(Delhi Blasts – Sep 13, 2008)

{read the link Delhi bombs follow haunting script & this & nytimes}


…any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. “

{No Man is an Island – by John Donne}

Has death on the Indian streets become such routinized an affair? It, perhaps, has become a routine for the leaders who are at the helm of country affairs in my country. It, certainly, is not for me and other commoners. My heart bleeds for all those innocent people who died in the string of blasts that have rocked my country, that will continue to rock my country. And I will wait for the blast that will take away my life or leave me to lead an existence with no limbs or as a blind or stunted {dumb after having lost vocal chords}. There’s only one question that keeps me intrigued, disturbingly intrigued – why do innocent people, who are managing their lives, sustaining their miserable existence without depending on anyone, have to be at the receiving end of such tragic outcomes, time and again? has the system (the leaders and the anti-human outfits) rendered people as mere numbers, whose lives are considered in terms of tangible figures ? So that means, our lives have no meaning in this system. Nothing much is happening around, and am not expecting anything earth-shakingly different either, it’s painfully sad a realisation, which we have to carry around along with our respective load of life-responsibilities. We move around like people who were introduced to death, who we search for it (subconsciously, may not be articulating) – who will deliver its formal hug, how will it be delivered, do others think I am the one who would deliver it or do I think the young boy who is standing idly near the tea stall, as if waiting for the right moment to launch his mission….It’s simply unforgiveable, unpardonable and unthinkable …this is not an abrupt violence against our physical bodies, this has affected our minds, comfortably made inroads into our psyche. Such a detached and dubious perspective on life. Who will carry the blame?

Regular people like me, on weekends, have simple and regular plans like checking out new models of mobile phones, buying the model that they liked, shopping for a new frock for their little girl, walk around to enjoy tangy-spicy-chatpata street food from their favourite chaatwaala, watching a movie, post which a plan to have some exotic dinner  etc etc.. They usually have no space for plans that involve carrying badly injured bodies of strangers who they walked past, just a few moments ago…..While some irregular people have different plans…to kill regular people or to wake up from their deep slumber to condemn the attacks, or to mouth death in terms of numbers on the TV channels, gush over (with palpable a level of anxiety) the destruction ….and forget about it a week after that. With no Active follow-up of the incident. Bloody media! 

Pablo Neruda’s “The Men”

We transients, we deadbeats: we blunder about
with our big feet and our elbows, our pants and our suitcases,  
from railroads and gangplanks and jets we debark
in funeral hats with our clothing in wrinkles,
trimmers, transgressors, we arrive
from the hotel’s stagnation, our industrial doldrums, 
with our last laundered shirt on our backs
and our ties lost somewhere in the shuffle:
we come just as we are, rattled and long-faced, 
circumspect sons of bitches from the very best neighborhoods,
or simply,
serene in the thought that we owe nobody anything———
all just alike, or alike in our solitude, 
facing our lifetimes ——– poor devils
earning a living or dying, sweating it out
in the usual manner, bureautragically normal,
stacked up on platforms or seated in subways,
on shipboard, in reading rooms, prison cells, mines,   
universities, breweries ———-
(under our clothing, the same thirsty skin)
(the same hair, the identical hair in an assortment of colors)