It was late monsoon evening. Clocks all over India were about to show seven. People, after a demanding day, were longing to return to their houses for a peaceful repose. In one home, kids eagerly awaited their father who had promised to bring them ‘batata wadas' and in other, a doting daughter baked cake for her working mother.
But their waits proved to be ceaseless. A bomb -blast, and their lives changed forever.
Last night, after dinner, when I switched on the television set, little did I expect to see such saddening, gory pictures all over. ‘Serial blasts in Mumbai’ flashed conspicuously across the screen aggravated by ‘Exclusive pictures’ flashing constantly below it in an even bigger font. The death toll was increasing every minute. I immediately called up my friend who resides in Dadar to enquire about her well-being. To my respite, she was fine. However, this feeling of relief in me persuaded me to hate myself. I was relieved after ensuring that my friend was safe but what about those who lost their lives with no fault of theirs? What about thousands of those people who have lost their dear ones? What about those mothers who had to endure the sight of their sons’ mutilated bodies? For how long does this incident affect those of us who just watched this news on our television sets sitting in our drawing rooms? Or those of us who read about it in newspapers while sipping our bed- tea? Are we becoming emotionless? Or are we used to hearing such news so often that it hardly makes a difference to us? The emotions, emotions of sympathy, pity, care, angst and contempt, in our hearts are dead and no sound, not even of a bomb-blast, can wake up a corpse.
The politicians, the very leaders of this country are heard saying that not all terrorist attacks can be averted. Why can’t we go to them, look into their eyes, and ask them rightfully-why? Why can’t we feel safe and secure in our own motherland. They say this attack was planned in a highly clandestine manner. Obviously, no militant organisation in this world would broadcast their malicious intentions.
I don’t know if this comparison is apposite but it just occurred to me. After 9/11, US government has not let a single terrorist organisation eye its country. They successfully executed a seemingly impossible task of killing Osama-Bin-Laden and what are we doing? We are harbouring Ajmal Kasab in a
VIP cell of our prison, nurturing him for the past two years and waiting for another ‘Kandhar hi-jack’ to happen.
This incident too would soon be forgotten like the rest were. Call it the spirit of Indians or their helplessness but we are so accustomed to move on. Is moving on the only choice we have? None of us wants to answer this question in affirmative.
“Where minds are without fear, the head is held high.”
I, like most of us, want every citizen of my country and everybody else’s country to walk around with their heads high. Let’s hope this utopian vision soon becomes a reality.