Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wham! and REALITY hits you!

Life strikes you in the most stark of ways. As usual on 11th july evening.. I doze off while reading some course material.. wake up.. head for dinner and the TV says that seven bomb blasts have ripped apart the western line railways in Bombay. As it is you’re on a high sensitivity and not entirely conscious right after you wake up and I’m struck with this piece of news which strikes me from different directions and I’m left with some question marks facing me..

No.. I’m not cursing the terrorists who did it.. nor am I questioning why they did it! In my attempt to keep my faith in the goodness of a normal human, I’ve convinced myself that when a terrorist does a dastardly act of this magnitude, he’s not doing it out of cruelty, he’s doing it out of a supreme conviction that it is a sacrifice which would serve a greater cause. Terrorists aren’t brutal per se, but they’re brainwashed into believing that this is the only way to reach a goal that’s quite dear to them! Rehan Qadri, or Aamir Khan in Fanaa, was in a similar disposition wasn’t he!

Anyway, NO, this wasn’t the question that faced me.. the question had to do with the impermanence of life.. about the fact that you have absolutely no control as to when you’ll be done with your role on this planet and be embraced by the supreme self (at least that’s how they humor kids who ask about their dead parents). I was struck with the helplessness of an individual against death, which might catch up with him anytime.. anywhere. Among the dead were diamond merchants, probably returning happy after a good day’s trade, there were fathers, mothers, children……….. with a lot of hopes.. dreams..with a lot of expectations from life.. with a lot of life inside them..

and what did it take to just destroy and totally devastate all of it?

Mumbai returned back to normalcy, so did I… guess the high frequency of such shocks has really improved our shock absorbing capacities… 200 dead.. over 700 injured.. and it doesn’t cause us to writhe in our seats anymore! But some lives are impacted… forever! For someone who has been a close witness to the blasts and the consequences.. the images will haunt him for a lot of time to come! Here’s a friend… who’s asking all the innocent questions… having been a rather close witness herself!

angel : u thr?
Wanderer: hi…
Wanderer: how’s you?
angel : hey..
angel : ma bst frndz dad xpired in da blast
angel : had been wit hm da whle day..
angel : ystrdy
Wanderer: Oh...
Wanderer: shit!
Wanderer: sad yaar!!
angel : searchin his body
Wanderer: gosh
angel : yaar..i ws da only person who met his father dat day..
angel : n had 2 identify da body
angel : coz only i knew his clothes
Wanderer: my god
angel : actlly da body had no face so we had 2 jst rely
Wanderer: as in.. the head was gone?
angel : on da clthes n his watch
Wanderer: on the clothes..
Wanderer: man... that can be so painful
angel : n since only i knw
angel : wot he ws wearin..i had 2 identify his body 4rm seventy
angel : odd bodies
Wanderer: that takes a lot of strength yaar .. to go around in the middle of so many bodies
angel : it ws da most painful moment of my life
Wanderer: r u ok?
angel : no..
angel : not yet..
angel : cant get ova it
angel : i met him yaar
angel : jst hrs b4

Wanderer: i was kinda struck.. when i saw the news.. about the impermanence of life!
Wanderer: as in.. not thinking about the virute or vice of the terrorists..
Wanderer: but about how helpless we really are!
Wanderer: it'll take you some time
Wanderer: and when you've come face to face with such a thing, it'll shakes u up totally
angel : how can u dey do dat..
angel : how cn 1 live wit da
angel : fact dat u hve killd more dan 200 pple
Wanderer: look dear..... for the ones who have done it.. it's probably a cause of celebration.. the success for their cause
angel : i neva eva
angel : wnt 2 da hospitalz..
angel : coz im really scared of blood
angel : n i neva i ma life xpectd..
angel : i'll hve 2 do dis..
angel : n dat 2 4 uncle yaaar..
angel : he was a goodman
Wanderer: surely he was!
angel : true...neva eva did nethng wrng
angel : he ws da GM of railwys
Wanderer: the bomb doesn't distinguish yaar... between good and bad ppl ..and neither does death
angel : n still such a simple person
angel : but y him?
angel : no yar
angel : he didnt deserve it
Wanderer: the other 199 ppl must've been good ppl as well yaar.. no one deserved to die in a bomb blast of this kind, no human deserves that!

