Introspection: The aftermath of Mumbai terror attacks


Many questions to be answered, many situations to be assessed, many revelations to be made, many introspections to be done – the ‘remorseless’ terror attacks have left behind all this, along with the ruined Heritage building that stands tall as a testimony to the conspicuous and flagrant violation of Humanity,  owing to the pot-holes in the security protocol. All this, not withstanding to the warnings from the Intelligence days before. The attacks were quickly followed by shameless castiagtions by the political parties among themselves.

Many questions pondered my mind during these heinous attacks. Who would be responsoble for this blatant failure in securing the Nation? While it is very easy to point out the politicians and a failed system, we conveniently forget how irresponsible, we, the common people are, by ourselves. How compassionate and vigilant are we, of our surroundings? How responsible are we, for our own Nation? It is a time for introspection for every individual who thinks, he holds his Nation in pride.

Did you exercise your right to vote? If not, you do not have the right to raise your voice on the security situation of the Nation today. Over 60 percent of 10.5 million eligible voters in Delhi exercised their votes Saturday. That says 40 percent of them have not cared to vote for reasons whatsoever. 40 percent of 10.5 million is not a small number, and that in Delhi alone. Going by the basic premise that expectations come with responsibilities, millions of people who still do not exercise their right to vote do not have a right to raise their voice either.

And then, how many of us have really been compassionate to the happenings around? How many of us have been vigilant in public places like bus stops and malls? It is not practically feasible to frisk each and every individual in a country with huge population. Installing CCTV cameras at every nook and corner might still not work as a solution if a common man lacks the basic awareness.

Politicians have been so quick in pointing fingers at a neighbouring country. While they might be right or wrong, the issue here is that we need an introspection of ourselves. While the situation might demand toughness in attitude towards a neighbouring country, it is also important that we face our short-comings.

It is not the political system that needs an immediate change, but the thought process of a common man. If we are not going to change, the political system too is not going to change. Until then we all have to put up with the vainglorious political promises.

Finally, do we need to go through all thes terror attacks to understand that our security system is a fiasco? Do we, really, have to lose all those efficient officers to understand the pathetic condition of the bullet-proof jackets the world’s largest democracy has? Aren’t the sacrifices of the great freedom fighters, by themselves, not enough?

Enough is enough! Is the comman man doing something besides lighting candles at the site and  expressing displeasure?

Fiction: About what we can do!


Well, yet again, I blame it on my work schedules for being so “regularly” inconsistent here. But I am happy that I am finally here after two long weeks. And I will be here for good!

My post follows….

A loud burst of laughter! Was that what my answer should have evoked? I still have no answer. Did Ameya and Ashwin actually laugh at me? I do not know it, for, my comprehension was already usurped by my pensive mind. Should I have given a more practical answer? Afterall, what they asked me was whom I missed, the most, all these years being away from my home.

I have never stared at anything so long in my life till now, or so I felt.

“It was a terrible sight”, Ashwin patted me on my shoulder, “but we couldn’t stop it, afterall they cut the tree for a good cause”.

“But we couldn’t stop!” These were the words that alarmed me. Can we really not stop? Don’t we really have any power? And the “good cause” was to lay a damn road full of pot holes. And what did I lose? My best friend from years! I played under that tree and I have my memories associated to it. And now I see it withered and broken infront of me. It is a history now!

                                                                          ****

It was a wonderful evening for me after years! It was just me, Mom and Dad strolling in a park.
Mom was telling how she preferred white paint on the kitchen walls. Dad wanted them to be painted with light blue.
Something caught my attention and I turned back and looked the grass beneath. A half-eaten potato chips bag was lying there. A few yards away I saw two polythene bags fluttering from inside the sand.An empty trash bin with its open mouth was sarcastically staring at me.

“Dad, why do people lack civic sense?”, I was irritated, “Why the heck do we have trash bins then”?
I picked the bags and threw them in the trash bin.
“If you start cleaning the park like this, you would end up toiling the whole day”, Dad thought he cracked a joke.
“Dad, you sound as if you support all those fools who shrugg off from the basic responsibilities towards our surroundings”, I made a point.
“You picked those three bags and threw them into the trash”, he brushed my hair, “but honey! the whole town is full of irresponsible people”, he continued, “What can we do with all of them?”

He made a point. A very good one infact. Another “What can we do”!!

                                                                                 ****

It was raining heavily when I came out of my office. I looked at my watch. Three more minutes for the bust to come and the bus stop was three blocks away. I cursed myself for not carrying a jacket. I ran as fast as I could. Two blocks away from the bus stop! I waited there gasping for the pedestrain signal to turn on so that I would rush towards my bus stop. I saw an old blind lady trying to cross the road. I held her palm and told her that the signal was not yet on.

As the signals came on I took the old lady along with me. The old lady stumbled on the middle of the road. My bad, I thought! I was walking so hastily as I would miss the bus.I slowed down, caught her by her shoulder and left her at the sidewalk on the other side of the road. I was running towards the bus stop unaware of the fact that I would end up remembering that day for my life time.

“Beta”, the old woman called me, “Would you please take me back to the other side from where we crossed?”, she asked.

“But you wanted to cross to this side, right?”, I was impatient as I could see my bus at a distance.

“Yes Beta”, she sounded compassionate, “but I stumbled upon a big stone on the middle of the road”, she continued, “if you could help me, I would want to take the stone off the road”.

I took her to the traffic island on the middle of the road and she did what she said. I stared,yet gain for a long time, at her, until I lost sight of her.

I saw my bus leaving. But it didn’t matter, for I got a point that day. I got an answer to THE question. I marched towards the bus stop with triumph. I could then tell Dad, Ashwin and Ameya on “what we, actually, can do”!