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How I Helped Blow Up Mumbai...

The carnage at Mumbai was unprecedented… the response ever so predictable … rhetorical, knee-jerk, one of anguish and of helplessness… the usual suspects emerged out the clouds of smoke that emanated from the Taj as it burned… did we in the interim, ignore the scores that were massacred at the CST station (they were not Page 3 Celebrities in any case, who deserved prolong attention on National Media electronic or otherwise) …anyone who had access to a mouthpiece jumped in with a comment (me included) … blaming our politicians, with them blaming Pakistan and Pakistan claiming innocence … so now that we have gone through the routine set of manoeuvres, what next …


The Central Minister handling Home portfolio, set the tone by resigning on “Moral grounds” (Thank God for English dictionaries, the word “Moral” still clings on to its meaning as originally intended by those who devised the language)… As a follow up the Deputy CM of Maharashtra too has put in his papers succumbing to his inner voice (which had not spoken as late as 48 hours ago when he said that there was no question of his resigning over such small matters that occur in big cities) I believe many more policy makers will succumb to their “Moral” side in the coming days (at least if media reports are to be believed).

The Media, on its part outdid itself … live coverage that laid bare every aspect of the commando operation (as much as was possible from the distance, that they were allowed to operate) for the whole world (and the terror groups who probably were masterminding the attacks) to see …A live telecast with a blow by blow account of which floor the commandos were and what they will be doing next … with expert opinions by ex army honchos who give their predictions on how the operations will pan out, I wish our good old DD took a few lessons from this and covered our cricket matches as effectively …

The media called out for unity amongst political leadership and coming together for a common cause; all while trying to establish their channel as the best and indulging in one-up- man-ship by getting out “Exclusives” and “Breaking News” at periodic intervals … there were also these immensely popular reality shows with the people who have just lost their close ones put on the camera and asked “How do you feel??” … move aside Big Boss ... this is by far more emotional and gut wrenching!!!

The last blog entry that I put out which is there right below and can also be categorised as a knee jerk reaction to what was happening to my country … an attempt to express my anguish, helplessness and maybe point fingers at the obvious suspects … to find scapegoats and entrench my patriotism to a country that has given me so much to be proud of … but then, since the time that I have posted it, until now I have indulged in a little bit of soul searching … a peek into my own cupboard which I have kept locked for obvious reason … the skeletons inside it have a different tale to tell …

This is the story of how I (stands for Indians, I guess almost all, if not all) have held my country to ransom … how I have been hand in glove with the conspirators and have contributed to the massacre in Mumbai …

I drive around in Bangalore and I am sure anyone else who drives in an Indian city will agree with me as to how chaotic we can be on our roads. I would rather gain a couple of inches in traffic than the let the other person cross at an intersection… I would squeeze my vehicle across the signal even after it has turned red or for that matter, set into motion even before it turns green … I would overtake from the wrong side, drive through no entries, park below no parking signage and all this without a second thought … why because I know that the chances of me being caught are minimal and even if I am, I can always get away with anything between Rs. 10 to Rs. 100 depending on my bargaining skills …. Almost a rule I break queues, resist frisking, grumble to participate in security checks… You might wonder what this has to do with what happened in Mumbai … well it has, I am responsible in playing my role in building a chaotic and corrupt society, which in turn is definitely a soft target for terrorists.

I get my driving license, passport and pan card through “authorised agents”, paying much more than I should be, getting these documents in double quick time … I get almost everything, without the necessary documentations, mobile sims included… I do not need to really go through a driving test (even when I do, it’s a mere formality, as I have already completed the “more essential formalities”) to get my driving license or the mandatory police verification (or take part in it in absentia) for my passport… these documents hence are available for the taking, for who ever wants it, as long as one is ready to grease the right palms… so for a terrorist getting hold of a driving license or a fake address proof or a new mobile connection does not even involve breaking a sweat

Remember the iPod I bought from the grey market? Or the Digital camera for that matter? What about the pirated DVDs ad VCDs?? For sure they cost less than half of what they cost in the real stores and yes they are available much before the official launch in India… but then they are the building blocks for a parallel economy that funds these terror groups… the money I shell out in these pursuits are also my humble contribution towards making our coastline porous… a portion of the money that I spend in acquiring these inexpensive alternatives, is what is used to keep our coast guards and coastal police away from boats and trawlers that bring in smuggled goods … It is quite possible that the dinghies in which the terrorists arrived for their Mumbai rendezvous was mistaken for another regular consignment of smuggled goods arriving at city…


I feed the corruption in the system; I eat into the entails of my country’s administration to satisfy my hunger… I punch gaping holes in my country’s security set up (for what ever it maybe worth) and when all these loopholes are exploited by some brainwashed I-will-blow-up-myself-for-the-virgins-in-the-heaven morons I still have enough fall guys to point at!!!

