Ukraine War – One Year On

Folks, sharing some thoughts on the Russia-Ukraine War that has just crossed the one year mark. Strictly my opinions, so feel free to disagree.

Let me begin with this horrific video montage of relentless bombardment of a major city, housing millions of non-combatants.

Btw, the above visuals are from the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the great US of A and Even Greater Britain, plus a host of other ‘willing’ partners. Interestingly, next week will mark two decades of that invasion on an utterly false premise, for which the culprits didn’t face ANY sanctions whatsoever! Neither were any warrants issued by any International Courts against the chief perpetrators, as in the case of Vladimir Putin some hours back!

Instead, the victim country was destroyed to the extent that they are still struggling to stand up.

Btw, the same culprits are today collectively united in their ‘horror’ at the invasion of Ukraine by Russia!

So we know why the USA and others invaded and destroyed Iraq. They had irrefutable proof that Iraq had WMDs!

Proof, that was pulled out of thin air! Proof, that some say wasn’t pulled out of thin air, but from some other body part in the nether regions!

But then, that hardly matters, right? No one even talks about that anymore, despite the millions of non-combatants that died.

Well, who will dare talk about Iraq and the horrific abuses there, especially when the culprits themselves are the self-appointed custodians of the ‘Rules Based World Order’, no?

PS: When was the last time you hear about Abu Ghraib? Let me refresh you a bit :-


But then, it is Ukraine that I am supposed to be talking about in this thread, so let’s go there now!

Let me start by replugging this 11 yr old tweet here:

Throughout our history, war has been a constant. So those that are aghast at yet another war, are merely trying to imagine a utopic world which has never existed. Instead, this cacophony of voices on social as well as mainstream media is, IMO, due to the fact that the collective West sees it as an opportunity to get an advantage over Russia.

It is no secret that Russia has been one of their Principal adversaries. So much so that at the end of the cold-war, instead of reaching out to co-opt broken and hugely malleable Russia as a fellow traveller in the world order, they decided to push the knife deeper.

With the disintegration of the USSR, instead of scaling down NATO (and actually promising to do so), it instead galloped closer and closer to Russia, with newer and newer members. The Georgia War of 2009(?) was one Russian reaction that should have told them that NATO was getting too close to Russian borders for their own comfort.

Of course, I am aware NATO is a voluntary organisation and any country has the right to aspire to become a member of the organisation.

But by the same logic, a country that is the exclusive target of an ever-expanding and an ever-closing military alliance to has the right to feel concerned and consequently, secure its own interests, no?

Of course, a pragmatic neighbour would have seen such red-lines, especially from a much larger and powerful neighbour and even if begrudgingly, accepted them and made their peace. But then, you had this in Ukraine:

The war started not on 24th Feb 2022, but instead in 2014 when a democratically elected govt in Ukraine was toppled with the help of Maidan protests and replaced by one that was decidedly Anti-Russia and Anti Ethnic Russians in their own country. This resulted in the Russian invasion of Donbas in Aug 2014, followed by the Minsk Agreement in Sep 2014. However, it broke and Minsk 2 Agreement was signed in Feb 2015.

Interestingly, this brought into focus, the ‘Little Green Men’ that were said to have fought against Ukraine!

Now why I bring out ‘Little Green Men’ in the tweet above was because the same phenomenon is being repeated, but with a Green Screen instead!

The ‘show-man’ is putting up a brilliant show indeed!

And he is being feted by the entire ‘civilized’ world too, as these visuals from his recent Europe visit indicate!


In their own eyes, he is winning against the big bad wolf too! But I shall come to that in a while.

To be frank, atleast in my opinion, Ukraine is just an expendable entity so long as it is able to impose some cost on Russia before dying. Here is what folks are saying about Ukrainians being expendable, with increasing frequency!

Btw, If not the first one to say, but I think I was atleast the first one to claim copyright on this phrase – They will fight Russia till the last Ukrainian!

Heck, even Putin Ji is saying this!

And jokes apart, he isn’t wrong about it either. This is exactly what will happen.

Thanks to its unique circumstances, Ukraine was always doomed to be a fighting arena for great powers, just like Afghanistan and even Tibet have been.

Coming over to the military operations, thanks to their experiences in Chechnya and Georgia, as also Donbas, it is fair to assume that the Russians miscalculated the time required to achieve their military aims.

In addition, by delaying the launch till end of winter olympics in China, the snows thawed out & cross-country movement became much more difficult for their military vehicles.

But most importantly, they miscalculated the amount of military support the West would give Ukraine!

It pretty soon turned from a ‘Special Military Operation’, to an existential war for Russia. They took some time to recalibrate their actions. But the West took it as a sign of collapse and were V.E.R.Y quick to declare victory!

Result: Hubris set in pretty solidly.

Resultantly, the collective euphoria in the West made it nothing short of blasphemous to even talk about Russia having a point of view about their security interests wrt Ukraine! As mentioned above, Zelensky was feted all over.

And why not .. he had stood up to Putin after all!

All Russian voices were drowned out and even de-platformed by the so called CHAMPIONS of free speech!


What that caused, however, was for the West to become prisoners of their own propaganda IMO. Now they just can’t walk off without their citizens crying out bitterly in protest!

Not one of those govts tell their citizens that they kept pushing NATO closer & closer to Russia, and that now they blame Russians for being close to NATO!

They had imposed so many sanctions on Russia that it was bound to fail in its nefarious designs, they told their citizenry instead!

But apparently the sanctions didn’t have the desired impact as had been in the case of .. say .. Iraq!

In short: Whether they like it or not, but from Russia, now it has become an existential war for the Western Nations themselves. Such has been the hubris in them, in fact, that the German Foreign Minister declared war on Russia on behalf of the Entire EU!


Of course, she had to eat her words pretty quickly!

Btw, it is the same Germany that has suffered a direct & massive blow by the sabotage of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, some say done by its own allies! They tried to blame Putin, but by he not reacting to this bait, they are tripping over themselves to apportion blame to someone!

Neither do they tell their citizens that Russia is already in possession of over 20% of Ukrainian territory which they are unlikely to give back! Despite throwing billions of dollars in cash & military aid, all that they have to show is merely a slowed down pace of Russian advance.

And of course, a large number of bank failures! Oh wait, that happened in the USA .. My bad!


So perhaps it is correct to say that all those sanctions have essentially failed?

Ok, so time for a short break from all that you might have read so far. Here’s a video of a reporter and her reporting of the horrific attacks on Ukraine from last year!

(PS: I should’ve said : ‘horrific reporting’ instead of ‘horrific attacks’! My Bad!)

