Wednesday, July 19, 2006

those 2 minutes

In my earlier life, I never realized “Silence” or “Moun” had such a great power. Rather this very thought took me back in time….

I remember like every ignorant child I would blatantly express my hatred for “Gandhiji”. Blurting those clichés…usne toh Bharat ko barbaad kar diya and all that. But once I realized that being “Gandhi” was no ordinary achievement I have had very high regards for him both as a human being and also as a spiritual guru. Having a dialogue on him is a different issue altogether but this particular essay is all about a sudden surge of thoughts and emotions I went through during those “2 minutes” of silence observed after a week of 7/11. I am amazed by the way this norm of using dates in this particular way has become an order of the day. Possibly it all started with 9/11, then 7/7, 7/26, and 7/11. Obviously all these dates connote disasters, possibly the greatest of all times. I still remember the evening of 9/11. Having just got up after a peaceful siesta, I never knew next couple of hours would shake me up forever. And somehow such disasters have never seemed to cease after 9/11.
President Kalam was at Mahim,a railway station which could easily qualify as the epicenter of 7/11 for a silent prayer meeting. Reports of the vicinity and station premises being cleaned and decorated were coming in from the morning but they scarcely caught my eye. How ironical is it all…? President gets a red carpet treatment for remembering those who have met their fate, in the background garlands of fresh roses dangle and it actually seems like he was there for his wedding reception…? Anyways, I had just returned from my office when this news caught my attention. At exactly 1820 hrs the sirens announced the beginning of those 2 minutes. Anger, guilt, helplessness, a feeling of revenge and such other emotions took over my brain which had almost become numb because of this sudden surge of all kinds of energies. The hatred had somehow made me clench my fists tightly and my brow to take a weird shape. That’s when my mother realized something was wrong and only after she slowly moved her hand on my head, I could come out of that state of mind. But while going through all this, I was still watching the television and could easily make out that “silence” can be such a unifying force. The cowards who did all this should have watched this telecast. Later in the evening I saw a group of young and old people singing some songs which most probably could have been about how we will face these conditions on the lines of “Hum honge kaamyaab ek din….” may be.
There have been times and still I believe that Mumbai is not a city that is actually alive anymore, but today’s experience has changed my perception to a certain extent. My views about Mumbai are again a different topic which I will keep on expressing time and again. But here I feel that whatever I saw today and whatever “Gandhiji” had always tried to teach have got some connection though indirectly. Let’s take it in a very ordinary sense….the silence of 2 minutes was a form of non-violence and in fact all of us, each one of us who observed the silence were together, unified and all of us prayed for nothing of this sort to happen again. The energy that I could sense in this silence was certainly more powerful than the impact the blasts have made. But what happens next?
Somewhere down the line, all Gandhian thoughts lead to changing the self. Once we start changing ourselves for the betterment of other, one fine day the entire world would be peaceful again. But I doubt that in present context and present conditions; though his teachings were very humane and apt, will hardly change this world. And time and again India has been losing precious grounds because of this very policy of tolerance and restraint. I know that these set of thoughts won’t change anything, but still I am yearning for days when innocent lives are not lost. Why don’t the terrorists realize that there are certain emotions, concerns and responsibilities to those who are killed because of their dastardly acts? Again there will be public dharnas, debates and sloganbaaji and all that about how we should tackle all these issues and after couple of days all such concerns will be conveniently forgotten.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

what's happening?

Those days are here again when I am really feeling that “Rationality” is really nearing its end. Time and again we engage ourselves into futile mental exercises and dialogues which yield not a single result. Here the case, of course is the recent inauspicious events that Mumbai found itself in the middle of. I don’t know why this is being done over and over again. Rather than revamping total system from its very root. I know I have been expressing my views after fairly a long time, but to be frank last couple of months have been the most politically unstable circumstances that a common man like me is surviving in. Earlier the reservation protests, Aamir khan controversy, Mini-riots thrown here and there, Shashi Tharoor issue, the rot in the quality of Music, and finally “The Mumbai epic” beginning with defacing the idol of Late smt. Thakare. I know even this essay after meandering through several alleys of strong views and opinions will within a matter of week will be shelved somewhere in vast enormity of the non-existent cyber world. My only wish is let these sentiments grow and become an echo strong enough that the almighty hears them and showers down some sanity, some patience at least. I still wonder what made Zizou commit the blunder of his life……is there any connection, well may be or may be not…!
This time around there are no suggestions from my end because I don’t want to crib over the fact that they fell on deaf ears…after all I am fed up handling so many clichés in life. I just want some chhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggeeeeeeeeeeeeeee……..remember the ad “Mujhe change chahiiiiyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeee” just like that…..following the Mumbai blast watching tele-vision had become such an ordeal that I almost felt like head-butting the idiot box just like Zizou…but it also informed me of an ex-colleague no more and an acquaintance seriously injured….this relation seems to me like as if I am in an infidel marriage…..! Whatever I felt was very well echoed in the debates on CNN-IBN. I beg to the lord to bring an end to all this nonsense! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaasssssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…?