To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A friend of mine asked me ‘so aren’t you going to blog today?’ and I realised he may be assuming I would want to share my opinion on the terror attacks on my blog…

It is not that I am lacking in sympathy or sentiment at such times; I feel anger, frustration, bitterness as much as anyone else, but I think what I most feel is a sense of being ‘unfortunate’—unfortunate of being born in a country where anyway everyday is a struggle, where anyway giving thought to the higher things in life isn’t easy, and in the midst of it all, we grapple with countless agencies that make it almost impossible to—forget about rise above the challenges of everyday living—but make even simply living itself impossible.

But why do I not feel like venting out my feelings at such times? Why do I not make use of these situations to wax eloquent about what the country is coming to, what a handful of politicians are doing to us, what a corrupt system we have, how horribly inadequate our forces are…? Do I prefer to shut all these issues out by not talking about them?

I don’t know…

There is a section of people called the media that are much involved in the business of news mongering during such ultra busy periods of their work life. I do not know if I feel more disgust or amusement at the way in which they go on blatantly with ‘we were the first to break this sensational new development’, ‘our reporter xyz saw the whole story unfold before his own eyes’! But why blame these people who are, to use a cliché, ‘only doing their job’. Isn’t it we, the curious and voracious public, that encourage such sorry and pathetic reporting? More pathetic in the light of the horror they unceasingly seek to capture… with the abundance of such story tellers and first hand reporters around, I feel what need for me, an under informed, passive victim in a way, to share my views in the midst of the thousands floating around…

The question does come into my mind—by staying quiet, do I make anything better? The answer is simple enough as I see it. Am I not doing every duty as a law abiding, responsible citizen by paying taxes, electing representatives to run the government…? If judges are incapacitated, can I act as a judiciary? If doctors do not function, can I operate on the ill? If the government does not do its job, can I do it for them? In settling for a democracy (of the people and so on), do we not essentially put up a mechanism that will take care of the needs of its every citizen, at least its most basic needs of safety and security? What do we do if that machinery is not efficient or totally damaged? And even if we know what is the most obvious thing to do, by which I mean replace the machinery, do we take any concrete steps to do that when we engage in armchair talks, group discussions and interviews of diverse people once the real ordeal is over? Is there something we can actually ‘do’ to change this machinery, something that we can collectively ‘work upon’?

I don’t know… really, really don’t know…

Earlier whenever there have been such horrifying incidents happening in the city, one heard of this strange creature called ‘spirit of Mumbai’ that apparently was above it all, and seemed to rise after every attempt at stifling it, almost as if from the very dead. I have always found it funny, if not tragic, that people’s (by people here I mean the relevant authorities) tendency to forget what was done and to go about their businesses as if nothing really happened, was admired and eulogised with such poetic words almost. I would have begged to ask, what was the alternative if one did not ‘carry on with spirit’—fight back maybe? But because we chose to forget and live and let live those who didn’t really deserve to, we become a resilient and never say die and spirited Mumbai! I hope we can finally see through the irony; I’d much rather we be tougher and don’t forget and don’t let things keep happening to us, than be all ready to as the same ‘media’ calls it ‘bounce back’ and keep bouncing back again and again after being repeatedly hit.