood on a cart for the cremation. The guy, named Rahul, asked me to get a couple of people and come along. I told him I was the only one and together, we two went to the shed where wood was stored.

It took us about 30mins to choose and load the wood. Somewhere in this duration, both the ambulance guys too joined us, still wearing their PPE kits in the middle of the Delhi summer, helping us pick and load.

Right there were two more guys going out of their way in our hour of need.

They then also moved on to help make the pyre for my FIL, along with another crematorium worker who, though dead tired, was still in good spirits. As it turned out, he had made about 20-25 pyres thus far in the day, which thankfully, was coming to a close now.

Finally, the pyre was ready and my wife consigned her father to the holy agni, even as her siblings watched on a video call.

It was now time to call it a day. After thanking all those present and paying their fees as needed, plus a bit more, my wife and I started back. Enroute, she got a call from the lady who had been sending tiffin for my FIL for the past few months. Upon learning that he was no more, and realizing that no food would be cooked in the house for the next few days, she insisted upon sending tiffins for us as well.

She was one more good soul offering help without being asked for it.

It had been a long day indeed. We had been all alone, yet there were so many good souls all around to take the load off our backs. With hindsight, somehow it seems that the entire humanity had come together to ensure that things happen without much trouble.

The next day we went to the pyre again to pick up his ‘Asthiyan’ for the final visarjan at the ghat near the Gurudwara Saheb at Maju Ka Tila. Once again, as I carried the load all alone, there was a voice from behind, with one kindly Sikh gentleman asking if he could help.

I declined this time, carting the load all alone and finally handing him back to the Mother Earth.

On the way back, we got our RTPCR test results.

Self and the kids tested negative, while the Missus tested positive. That is a story for another day, after she recovers, though.

All in all, this had been quite an emotional journey which could have been far worse, but for the kindness of known as well as unknown people who took it upon themselves to help us navigate through it all.

May God bless them all