angel : yaar ma frnd is so childish
angel : yaar
angel : i hv seen pple in piecs

Wanderer: its tough coming to terms with reality when it stares you in the face!
angel : ..pple cryin..
angel : lost hope yaar.
angel : totally
angel : no yaar.
angel : its not fair

Wanderer: and it's really cruel!
Wanderer: look dear..
angel : ya?
Wanderer: take care yaar...
Wanderer: you'll take time to get over it
Wanderer: but be strong
Wanderer: and anytime you feel like talking i'm always there!

angel : ya..
Wanderer: maybe we can try talking it out
Wanderer: so you can get over it
Wanderer: because eventually you have to learn to live with it!

Wanderer: and so does he.. your friend
angel : humm..
angel : ya he is quiet okk, he did not c nethng
angel : it was best 4 him

Wanderer: oh... but he's lost his father my dear!
angel : ha..
Wanderer: the shock is bad enough!
Wanderer: those images will haunt you for a lot of time to come
Wanderer: coz things like this shake you from inside
Wanderer: but you still have to go on!
angel : i cund sleep ystrdy
angel : it ws horrifyin
Wanderer: so take care.. and be strong!
angel : thnks
angel : u tc 2
angel : sorry 2 vent out all this
Wanderer: it's ok
Wanderer: what are friends for!
angel : ya..
Wanderer: and if you feel like talking again...
Wanderer: don't hesitate
angel : atlst datz da only thng u cn live 4!
Wanderer: life goes on my dear.. it doesn't stop!
angel : ya..still whr is hope wen u need it
angel : whr is god?
Wanderer: it's within you
Wanderer: He's within you
Wanderer: there really isn't anything you can look at.. to get strenght
Wanderer: you gotta look at yourself and within
Wanderer: to come to terms with reality
Wanderer: and still go on in life!
Wanderer: don't lose hope
angel : im shattered
Wanderer: and don't let the ppl around you lose hope
angel : ya..
angel : i wll b fine

I’d been wanting to talk on the phone.. without knowing what I’m gonna say.. but I did call.. probably only to listen…. Listen to the goriness of the entire thing.. about the lists of injured and photos of the dead that you have to explore and search in.. constantly hoping that you don’t find the body among the dead but the name in the list of injured.. about pieces of bodies being brought together to become somewhat identifiable.. about bodies needing to be identified by the clothes.. the head being gone.. about a wrist watch that was stuck at 6:30, the time of the blast.. about the shattering feeling and the denial when you do locate the picture of body marked with number 8 on its chest and identify it as the body of your loved one……

And she questioned if human life didn’t have any value.. how could someone do that… and told about the worst part -her having interacted with him on the same morning.. and the difficult to accept fact that he was no more! About his unusual kindness and ashirwaad for her further studies.. about the GM of railways.. who gave his life to the railways and died in the rail as well!
Knowing that no consolations would work at this time… wasn’t much I could do.. she tried to divert.. by asking about me.. again.. I didn’t have much to say.. and then the phone conked….. so I checked online again…

Wanderer: u there?
angel : ya,,
angel : but mi goin..
Wanderer: couldn't hear you on the phone
Wanderer: ok
Wanderer: take care
Wanderer: and anytime you wanna talk
angel : i thnk da cll gt dicnnctd
Wanderer: gimme a call.. or see me here
Wanderer: yeah
angel : ya
Wanderer: take care
angel : ya
angel : tata
what do i say about my state of mind after this?
ignorance is bliss.. probably rightly so...
still puzzled with the nature of life!

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