Am still shell shocked - for even a knee jerk reaction in the blog sphere. I open the net only to check mail. For most of those sixty hours, sat in my cane chair stunned, watching the battle between my country and terror.
Today my son called me to ask why I did not post a blog on the terror attack. Another blog visitor asked me about my ‘deafening silence’. That’s when I realized my views too matter- at least to a couple of people.
And so I post a blog, tho ill prepared for the exercise.
Every terror attack sends a chill down my spine – and with passing years it gets chillier and chillier. But when terror strikes familiar places it freezes you. Leopold was our favourite haunt. After bargaining on the roadside for trinkets for my daughter or popping in at some of the many exciting places in Colaba, I am joined by my husband whose office is in the parallel street and we have a quick bite at Leopold. This used to be a routine while we were in Mumbai.
My niece once took me to the Taj beauty saloon for a hair cut. I have had a dinner there once – a dinner sponsored online by my NRI daughter.
I went into Oberoi restaurant once to find out if a cup of coffee tastes different when you pay Rs.150/ for it; have been to its lobby a few times to meet someone or other.
Trivial things to talk about in the face of the terrible human tragedy. I wondered why I, like many, speak of places and structures when human beings were brutally mowed down. Looking into myself, I realized that this is the way I shield myself from the impact of the terrible truth – the vulnerability of human lives, the targeting of human lives to make a statement; the blinding hatred to which I too could have been a victim had I been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Yes. It’s easier to cry for CST and the Taj and Oberoi. It hurts less. Much less.
There is anger in the real and virtual world. Two types of anger. One good and one bad.
The good anger is what made a Patil’s and Deshmukh’s heads roll; it made Karkare’s wife reject Gujarat Chief Minister’s compensation of crores. It made Unnikrishnan’s father burst out at Kerala Chief Minister. It made Arnab of Times Now think aloud about the inappropriateness of politicians visiting the terror site while the encounter was on. It made me send text messages to NDTV and Headlines Today to the effect that as a citizen, tax payer and voter, I plead with the politicians to keep away from the scene of encounter, refrain from blame game and divisive politics.
This collective anger against the utter failure in governance is positive energy. It should be sustained. It should not be allowed to die. It will make the politicians accountable. This positive energy now pervades the atmosphere in big cities and in the blogshere. What can we do to keep it going? If we the people of India don’t act now, Mumbai will bounce back, we will go back to our daily chores till - - - - God Forbid!
The second anger. Anger against Pakistan. WE are furious. We want to attack Pakistan. In the discussion held outside Taj by Barkha Dutt after the terror strike, Simi Garewal was fuming. She wanted India to deal with Pakistan appropriately. I beg to differ. I feel we have to accept the hand of friendship extended by Pakistan. The statements made by Pakistan Foreign Minister who was in India at the time of the terror attacks can be taken at face value as they were spontaneous, and therefore honest. We are all victims of the same terror, he said. Let’s join hands and fight this together. To which Headlines Today‘s anchor’s remark was ‘let him walk the talk by destroying the terror camps in POK’. If it is as simple as that, won’t Pakistan do it? On account of political compulsions, our government began a blame game to which Pakistan promptly responded in a similar manner. Indo-Pak relationship is back to square one. Will/should India attack terror camps in POK? Will that solve this problem as many seem to think? Is a clash of two nuclear powers the only way out? I don’t know. But one thing I know. I don’t want to get annihilated in the process of teaching Pakistan a lesson. I want to live. I want India to live.
In the meanwhile, divisive elements have begun their mission. That’s for my next post.