Carrying on, let me start by posing a question: Can Ukraine even dream of a ceasefire if its western benefactors don’t want one? Especially with the leverage that they have created over Ukraine with the 100s of billions of dollars ‘invested’ in the war?

Technically, it is no longer Ukraine fighting Russia.

It is already NATO fighting Russia, with Ukraine merely as a front.

They throw money and equipment in the war, with Ukraine gambling away its sovereign territory and sacrificing the lives of its people.

Not a very bad deal for the West, no, this ‘outsourcing’ of war?

Btw, for all that have been shouting hoarse about the Wagner Group of Russia, I find practically no one even making a peep about the Ukraine Foreign Legion!

Yes, THAT’S the power that comes with the ability to control flow of information and narratives! Of course, it also helps extinguish ‘provocative’ channels broadcasting a harmless event!


But for all the shrill narrative building, the upholders of ‘free’ speech seem to have actually painted themselves into a corner by not leaving any scope for an end to this war short of utter and complete humiliation of Russia, which, btw, doesn’t seem to be happening!

So let’s try and see what the future holds as far as this mess goes .. Some days ago when Germany placed a destroyed Russian tank in front of the Russian Embassy, instead of celebrating it, there were protesters laying flowers, seeking peace.

Fatigue and economic pain is real.

And this DESPITE their foreign minister already having declared war on Russia on behalf of the entire EU!

Btw, it is the same Germnay that is now importing much more expensive LNG from US and other sources than what it would have been getting via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia. Who destroyed the pipeline, is anybody’s guess because neither Russia nor Germany did that!

Going ahead, one thing is for sure – the moment the Russian Parliament passed a resolution to annex certain areas into the Russia State, any negotiation with respect to those is off the table.

As far as Russia goes, fight is now to ensure that Ukraine ceases to be a politico-military problem of any worth. They don’t want a Pakistan on their borders, that’s for sure. So any negotiated end to this war will be at huge cost to Ukraine – geographically as well as otherwise.

A few possible endgame scenarios that might happen are as under:-


Negotiated Settlement

Breaking up of Ukraine (will delve on this a bit more)

Ceasefire, followed by negotiations

Ousting of leadership, either in Ukraine or Russia or both.

Of course, there is one more potential endgame scenario that some folks are talking about in hushed tones. It is this:

The questions I asked in this tweet above still stand. I’ll add another one to it: Might it give them an excuse to finally end the war?

Unsurprisingly, there are idiots who are actually salivating even at this horrific possibility!


Coming over to a more pragmatic (in an ideal world) solution – that of a negotiated settlement. Question is, who will ensure a fair negotiation acceptable to both sides?

The experiences of Minsk 1 and 2 agreements are all too recent and too well known in any case.

In any case, Ukraine stands to lose a LOT of territory East of the Dneiper River even in case of a negotiated settlement. However, what happens to the rest of Ukraine? Can it reasonably expect to survive as a sovereign entity in the aftermath?

Or will it become a state entirely dependent on Western aid to survive, especially after losing much of its productive lands in the East?

And most importantly, will Russia accept this?

Another question: Who will pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine? The comedian is already DEMANDING to be paid hundreds of billions of dollars to keep fighting. Do you reasonably think that his successors will not demand even more monies for reconstruction?

Will the West be able to mount a Marshal Plan for Ukraine?

Will they seek reparations from Russia instead?

Well, we all know how the reparations thing will pan out in any case.

To cut a long story short, I personally don’t see any outcome that does not involve complete and utter end to Ukraine as it existed on 24th Feb 2022. All that can be done is to try and salvage as much of it as can be done.

All in all, it is a very pessimistic outcome that seems likely. Yet, the earlier we get to it, the better it is. Western sanctions on Russia and assistance to Ukraine has not worked as they had anticipated.

If not controlled now, the war seems quite likely to expand in scope, with levels of involvement (and stakes) of outside powers may end up going even higher. The recent incident with the Russian aircraft and the American drone over Black Sea is a pointer in that direction.

Of course, there is already talk in more than just a handful of world capitals regarding getting access to nukes, in order to ensure their own safety. Poland, Iran, Japan, S. Korea come to mind as far as this goes. And they do have a logic they believe in.

Of course, one positive outcome of this war could be the revival and scaling up of the American MIC which will only come in handy in case things with China go kinetic in the near future, just like they almost did during Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last year!

As I end this chain of thoughts, all I will offer is that the era of globalization is well and truly finished. The best outcome is to cut losses and sue for peace, instead of shouting about an imaginary big bad wolf outside your house.

The world order as it existed till Feb last year is well and truly finished. It took two world wars and a failed League of Nations to have come to that world order. A new one will come with much more pain, IMO.

In the end, I’ll just add this graphic here without any further comment:




Thanks for your patience!

On the Current Mess in Pakistan

Ok folks, sharing some thoughts on the current state of Pakistan.

Strictly my opinions. Feel free to disagree!

Been a while since I did a blog post, lets see how this one goes ..

First and foremost, I would like to start with an undisputable fact:

This is the longest that the Pakistan Army has NOT directly ruled Pakistan!

Yup, you may read the above statement again and take some time to do some mental mathematics if you so desire!

Now, why might that be, one might ask.
Well, it is NOT because they have decided to stay in their constitutionally mandated role instead of meddling in politics (and business as well, but that topic is ‘out of course’ for the time being). Instead, I would blame the Kerry-Lugar Bill of 2009(?) that forbade any aid to Pakistan in case of a military coup!

Heck that was the reason why the first elected govt of Pakistan could complete its full term under a single head of govt!

But then, the key word in the tweet regarding no direct military rule is the word ‘DIRECT‘!

The Brown Panted Ones may have gone in the background, but they never let go of their political power, so to say! In fact, they seem to have developed a taste for backseat driving!


There can be no greater testimony to the fact that Brown Panted Ones are the real rulers of Bhikharistan, than the various political entities still vying for the ‘attentions’ of the Army in order to further their own political fortunes as Pakistan heads out to the next election.

I will come to that in a while. But first let me get on with the current situation out there in Bhikharistan. It goes something like this:-

1.   On the verge of default.

2.   Riots and murders for as little as a bag of flour.

3.   Political paralysis (as always).

4.  Increasing centrifugal forces.


It isn’t the first time they have faced these challenges. But it does seem a bit ‘different’ this time, no?

Perhaps because the world is no longer just throwing money at them?

Heck, even the almighty Amreeka is ignoring them!

(PS: Pl don’t bring up the Bhikharistanis dancing in ecstasy when the USA pulled out of Afghanistan not so long ago, crowing that they have defeated ‘Yet Another Superpower’! PPS: Pl also ignore the kicks on the Packie backsides being delivered daily by the same Afghanistan!)

