Saturday, November 29, 2008

A post to make me see sense

Ever since 26 night, as the whole drama unfolded, I have become numb by slow but sure degrees. The hostages who came out, most of them amazingly clam, poised and appreciative of the hotel staff and the commandos, surprised me with their impeccable hold on themselves.

We had been joking about a 'strike' for sometime now, and a few days ago, I had imagined the place if there were an attack. I actually saw bodies lying scattered for a second, and that open-eyed nightmare / simulation sent a shrill down my spine. Now, as the hours passed into another set of bloody, helpless hours, precisely the same imagination of horror was taking place somewhere else...

Taj, Trident, Oberoi , CST... more...

In the past 2-3 days, some of my very beliefs, my way of thinking has come under a tremendous thump. For the first time in my short short life, have I questioned myself about the persistence to be liberal minded, secular, shun generalisations and be open- to all. I called up Baba in face of the turmoil I was facing and I could not possibly let grow. His words, simple and straightforward as they always are, have reined in my stream of confusions significantly.

Terror is not the face of any religion, I still cajole myself to believe. I know, I know. 'Still cajole myself to' should be eliminated to sound correct, to represent a secular, broadminded chunk of mindset through this blog. But this space is free of any adages-personal or professional. And so I feel, it is my duty to my conscience to be honest here. For the first time, first unfortunate time, I am faltering from the beliefs I held so firmly. How could someone manage to do such a ghastly thing motivated by a war of faith? If faith, any faith it may be, can produce such brainwashed young men, I may well be on my way to become either an atheist or conversely, take deep deep refuge in the teachings and consequently, a deeper understanding of religion.

The other day Void had written this post, and I had replied there, my optimistic self, that hate is a counter-productive emotion. The problem is, counter-productive though it may be, incidents like these can very easily give vent to hate. Perhaps that’s what they exactly wanted. That's what Baba said. If you doubt your stance now, they will win. They wanted to spread a lot of hate. If you unwittingly fall prey, they will win. He said I am too small, too young and so I am likely to jump and take a anti-this or for-that stand. Even at 24, for him I will still be in the cradle. But at 59, you start seeing life very differently, don't you? A few years ago, in my college days with late evenings and long phone calls, my parents had this anxiety which they so elegantly controlled so that their concern might not come in the way of my discovering life for myself. Then, they said you just won't understand what we are scared of. Six years down the line, I now know what they meant. I must listen to him now.

I was toying with the idea of removing the Dhoop Kinare videos. I was angry hearing about the very evident Pak connection and my anger suddenly took a collective, desperate form. Till I called my father. I know he is right. Everything begins and ends with the moral fabric of an individual, he said. A trivial connection when cited with respect to such a massive, such a horrific attack. But brood over it and there’s so much truth in it. Hate is such an expensive, fatal emotion to invest in. It produces nothing but regret.

So however confused, however shaken that I may be, I am going to stick to my original line of thought. Terror is not the face of any one religion. People, as a whole, are good. I am going to repeat this to myself a hundred times over till I can say it one breath, with as much conviction I said this before the 26th. If I can't, as Baba said, they will win. We can't afford one more person added to the vicious cycle of hate. Writing this post really helped me frame my random mind. What have you been thinking since the 26th? Are you still the same?


Anonymous said...

I'd agree with Baba.

I often have no way channelling the anger I feel when such events unfold. For now, it is being vented against the politicians and the media. Every time, however, I am sure of one thing -- I cannot retaliate in the same manner. One, it leaves no difference between them and me and Two, it is not a permanent solution.

I have been chatting with friends who are ready for a war, want a gun, want to kill -- thinking that it will be an end.

This is not how it will end. Only reduction of hate and expression of "true" respect for life will ensure the death of hate.

We have been talking of the inaction of our government in implementing security. If you assume for a minute that all security policies are implemented, will this be controlled? Will we never have an attack?

I doubt.

Unless I respect equally and truly, every person living in this country there is no end.

(And no, I am not the same) :)

Internation Musing said...

good posting, will put it on internations..))

Gauri Gharpure said...

Atul-- while the present vent at politicians and to an extent even media, is justified, i feel, but both your points, especially point two-- not being a permanent solution-- make sense. in fact, coming to thing abt it, was there ever a perfect solution in the first place?

'only reduction of hate and expression of true respect for life will ensure the death of hate'. couldn't agree more. those are beautiful, thoughtful words..

Hans-- thanks so much. internations is a huge platform. we all are pretty stunned here in India. take care, Gauri

Joe Pinto, Pune said...

Hi Gauri,

For the moment, agree with your Baba, and let them not win -- by giving in to hate. But in the long run, you will have to find it in yourself to be constructive.

For example, form a small group of like-minded people in your office, in the neighbourhood who support one another and do something to bring people together.

During the coming week, for example, I am going to start by visiting my dearest Muslim friends (for I am fortunate to have many of them) and chatting with them about this and that.

I know how much they will be suffering at this time, because many misguided Hindus are going to harass and hassle them.

So, it will help me and them to be together and re-assure ourselves that we are good people and that there are enough good people like us in this world -- to make a difference.

Warm regards,
- Joe.

Joe Pinto, Pune said...

Gauri - And one more thing. Keep smiling, that wonderful smile of yours -- every time you feel down.
Warm regards, - Joe.

Ibanov, Sir Rekaf said...

A momentary shock on first seeing the reports, followed by a sense of safety till the next strike. So yes, pretty much the same.

Gaurang Raval said...


