Did they have a — what could only be described as cruel — sense of irony, those terrorists who attacked India’s financial capital on a Wednesday?
Mumbai — the most multicultural, most vibrant, most crowded, most forgiving, most abused, most accommodating, most burdened, most resilient city in India. The one for whom, as expected, change of name hasn’t brought any change of fortune. If was targeted then, again and again, it is targeted now, again and again. Maybe, when they changed the name, they forgot to ask those numerology experts.
But that it had to happen on a Wednesday — which was supposed to be the counter-attack by the common man, who finally said enough is enough. Alas, screen will be screen, life will be life. And in real life, it doesn’t matter how many times the common man says enough. Those who matter, will not listen. Because they’re busy with issues of religion, caste, region, class, and what not.
I said somewhere today that this is India’s 9/11. What we do now, and what we don’t, will define us. Another friend commented to me that there is, after all, a silver-lining in that the people are getting disturbed, and not getting used to this routine. That something might change.
That something ought to change is uncontroversial. After all, when if not now?
But therein lies the fear: that people, who had nothing to do with this, apart from their birth religion, will pay the price. Because, blood for blood, is the present mantra. Whose blood doesn’t really matter — so far as they can be defined as they. We’ve seen lot of blood on the TV channels, that are beaming it repetitively. That blood needs accounting. And I’m scared shit that that accounting will go horribly wrong. Blood. More blood.
As we wait, the siege is still on. So is the media circus, even though a little toned down. Maybe they’ve met their eyeball targets for the day, even the week.
Tomorrow, or day after, Mumbai will be back to normal. After all, with such a twisted normality that it’s used to, nothing seems too scary. In a few more days, we’ll be back to election sloganeering, posturing, and local petty issues – marathi here, kannada there. How long till the next attack? Now that it’s shown, if ever needed, what a child’s play it is.
At this moment, it’s hard to believe things will change. Those of us who want them to change, probably don’t value it enough. The common man still isn’t ready say: it’s enough. In words, maybe. In deeds?
A black friday, a red wednesday, a gray tuesday … It’s hard to feel optimistic.
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