Friday, July 21, 2006

A post of sadnessness

When I first came to know about the mumbai bomb blasts I was drininkg a chilled bottle of Singha Beer on the beach of the Phi- Phi Island in Thailand. I had logged on the the web to check out a few things and the details hit me. After I had read enough and seen enough, I logged out, went on the beach and began to cry.

There is a ghost haunting me more and more everyday. It is the guilt of inaction. As I read the news daily, I see much of the same thing. If it is not happening in Mumbai, then it is happening in Jammu. Or Imphal. Or Chattisghar. I don't see myself in the foreseeable future to kill someone. Then why would any sane person kill so many people? And sane they must be. How else could a person or persons carry out such an attack. What circumstances would push a person to such an extreme that he would kill others? And what could I have done to pull him back from that point? If the place he grew up in was bad, could i have done anything to make it a better one? If he had no friends as he grew up, could I have not done with another one? Could I have not made even a slight difference that he might have hesitated for another second over that button that blew the bombs?

I read in books that as kids grow up, they hope to make a difference. i don't think I ever did. I think I just wanted to be a fire man or in the navy and live the rest of my life in peace. As I grew up, I convinced myself that doing just that did in fact serve a bigger picture. That doing something just as simple as "your job" meant that you were infact making an impact. That when an software professional churns out a code, he is infact helping and contributing. The fact that the system is not working satisfactorily only means that someone else is not doing his job correctly.

But as time goes by, I am not so sure of myself. If the above case was true, if someone is doing less of a job then should i not be doing more then my job. Of course not. Why should I? But "Could " I not be doing more then my job? Then why am I not? Why this inertia? I think I have the tools for making a contibution. The system that I want to correct must surely have provided me with those tools. I am not very happy with my education. I only finished high school. But I do have more then 10 years of professional experience. Surely that must count in something. I am an ordinary person. I did not fight in the face of adversity to get all of that. The system gave it to me. But then why does this same system encourage me to be inert?

And it is the system that makes me inert. It makes us all inert. Why else do my brother and Sister-in-law, two of the most gifted people I know, not do anything? Why else does my father, a retired air force officer, not do anything? Why else does my cousin, who did his post graduation from IIT, not do anything? Why are bombs explopding? Why are farmers killing themselves? why are people dying of hunger? Why am refusing to do anything about it?

Puja my wife was a bit concerned with my crying. She patted my back and said that she too felt bad about the dead people. I wanted to tell her that I didn't give a rats arse about the dead people. I was crying at my impotency.

4 comments:

P said...

Great piece !
To qualify for this remark and pass the test of greatness, the writing should not only spur for some deep thinking and introspection , but also touch the heart . Anoyher criteria is that after reading one should feel " this is excatly what I felt and wanted to tell the world , alas I do not have the gift of the words but some one in the world is there putting on record the emotions of thousands of non gifted ordinary people .More power to you and people like you ." By writing you ARE contributing AND doing some thing more that "just your job " . God bless you !

Anonymous said...

Dear Anuj,

I read the writting and this has certainly forced me do a bit of little introspection. Atleast I found one man like me who cried on hearing the news. i can perfectly understand you. we all are doing our bit to improve ourself and in turn our country and the world as such.

However the efforts are not enough. Otherwise why there should be Jessica Lal, Nitish Katara, Priyadarshini Matto and Likes? ? ????

On the other hand, there are people like Yadavs and D Company etc who are bent upon negating the doings and feelings of persons like us.

All we can do is contribute whatever we can to the society. we must do whatever we can, be it putting the carts at airport in line or driving with a cool head or may be even guiding traffic on a sunday !

Incidently I know a retired Army Officer in NOIDA who religiously guides and Controlls the chaotic traffic on Sundays at a very busy X-ing!!!

We all should do our bit.

At the end, a very classic and touchy writting. May God bless you and your family (This is for your wife, Pooja)

Velu said...

Hey Anon:

Thanks for the reply. Yes I do agree. Things look bleak , but as long as we can strive to do something, probably we can be okay.

Thanks for the feedback.. Was a bit depressed so was not logging in for some time.

Thanks P.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anuj,

Awesome Piece..Loved it.

Keep blogging!!

Take Care
Madhur