Normally i dont take these attacks so personally and dont react so aggresively. but somehow this time i have not spend a single minute thinking without mumbai attack. even in my dreams i see taj and oberoy..! i feel that this is the time where something must happen rather we all must do something strongly to fight against this act of terrorism. I have never expected much from our leaders but the way they are reacing now, makes me angry and cry. If i happend to meet ANY of our leaders, i m gonna tell only one thing "SHAME ON YOU"!! i feel very sad and angry whenver i remember this attack. i am glad that you have written on your blog and ppl are actually replying..! take care..(sorry for the spelling mistakes) Gaurang

dhritiman said...

I read...very passionately written...we all are prone to disillusionment at some stretch of life... =) yes you heard it right..disillusionment =) some events in life do try to damage our moral fabric...but i feel in trying to do so they actually give us a chance to reweave it..maybe in the same pattern..with slight changes in a manner which can withstand the next such attack and cause less damage to the fabric =)

suren said...

u r right in a way.. i too went through a low phase but for slightly different reasons.... i was wondering about the systems in place and our faith in those systems... was the system fooling us ... are we also responsible for the existence of this system.. are we also guilty of having extended the existence of these systems... some have been answered some havent been.... :)

POOJA NAIR said...

Dear Gauri,

what an adorable, honest post!

Congratulations to you and to our nation that you stuck to your original beliefs...

i am not much older than you are, 26, but let me explain how i see it:

Yes. Islam, today seems to be a fertile place for breeding terrorism. Nothing wrong in acknowleding that. Its a fact noone can run away from.

But still that does not mean that Islam is evil or that everyone who follows islam is a potential teroist. Thats what we have to remember.

Only then can we maintain the fragile "unity" in india.

Only then can we defeat the evil terrorists.


firaq darvesh said...

Dear Gauri,
I am sure,you are, and will be once again the same smilling, cheerful,simple,loving person for yourself, the rest of the world and to me,my little dear child for ever!....
because, it is indeed very difficult to keep alive the child in a person, and you have achieved it! Congrats for the transparancy of your heart,mind and soul....
keep it up, keep loving, rest all, leave it to allmighty God...!
In the end, i will humbly submitt...

( After embrassing the religion of love, ( I found ) The whole world started yearning in my heart....! )

Gauri Gharpure said...

Dear Sir,
I was touched by your decision to call up, visit and talk with your Muslim friends in these difficult times. And --as long as I am cocooned with the presence of people like you, my father, and so many unknown friends who speak their noble minds here, I have no reasons to stop smiling.. :) thanks...

Ibanov--- pretty much the same.. so true-- tht's the beauty of life, so to say, shields you completely as long and as soon as it can.. we must just remember the lessons whilst we swing back to our routine.

Gaurang-- Long long time!! kem chhe?? You being involved in the mission to remove hatred and motivating the youth to see sense, through various activities, the Nazariya film screenings, etc have done a lot more than perhaps mere words here. but whtever little each person can do, by speaking up, must be done, and I am glad to have this blog as a medium...
leaders--- they are so pathetic, I have not even allowed myself to touch on the shameless behaviour and foul my mood any further.. magaj kharab thai jaay chhe politicians na statements sambhli ne.. but I am going to vote this time, tht much i have decided.

Dhritiman-- i wouldn't call it a disillusionment. It's just that such events are meant to shake the entire fabric, with designs to start a cycle of hate, blame and more violence.. we must not fall prey to them, and the slight changes we need to do is to stop proceeding on separatist lines as misguided by our 'leaders'. this includes religious fundamentalism--- from all sides, llinguistic and regionalistic separatism. if we can do so, there will be less damage to the fabric..

Suren-- the system was, is and will fool us till we take stock of our own petty lives and start giving importance to ourselves. we have been on morphine, literally, the middle or upper middle classes-- blind to hunger, violence and all sad things that happen right off the footpath. it's time each person like u and me begins to function as a micro-system .. it ll make a huge difference, believe me...

Pooja-- ur comment is as candid :).ur comment is essentially the summing up of this long and (sometimes verbose) post... No religion, be it Islam or Hinduism or others, should attempt to become larger than life. firt the human, then the rituals... thanks for being here and speaking yoru mind. be back soon..

Baba-- so you finally remembered how to log in! :) thanks.. if you will notice, most of what I write is about what I have heard from u and aaji. I am just the medium of your beautiful thoughts.. I was also very touched by Mukesh kaka's prompt reply.. the sher is as usual, beautiful. please make a diary and don't write it on some envelopes..

Gauri Gharpure said...

And baba, thanks for calling Aaji to read the post, she is very happy seeing my writing after a long time! You must get her used to the internet so that she can read my blog, please..

firaq darvesh said...

Dear Gauri,

" Huwa hun aashna in hawao.n aur fizaon ka...
Zara dekhen ki mausam-e-ishq ab saath de jayen...
( i have become a friend of the winds and these atmosphere/
( ambiance -; with my simple,humble assosiation with nature...)
Let us see ( wish/pray ) that the season of love becomes fruitful!)

*-I am sure,if our means are pure,compassion,love and prayers in the form of sincere work, will overpower hatred,pains and tears....

I promise to right in notebooks now, and make aaji sit with me to read your beautiful writtings....

*-pls pardon me for my spelling mistakes

feddabonn said...

heya gauri, you might find this interesting:

or google this if the link is gone: "Death Of A Salesman And Other Elite Ironies-TARUN J TEJPAL"