Monday, July 18, 2011

Living like life matters

The tears come when the kachra-wala rings the bell. It is the son of the lady who usually comes. A boy in his late teens, hair plastered down, he says the usual morning word — “Kachra!
For the first time ever, I speak to him. “I didn’t think you’d come.”
For the first time, he smiles at me. There’s three feet of water outside our building. The rain hasn’t stopped. And this impossible city has just suffered a fresh round of terror. 
All night, I have been stubbornly, wearily silent. I snapped at my mother when she called after hearing about the blasts. I didn’t want to say a word at the time — not on Twitter, not on Facebook, not on blogs. Anything I said would seem platitudinous, insignificant. This is not a time for words. It is a time for… for what?
The question is on television, on twitter, on people’s minds. This can’t keep happening; why can’t it be stopped? Why can’t we… But what do we do?
Someone suggests: Hit back, like the USA. But the first image that floats into my mind then is that of a distraught father carrying the body of a little child.
Hit back at whom? Whose children? Bomb which bazaar so that we might have the satisfaction of saying: We killed as we were killed.

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