Basically, their economic model of Begging, Borrowing (and printing FICN) to sustain their economy is under a LOT of stress because neither are they able to beg (to their heart’s content) or even borrow due to the chickens finally coming home to roost!

All those pledges for flood relief fund that the smug Bhikharistanis ‘extracted’ just a few weeks ago, turned out to be vague promises of loans that would .. GASP!! .. need to be repaid!! Understandably, there are food riots on their streets!

Do Watch this video below:-

So .. will Pakistan FINALLY default?

Well, this is a question I asked nearly five years ago, leading to yet another thread which carries on still!

Basically, they’ve been in hand-to-mouth situation since a really really long time and have somehow at the last moment someone throws some crumbs their way and they are able to live to beg another day!

In fact that should be the new motto of Bhikharistan: Live to Beg Another Day!

Of course, that penury and poverty doesn’t apply to their feudal elites or their Brown Panted Ones who continue on the path to ‘prosperity’ as is adequately indicated by their ever growing bellies!




And as far as the mango people go, well, they can eat cake, no?

Heck, the feudal lords will at times personally deliver those cakes!

So what comes next?

This is what I will delve upon further on in the thread. The one thing that I am waiting for (and Insha’llah, it would happen soon) is their forex reserves going below the $4Bn mark.

THAT would be a good psychological blow, IMO, since it’s been a while since their forex reserves went to the ‘Three Point Something’ mark!

But Will they default?

Seems increasingly likely too. But then there is always a billion or two that benefactors can throw at them!

Any additional money thrown their way will only result in kicking of the can a bit further down the road before the inevitable happens. Now I’m no economist to hazard a guess as to how the situation might pan out in case they do default, but then I can make a guess!

Sri Lanka scenario of some months ago gives a template of what might happen. Massive protests .. toppling of govt .. occupation of mansions of the elites .. you name it!

But Bhikharistan is a bit different.

And no, I’m NOT talking about nukes!

Instead, what I am talking about is a rabid, fanatical population armed with perhaps the largest inventory of weapons with civilian citizens after America. Once they become a mob, things would be really interesting to watch!

But that might still be some time away, especially if the Brown Panted rulers can somehow ‘divert’ their attention away from empty plates within and an enemy outside.

You get my drift, right?

It may not be too long before they accuse India of stirring up troubles on their borders. But then, if they indeed do so, what happens next?

Will they muster the courage to ‘teach India a lesson’?

Especially with the experience of Balakot & loss of an F-16? And of trembling legs?

Interestingly, the average Pakistani citizen is more and more apprehensive of and at some level, even enamoured with the rapid growth that India has achieved. They do realise that India has pulled so far away that there is no way Pakistan can ever hope to catch up anymore.

Hence, heightened tensions on the Durand Line might be one way to rally their starving population!

But then, knowing the absurdities they are known for, they might STILL choose to poke India yet again! This quote from a senior military officer sums it up!

Yet, we see peace overtures (only to be quickly made contingent upon handing over Kashmir to them!) from Bhikharistan. What I make of it is pure and simple signalling to benefactors that ‘Look, we are seeking peace. Now give us alms!’

Kashmir is something they just can’t give up.

Kashmir has been the reason for their existence.

Kashmir will be the reason for their downfall!

They’ve been having wet dreams ever since their very birth about ‘freeing’ Kashmir. And to think they will move on now, is pure stupidity!

This is a song from Pakistani film Bedari of 1957. They copied the song from ‘Jagriti’ of 1954 & added the RR about Kashmir! 1957!

And u think they will give up just because they’re a few billion dollars short today?

There can never be peace till the time Pakistan exists! Period!

They are fast approaching a critical mass of sorts. Thereafter, gravity takes over and things become irreversible, even for the Brown Panted ones to be able to take care of.

Whenever the Pakistan Army have found themselves in such a situation, they have had no choice but to lash out. They have two options when it comes to lashing out – Either outside their borders, or inside.

Let me explain ..

Firstly, their default option for lashing out is of course, outside their borders. But that only happened once – in 1971. Yet that too was because they had lashed out within on their own Bengali population and things spiralled out of control!

Remember, for all the fake bravado, the survival instinct of the Brown Panted Ones is really strong. That’s why, when in trouble they mostly lash out on their own people.

After 1965, there was an internal coup and Ayub Khan was thrown out.

Thereafter, once the rout of 1971 was reasonably distant, they hanged the Prime Minister and ushered in yet another dictatorship!

Same happened after 1999 humiliation as well, when Musharraf ‘gifted’ himself to Pakistan.

Get my drift?

I fully expect another internal crackdown soon, or perhaps another military man in power, IF they are unable to create a situation on their borders. But then, as I said in the beginning of this thread, that’s just my opinion!

That is not to say that the Pakistan Army itself isn’t under any stress. This is the first time perhaps that so many of their subjects (or as they are called in normal countries, citizens) are openly abusing them! Their own rank and file too aren’t blameless either.

The intoxication which comes with unquestioned power, has really made them believe themselves to be a ‘class apart’ from the hoi-polloi! Heck, even their ‘better’ halves are in on the game. Do go thru this thread below! I insist!

Of course, it is only fair to assume that the rank and file of the Pakistan Army too wouldn’t stay untouched with all that is happening in their country. A ‘Daadhi-Wala’ Vs ‘Daaru-Wala’ clash within the Brown Panted Ones in the near future cannot be ruled out either, especially if things go farther south.

Now that would be fun, right? 😀

In such a scenario, would they swallow their pride and sue for genuine peace? Or would they go Kamikaze with an aim to take down as many ‘Kafirs’ with them as they can, just like this guy in the video below dreams of doing?

In case they do go Kamikaze, would they only concentrate on Kafirs in India?

Esp since their missiles can reach Israel?

Heck, the same missiles can even reach China!

Food for thought, no?

Basically, they are well on their way to becoming the entire World’s problem instead of merely being India’s problem. The world too is beginning to realise this. Hence the reluctance to dole out free monies any more. Of course the Ukraine War too has diverted their attention!

For the time being, it suits everyone to keep Bhikharistan on liquid oxygen – on the verge of default being their default setting – so that they are kept busy within!

Yes, there can be a future scenario wherein India sees an influx of refugees from a failed/failing Pakistan.

What might we do then, right?

Especially with the loonie brigade within, whose hearts bleed for their Pakistani ‘brethren’, even at the cost of national security! I touched upon this thought some time back.

