Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Wednesday...


The relationship between the reel and the real is often parallel to that of the chicken or the egg: which came first? So is reel life a portrayal of the real, or is it the other way round? Do filmmakers and novelists get inspired by what happens on the streets, or does the little boy strangle himself while aping the Shaktimaan on screen? A couple of months back I was admiring the movie “A Wednesday” which was a common man’s take on terrorism. And now, here we are, another Wednesday, another atrocious act of terrorism, but this time, it’s for real!

A lot has been written and said and heard about the Mumbai blasts on 26th November, 2008 and my blog certainly isn’t about voicing opinion about serious subjects or about issues of national importance- terrorism, politics, religion, foreign relations and so on and so forth! And no, today I am not going to make an exception for one of the greatest ever crises that India has ever faced. This post is again about me, about the Bombay I know and as an ordinary citizen how it affects me…

I spent five years in South Mumbai, at very heart of where all the carnage has happened, and I have closely observed all the tragedies that it had been subject to in this short span of time- I was there during the floods of 26th July, the bomb blasts at Marine Lines and Zaveri Bazaar, the blasts in the train, and I escaped unscathed on all the occasions. I worked at Nariman Point, stayed at a pigeon hole at Girgaum, hurried through the CST station at odd hours, watched movies at the Metro, sneaked into the Trident, admired the Taj from below and walked miles through the narrow crowded lane of Colaba Causeway hunting for a cheap bargain stopping by at the Leopold for a lunch date with friends. And today, as horrific images of the blazing grand edifices flash across the screen, I am reminded how vulnerable they actually are- not withstanding all their grandeur! They represent the dollar dreams of Mumbai, the status symbol for the well heeled South Mumbai elite and their boardrooms are heart of corporate India where life changing decisions are made! And they successfully intimidate the common man, but unfortunately our cargo clad, English speaking teenaged terrorist is no common man.

Yes I am angry, yes, I am appalled, and yes I don’t understand this collective apathy, this refusal to learn from mistakes, this callous attitude on the part of our “leaders”, but at the same time I also know that public memory is short, that this too shall pass… We shall again pride ourselves on the famed “spirit of Mumbai”, but really, do we have a choice here? It’s not the spirit stupid, it’s just that we have to make ends meet that makes us get up in the morning, board that ill-fated train to the ill-fated CST station to the ill-fated Nariman House for work the next day. It’s a Hobson’s Choice: either you sit at home and see your family starve, or you risk your life and go to work hoping that you don’t become the victim today. It’s not a question of spirit, but of compulsion.

Having said all this, we would
continue as before…
take our chances…
live on the edge…
love Mumbai…

Give us two weeks!!

5 comments:

My Space - My Thoughts said...

This one truly stands out!

prachetash said...

That last line steals the show... give us two weeks...

Love Mumbai!!

usha said...

too good.u beat the seasoned writers hollow

Mishra!!! said...

You dont know me, neither do i ( i am assuming introductions to be 1st steo to know someone) but even then i can convincingly say that You are one amazing writer...keep up the good work!!!!

Baidurja Ray said...

Hi Simanti ... How are you doing ? I loved this post ... really heartfelt and well-articulated. Will try to read your other posts as well. Wish you the best.