Sunday, November 30, 2008

TAINTED BY TERROR

And so, another ordeal has come to an end. The ten terrorists, monstrously rearing up from the sea, have been killed or captured. The freed hostages will pick up the pieces of their life as best as they can. The families of the dead will mourn. There will be body-counts and postmortems, investigations and blame-games, tales of heroism and horror.

Mumbai, which collectively held its breath for three days, has sighed and moved on, grim and mourning, scarred and somber. The hate of a few cannot kill the hope of millions, and Mumbai, or any other city stunned and crippled by horror, will slowly go back to normal. The lust for death cannot defeat the instinct for life.

The fascinated horror with which we sat glued to the TV screens has been replaced by fatigue and a whole lot of confused thoughts and emotions.

Incomprehensibility - not how this happened (the security lapses are obvious enough), but why? WHY? Why go into open confrontation for so long, why take hostages, why plan carnage if there are no ideological messages, if no terror-group is gloating openly, if the jihadis made no bargains or demands? And, also, of course, the total incomprehensibility of how a human can metamorphose into a death-spewing terrorist?

Fear – Are there more? Who or where is next? When? Every day is a Friday the 13th. We may do a post-mortem on the terror-trail, but we can never really predict, or pre-empt, where it will flare up next.

Sadness – So so many lives lost. The Jewish rabbi and his wife, dying on their son’s birthday, the young NSG officer, the staff of the hotels dying to fulfil their duty, the wife and children of the GM of the Taj, the policemen and railway employees, the tourists, the people at the long-distance platforms dreaming of their homes….Not just the well-known and the well-heeled, but all of them.

Anger – No punishment is too much for the masterminds of terror. Not even death a million times over. If they are sheltering behind Islamic ideology, if they are indoctrinating impressionable minds with imagined slights and victim-complexes, if they are promising heavenly glory for the murderer-martyrs, they are actually doing irreparable damage not just to their so-called enemies but also to their own religion.

Paranoia – Can you trust any stranger anymore? Can you look at a person carrying a backpack without fear? Can you travel on trains, check in at hotels, walk into restaurants without looking over your shoulder time and again? Can you even look at the sea without suspicion? Terror has tainted us, our streets and buildings and even our sea, the seafront which is the Mumbaikar’s pride and joy.

What do you feel?

15 comments:

Sylvia K said...

We have exchanged messages and we each know how the other feels about one more horrendous event that has brought so much death and pain and for what??? What has been achieved beyond the anguish of so many? My heart aches for all of them and for you. We will move on as we've done in the past, but oh, the price!

bobbie said...

I cannot begin to tell you how I have felt these past days, watching the death and destruction in your city. Trying to comprehend how the minds of the terrorists must work is just beyond me. Our prayers have been with you.

June Saville said...

I feel anger, frustration, sorrow, puzzlement ...

Sucharita I know it's easy for me to say from so far away ... but if the world does not move on from this and other such terrors the perpetrators are winning. Fear must not rule.

All of our emotions are valid and they must see the light of day but then ...

Kavi said...

I wrote in anger first. Then in resolve. And when the pain hurt, in sheer anger.

Now, am much ok. I just want to get to do something. And we will get them all. And we shall overcome.

Whilst i am aware that it may sound like an empty wounded rant, i am equally clear that it is not.

We have suffered enough for it to just remain a rant.

ugich konitari said...

Sucharita,

There is an immense rage at the insensitivity of the folks who purport to rule and represent us.

I have sometimes felt that we actually need some kind of disciplined Presidents rule at the centre whereby, the entire system can be remodeled into a decent responsible, ethical government.

Who knows. Maybe this is a wake up call. One lives in eternal hope. I hope things change in my lifetime....

Pradip Biswas said...

I think this is a plot woven by the brain(S) behind this attack on our country to defame our country, to create a panic and terror not only for Indians but also to our guests from other countries. Look at the timing they made it giving enough time for cancellations for those who were thinking to visit India during X-mas. But we showed the whole world that how we tackled it neatly with skill. But how come 10-12 terrorist can sneak in a building or a five star hotel with heavy baggages full with ration and ammunitions for a 60-hour fight being unnoticed? Are we too much "Santust"(satisfied) with our alertness?

sukku said...

I am lost for words to describe such a dastardly and cowardice act and I read somewhere that the terrorist had a smile on their face as they were shooting the innocent victims...aren't they humans and how would they feel if the innocent victims were their loved ones? Would they still wear that smile on their faces...

It's time that the Indian Intelligence needs a revamp and desperate times like this requires desperate measures....and it has to start now and after the post mortem or a commission is placed to study what went wrong, when and how and the report would run into thousands of pages...

Sayani said...

Thats what the terrorist want to
to create distrust, agony , panic and frustration

Thats what we common ppl (minus politicians) fighting for
take care
stay safe

sayani :)

Lazyani said...

We have shared thoughts on the ghastly incident.

But the fallout in the form of insensitive politicians mouthing inanities makes me @#$&*!*#.

Pinku said...

resolution to fight this menance and i dont just mean the terrorists but the system that allows them to attack again and again and also the social conditioning that creates them in the first place. Resolution is what i feel.

Agree with June cant allow them to win.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Thank you, everybody, for your concern and support. Terrorism, apart from being physically destructive, is also a mindgame, and the response of the blogger-world indicates that we will not let THEM win, at any cost. Thanks.

The Scatterbrain said...

You are right. Terror has tainted our vison... we no longer see the world with innocent eyes!

How I wish God would send a giant eraser down to earth to wipe out memories of this and similar trauma from everyone on earth! If only we could all restart out lives from this very moment with a clean slate!!!

Vijay Kumar Sappatti said...

Dear Suchitra,

i came first time to your blog , i liked all your posts and specially this one on terrorism.

Please visit my blog : http://poemsofvijay.blogspot.com/

Regards

Vijay
Hyderabad
India

SARFRAS said...

Hi I have my own blog dedicated just to Goa.

May be U are interesed to see it

http://365goa.blogspot.com/

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Scatterbrain,

I, too, wish for that magic eraser.

Vijay and SARFRAS,

Thanks for visiting my blog. Will definitely try to visit yours, as I love both Goa and poetry.