Sunday, April 13, 2008

mumbai files

was going through some of my unpublished blogs and came across this one, one of my first, July 24, 06...
it talks about people becoming immune to death and circumstances, especially in india. i have seen three riots, terrorism in punjab and as u will read, missed the mahim blast by one train.  and seen people dying in front of me, handled a dead body (if this sounds like bragging, try touching a body which has turned cold, rigor mortis has set in, it will freak u out) so have i become numb, yes i have, and u will too. should i, no, but as much as you try not to change, ur experiences touch and scar ur soul, it takes ages to get to that level of consciousness where u can control ur unconscious, and i just hope i get there. 

so here goes...

amazing that the first post in bombay files is being written towards the end of my stay here. its been a long stay, and the 'maximum city' has lived up. floods, riots, bomb blasts and all this in a couple of months. 

was telling someone, life is cheap in india, a billion people, who cares if one departs. heard this guy hanging on the edge, holding the middle polev(travel in a local to know) for life in a local shout out to the crowd inside, 'arrey andar jaao nahi to ek kam ho jayega'. no one budged, don't think anyone heard it either. 
but the reaction this time has been different. after the two days of the same old 'we will fight back', 'undying spirit of mumbai' etc etc, started the editorials about how this is more of an escapist excuse we are giving to cover up. this urge to find some positive in all the ruins, to some how still brag about something after failing miserably, to say that 'no, not all is bad' so that our pain lessens. so that we donot have to face the harsh truths.
there was this article today about memorial being laid at mahim station, i was there the day abdul kalam was here, saw the huge crowds. heard the people shouting vande mataram at the top of their voice. the article says that atleast now we are recognising that lives were lost, they were valuable and should be remembered. i agree. the author ask why was this not done before. if all the western countries have being doing it for ages, why not us. well for them a madrid blast happen once every 15 years, for us a bombay blast or a tsunami happens thrice a year. the entire country will be full of memorials!!!

BUT original thought is this, why now?? why are we waking up to the fact that sab chalta nahi hai, making life normal as fast as possible is not that important, sometimes its important to go through the pain, let it seep in, to realise what has happened, to reflect and to make some changes, why now??
my guess is india is becoming more mature. its been 50 years since our independence, about 15 since we became econmically independent, and today we are in a far better economic position then ever before. today the issues are not as basic as unavailability of food n water, today its not necessary for every one to be back on their feet the next day and go for work, else they will not earn enough to feed their family. today we are better off.
we know that the country is doing well, and not only do we know this, but we are also assured that it will keep on progressing, and so the issues which were less important yesterday, all the social issues, are taking prominence today.
so is this a natural progression for any country, if so then what differentiates countries. by this pattern, we can expect africa to go through the same in the next 10 - 20 - 40 years. the thing which differentiates is how fast we get to this stage. US took almost 150years, we are there in 50.
hmm... thats all for now!!!

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