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?