I am not sure whether I am getting callous. Yesterday afternoon, when I was at work, there was an update in the web space that Mumbai was caught in the midst of yet another series of blasts. Oh, God! Yet another one. I hope nobody is injured, and I continued with my day's work. I am ashamed to admit that I could not get myself to evoke a stronger reaction. The number of blasts this year has almost made me (read us) numb to the whole blasts theory. Bangalore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and this list, unfortunately, is endless. As I came home, and realized what had happened, I was filled with a sense of terror and guilt. Terror because, you expect to see all these things in an action movie, but when you see it live through the lens of a cameraman, you realize how severe the magnitude of the attacks are. When did we get involved in crossfire? Guilt, because, there is nothing that you can do about the whole thing. It doesn't matter where you stay, these are things well beyond your control. The least I could do was call up friends to find out if their families were safe.
There is a strong media coverage for a day, and magically, after a few hours of debating about the security system and other important things, we switch back our minds to the trivialities, continuing to do what we have been doing all along. Yes, we are born to live tough. We are not a perfect country. We wade through the difficulties, and try to live life, as though there was nothing that happened all along. The system immediately dubs the whole process of getting back to the routine in a phrase that brings in a sense of pride to the citizens - SPIRIT OF MUMBAI. What the hell! How many times are we going to label ourselves with the same tag? Yes, the city will come back to normal, but what about the deaths of so many people. Are we doing anything to stop the terror that gets unleashed time and again? We just cannot walk away from the scene, come back the next day, and say, Whatever happens, we just have to move on with life. Yes, we have to move on with life, but we should ensure that we at least try to avoid the same mistakes in the future. One of my friends quipped, " What are you talking about security? We are a nation of a billion people, even if a firecracker bursts in a corner, we are going to lose a hundred people!". Yes, very much true, but should this be an excuse? We have a strangling population, but we have to do something to regulate our security measures, isn't it? A simple example of how we do not care about our lives - I walk through the metal detector at the railway station; the policeman brushes me aside with a nonchalant swagger. I was not even sure whether the detector works well. At least these are things well within our control, why can't we get these things right?
Blasts apart, our politicians have more compelling issues.
- Change the names of the cities - Mumbai or Bombay; does it even make a difference to us?
- We have a great problem, we have to prevent the North Indians from writing railway exams.
- Whatever happens, we are concerned with votes. Appease him, appease her, appease whoever you can, but win the elections!!!
- Every politician has to make sure that he has something to offer, even if that means, messing up the whole situation.
As I switch different channels, and try to update myself with the latest happenings, I am very well aware that the next headline would be something to do with the SPIRIT of Mumbai. But, for now, that's exactly what I want to see, yet again!!!