The option I found to be the most suitable then was to establish refugee camps within Pakistani territory. I still stand by this. There is absolutely no way we can let in the hordes of radicalized loonies into our borders. Feed them. But keep them away!

Of course, that contingency may still be a long way out, if at all.

But remember, this is a civilizational conflict. It will not end with the failure of Pakistan.

It will only end with the failure of the IDEA of Pakistan.

Do read the above statements once again, if you must.

It is THIS that we need to keep in mind as we move ahead to our rightful place in the comity of Nations. The world at large is headed for days of geopolitical uncertainty over the next decade or so. We too are unlikely to remain unaffected.

That said, we need to be well prepared to achieve what we wish to/need to. For that, we need to know the desired end-state in our neighbourhood.

Might it be multiple Pakistans instead of one?

Or successors of current Pakistani State, but friendlier?

Or even an Afg on our borders?

Remember, during the first Taliban regime in Kabul in the 1990s, India didn’t have a diplomatic mission there. This time, however, not only does the Indian diplomatic mission in Kabul continues to function, but also actively engage the Taliban. What might be the reason?


As I wind up this blog post, let me come back to Bhikharistan.

In the immediate future, I don’t see any improvement in their situation because of the very fact that they might be looking at it as a problem for the next Govt, given the elections that are fast approaching!

But I wouldn’t be very surprised either if they decide to ‘make a concession’ and ‘permit’ India to sell them essential food items in the near future! Packie PM’s recent statement on this account might have been a test balloon which sadly got punctured by non-response from India!

All in all, buy some popcorn and enjoy the show unfolding out there! I finish this thread with this video of a Bhikharistani being shown his true worth. Thanks for your patience!


And this one too!

:End of Blog Post:

Kashmir – A ‘Different’ Take!

Came across this blog post from a veteran officer who revisited Kashmir as a civilian. A mighty interesting piece. Highly recommended reading.

Different take on Kashmir

Totally worth the 3 minutes of your life that it asks for. Sharing some thoughts on it ..

Here’s the tweet that brought out the blog post to my TL.

Now this is something really interesting since in a decade plus of my Twitter existence I don’t think I ever came across such an account of viewing Kashmir Valley from a different perspective.

I’ve read the blog post a quite few times since this morning. It is a short account of an army officer who has served in the Valley with a gun in his hand, and now returns for a different business altogether, in his new role in the organized retail sector.

A wonderfully penned chain of thoughts that has triggered this thread. The contrast in both the situations couldn’t be more different, as is aptly depicted by the two photographs used in the blog.


The first picture depicts the person while in uniform, a gun in hand, possibly on a shooting range since one can just about make out what seems to be a practice target ahead.

The second pic of of the same person, this time NOT in uniform, standing in what looks like a saffron field. You can still see some uniformed persons in the background, however they aren’t there because of the blogger, or for him!


I’ll go thru the blog post in a while. But what I intend to write before that is a perspective from two different perspectives – One of a fauji and the one from the locals that @different_take interacted with as part of his new job.

Firstly, the young employees of his organized retail chain that he had gone to meet and possibly, assess/review their work.
One strand that stands out constantly is the optimism in their hearts, regarding their future.
This is a HUGE marker of current situation.
I’ll explain how.

You see, this is a generation of Kashmiris that was born AFTER the Valley erupted in violence in the 90s. Most of them would be under 30 years old. All that they would have seen in their young lives would be the fight between Pakistan sponsored terror and Indian security forces.

In short, I would call this a generation brought up in the shadow of guns and death ever since they first opened their eyes.

An entire generation that would, in all probability, be suffering from some sort of PTSD in varying degree, both individually as well as collectively.

If you think I am kidding, I’ll remind you that Burhan Wani was alive till just over six years ago, and the intense demonstrations and stone pelting after his killing would have had atleast a few of these same people or atleast their acquaintances too throwing stones.

Mind you, I make the above statement from a totally neutral point of view, just as a statement of fact. Especially since the areas that @different_take talks about in his blog post included some of the most violent ones in that phase – Anantnag, Pampore, Bandipur, Baramula ..

Going further back in time, their school yrs would have seen long closures thanks to the never ending Bandhs called by various ‘stakeholders’!

Talking of bandhs, when was the last time you heard ANY news about Hurriyat Conference? Or anyone even talking about them? Get my point?

One can only imagine these kids growing up into the young adults that they are today – With not even a stray strand of hope for a ‘normal’ future.

Yet, here they are, excited to be on the cusp of a journey that will bring about prosperity to their lands.

These are not my words, mind you!

I am merely paraphrasing from the blog post!

Imagine a veteran who would have planned over and over again when going through these areas, now doing so in a taxi, and working out of there .. just as he would anywhere else in the country!


Moving on to the men in uniform who been a permanent presence over the past few decades, they too are stakeholders in the situation in the Valley, IMO. Heck, they put their very lives on the stake, losing cherished brothers ever so often in the line of duty.

Yet here is one of ‘them’ who now walks the same streets without a weapon and without any worry either! The locals too are slowly getting used to NOT having security forces everywhere on their streets. The last statement in this screenshot sums it all up beautifully!


Of course, the positive impact of such a large number of troops on the local economy over the years too is not lost on the local traders.

Before moving ahead in this blog post, let me take a step back and go back a few steps, to the two photographs shared above. Will talk a bit about the sheer symbolism that I see here.


This photo is from his days in uniform. The person has his back turned towards you. A weapon in hand. Body language that is not very communicative, and even ‘cold’ if you may call it so.


Now contrast that with this pic – A carefree smile. Relaxed demeanour. And what seems to be an identity card of the current employer around the neck!

I’d say it is this very contrast that quite sums up the rapid changes that the situation in Kashmir has seen – from the never ending stone pelting, violence and deaths to the current state when individuals on both ends of the earlier reality – faujis and locals – are not only working together without any fear, but are also looking towards an even brighter and prosperous future in these very lands where both would have seen dear ones die.

A LOT have been accomplished by all concerned, especially since the abrogation of Article 370 and thereafter.
The govt has made the separatists and vested political interests, irrelevant.
The security forces have ensured continuing peace, occasional incidents notwithstanding.

But most importantly, the LOCALS have embraced the change. They are the ones that are working hard towards a better future for themselves. And mind you, those born after 1990 are doing so without any prior reference point, or experience of any bit of lasting peace in their lands!

And of course, there are the ever present tourists from Gujarat!

But jokes apart, it is a really heartening blog post to read. So much so, that I have actually read it more than just a few times.

Of course, difficult times are always hiding just behind the next corner. One is aware that enemies outside & within would do anything to ensure that Kashmir gets to a boil again, since it would suit them. Even if it is at the cost of the very Kashmiris they claim to represent!

