Thursday, November 26, 2009

The scars may have gone, but some wounds run too deep to be forgotten

For all the people living elsewhere in the world, it was a chilling reminder that there is no place that is safe from the clutches of terrorism..for those of us who call the city of Mumbai our home, it was the most horrifying vision of our lives. To see the very places that I had walked, talked and roamed about all my life, in the very train station that I passed by so many times, that very icon of my home- The Taj Mahal hotel and Oberoi Trident, the Nariman house..all of them falling to a handful of terrorists, burning these priceless pieces of the city's fabric into ashes, spilling blood on the pathways of democracy.. I could not help but feel frustratingly helpless sitting at my cousins place at Indianapolis. For the first time ever had I ever felt so strongly an Indian, a Mumbaikar.
My eyes and soul refusing to tear themselves off the images of explosions booming inside the heritage hotel, the lifeless bodies being dragged away as they left paths of blood on the floor of CST train terminus...
Days later, seemingly endless ones, the carnage was finally over...the NSG finally cleared all the hostage sites, killing the last of the terrorists at the Taj. It was a time where everybody now started asking the same set of questions...WHY? HOW? How was it possible for these few people to control the fates and thoughts of so many through their hateful and obviously fanatic deeds? What was the motive? In the name of religion? country? race, skin color? Perhaps the answer could be found in Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist to be captured alive..the one who was also captured on the CST train station CCTVs lifting his assault rifle firing at the innocent civilians. Perhaps in forensics analysing all the dead terrorists...but none more so than maybe looking at ourselves. Looking at the human within each of us, trying to see as to how an ordinary person like you and me could lose all our humanity in order to be able to kill an innocent person, as to how we could allow that to happen to ourselves, whether there is any good at all when we are born into this world.... Will I have to walk in fear everytime I now venture near the Taj, have a coffee at Cafe Leopold? Should I always have someone tell me that we should move on from incidents such as these, which supposedly only strengthen and display the 'spirit' of Mumbai?

Coming frm an extremely diverse campus, I find it extremely disgusting to even start to generalize the entire state of Pakistan as the one to blame over the attacks. I thought about this the most 2 days ago as me and Bethany sat down having a fabulous lunch of Butter naans, kebabs and Chicken Tikka Masala at a Pakistani restaurant in NYC. Was I betraying the Indian sentiment by doing this? or should I be rather thinking about how certain corrupt factions in both of these governments are lax towards their own attitudes on terrorism and on how the real cause of it is the huge ONE terrorist network hell bent on their psychotic jihad, existing not only in India, Pakistan and the South Asian countries, but in the entire world. History has proven that Pennsylvania is as prone to a hijacked plane falling out of the sky as is The Taj Hotel being burnt by terrorists. Maybe we should think beyond the countless candlelight memorials that were held in the immediate aftermath of the attacks....the ones with college kids displaying posters condeming politicians, shouting slogans that CHANGE HAS TO HAPPEN. Maybe now there has to be a consistent solution. We, the students of Penn State York did not hold that memorial last year to just mourn the loss of our countrymen and to condemn terrorism....and just get on with our lives the next day onwards...which is exactly what we ended up doing. I voiced my opinion on this that day, and I maintain this opinion today. Just as 9/11, I hope 26/11 is never forgotten. I hope that image of the burning dome of the Taj remains in my mind forever. On one level, I want to feel that hate, that pain, that anger that pours out against those men who caused so much pain to innocents. on another level, my soul feels that this is the time when WE as a world have to come together and take basic steps towards working it out, not hasty wars, nor long speeches by politicians and money being offered to the families of the deceased.

Our terrorist admitting that he is a Pakistani national does not help in the least bit. Sure he might be Pakistani, or Indian or Afghani.....who cares? All I know is that that man has no love left in him. No country should accept him as a national. He claims to have a family and the terrorist organization that brainwashed him into this deed apparently offered his family lifetime support...its cost the Indian Government 34 hundred million rupees to keep him alive so this time of economic crisis.What are we doing?

Right now, the support groups have faded away, all those petitions all those voices...have died out. Change, has only happened in the time. Its a year since 26/11/08 and nothing much has changed. Politicians still bicker and slap each other over regional language issues, security and army personel still are under equipped, and the spirit of Mumbai still wants to 'move on'. If big gaps remain to be plugged, how have we moved on? Arent we just as vulnerable as a year ago?
Instead of praising our heroes who aved us, regional politicians , legalized gangsters want to instead mock these soldiers just because they werent from the state of Maharashtra...hell if the NSG elite commandos hadnt swung into action, who knows how many more civilians might have died, how much more burnt the Taj and Oberoi would have been. Unless we start behaving like adults, even more pathetic people like these terrorists will continue to take advantage of it.
I love Mumbai dearly, and I miss being a part of its daily fabric. I miss that feel of my home, and its horrible not to actively and physically be the force that prevents such event from happening again. Its true now, that ordinary citizens can do very little to change the way things work.. noble though our intentions might be. The real power lies in the hands of these oh so awesome politicians, who have to realize that its not one religion, one caste, one state and one country thats at attack from the terrorist, but our entire world.

Lighting candles and moving on will not do anymore..... 9/11, 26/11 and all the others...cannot and should never be forgotten.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The break is here!!!

