Monday, July 17, 2006

Modern madness

Enough has been said about the bomb blasts last Tuesday so I don’t want to add to the platitudes with which we have already been flooded. About the “spirit” of Mumbai and how “we will win the war against terrorism” among other things. What is now apparent at least to me is a sort of delayed reaction to the violence. A spirit of despondence. A pall of gloom along with a desperate attempt not to acknowledge it. A denial of any sense of tragedy. This is what is really behind the so-called spirit of the city, isn’t it? True, in the moment of need hundreds responded with gallantry and genuine kindness as they have so often done in the past. Vendours close to the site of the blasts, handed out free cups of tea to the people who had come to search for missing friends and relatives, chemists doled out medicines free of cost, incurring a loss of thousands of rupees. My friend Suresh who lives in Bhayander together with his friends, redirected passengers looking for a way around the mounds of debris on the platforms.
Crises always summons up a fighting spirit but as soon as the moment of crisis itself has passed, the aggression returns, our lives are once again jammed with frenzied comings and goings behind which you sense a fierce resistance to any sort of looking inward, a search for a new lifestyle. Fear of facing the isolation and sense of alienation of which terror and violence is an outcome.

The city is too full of noise. Our heads are filled with noise. Most people here can’t be still for a single minute. The air is filled with tension, a neurotic effort to evade reality. In view of the situation the theme of our last workshop seems to have been just the right one. Strangely we had fixed it weeks before the blasts occurred. Conflict. For more, go on to the basicindia site:

www.basicindia.net

2 comments:

Dwight said...

Hi,

The truth is that the world is in a constant state of crisis. It takes courage to see 'reality'. We do not need to 'recover' as much as we need to 'heal'.

Stardust1954 said...

Crises always summons up a fighting spirit but as soon as the moment of crisis itself has passed, the aggression returns, our lives are once again jammed with frenzied comings and goings behind which you sense a fierce resistance to any sort of looking inward, a search for a new lifestyle.

This is similar to what happened after the World Trade Centers were destroyed in 2001 in NYC. Everyone came together and vowed to defeat terrorism, and "united we stand" and all that patriotic stuff. Now, since the Iraqi war, and all the other chaos going on in the world, politicians are in heated debate wtih one another, arguing with each other and accusing each other about whose fault it is for the messes we are in and about how to clean up the mess. I am sick of the arguments of who is right and who is wrong and who is to blame, media propaganda and sensationalism, and so on.

The common people here in the U.S. are trying to ignore everything and go on as "normal" but there is always this tension in the air. There was a fire on a subway train in Chicago near where my son lives several days ago and people panicked and immediately assumed it must be terrorists, but it was just a train fire like once in awhile happens on the subway trains because of a maintenance problem. But one never knows anymore.

Good post, Uma. I will check out your other website.