15 July, 2011

Mumbai bleeds ..... yet again

(pic courtesy : providencedailydose.com via Google)

Mumbai bleeds ………. yet again. The blood of the innocents flows ……….. yet again. Pictures float through all arms of the media – TV, the internet, newspapers ……….. the sheer terror in the eyes of the survivors, blood splatters everywhere, limbs lie scattered ……………. innocent lives have been extinguished forever …….. mayhem rules once again.

I felt totally numb when I heard about the latest bomb blasts in Bombay. Totally numb. I could not react, my thoughts would not flow – nor would the tears. It is all in there, bottled up somewhere but putting a finger on it right now seems a tall task. The heart bleeds, yet again, for a city that had been home in the physical sense for the first two decades of my life. The heart bleeds, yet again, for a city that is and will forever be home in the mental and emotional sense, for as long as I live.

The heart bleeds, yet again, for the many innocent who have lost their loved ones in these fresh round of attacks. My heart for one, among a lot of others’ I’m sure, feels the pain for these innocent Mumbaikars – for, they are now left to reason out the loss of their loved ones, they are left with the unenviable task of finding solace where there is none, of finding answers where there are none, of finding reason where there is none. The heart bleeds for them because despite the fact that they will get no answers to the questions that echo from the bottoms of their bereaved hearts, they will still have to go on with life.

Mumbai is getting hit again and again and again. One would have thought that our government would have learnt a lesson or two from the horrendous attacks on 26/11. But they, seemingly, have not. Maybe they did not have the time for something as trivial. After all, when you live a life as protected as our so called leaders in India do, surrounded by black cat commandos every inch of the way as they step out of their houses, you don’t necessarily have to put in an effort in even trying to imagine what the common man goes through – every day of his or her life, not knowing when they or someone they love is going to be ripped into shreds rather meaninglessly.

What our so called leaders of the nation do instead is thump their chests which have apparently swelled in pride, and proclaim that “the spirit of Bombay lives on”, “the Mumbaikars’ spirit cannot be broken”. Newspaper headlines tout “life back to normal in Mumbai after the bomb blasts”, “95% of the workforce reports to work on the very next day” and our so called leaders smile and say “the spirit of Mumbai lives on”.

The answer, quite incredibly, is rather simple. People simply do not have a choice. They are forced to go on with life as though nothing happened, simply because they do not have a choice.

I was in Mumbai in 1993 when a series of bomb blasts rocked the city. A bomb went off in a building a very short distance away from where I was working. Our building shook, the windows rattled, a few windows shattered and I remember all of us together, crouching under our tables, hearts pounding, palms clammy, sweating profusely in the confines of an extremely cold room. When you come face to face with it, terror does not have a definition. Once planted, it takes root within the psyche, within the heart. On our way back home that evening, we saw bodies and limbs being carted away like offal in truckloads. Yet, the next morning, all of us were back at work as though everything was back to normal, as though nothing was wrong, as though nothing had changed.

Why ?

Simply because we did not have a choice. The same is the case with the Mumbaikars today. A majority of the populace lives a life of quiet desperation, of silent anguish, of unspoken hopelessness. It is not as if they do not have questions, it is just that they know that they will never get answers – not the way the current political system is built.

To the politicians who thump their chests and proclaim that the spirit of Mumbai lives on – I have just this to say – go and ask the parents who have lost their children in such meaningless violence, go and ask the husband who has lost his wife, go ask the wife who has lost her husband, most importantly, go ask the children who have lost their parents to such worthless, inane, senseless acts of terror. Then come back and talk, come back and tell the world about how “the spirit of Mumbai lives on”.

About what Rahul Gandhi had to say about these bomb attacks, honestly, less said the better. I was ashamed to even read what he had said. He compares it to the terrorist attacks on American soil. I have just one simple question for Mr. Gandhi – exactly how many terror attacks have been carried out on the American people on American soil since 9/11 ? Mr. Gandhi, having probably realized that he had shoved his entire foot into his mouth, went on to compare this with the American soldiers losing their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. That, Mr. Gandhi, is totally besides the point. If Mr. Gandhi is done shoving his foot into his mouth, I would suggest he go and shove it elsewhere in himself – in a place that is more appropriate – given the insensitivity he displayed when he shot his mouth off on this issue.

I wish our Indian government was as interested in providing their own citizens with the kind of protection they seem hell bent on providing Ajmal Kasab !!

This attack proved a point in showing that Mumbai today is just as vulnerable as it was on 26/11. Nothing has changed. Given the current state of affairs, nothing probably will. Mumbaikars will be left to handle things as they crop up. Mumbaikars will be left all to themselves, to cope with the situation, to the best of their ability. Mumbaikars will know, just as they do now, just as they have always known, that they have no choice but to go on.

My heart, soul and prayers are with the families who’ve lost loved ones in these acts of violence. May God provide them with solace in ways only He knows how to.

Our prayers are with all the Mumbaikars and with Mumbai.

"Although it is difficult today to see beyond the sorrow
May looking back at old memories, comfort you tomorrow”

~ Author Unknown

2 voice(s) said so:

Cocktail Party said...

I can see that you are angry and you have every right to be...That's all we can do rite...Where are the corrupt politicians leading us ????
How do we put a stop to all this nonsense????

Random Thoughts said...

Sad state of affairs when people stop caring.