THANKSGIVING BREAK IS ABOUT TO BEGIN!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO. stop haha, sorry, just got a little too enthusiastic there!
just thought of posting something, which I havent done in a long time now, but I do wanna sit down and write for a consistent amount of time now during the break, which is one of the reasons of my excitement! and of course I want to attempt to match Maddy's enthusiam for life! haha its awesome to have her on this blog! Iv just become friends with her and shes already an awesome person! :)
alright I have to run for a marketing class now...uugh..cant wait till its done!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hello, Guten Tag, Hola, Bonjour!

Well hello all.
I’m new to this whole Penn State York blog, but I’m sure it’ll be just as fun as the millions of other blogging sites out there such as facebook and all.

Anywayyy – Introductions I guess would probably be the appropriate thing to do at this point of time? I mean, you can read about what my favorite movie is and all the foods you could make for me which would automatically make me your best friend and all in the whole profile thing – but I figured I’d share random facts so that you’ll find me somewhat interesting and not a total dork – Haha!

Anyway, I’m a sophomore at Penn State York – love it! I’m a Dallastown grad, a Bed Bath and Beyond slave (totally kidding, I love my work 5 out of 7 days of the week) and I’m full of stories. I was on my high school’s track team, concert choir, and newspaper staff so I’ll probably just write random things to catch people’s attention, or try and catch their attention at that.

But enough with the past and onto the present! I’m a Lion Ambassador here at Penn State York. I haven’t been involved that long, but I’ve been busting my butt to have everything be as fun as possible. I also have traveled to Germany with the lovely Frau Deren and Penn State York crew which was literally the time of my life. I’m also literally the Boys’ Soccer Team’s biggest fan – WHICH I’M SO PROUD OF THEM WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIPS AND MAKING IT TO NATIONALS IN VERMONT. Anddd you may also know me around campus as that really loud girl who’s always laughing at something. I mean, just walk into the Lion’s Den - you’ll hear laughter.

Anyway – I’m not sure what all you would like to hear seeing as it’s in the middle of the semester, or better yet we’re almost to the end. ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL BREAK. How exciting is that?! However, that only means that I have like two weeks to finish like six different projects that are all due at the end of the semester – YUCK. I'll be living in the library for the next few weeks when I'm not at home or living at work.

Well I'm not sure where I'd like to end this. It's like one of those telephone calls where you've said all you've thought to say and all you can really say is - well, I'm gonna go now........... With that - I hope to have something interesting to write here next time. Better yet, I hope to have some EPIC STORY to write here next time. But until then, bring on the weekend!

Finding Your Fit!

Happy November everyone! Fall is the busiest time of year in the Admissions Office--Chelsea and I have been visiting high schools, going to college fairs, and we've just finished up our big Open can see the awesome Lion Ambassadors in full LA gear at the Open House in the picture! So now...we're taking a minute to breathe!

I wanted to talk to all of you about the importance of a college visit. This doesn't solely apply to Penn State, but to any college that you're thinking of attending. Before you fill out an application, MAKE SURE you go visit that college! See what it's to the to the the food!! I know that sounds silly, but that's food that you're going to be eating every day, so you should make sure you like it. Doing research on web sites is great, as is looking through brochures. But did you ever notice that on web sites and brochures, the weather is always sunny, flowers are always blooming, and everything just looks perfect? Those things are definitely true, but they are the very best of what a school has to offer--it's important that you go there for yourself and see the worst! Check out ALL of the buildings, see some classrooms, TALK TO STUDENTS! Students are the best resource!

They've done studies that show that within about 3 minutes of being on a college campus, you can get a sense for whether or not you feel like you "fit" there. "Fit" has to do with a lot of things--location, size, and most importantly, how you FEEL there. You wouldn't spend $50 on a pair of jeans that didn't fit you right--there's no reason to spend thousands of dollars on a college education at a place that doesn't fit you right!

That said, Penn State York has lots of opportunities to visit! You can take part in our "Be a Penn State Student for a Day" program, where you get to shadow a student for a day! Give our office a call if you'd like to come visit!

Have a great fall!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Week 11 at State College

Hello everyone
It seems as though Shantanu is the only other one who writes on this blog but the good news is that I love reading his posts and I hope you all do too. I'm writing again, finally remembered in between all the bustle here at State College.

We just had Halloween, such a fun affair :) Paul and some other friends from York came up to visit and we walked around on Friday to see everyone's costumes (there had to be 20 pairs of Mario and Luigi walking around) then Saturday we watched the game and put on our official Halloween costumes. Paul and I went as Edgar Allen Poe's Masque of the Red Death and it was so much fun! I'll try to post a picture eventually.
It's starting to get back into the second rounds of midterms up here, busy busy busy. Most of us have gotten our positions for PUNC 2010 (the Pennsylvania State University Model United Nations Conference here at University Park) and I get to be the crisis chair for the Godfather Committee! I'm so excited!! We're still accepting schools so we hope to continue getting more and I'm really hoping that PSY's Model UN club comes, we had a blast last year.

I've also just joined the Golden Key Honor Society up here and I have to share the story of my first meeting. An email went out from the President telling us when the meeting was and that we were going to have a Halloween social with cider and cookies so we should feel free to dress up. I'm not one to pass up an opportunity to wear a costume (doesn't happen very often) and so I wore my toga to the meeting. When I get there I see maybe two other people wearing something remotely looking like a costume, cat ears. Turns out I'm the only one who decided to dress up and so the first time I met any of them: Hi I'm wearing a toga. It was quite funny though and I got a gift certificate to the Creamery so I call it a success!

Now I have to go finish a paper for my Ancient Greek class and do some more reading, can't wait for the PSU v. Ohio game this weekend.