Who knows, they might yet succeed in scuttling the current development. But then, that fear is not something that should actually stop the good folks from aspiring and actually working towards a peaceful and prosperous future. Hence, the gladness I felt on reading this blog post!

Mind you, THIS was Pampore sometime in 2016. An attack that took the lives of quite a few security personnel.


And here is the same Pampore and someone who was part of the same security apparatus now travelling as any local or tourist would do. And it felt safe!


This in itself is a huge commentary on how far we’ve come as a Nation in securing our crown.


I’ll end this chain of thoughts here. I just had to write it after I went thru the blog. Hope I’ve made some sense.

Do read the blog for yourselves.

Here’s praying for an even brighter future!


On the Russia-Ukraine War (As on 17 Oct 2022)

Folks, sharing some thoughts on the still ongoing Russia-Ukraine War, esp in light of recent developments. Let’s see how it goes!

At the outset, I’ll begin with a sincere ‘R.I.P Ukraine’.

I’ll explain my POV further on in this blog post. Feel free to disagree.

However, before moving ahead I’ll leave this chain of thoughts blogged just over 9months ago here. Glad to see I was atleast partly correct!

On the Russia-Ukraine Issue

Anyone with a reasonable thinking head on his shoulders would have come to a conclusion by now that Russia is just not going to stop before either Ukraine is utterly destroyed, or a Russia-friendly regime replaces the Kiev Comedian that has gone amok. However, that doesn’t mean they would just back off from interfering in Russia’s backyard, especially after repeated assertions of this being construed as a Redline by Russia!

On the contrary, nothing would please them more than to see Russia getting into a prolonged war. 

I’d say that the ‘wounds’ of Vietnam and Afghanistan are still fresh enough for the ‘Civilized’ World, or America, in other words, to seek the same for Russia as well. Yet, there remains a crucial difference – Ukraine is pretty much Russian backyard, unlike USA that was fighting an enemy thousands of miles from home. However, parallels with the relationship of Cuban Missile Crisis to the Americans, with the prospect of a Western Stooge Ukraine for Russia will never be heard. It would be a bit too ‘inconvenient’, to say the least.

In the meantime, thousands of common Ukrainians will keep dying, just so that the big powers can play their shadow games on their lands, at their expense. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – They will fight Russia till the last Ukrainian. Period.

Don’t believe me?

Well, I’d say this report shines a light not on the efficacy or accuracy of Russian weapons, but rather on the lack of Ukrainian civilian casualties!

Now THAT would’ve been great PR for warmongers, no?

Once again, just my opinion. Feel free to disagree!


So .. on the topic of PR, what could showcase a true Wartime LEADER, than videography ahead of a green screen, hainji? Especially, when ‘heroic’ background can be added at leisure subsequently!

Nope, this is NOT the misinformation campaign that ‘free’ media cries about bitterly!


I think in video, it seems even ‘cooler’, no? I’m sure that Shri Goebbels Ji would wholeheartedly endorse this propaganda from the nether world where he must have taken up residence after his death!

That is not to say that the ‘brave’ camera crews are not putting their own lives at risk, what with missiles and kamikaze drones flying about freely in Ukrainian skies!

Moving on to the other side of the borders, news of the mobilization by Russian last month seems to have already been forgotten, thanks to what has followed since then.

But remember, post WW1 and WW2, I don’t think Russians ever ordered such a mobilization.

This announcement by itself should have been an alarm bell for the West.

Do note I didn’t say Ukraine, but instead, I said ‘West’. That is because IMO, the Ukrainian leadership have already handed over control over what comes next, to the West.

Once again, feel free to disagree.

What caused Russia to mobilize was a series of setbacks on the battlefield, thanks to the uninterrupted and unparalleled influx of advanced weaponry from the West into Ukraine. They chose NOT to see the fact that thus far Russian attacks were kept relatively localised to what was assumed to be lands inhabited mostly by ethnic Russian peoples.

Pretty soon came the referenda in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, this time backed up with a Russian military that was rapidly increasing the number of troops on Ukrainian borders.

A sensible leadership would have read the tea leaves and sought a negotiated settlement, even if from a relatively weaker position.

But for that, you need a politician leading the country, not a showman recording statements in front of a green screen!

On the contrary, I’d say Ukrainian leadership was egged on to ‘keep fighting’, perhaps with vague promises of over military help (remember the charade of admitting Ukraine to NATO some weeks back that was vetoed by some members?).

And predictably, they fell for it!

They needed to do something ‘spectacular’. Hence came the attack on the #CrimeaBridge. The entire western world went into a frenzy of backslapping each other and patting their own backs as well.


But just like their other pet, Pakistan, they failed (or maybe chose not) to wargame how Russia would react. That bridge wasn’t merely a key logistic infrastructure, but a symbol of Russian resurgence and assertiveness as well.

It was an attack on their national pride, I’d say.

To think that Russians would just roll over and go back to their bases after such an attack, would have been idiocy of the highest level. Of course, the inevitable happened – the war became truly ‘all-encompassing’ for the Ukrainians.


What was a localized conflict, now expanded to the entire Ukrainian landmass, with the latest round of attacks over Kiev happening earlier today. I still remember visuals of the ‘BESTEST‘ Air Defence Systems being gifted to Ukraine. But this is what it came down to ultimately:-


Of course, the voices of ‘outrage’ became even shriller as the days went by. However, if you noticed, there was one thing that was constant in all this right from the beginning of the conflict – It was Putin’s war against Ukraine.

It has always been Putin that was painted as the bad man hell bent upon destroying a smaller country.

Never mind, that the smaller country itself is being egged on with vague promises of NATO membership by the same folks who now act aghast at the punishment being meted out to it!

Of course, a NATO membership for Ukraine would never have happened in the best of the circumstances, not to talk about what shit it is in as of right now. For all their boom and bluster, they are happy to fight the Russians so long as their own soldiers aren’t the ones dying.

What followed soon after the missiles over Kiev was one expert after another, talking about the possibility of Putin using a tactical nuke against Ukraine. In fact, some idiots were actually looking forward to it. Climate change, you see!



A lot of sabres too were taken out from the storage and rattled loudly!


But fact of the matter remains that however sad that day might be, but in case Putin decides to actually use a nuke, even a tactical nuke, over Ukraine what will the West do?

Will they nuke Russia in return? And risk a nuclear retaliation on themselves?

Or will they sanction Russia?

Oh, wait! Haven’t they done that already??!!

In fact, the sanctions have instead hurt the Western economies much more than Russia!

