Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Moving ahead

I have been away from my blog and my email account for the past few days ... checking them on my phone and not replying. After being glued to them day and night for the past many days I felt that I had to have something substantial to say in my next post. I just felt that I couldn't easily slip back to writing about trivial things in my life; that I couldn't suddenly be normal after everything that has happened. I should not have worried about it, all around me people who were affected have found ways to be and remain a part of this - whatever 'this' is. Overwhelmed is the emotion I have now, next to the grief and anger I talked about - the help and support that people have poured out in every way possible makes me feel like a part of a large whole, it makes me feel hopeful. I was afraid ... what if I got caught up in life and let 'this' die. I should not have worried.

All you guys, we didn't start this but we are going to keep this alive.


Last Wednesday I went to Town, Town is what we like to call South Bombay. It was the longest drive ever - literally and figuratively. I had planned to meet a darling friend and her mum and also wanted to go to the peace march. A close friend didn't want me to go, his point was that there are other ways to help ... still on my way I had thought that I will go to Gateway, what he doesn't know can't hurt him (or me). There are things you need to do for yourself, this just seemed like one of them.

I was scared, I just wasn't sure how I would feel going back to the streets and places which for me are Bombay. I live in the suburbs in a very well-planned township which is cosmopolitan, has all the conveniences and joys which most parts of Bombay cannot afford like open spaces, parks, malls, movie halls, restaurants, nice looking buildings, minimum filth etc. - everything within a 5 min. walk radius. For living, this is the kind of place I would like to live in but this township could have been in any part of India. For me its the colonial structures, the oval maidan, the marine drive, the arched corridors at Fort, the painters at Kala Ghoda, the bustle at causeway ... these are what make it Bombay. The years that I have been here in this city, I have spent numerous days walking about and absorbing the feel of the place and they just keep me coming back. Even the book sellers who aren't there any more, Churchill, Jimmy Boy, NCPA, Rhythm House ... they all are such a part of this city for me that I was scared for what I will feel when I go back this time.

I did feel that heavy sadness which just settles on you, I felt the anger at the thought of these madmen roaming the streets of my city, I felt the sting of tears . But it was some other feeling that took over very soon. I saw the sea of humanity surging towards Gateway, I saw people of all ages, people from different walks of life, people with laptops and people with children, people in groups and people walking alone, people with banners, our flags - they filled the very streets where the terrorists had roamed less than a week back. With rumors still rife it may not have been the safest thing to have over 2 lakh people gather in a not so large space but it did not seem to matter. I was stuck in the traffic for almost two hours and even those who tried to walk it were a part of a pedestrian jam and never reached till Gateway, it hardly mattered though. I have to say that I have never seen or felt anything like it - that traffic snarl and that logistical nightmare was the nicest thing that happened to me after those days.

The movie Halla Bol has this dialogue which I completely love, Pankaj Kapoor (playing Siddhu) says ... Apne Jism pe chot lagne pe to janwar bhi rota hai, insaan wo hai to doosre ki chot mehsoos kar sake - Even an animal cries when there's a wound on its body, a human is one who can feel someone else's wounds.

Sometimes you just need to know that people are affected, that they will walk to a crowded Gateway to speak up - even if that's the only thing they do, that you live in a world where 'everything doesn't go'.


Serendipity said...

I know exactly what u mean. I was trying to move away from a few feelings which seem to have engulfed me, but I cant.
Momentary happiness and fleeting events fun ... and then its back to the anger, the feeling of NOW WHAT?

Need to talk to you. We need to start something. Cant take this lying down. Thats for sure.

Parul said...

Nomad - Everyone's talking about channelizing one's anger, including Sri Sri Ravi Shankar so I won't get into that. From personal experience I can vouch for the fact that helping out, in however small a way one can is the best way to snap out of this grief and misery. Kiran's effort is wonderful and I really hope both you and Serendipity can join in.

Long comment. Phew. I don't need to exercise now :)

Hrishi said...

I understand and feel what you have written.

Hang in there buddy!!

The Nomad said...

Thanks, Hrishi!

hitch writer said...

I hope everything DOESN'T go...

the fog is setting in !!!

The Nomad said...

I hope it doesn't. I hope it doesn't.