As I write this, an Air India London-Delhi flight is preparing for emergency landing at Delhi airport. This is 'breaking news' on Star and Aaj Tak.
So many breakdowns, in so short a span of time. Some natural (non-stop rain over large parts of India), some man-made (ONGC fire, terrorist attack in Srinagar, the earlier plane skid involving - is it more than coincidence? - Air India).
Yeh ho kya raha hai. We've always been a country where things are not quite perfect but somehow life continues to function 'normally'.
Those who believe in that astrological alignments would say 'buri dasha aayi hai'. Philosophy kaho ya realism, the events of the past week have brought home the fact that life is very fragile. When your time on this earth is up, it's up. Nothing you can do about it...
Death be not proud
Sometimes it can come up on you unexpectedly - like it did for the many whose houses collapsed all of a sudden on July 26. Or the three teenagers who were asphyxiated in their car outside Mithibai college.
At other times you can see death approaching. And that, is even worse.
My favourite uncle started having 'back pain'. All kinds of remedies were tried - it would just not go away. Two months later came the startling diagnosis: cancer in the kidney, stage 4.
Last Wednesday he passed away. It took less than 8 weeks for the disease to ravage his body, his mind and his family.
Life is so unfair. That a man so good, so kind, so generous, so wonderful, jovial and loving should die at the age of 48. Just like it's so unfair that those 3 teenage boys should die in this freak rainfall - a few minutes after calling home to day they were OK.
And at times like this all I can think is the 'cycle of rebirth' makes sense. Maybe we do suffer in this life for past sins and lead a better one in our next birth.
And I say this not as a devout Hindu but just as someone searching for some kind of answer to the cards which appear to be dealt out so randomly by the Hand Above...
Update @ 11.30 pm: The Air India passengers landed safely... NDTV is reporting today's rains were 'not like last time'. Now all we need is a little sunshine to really lift the gloom hanging - literally - like mist over this city....!