"I get knocked down but I get up again...you are never going to keep me down..."
Pardon the alcohol references, but the hit from Chumbawamba represents what Mumbai has done time and again after a series of terrorist hits. Londoners and New Yorkers get a lot of credit for spunk and grit, but I think Bombayites deserve their own credit.
I was amazed to see on TV the crowds at each of the attack sites cheering on their rescue teams. A few hundred feet away was deadly fire and it was as if they were at a cricket match. The city's stock market was only closed for a day. I spoke to some folks there today and traffic is already back to its usual manic levels.
But the ultimate in bravery must go to the General Manager, Karambir Singh Kang at the battered Taj hotel. He lost his entire family during the attack, and yet tells his Chairman
"'Sir, we are going to beat this. We are going to build this Taj back
into what it was. ... We will not let this event take us down."
My wife has ordered me to quit watching CNN and BBC and SkyNews as I have almost non-stop for the last day. I suspect I am like so many watching the Mumbai mess and swinging from remorse to anger to fantasy - of running the counter-op. Of course, in my case I am focused on how to use technology for advantage.
Was the mobile traffic between the terrorists being monitored or jammed? Who analyzed the chatter ahead of the attack? What intelligence was picked up from the paper copies of passports Indian hotels make when you check-in? Are both sides monitoring the endless stream of TV, Twitter, web updates to plan their moves? Is it disinformation when they keep saying - prematurely - that they are in mop-up, close-out state at each of the attack sites? Do the bad guys have sleepers who may join as time passes? Should India have allowed the Israelis to storm the Chabad house? Should the Indian commandos have been brought in earlier?
This Black Friday is turning very black - and I cannot even begin to match the mood of those in the city.
My wife is right. Best I should do is get off the TV/Web/mobile grid - and just go pray for the brave rescue teams and for the victims that this ends soon.
I hope readers and friends in Mumbai are doing ok through the ordeal of the last day. Like most I have been glued to CNN and Twitter for real-time updates on this brazen episode.
I did find it ironic that The Leopold Cafe was one of the targets.
Shantaram brought global fame to this icon in Mumbai where his book begins before he went and fought with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. And now the war has come back to this crowded little place which has seen more passports and heard more accents from around the world than its tiny footprint would suggest.
The attack may have been on Mumbai. The target and impact is global.
For good governance, investors expect boards strong enough to challenge company management when necessary. In technology, customers expect user groups to similarly challenge managements when there are quality, service and value issues that concern a majority of the base. Dennis Howlett reports a possible change in leadership at ASUG - the US SAP user group. Like Dennis I have heard murmurs the group had become less interested in serving the U in the acronym and watching more for the V - the vendor.
In some ways, ASUG finds itself at the same juncture as the Oracle Application User Group (OAUG) found itself in the early part of the decade when Oracle was forcing its customer base to migrate to 11i in spite of significant quality problems. OAUG took a confrontational position, to the displeasure of Oracle, but clearly to the benefit of the customer base as Oracle kept slipping the 10.7 de-support date.
With SAP pushing an unpopular maintenance hike, similarly forcing customers to migrate to ECC 6.0, and in the eyes of many customers not delivering much innovation, it would be nice for ASUG to step up for its customer base - even if it has to be confrontational about it.