Don't Cry For Me...

More than a 100 human beings who started their day on the 26th November 2008, like you and I have today, did not live to see the dawn of 27th November 2008…


(Image Courtesy: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/11/26/world/1127-MUMBAI_index.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink )


Nameless, faceless away from the glare of the media these are mere statistics that keeps popping on the TV screens and front pages of the newspapers for most of the world; but to the families and friends for whom these were men women and children made of flesh and blood, my heart goes out to them …



This will be forgotten, these people will go down the history sheets as also lived most probably without ever being mentioned in the end credits but then these people amongst whom you and I are not included as of today (not because of us being any special, but because we were not at the wrong place at the right time) are screaming examples of our ineptitude … our callousness and complete lack of self respect



It’s not just the nameless and faceless; we are a nation that does not keep even our heroes in our memory for long …. Several hundreds who lived and breathed last for us no longer in our thoughts or prayers …. We have sporting heroes dying poverty or ending their lives in the most gruesome manner for the want of dignity, military heroes’ families languishing in obscurity … All this while politicians who loot us in daylight passing on their legacy to their kith and kin!



They will be out sooner rather than later extolling the undying “Spirit of Mumbai” and eulogizing the “Resilience of Mumbaiker” … exploiting our own uncanny ability to see ourselves as a Nation or a Culture that is unbreakable … we are a Nation that so blindly believes that we are larger than life … that we are above judgement and as a Culture that has contributed so much to the World, we are superior to everyone else … the sad fact is that Mumbai wakes up after every tragedy and limps back to normalcy, not out of any super human quality but out of sheer necessity … Majority of Mumbai is made up of migrant people who cannot afford to miss one day’s wages or the average middle class worker who dreads a leave on “loss of pay”



To use this desperation to as a fa├žade for inefficiency and an empty rhetoric to cover up the lack of preparedness has to be stopped … those in power both at the state and the center, presently and in the past have to own up… the people who have systemically eroded the functioning of our police force and military units have to be made accountable … people who shamelessly surface every time after the damage has been done and point fingers at each other have to be banished to forced political retirement



It is easy and very fashionable to accuse Pakistan and claim that the people behind this attack were originally from there, but I personally have been hearing these accusations from the time that I have been able to understand news… has anything changed? Have we been able to protect our countrymen because we have identified the so called source of terror? If not what are these statements intended for?



Indians and Pakistanis have for decades lived in unity in many foreign territories like the Middle East and the UK … I can not for nuts understand why we cannot live like that in our own countries …. The political clan once again uses the so called historical hate factor created amongst these two Nations carved out so cruelly to again camouflage their failings, the Brits introduced us to the concept of divide and rule, we have perfected it … As an Indian I grew up with such prejudiced views about my neighbouring countrymen and that I was shocked to learn that they were so much like us in most aspects and not as barbaric as I was led to believe…



Moreover, let us set our priorities right, put our house in order and set the right infrastructure in place to counter terrorism than keep adopting a finger pointing technique every time something goes wrong … All that happens after a tragedy like this is condolences, empty rhetoric about “zero tolerance” and declaration of ex-gratia payments to the dead and the injured from whomsoever’s relief funds



The 5 lacs that has been announced as the relief that will be given to kin of the each of the dead is welcome but then this huge sum of over five crores could have been better spent on improving the plight of our police force or maybe even our intelligence system… we would not do that for that does not account for a populist measure … in fact though we will keep using the choicest of words to praise our forces we will cringe and whine to hike their salaries or provide them with sophisticated equipments.



