July 13, 2006

Back to Normal?

So here I am, typing something inane on a blank document as a city tries to forget what should not be forgotten and limps back to normal. But “normal” for Bombay has changed…

Here is a city that pretends to go about it’s routine tasks as if it has not witnessed something terrible - an attempt to destroy the very cogs that make it function, like a well-oiled machine, is that normal?

Where there was not enough place to stand on both feet, where people were happy to swing with one foot in the compartment and the other dangling out just relieved that they had managed to catch the train, now there is place to actually sit on the seats. The same guy who dangled from the edge of the train now checks under the seats before sitting down, is that normal?

k’s cousin, Hardik who boarded the very same compartment that was blown to bits at Mahim now relives the terrifying scene every day even as the doctors have declared him fit to go home, he has cried not just once…relieved that he is alive or stricken that he would have to live with memories that cannot be erased? Will life be normal for him again?

Back in Madras, my mom tells me about my brother’s friends who wonder what unknown power still lets them live, breathe, feel…alive. They both usually board the same trains at the same time, on Tuesday, one decided to take the bus “for a change” and the other had an accident recently and stayed back because the doctor had advised bed-rest. Lucky souls in an unlucky time. Will life be normal for them?

And here in the US, as I fearfully clicked on a link that declared that there were blasts in Mumbai, as I anxiously scanned more articles online and then even more frantically dialed the 15 digits that I can now dial in my sleep, over and over again, as I imagined the unimaginable for those few minutes that it took for me to talk to familiar, tinny voices so many miles away…I wondered if it was all worth it? Did I feel guilty because I was so far away, safe in my cocoon while Bombay burned? Did I feel helpless that I could do nothing? Selfishly happy that my brother who works in Bombay was at Madras for a short vacation and that my in-laws were safe? Or did I just feel plain scared?

So, what’s your point, you ask me. I don’t know. Meaningless rants, emotional trash dumped on you all…anyway, I, will also be “normal” soon, just like Bombay.

God bless Bombay and the spirit of Bombay.


IBH said...

Your last scentence ....the struggle u had to keep it non-selfish..still u can only think of ur parents and immediate family memeber when such things happen...I can very well relate it happened the exact way when I learnt by my dad was in Indonesia during the second massive earthquake...and the feeling i had was inexplicable...

glad to hear that all ur near and dear ones are safe and the same time it is such a sad thing that innocent people had to undergo such pain!

this is one of the incoherent comment i have ever posted...but the feeling u are facing , i can so very well understand and relate!

Parth said...

As a nation, we need to decide if we are going to sell ourselves cheap as a soft-state, or actually have the guts to do something about it. Everyone knows where the terror comes from, yet we do nothing about it. The platitudes of the politicians infuritate me beyond all reason. You can almost trace back to the exact same words they said to every single time there has been a terror attack.

Prem said...

I can totally understand your feelings. Didn't know that Lakshman was working in Bombay(Arundhati told me today). I was under the impression that he was in Hong Kong. Glad to know that everyone from Kamal's family is fine.

I still cannot comprehend the fact that I missed 6 of 13 bomb blasts in 12-Mar-1993 by an hour or so.

Hats off to spirit of Bombay. Nothing deters them.

We need to put an end to this mess. I would tell the Indian gov to learn from Israel regarding protecting its citizens.

Btw, this is the first time I am posting a comment, let me know if there are any etiquettes to be followed in posting comments to a blog.

RS said...

IBH - I know what you are saying :)

parth - And each time we forget to be reminded like this yet again...

prem - your comment is perfectly ok!

As an aside, I wish they wdn't block blogsites back in India...maybe I'll ask arun to set up a feed reader :)

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