Being a critical supplier of much needed gas and oil, Russia has been able to weather the sanctions storm much much better than Europe or even the USA!



It is bound to be a cold winter for much of Europe.

In fact, this is the reason that they continued to buy Russian gas throughout the war, effectively funding it, even as they supplied weapons to Ukraine and blamed India for purchasing Russian oil!

But as the war dragged on (majorly due to Europe and USA’s own hyperbole), they realised the need for gas in the fast arriving winters. Already, common people in Europe were feeling the heat, even if merely figuratively, since there was little gas to actually heat up their homes!



No wonder, they were having second thoughts! Because instead of merely Ukrainians, their own citizens were now suffering!


And VOILA .. the NordStream pipeline got MAGICALLY damaged!

Or was it sabotaged by ‘someone’ out of a ‘necessity’ to remove any hope of gas supplies in winter, thereby removing any reason for civil protests against their warmonger govts?

Never mind. No need to answer that question!

Coming on to what comes next ..

Well, one thing is for sure .. the war will NOT end as long as Zelensky is in charge. Some might say the same for Putin as well, but thanks to the info blockade on Russian perspective, one isn’t really sure whether a successor would cease the war!

Btw, I hope that the very casual way that I talked about Putin’s successor highlights a thought that I have been having for some days now: By making it Putin’s War against Ukraine and scaremongering about nukes, is it correct to say that the West is positing for an assassination?

All said and done, in the long run there is only one outcome for Ukraine out of two possibilities that I see: Either accept the curse of geography and learn to live with Russia; or die trying to do otherwise.

All the rest is a matter of inconsequential detail.

The world is fast heading for a major shake-up. In fact, I’d say that we are well into one. How that ends up will only be known once the dust settles, which might take upto a decade or even more. But one thing is for sure – the current world order is dying fast.

Dare I say, India too won’t be left untouched.

Multiple hits have already started ever since the West realized that India doesn’t quit appreciate a ‘With us or Against us’ kind of scenario and has its own interests as a priority instead. And no, it isn’t for the first time that India has acted in its own self-interest either!

However, the West does realise the seriousness of the war they are fighting this time round. Many say that they won the cold war. But with the benefit of hindsight, they are still fighting it.

And it seems to be getting HOTTER each passing minute, even as their citizenry freezes!

This is what puts into context the increasing hits against India by the likes of the UK, US and even Germany. But what they don’t realise is that we live, and actually thrive, in far more contradictions everyday than they can even dream about!



Just take a Rs 10 currency note and count the number of languages printed on it and you will understand what I wrote above. Tolerance for ambiguity is something that is no less than a critical survival skill for politicians / govts in India.

And dare I say, we are working in our own way to find our own footing in the rapidly transitioning world order. We may yet fail in our endeavour but atleast that won’t be for the lack of trying; this is something that I am sure of.

Currency swaps, gold purchases, internationally growing UPI network, controlled foodgrain exports are but a handful of steps that are overtly visible. One can only imagine the number of equally or even more critical steps happening behind the scenes that you & I may never know!

As far as the UN is concerned, well, it has been and continues to be inconsequential. It came about as a result of two world wars and a failed League of Nations and reflected the global balance of power at that time. That balance is rapidly changing.

They are struggling to adapt!


It is indeed an ‘exciting’ time to be alive. Dare I say, if we are lucky to be alive at the end of the next decade, the world that we die in, would be much different from the one we were born in. Whether that would be good or bad for you and/or me, needs to be seen!

As far as Ukraine in its current form is concerned, they already are collateral damage. In fact, history and geography had predicated this outcome for them. This is what I tweeted more than 8 years ago. It is a wonderful book, btw. Even more relevant today.

Btw, talking about the UN and its priorities, I think this tweet is a perfect specimen of where they are headed!


Refer a few paragraphs above regarding the Nordstream sabotage. THIS is what they were banking upon, even as they continued to arm Ukraine against Russia. A possible understanding might have been continued gas supplies, as happened even during the heights of the cold war, perhaps?


They failed to realize that in a fight for the very survival, something would have to give way. And that their own hands might be forced by an undersea sabotage!


Talking about gas shortages, I’ll just leave a few screenshots that I found amusing, to say the least! The last screenshot of a tweet by @ThePollLady is a personal favourite!









On a more serious note, what is happening in the world today is not some fluke, or due a megalomaniac Putin. Instead, it was something that was pre-planned, but got delayed due to Trump getting elected! “2017 will be the year of offense” – Lindsey Graham (PS: Don’t miss the gleeful hand rubbing!)



So what comes next, you ask?

Well, my reply to that would be ‘Who Knows!’

All I can say is that a lot of actors are involved, all at the same time. This includes India, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and even Pakistan.

How this interplay of power and money pans out, is going to be really interesting to watch and follow. What I genuinely believe is that a new world order is round the corner. But to achieve that would require a LOT of blood, since the wheels of history do not move without that.

So Brace yourselves, folks! From a de-dollarized economic order, to a multipolar world order or even an entirely chaotic interplay of nations & countries, anything is possible! Till then, wait & watch it is.

Karmic Cycle carries on, for nations, civilizations as well as individuals

Thank you for your patience. I’ll finish this chain of thoughts here, with this self-congratulatory tweet!

A Fly On The Wall in the GHQ on the Morning of 05 Aug 2019!

(This chain of thoughts was tweeted on the night of 5th August 2019. Somehow I forgot to archive this in the blog. So here it is!)

So this is straight from the mouth of a fly on the wall in GHQ, Rawalpindi about the goings on since 10:30am PST earlier this day.

Here goes ..

The Brown Pants Chief was tunned .. err, sorry .. stunned upon hearing the Indian Home Minister. Did Amit Shah really say what Bajwa had just heard? Or was it his ever present companion – ear wax – that had caused him to hear something else entirely?

It was a bit too early in the day, but what needed to be done couldn’t be delayed any more. After mulling over whether he should do it or not, he picked up the secure telephone line on his desk. And passed a short and crisp order – ‘Oye ADC, chheti ik glass lai ke aa!’

Now while he waited for his ADC to get him his favourite crystal glass, he took out the keys to the safe kept safely hidden inside his office. One moment later, the key was in his ears, scraping out the ear wax for the fourth time this morning.

Damn, it felt sooooo good!

Ears cleaned, he went back to his favourite news channel – NDTV – to confirm his worst fear.

Yes Amit Shah had indeed announced not just the abrogation of Article 370 & 35A, but also hived away Ladakh from J&K. Not just that, but Jammu and Kashmir was to be a Union Territory henceforth.

