Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Hatred Has Many Names!

Everywhere I go I see candles lit, people in clusters, sadness is in the air, and fear. Fear is everywhere. Can I walk without the fear that some vehicle driving past me wouldn’t contain a gun that is cocked at me about to spray its deadly missiles at me?

Each day I walk the streets of Bombay with fear. Today was worse, maddening, because as I was leaving office came the news that a bomb has been found at VT station, and mercifully, that it has been defused. I longed for the carefree old days when one could enter the station and before doing so, admire the gargoyles that adorned its waterspouts, the gothic spires and the rotund central dome.

These days I am like a mercenary: I duck from pillar to pillar until I am safely ensconced inside the train. As I leave Bombay behind and enter New Bombay I heave a sigh of relief. New Bombay hasn’t yet been targeted by the terrorists. It’s some sort of hick town in their dictionaries. So much the better.

I see some pictures that have been captured by the CCTVs. It shows the two terrorists gallivanting around a train terminus spraying bullets. They seem, to me, at least, dashing and unafraid, as if they own the place. What gives a person the right to take another’s life, and in such a mean manner? Think about it. What makes someone think they are doing something noble by killing people, spraying bullet inside a train station where people are visiting their dear relatives, inside a hospital where people have come to seek treatment for their illnesses.

Hatred has many names, terror is one of them. There are other names, too numerous to mention. Almost every eye that I see is moist, the train station which reverberated with the voices of thousand people speaking excitedly is only a distant and eerie hum, there’s no end to the tension, no end to the creases of worry on people’s faces.

A numbness, an uncaring, cynical numbness creeps into one. “Come what may, I will go on being this way, working, loving and living in this cruel and heartless city where a friend is a friend if he/she is good looking and successful.” If you aren’t good-looking, successful, trendy and wealthy (like me!) you aren’t anybody. The terror strike has equated the man living in the worst slum with the man living in the posh Malabar Hill and Cuffe Parade.

They both know death doesn’t spare anyone. So why not live as if we belong to the present, not to the past.

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