I wish we have a leader with vision and the will to lead us during these troubled times. I do not mid going through a period of emergency if that promises a safer society for the future generations… I wish we have the strength to accept our failings and take help from who ever is capable to help us deal with this situation rather than talk about Indian Pride and keep letting Indians die



What use is pride when it cannot save your fellow countrymen? What is use is the economic growth in percentages when people end up being mere statistics? What is the use of controlling inflation and bringing down the value of essential products when human life has no value? A state that cannot protect its people is no state at all, no matter what its lineage is …



What saddens me the most is that my own helplessness in dealing with what is happening around me… for all that I have written I am no different when it comes to my forgetfulness, in my lack of gratitude and resolve … I will forget this, I will forget Mr. Karkare, Mr. Salaskar and Mr. Kamte, like I have forgotten Mr. M.C. Sharma… I will forget the final “score” that the terrorists notched up, I will be soothed by the high decibel debates that will rage on live television for the next few days, until another juicy news “story” slowly takes control of Prime Time TRPs … and next time there is elections I will either treat it as a wasteful exercise that’s below my dignity to be a part of or instead of casting my vote go ahead and vote my caste

A Tale Of Two Erections !!!

Statutory Warning: This blog may contain references that may not be suitable for all age groups/ audiences
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He: Sir, I have just got a new erection!!!


Me: (to myself) what the hell? Why would anyone want to come to me with a situation like this, is he looking for a half day leave or more worryingly an interim loan to deal with the situation... is there a limit to the excuses one can think of for these (In a slightly more audible tone) New Erection?? What did you do with the old one???


He: (with a smug smile) offloaded it on to the head of our new receptionist …


Me: (to myself) OMG!! (To him) and how did you manage??


He: Simple… I walked up to her … took it out and showed it to her …I asked her if she wanted it with the rubber sheath that I had put on it … or if I should take it off …


Me: and???


He: She said though the thing would look more desirable without the rubber on it, for safety purposes she preferred it with the rubber …


Me: Sensible Girl … and then?


He: well what is there to ask in that? She took it in her hands … played around a bit and then slid into her purse…


Me: Purse? Is that what they call it these days …?


He: Why? What else would they call it … she has a nice and compact pink coloured one I must add …


Me: Nice! Compact!! Pink!!!


He: Exactly … Seen a few women with huge, black, elastic ones you know what I mean … no matter what you stuff into them, it is never full…


Me: not too sure … and then..??


He: …what then … oh the receptionist story …


Me: Uh…. Umm… yes


He: She deftly moved the flaps of her purse, slid it in and out and could not stop screaming for joy, telling what a perfect fit it was ….


Me: Stop that now… or else I might end up having an erection myself…


He: Not a bad idea Sir, I can help you get one …


Me: Thanks but No Thanks … I am not that type… I am surprised you managed all this during office hours … even more shocked that she was okay with it…


He: Not just okay Sir, She was so thrilled, that she even paid me, though I insisted that it was my pleasure


Me: She paid you for that!!!


He: Yes Of course … but forget that, I came to talk about my new erection… you want to have a look?


Me: (to myself) How Gross! What the hell do I look like to him? (To him) I am sorry, I think, I told you, am not the type….



He: But sir … why so serious … just look at my trousers can you make it out??


Me: I am not looking anywhere in that direction, I told you I am not the type …


He: Well sir, you might as well look … this one is smaller in size and cannot be seen over as easily as the one earlier, which was rather huge ….


Me: The one you gave the receptionist …


He: yeah the same one …


Me: No wonder she thought it fit to pay you …


He: Anyone would have paid for that one sir… but why don’t we come back to my new one


Me: Why don’t you go back to her with it …?

He: I showed her already …


Me: (Is this guy for Real??) and what did she think of it …


He: She said she would have taken this one gladly if not for the earlier one…


Me: despite the smaller size?


He: Believe me sir, size is not what really matters to most women, or even men for that matter … it is what is packed into the size that matters


Me: Are you sure? I recently read in a Woman’s Mag that “size does not matter” is a myth being propagated by men who don’t make the cut …


He: Well at least the women I knew always told me so …


Me: Maybe it’s a case of … A small erection in your hand is worth more than a large one in someone else’s bush


He: Bush... What bush??