O B***C*** .. he shouted at no one in particular, just as the young and beautiful Captain Jamal entered his office with his crystal glass!

Get me the Propagandu-in-Chief, he thundered at the ADC.

Yes Sir, the shaking youngster replied and practically ran out of his office!

It was not even 11 am, but he needed that scotch to calm his nerves. So out came the key once again, and this time instead of his ear, it went into the safe.

Out came his bottle of Blue Label, bought from the Duty Free in Washington!

Yes, it would help him think better!

He was on his third and (hopefully) last tot when in came the Propagandu-in-Chief, smiling his irritating smile.

Oye Ghafoore, hunn ki kariye?

Don’t worry Sir, replied the Propagandu-in-Chief, I have already personally cleared the hashtags that we will trend on twitter!

Those Indians will not know what hit them. Aap bas dekhte jaiye Janab kaisi aag lagayenge hum!

The Supreme Brown Panted one let out a loud sigh ..

Then he asked – Ghafoor Janab, toh phir ye Indians Article 370 phir se wapas le aayenge?

Predictably, Propagandu-in-Chief broke into that toothy grin of his because he had nothing to say!

Ghafoor Saab, now you know why you still haven’t been promoted to become a crore .. err .. corps commander?

And just like that, the grin vanished!

And what the fcuk is this #KashmirParFinalFight wala hashtag that you have highlighted, hain? Don’t make those fanboys / fangirls ask for something you cannot deliver.

Kaun ladega Indian Army se? Aur Air Force / Navy se?

Aap jayenge?


Taken aback, Propagandu-in-Chief offered an explanation.

Lekin Janab, Balakot ke baad ki saari fights to hum hee jeete hain .. kam se kam twitter par hee sahi! You don’t know Janab,even last night I won another Twitter War, this time against @AdityaRajKaul!

Ye dekho screenshot!


Oye Ghafoore, B***C***, agge ki karna hai?, Bajwa slipped into vernacular, unable to take this sophisticated bullshit anymore!

Janab, aap jaisa bolenge waisa hoga, Propagandu-in-Chief hit the ball back in his boss’ court with equal ‘finesse’!

How long did we take to issue a formal statement after the Osama bin Laden raid?

Janab, 48 hours.

Ok .. the Boss replied .. he wasn’t too keen on breaking the record.

Btw Janab, apne DGISPR wale handle se ek condom wala statement daal diya jaye?

Oye khotey, CONDEMN hota hai! And no, let the bloody civilians reply. Aisi cheezon mein khud panga nahi lena kabhi.

Ji Janab, Should I call Imran Saheb?

No wait, let me call him.

Oye, uski kal raat ki utar gayi hogi na ab tak?

Utar gayi hogi janab!

Bajwa – Oye Imran, oye uth gaya tu? .. Good, have you heard the news? .. Good, Trump ko phone laga toh, let us hear what he has to say about this Kashmir thing .. Achha? .. Sachchi? .. Chal koi na, let us wait for a while then ..

All OK Janab?, Propagandu-in-Chief asked.

Oye nai oye, Imran was saying that Trump abhi so raha hoga. Washington mein abhi bhi raat hai na. In any case, India may be looking to hire Trump to actually mediate on OUR ‘Azad’ Kashmir!

An involuntary ‘Otteri’ escaped Ghafoora’s mouth!

So what do we do now, Janab?, Propagandu Boy asked his Boss even as he stared at the bottle of Blue Label longingly!

Koi na, do one thing, add one more hashtag to your twitter campaign with UN and maybe OIC also. If not on battlefield, we will show them on Twitter atleast.

Propagandu-in-Chief suddenly perked up, the long awaited promotion back in sight!

Already done that janab – ye dekhiye screenshot!, said he even as he gave himself a mental high five for being so clever!


It seemed that the Boss too was happy to see it.

Yes, he was going to give him a Shabash!

Ya khuda, maza aa gaya! Ab promotion duur nahi! Thank you Amit Shah Bhai!

A loud OYE from the Boss however, brought the daydreaming Shri Propagandu-in-Chief back to the present!

OYE KHOTEY, what kind of hashtag is this#UNandOICsaveKashmiri ?

Abe, ab log bolenge ke Twitter pe bhi bheekh maangne laga hai Pakistan.

And just like that, Ghafoor Miyan’s wet dream of a promotion came to an end!

REMOVE THIS HASHTAG, thundered the Boss!

Err .. Janab .. this is one of our best performing hashtags this morning .. the average citizen is very happy with it.

But no, the boss wasn’t interested in any explanation.

And then he let out an inconvenient truth!

I DON’T CARE, saala bhikhariyon ki kaum ho gayi hai hamari.

Ji Janab, came the expected reply!

But Janab, what about an official statement on the issue?


Lekin Janab, kuchh to bolna padega.

Why should the Pakistan Army be speaking on foreign affairs?, asked the BrownPants-in-Chief.

Before he could control it, an involuntary chuckle escaped Propagandu-in-Chief’s mouth!

Pakistan Army is after all, the OWNER of Pakistan .. or whatever was left of it after 1971!

Lekin Janab, kuchh to bolenge na hum .. kam se kam apni awam ke liye hee?

GET LOST .. NO STATEMENT .. came the next command from the Chief Brown Pants who was on his fifth ‘tot’ of Blue Label by now!

And out ran Ghafoora, praying that the Boss doesn’t remember this conversation when he wakes up!

With this, the fly also flew away!

But on a more serious note, it has been more than 12 hrs since the announcement to trash Article 370 was made in the Indian Parliament. Yet there has been no word on it by ISPR, or Asif Ghafoor’s personal handle, or even Imran Khan’s handle!

Heck, there has been not a SINGLE tweet by them all throughout this day, which is, well a bit out of ‘character’, since they are normally fairly prolific with their twitter handles!

One can very well imagine the dance of headless chickens going on in Rawalpindi & Islamabad!

For all their social media bravado, when time comes to put their money where their mouths are, they all clam up! What is interesting is that after systematically working up the yahoos that compromise much of their awam, now they don’t know how to fulfill their ‘expectations’!

The entire Govt of Pakistan had gone into a tizzy when the bin Laden raid happened. It was perhaps for the first time that a national govt didn’t know what to say, for a full 48 hours!

What today’s events have done is that it has made them go mute all over again, the utterance of their loudmouthed foreign minister notwithstanding!

THIS, folks, is the impact on Pakistan of what the GOI has done!

I conclude this blog post with this twitter poll, posted in the immediate aftermath of the Balakot strike:-

A Short Horror Story – Of a Temporary Suspension of a Cherished Twitter Account!

