The page turns, the chapter closes, the news on the ticker changes, the names become words on a list with numbers in brackets for company – some call them casualties, others fatalities. So many such lists, I have read – so many sights I have seen, taken refuge in the anonymity of numbers and letters, taken refuge in the sanctuary of distance and held on to words debated with an intellectual vigor that I am incapable of.
But worst of all I have, to use a hotel term “double locked” the door to my heart and my mind. I have done so with the steely resolve of “moving on” of believing that to hold on is to be defeated, so I have gone to the market that was bombed the night before and bought tooth paste, feeling strengthened by the symbolism of normalcy. I have walked the streets where bodies once lay in pools of blood and re-visited stories of those fallen. I have lived through it to feel stronger, but then again I have done nothing.
“Be the change you seek”, it is said, be the one to make a difference. I am of a generation of urban optimists, we have got the cable TV and the diet soda, and we have the armour of so many layers. We are the “I” in India but we are not much more. I feel the anger and I feel the rage but I also feel the time to change. I think of the boy I lost a week ago, I think of how he died – and maybe one day I will have the strength to think of how he lived. But till that time, the fire within rages, it consumes all else that come in it’s wake. I rage against the terrorists, I rage against those in power, but most of all I rage against myself and my many silences.
How little I have done and how little I have earned of this right to be called INDIAN.