Me: Maybe not everyone has one… but the proverb still holds… if need be change the Bush into Purse …


He: Whatever … Sir I insist you have a look at mine…


Me: I insist, I don’t think I am the type …


He: I don’t care what type you are, you still have to have to look… don’t take it in your hand if you don’t like but you sure need to see it … I am sure the moment you see it, you will want it in your hand though …


Me: What arrogance … this is office and you are my junior… if anyone shows anyone anything that will be me showing you …. And not vice versa


He: But I have already seen yours …


Me: What? When?? Where????


He: On several occasions … even as recently as late last evening… while you were showing it off to Radhika Madam…


Me: OMG … what the hell were you doing in the office at that time… I thought there was no one else here other than her and me …


He: Well, Sir you can never be sure can you …


Me: I hope you will not go around talking about that though ….


He: Not if you agree to see mine …


Me: (You deserve this for been so careless) Uh… Umm ... Okay … just the one time … you will be across the table and two feet away from it … and will stay there till you put it back in…


He: It’s not explosive …


Me: Why am I not too sure about that …?


He: Whatever … I am sure you will want to take it once you see it


Me: I am not too sure about that too … why we don’t get this done with … I have other things to do …


He slowly slides his hands into his trousers and pulls out a brand new phone …


Me: Hey...That’s the new Ericsson ….


He: That’s exactly what I said … a new Erection!!!


World Wide Web

Not too sure how many times the needles of the clock on the wall met each other and parted ways since I began staring into roof of my bedroom… actually into infinity … I want to reason but logic defy me … I want to make sense of it all, but can a mind so fickle, so feeble comprehend the truth??? This is ‘Maya’ … what Krishna refers to in his sermon to Arjuna … its gotten more complicated, than it was during their times though …we have developed … humanity has … developed into a large complicated swamp… quicksand… a web so intricately woven around me that I am not too sure if I can ever be free….


I am a function of my desires… the most primal one being, the desire to reach the next level, the level that will give me satisfaction… that will help reduce my pains, my sorrows and make me happier and contended about myself … it is just that one level away and it has been so, from the time I remember … as a kid, I always wondered when I will get out of the misery called school … the fellows in college seemed to have a fascinating time …. At college it was the desire to start working … start earning … being a master of my own life … not having to justify to anyone else in the world how and why I spent my pocket money…. When I started to work it was the earnings … a little more than what I earn today is what I need for a comfortable life …


How I yearned for an upgrade from my second hand Hercules cycle (passed on by my dad to me) to a bike …. Fantasized about riding something more ‘manly’ than the four stroke 100 cc bike… lost interest in my two stroke Kawasaki Bajaj no sooner than a year of riding it … starting to realize that… Owning a four wheeler was the best thing that could happen to a man…. But small car is never as comfortable as a sedan… the sedan I drive is trifle below the demands of my current job portfolio… if you can understand what I am saying here …. Isn’t what you arrive in, almost as important as what you arrive for, if not more??? I need a vehicle that I don’t mind being seeing in … that carries a badge that does not have its origins from the South East of Asia … Japan would do, Europe would be preferred!!!


And then suddenly, here I am looking at my past rather remorsefully … trying to come terms with the fact that maybe I had past that was far more contended than the present that I live in or maybe even the future that I will be in… the lyrics of Jagjit Singh’s soulful rendering of the Ghazal that starts with “Yeh Daulat Bhi Le Lo, Yeh Shohrat Bhi Le Lo” rings loud in the mind… it was the childhood that I wanted clearly wanted to escape … it was the adolescence that I strongly abhorred… that I now desperately yearn for “…Magar Mujhko Lauta Do Bachchpan Ka Saawan… Woh Kagaz Ki Kasthi, Woh Baarish Ka Paani…”


I grew up watching TV at a house in our neighborhood, which can be best described as within walking distance from my home …. Since there was only one channel there was no fight for the remote, even though, there were more than 40 of us gathered in front of the TV set that looked like a decent sized bookshelf, complete with shutters and locks … oh yes … there was no remote either!!! I eagerly watched 'Krishi Darshan' that was telecast from the Delhi Studio of Doordarshan, not that I was the least bit interested in growing cash crops for the coming Kharif season, no not even the Rabi season, but then there was nothing else to watch, there was optimism…. the excitement of anticipation though … once this gets done with and the two news bulletins (English followed by Hindi or was it the other way round, that literally carried the same news and for most part was dedicated to what the Prime Minister did during the day) were over, there would be the top 20 countdown of film songs in 'Superhit Muqabala' …


