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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

State of Fear

History is a little like the most boring professor we used to have in school - always repeating herself, only for her words to fall on deaf ears. But, she'd always have the last laugh, when we came up short in every test that she threw at us.

Everytime, we resolved anew that we would heed her words carefully. Of course, by the time her tests caught us by surprise, we had forgotten what she taught us last.We clenched our fists, gnashed our teeth, orated about her cruelty in our closed rooms, and went on with life hoping we'd get rid of her soon.

Hearing a news channel airing a 'breaking news' program, as soon as I stepped into my house, I realised that there we were again. Mumbai - the business capital of India. THE Metropolis. The City of Dreams. Blasts. Flashes. Shrapnel. Screams. Death. Destruction. Sympathy. Concern. Apathy.

Frantic calls to loved ones. Concern giving way to annoyance on finding jammed phone networks. Texts, emails, twitter updates, FB updates, and now Google+ updates too.

It doesn't take much to throw our nation into a frenzy. All it takes is a bunch of lunatics to target a busy area in a major city, and wreak havoc. News channels have a field day, waving their microphones in the faces of the dying, the injured and the bereaved. Our respected leaders leave no stone unturned to illuminate themselves from the burning pyres of the dead. Our security agencies go into a tizzy and blame 'foreign hands' trying to destabilise our country.

We oscillate between incredulity, anger, outrage and despair, sending our blood pressure to alarming levels. Absent-mindedly, we stir our bitterness into our coffee cups and drink them down.

13/12. 26/11. 13/7. 10 dead. Thousands feared killed. Hundreds injured. Mere dates, mere statistics to be relegated to some file gathering dust in the corner of a government office, piled up for 'compensating' the relatives of the dead. Numbers to be quoted by politicians spewing vitriol. People who were neglected in life, finally getting some 'value' ascribed to them post-death.

We'll hold candle-lit vigils at India Gate, watching the ficklely flickering flames. We'll organize prayer meetings at the Gateway of India, letting our tears be one with the salty sea. We'll attempt to drown out terrorism by flooding social networks with our rants.

Of course, we'll tighten our security. We'll install CCTVs at busy markets, allowing pot-bellied policemen to ogle at nubile girls. We'll hand metal detectors to security guards, hoping their loud beeps scare away miscreants. We'll double the security of our leaders, to keep their revered souls safe from the madness.

Then, a few months later, that cruel professor called History will throw us another test, and laugh as we miserably fail again. We'll clench our fists, gnash our teeth, orate about her cruelty in our closed rooms, and go on with life hoping we'd get rid of her soon.

4 comments:

Yash said...

and the solution is?

Chronus Ess said...

How can this be the state of a country known for it's hospitality and a fearless batch of soldiers protecting her from the outside?

Sumit said...

@Yash - I wish I knew! :(

@Chronus - Seriously! :(

Priyanka said...

I wallow in the helplessness... in being useless.