Thursday, March 28, 2013

My First Love was my Dog Teddy

Love is a terrible and yet a sweet word. In popular imagination love is associated between a girl and boy and later at the mature stage between a man and a woman. Sex has a connotation with it though there is Platonic love but that is in the field of utopia. One can however love an animal and this is a different form of love. As a child my father brought home a Fox hound. I named him teddy and he was my first love. Teddy was a sprightly dog who was intelligent and he soon realized what I felt for him and when I came back from school, he would rush towards me and jump up and lick my face. Teddy and I went for long walks in the hills and he would be always at my side. He was a true companion and we would sometimes sit under a ledge for hours and talked. Yes talked! Teddy seemed to understand everything and all my words. Is it possible. Now I am more than sure that teddy understood everything. It was 2 years of bliss till Teddy died of a mysterious ailment. My dad took him to the vet but he couldn’t save Teddy. Teddy will forever remain in my mind for all times to come. His short bark and yelp still rings in my ears though decades have passed. I am sure Teddy now lives a life of peace in the spiriy=t world or maybe he is reincarnated as a man.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Driving My Mustang Ford Convertable in Abu Dhabi

I have now been in Abu Dhabi for a fairly lengthy period and was able to get my Driving License. Getting a driving license in the UAE is a great achievement as the tests are tough and only after you get one , you can buy a car. I settled for a 2008 Ford Mustang. Compared to India this second hand car is dirt cheap. I settled for a Ford Mustang Convertible coupe owned by a Abu Dhabi business man. The car is very well maintained and driving it it is like a breeze; fast and racy with the wind swirling around your ears. There are many fast cars but the car I chose is the Ford Mustang convertible coupe 2008 model. It’s a blue color car with a removable top and once you pull it down and drive, it is an exhilarating experience. The car has a 210 hp, 6 liter engine with automatic transmission and climate control. But I dare say with the top pulled down you wont be needing any air-conditioning. It is slated to have a top speed of over 200 mph, but I have driven it at 150 mph and that is pretty fast. The roads in Abu Dhabi are simply wonderful and a drive from Abu Dhabi to Dubai is great fun as you can drive at speeds touching 200 mph. You can’t have better roads than in Abu Dhabi. This car, I am afraid is not for Indian roads at all. I can’t think of any Indian road where you can hurtle along at 200 mph. The car is surprisingly not heavy on gas despite its size and power and on a gallon of gas it does 25 miles. I have enjoyed driving this car. It’s a Left hand drive car and acceleration phenomenal, touching 100 mph in just under a minute. I love driving my Ford Mustang, but the sad part is that importing this car is banned in India and when I go from here I shall have to sell it

Ennio Morricone Music Composer Par Excellence

Th great western films of Sergio Leone perhaps may not have been that great, but for an excellent musical score by Ennio Morricone. Morricone collaborated with Sergio Leone for most of his films and the immortal ones like How the west was won, My name is Trinity, Good Bad and Ugly, Fistful of dollars and For a Few dollars more. He set a stupendous musical score that in no small measure contributed to the success of the movies and two of them being rated as among the all time great 100 movies of the last century. One can even now relish the background score that heightened the scene of 3 macho men as they eye each other in a triangular gun fight (Good bad and ugly) and a young boy who looks through a window to watch a beautiful woman slowly undress and become nude before a mirror (Malena). The effect of these scenes was heightened by the score of Ennio Morricone who was a class mate of Sergio Leone. Sergio died of a heart attack some years back but Morricone is alive and kicking. He is set to score the music of two upcoming movies by Giuseppe Torntore: The Best Offer (2013) and Leningrad (2014). He must truly rank as one of the great composers of an era that spans two centuries. Hollywood honored him with an honorary Oscar award in 2007. Morricone composed music for some 40 westerns and with the score of A Fistful of Dollars Morricone began his 10-year collaboration with his childhood friend Alessandro Alessandroni and his Cantori Moderni. These two provided the whistling and the twanging guitar on the film scores, that have become a distinct trademark of Ennio Morricone. It was great integration of music with the film by Morricone Morricone is a legend and even in Asia he has a tremendous following. I recommend listening to a DVD of his music, it not only soothes, but elevates. The fact that his music has sold 75 million DVD’s is proof that Morricone is a living legend.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Blunders of The Indian Army in the 1965 Indo-Pak War

General Ayub Khan launched ‘Operation Grand Slam’ in Kashmir. The Pakistanis were cocky with their new Patton Tanks with their IR vision device. The attack commenced on 02 September at 07 am. The Indians were expecting the attack, but to oppose the onslaught of Pakistan armor the Indian only had some obsolete AMX and Sherman tanks. At that time general JN Choudhry the Chief of the Indian army panicked and recommended a retreat beyond the Beas River. General Harbaksh Singh refused this order. In panic to relieve the pressure in the Akhnur sector where the Pakistan armor was advancing a decision was taken to open a front on the Lahore Sialkot sector. This was a good decision, but no adequate planning was made for this operation. Perhaps it was a spur of the moment plan. The result of this advance was not good. The India army advanced just a few miles into Pakistan territory and the twin cities of Lahore and Sialkot could not be touched. The Pakistanis fought hard and the Indians could not cross the Ichigol canal. In fact an entire battalion was lost while attempting a crossing. This clearly showed that the Indian General staff had made no plans for an advance into Punjab. However the attack served one purpose in that the Pakistan assault in Akhnur got bogged down and the Pakistan army floundered and almost 70 M-47 (Patton Tanks) were captured. Another blunder that the Indian general staff committed was its inaction on the eastern front with Pakistan. The PAF operating from airfields in East Pakistan attacked IAF planes in kalaikunda and a dozen aircraft were lost on the ground. Pakistan then just had one division in East Pakistan. Yet the Indian army bereft of any operational plan did nothing. Now is the time to come out and give facts. The 1965 war was a war of blunders and both India and Pakistan gave a poor account of the Principles of War. Both countries claim victory, but in the over all scenario the Indian generalship was poor and the army Chief JN Choudhry out of his dept. In fact there is a good chance that the entire Punjab would have been lost, but for General Harbaksh Singh. The Indian army made amends in the 1971 war and General JS Aurora poured the midnight oil at Fort William for an invasion of East Pakistan. One wonders why the Indian General staff made no such plans in 1965. Also read