Sometimes I did not want the program to start… ask me why? Because once started it would come to an end in an hour’s time and then one had to wait for it until the next week … ( let me digress a little here, I still get a similar feeling on Saturday afternoons … I am wary of Sunday mornings .. for it invariably leads to Sunday afternoons, then Sunday evenings, nights and then to Monday mornings… not too sure if anyone else feels that way) … How I wished there were more film music programs on TV … How I wish there were more quiz shows, more cartoons/ comedy shows, more movies, more serials…


Today, I have access to two television sets at my home, each with 100 plus channels … several with programming dedicated to the above mentioned genre, airing them 24/7, 365 days a year … but why am I not happy as I used to be with the sloppy DD and the “Rukhawat Ke Liye Khed Hai” / “Sorry for the Interruption” slides… the cardboard backdrops of Hum Log and Buniyad have been replaced by towering mansions of “K” serials … but why is it that they don’t hold my attention? The advancements in technology and digital mastering have created new avenues for musicians but why is it that I can’t fall in love with songs of today like I did with those of yesteryear..?


I grew up without internet or mobile phones… but I was more connected with people then, than I am today … the journeys took a longer time, but I was never rushed … My monthly earnings today, is twice as much as my annual earnings when I started out to work… yet there are much more commitments to honor… the month ends are ever so similar… the apartment complex in which my home is, has a 24 hour generator back up, so when there is a power failure, unlike during my childhood days, I can still have light around me … but what about the darkness within me???


No, don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming the mobile phones or internet here, nor am I suggesting that the coal gobbling, smoke spewing black engines of trains should not have been replaced with electrically operated ones…. I know they are not the basis for my discontent… my emotion has only to do with me …. Somewhere deep within me... not too sure where exactly … when technology develops further will there be a Google application to search yourself… will I be able to type “soul” and find the relevant link that will lead me to it?? Or will I have to shun technology and go back to the good old days of Krishna and Arjuna to find my soul???


Am I romanticizing? Do I think it is fashionable to be in love with the good old days?? Isn’t the right approach to think that the past is past and future is uncertain, so live in the present??? Easier said than done… will I ever be able to disconnect from my past or for that matter not think of the future … what am I without my past or future…. Will I be me if not for what I was…? Will I be me if I do not have aspirations about what I want to be…? I do not envy those who say that they live for the moment; I do not envy hollow proclamations or is it a classic case of grapes gone sour…?


Not sure how many times the needles of the clock on the wall met each other and parted ways since I began staring into roof of my bedroom… actually into infinity…

Woman, you’ll never cease to surprise me…

The following is something that I wrote a few years back published on another site… It’s the first in the series of few blogs I plan to relocate to this space…


Ever since Adam and Eve chose to take a bite of the “proverbial” Apple and lose the “proverbial” (is it?) Cherry, man has been searching for that one thing, which when found will unlock the mysteries of the female thought process. His search is still at the place where it began a few hundred thousand years ago. So if you are looking up this blog to try to get a few concrete ideas for a gift, with which you can floor your wife, well, you may be a trifle disappointed. I too am a mere man you see. The characters in this blog would love to be seen as fictional and resemblance to any person living or dead is purely because it was inevitable.


Many a times, I have been told that it is not the “gift” that matters it is the “thought” behind the gift that does. Like hell it does. Try explaining this funda to your wife who is chasing you down with the brand new fluorescent green high heeled shoes ( How could you have believed that doe-eyed sales girl at the shoe shop when she said that this was the ‘in thing”… ), that you bought it for her with a lot of nice thoughts. Try explaining it to your wife that She should not judge the value of your gift by the thickness of the “zari” (three and a half inches) on the “Kanjivaram” silk sari that you just gifted her (which incidentally is quarter an inch lesser than the one your neighbor’s wife’s sari). Instead, she should be judging it by the fact that your love for her is at twice as much as it is for the neighbors wife (I mean the love your neighbor has for his wife).

So one fine morning I looked at the date and quite accidentally remembered that it was my wife’s birthday, I got that familiar feeling in my stomach. “Oh my God another nerve wracking day of deciding a gift….”