This chain of thoughts was tweeted on 12 April 2019. However, the good old moi forgot to archive it here in the blog. So here goes, even if 3.5 years too late!

Folks, sharing the story of the day my account ‘Temporarily Restricted’ by the good folks at Twitter.

Why I share this, you ask?


It began late night on 10 Apr 2019. I had just finished yet another tiring day of chhutti, doing nothing, when I realized I should do something!

That something turned out to be a thread on Shri Propagandu-in-Chief and the ‘भसड़’ he had created about all his F-16s being alive!

So late, that by the time I finished the thread, it was not even 10 April, but 11th April! So I decided to call it a night and went off to sleep since I felt that I should be well rested for another day of .. well .. doing nothing!

I slept soundly that night, patting myself on the back for yet another brilliant thread. And then, despite it being a chhutti day, I still woke up almost at the crack of dawn – at 8am!

The Missus was busy because .. err .. she was not the one on chhutti   😀

One ‘not so loving‘ glance from her and I decided to make my morning cup of tea myself! As the water boiled, I unlocked my ‘very’ smart phone and opened Twitter. Anticipation and Excitement was high. (Because of that ‘brilliant’ thread of last night, remember?)

Hmm.. Twitter seems a bit ‘different’ today.

Must be a new update, I mused.

Until my ‘very’ smart phone finally opened the app. And my world came crashing down!

The good folks of Twitter seemed a tad bit unhappy with me!

So unhappy, that they even created a graphic, just for me!


Disclaimer: Above graphic is shared strictly for academic purposes, lest I lose my account again!

So, the algorithm developed by the good folks at Twitter had decided that I was being hateful for calling a Paki, a Paki!

But they were still quite considerate, I must say.

Delete that tweet & you’ll have full control over your account within 12hrs, they offered. In the interim, you can browse twitter, but not engage with anyone except via DM, they said.

As I read the message, I could almost picture one of my strict school teachers admonishing me!

However, they knew that I too might have a point and that they might be wrong. So they even offered me an alternative to deleting the tweet. APPEAL, AND YE SHALL BE HEARD, they said.

But that benevolence came with a caveat – THY APPEAL SHALL TAKE SEVEN DAYS, it read.

I made a mental note: In case I make a social media app some day, I’ll hire the same legal experts as twitter. Atleast they have a sense of humour!

But, mental musings apart, there was a decision to be made.

Thankfully, I was prompt in making it.

I promptly deleted that tweet!

I could almost hear a sigh of relief at the other end by the ‘good’ folks of Twitter!

Heck, I tried to listen closely and I swear, I even heard a faint applause!

So happy were they, that they couldn’t wait for the 12 hours to get over soon enough.

So happy that they even put out a countdown timer for me to track my ‘progress’!

I kid you not!

So the immediate issue taken care of, now I didn’t know what to do for the next 12 hours. I started thinking.

And then I sent out some DMs – OYE TERE KO PATA HAI MERE SAATH KYA HUA?

And right on the heels of those DMs came a mini outrage that made my notifications tab run faster than an Afghan hound! This was totally unexpected.

And that thread on the Propagandu-in-Chief (without the offending tweet, of course ) went viral!

But I still couldn’t engage with anyone. So I decided to go out for lunch, with some good folks of Twitter that I’ve connected with offline. More Twitter talk followed, even as I checked my custom made countdown timer.

9hrs and 6 minutes of penance left, it said.


Dammit, I cursed, even as I sipped on my glass of nimbu paani. Atleast they could have added a ‘seconds’ counter along with the minutes and hours, so that the time could have passed a bit faster!

But, deep within, I was happy merely to note that atleast they gave me a timer!

It was a slow day indeed. After all, how long can one keep staring at a countdown timer, and that too without seconds, hainji?

So post lunch, I ‘volunteered’ to pick up the kids from their bus stop in the afternoon.

The kids were shocked!

Not because I had come to pick them up. But because I told them that we will walk the one kilometre to home! But then, time had to be passed, esp with my custom made countdown timer refusing to move any faster!

But my kids are tough negotiators, I soon realized.

Two ice creams each and I carry their school bags, they offered, in lieu of walking back to home. Ah, well, soon I was just about as overloaded as Shri Govinda Ji in Coolie Number 1!

But there was one big difference. Whereas he carried empty pieces of luggage in the movie, here I was, carrying what seemed like a tonne of load over my shoulders!

Somehow, we reached home. And after a quick glass of cold water and some lunch, I checked the timer yet again!

4hours and 50 minutes of penance pending, it said.


Yesss!, I exclaimed!

The forced वनवास was about to end!

In order to make it end faster, I promptly went to take a nap, even if a bit late in the afternoon!

And then I woke up! Two hours and forty seven minutes remaining, it said.


DAMN, I said!

Damn… Damn… damn… came an echo.

It took me a moment to realize that the echo was actually the Missus crying out to no one in particular when she realized that the maid isn’t coming!

So I spent the next 45 minutes ‘gainfully employed’, washing dishes! I still like to believe I actually ‘volunteered’ to do that, instead of she ‘requesting’ me to!

But thankfully, the clock ticked on and soon it was a mere 15 minutes before I was deemed reformed by the good folks of Twitter. Those were perhaps the longest 15 minutes of my life in recent past!

As the timer ticked and tocked down to ZERO, I said a silent prayer & logged in.


I was back!

The first thing I did was a say a silent thanks to all those who had outraged for me that day. And then I quickly posted the #ObituaryOfTheDay tweets for that day, lest I get locked out yet again!

And then I re-tweeted that offending thread since it had been broken due to that tweet getting deleted. Of course, this time I took care NOT to tweet that tweet again, but then, it was no longer needed since that Paki didn’t return!

Thus ended the story of my day in penance. As regards the word ‘Paki’, I’ll just leave this news report here without any further comment!

Bartania: A Paki calls another Paki, a Paki & the Paki complains to the Police for being called a Paki by a fellow Paki!

Try and make some, or ANY, sense of it if you can!



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!


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?


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!














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:



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


Of course, I was patting my back!

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


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!


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.


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:


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.



The Sabji Courier

A beautiful story of empathy and compassion.
Worth a read.

A kaliedoscope

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

A beautiful memory indeed.
Worth a read

A kaliedoscope

Not very tall, thick set, Tamilian boy, if my memory serves me right, with piercing dark eyes, was an absolute bundle of energy. I don’t know how we bumped into each other, it was during the POP (Passing Out Parade) practice period, one, Outpass day (generous permission to visit the town & eat enormous amounts of food) we happened to be on the last bus back to the academy. It was about 2230h which is about 10:30pm in common folks language.

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.


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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