I decided I would ask my friends for some advice. Isn’t that what friends are for… advising.

First one was my closest pal at work. He was a bachelor (lucky dog). He immediately said why don’t you cook her some good dinner. I was stumped. How do I tell him that, that is what most husbands do every evening irrespective of whether there is an occasion or not? He is after all someone who has high hopes from life. Then I did, I told him. He took it rather philosophically, I must admit. Why don't you make this one special; Candle lights, soft music et al… I could not help laughing at this one…due to the constant power trouble in my locality, most dinners we have are candle lit; more out of compulsion than out of choice. Without power there is no soft music, except for a possibility that I sing…and I can’t eat and sing at the same time (to be honest I can’t sing even while not eating). So that option is also out. He nodded and started “Then how about ” I was already on my way out thinking that this guy is of no use a very good friend might be but he is a bachelor let me try some married ones. As I was walking, something struck me, how about bribing the local authorities at the electricity office and ensuring that there will be power and maybe we could have one of those rare “CFL” dinners. It suddenly occurred that, for the money I spend bribing, I could probably buy her some diamonds , after all they say diamonds are a woman’s best friend (what are men then...?). I went in search of my next counselor.

This one was a married fellow. He looked harassed (sorry that I repeated the sentence). We looked at each other, the way two goats at the butchers would. There was empathy in his… I do not know what he found in mine. At best, it would have been confusion. I assessed his mood; he looked worried (the best a married man could look). Therefore, I decided that I would ask him before his mood changes.


I had not finished the question and he was up on his feet, yelling at me asking me to leave his office. I was taken aback, but I persisted, trying to calm him down. He refused to listen to me and started getting abusive. I had to count upon all my years of experience as a husband to stay calm. I was not going to leave him there, without knowing what was in his mind (after all, he is not my wife, is he??). My persistence paid off… he calmed down and came back to the “best that a married man can be” mood. Somewhere in the last month was his wedding anniversary. He shopped in the most expensive of malls and came home with a bag full of expensive and fashionable stuff. His wife who initially went gaga over him, slowly started getting annoyed, the sari was of the same shade as that of a churidar, she already had, the perfume – she found it too subtle, the lip stick was a shade too dark, why even the kajal was blacker than what black she used. For every gift she unwrapped, what started off as mild jibes grew in force and by the time she was getting to the last few, our man had already been hit by a couple of ‘make shift’ missiles (consisting of a few of the newly purchased gifts). There ended their anniversary celebrations. He has not talked to her since (now hey that is not a bad idea, said the mean mind in me). As I offered my condolences (what else can a married man do) and got up to move, he said in a prophetic voice “whatever you decide upon just see that you don’t buy anything even remotely related to clothes or fashion”.


My last counselor was a man who was married for more than 20 years. He looked peaceful. They say marriage troubles you only in the first few years after that you get used to it. I asked my question. What he said shocked me. He said he never bought gifts for his wife on her birthdays nor did she buy for his, instead they went out and bought themselves a gift on the other person’s birthday. Must have been the expression on my face, he asked son why would you buy a gift. After a couple of guesses, I got the answer, “joy”. Then he asked what would make you extremely happy, now this I answered at the first attempt; seeing my wife happy. To this, he said that is exactly what I was saying. On my birthday she goes and buys herself what she wants, she is happy and when I see her happy I am also happy and vice versa. Logical as it sounded, it also sounded a bit scary to try. Therefore, I just thanked him and went my way.

On my way home, I thought I should at least pick her a card. At the card shop, I found an inexpensive stuffed toy and remembered the day I had come there with my wife and her looking at this toy with some interest. I took a chance. I picked up the toy, a card and couple of red roses. I offered a small prayer in the Ganesh Temple at the street corner. My wife opened the door, with a foolish grin I said “Happy Birthday Darling” handing over the toy, the card and the roses (I do not remember the order). She seemed thrilled. She hugged me and said something like what a wonderful husband I was. I kissed her on her forehead and said “I LOVE YOU” and she whispered into my ears “that’s the most cherished gift you can ever give me”.


Woman, you’ll never cease to surprise me…


Ps: The author likes to believe that no wives have been hurt during the writing of this blog.

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