My Bomb Post

>> Sunday, September 14, 2008

There has been a shower of bombs (again). People have died (again). A news channel makes a couple of gaffes and announces names everyone else is trying to keep under covers. Political parties make statements, everyone eyes the upcoming elections, including Mamata Banerjee (whoops, wrong post) and the hangover is exactly what it always is like after a big bomb party.

Last month, after a reunion with old friends, enemies and embarrassing memories, eight o' clock in the evening found me far away from home, with messages flooding in with the very cheery note that a bomb blast would occur at City Centre exactly at 9. Intrepid as ever, I made up my mind to be near City Centre at zero hour, and, mind reader as ever, Goopy announced she would personally see to my safety. And thus, at ten to nine, I found myself on a rickshaw, being bundled home.

Rickshawwallahs, unlike autowallahs, refuse to be friendly to me, possibly sensing the lack of philosophical depth. However, after recently being part of conversations where people proudly mention their philosophical tete-a-tete with the tribe, I made up my mind to have a conversation worthy of blogging about later on. Hence, with an iron resolve and a cheery disposition, I remarked airily, " Say, know anything about the bomb?"

The calm of the night air accentuated the silence. By now, blushing profusely, yet undeterred, I persisted, " The bomb, you know, which is supposed to go off any minute now."

Success finally found me, and an old, garrulous voice, cold and disinterested, not unlike my class ten Physics teacher's while I tried to explain to her why I thought my bathroom mirror was an example of refraction since I appeared fatter in it, queried back, " Where?"

Delighted by the breaking of the ice, I exclaimed excitedly, "Oh, City centre. Amazing, no?"

The man mused on this for a while longer, and then replied again, this time showing more than a little curiosity, "Oh, you mean here?"

Looking at my right, I realized we were going past City Centre.

"Yes," my voice trailing off, in a mixture of fear and curiosity, "right here."

He stopped pedaling for a moment and we just looked at it. All I managed to see was a few policemen thronging the place. The place had been emptied apparently, and possibly, even then, someone had come to know the warning email had been a hoax.

As he took his money, he remarked, I will always maintain, rather wistfully, "We did not die."

I looked at his face. Lack of adventures had made gawkers of both of us. "Kindred spirit," I whispered rather foolishly and came back home to announce to surprised parents how close a brush their daughter had had with death. Unsurprisingly, the replies were,

"Gimme the remote. Oooh, animals eating other animals."
"Go, wash."

I look at the news reports this morning and remember Karol Bagh. I remember convincing auto drivers to take us to Miranda College, remember the feel of homecoming the street had given me after a long, hard day. If I close my eyes, I think I can recall a green sign, brandishing the name of the hotel where Stinky, Berry and I claim to have been the happiest in our stuffy, claustrophobic lives.

A news report says people have taken the recent bombings very philosophically. No fear, no retributions. Bombs happen, people die, someone mentions the undying spirit of the city. The numbness with which people greet the news is, in a way, pitiful. And scary. Then again, I am not the one who girds the loins of mind to write something deep and meaningful.

(For people who do not know, City Centre is a mall)

16 scaly flippers:

What's In A Name ? 9:54 pm, September 14, 2008  

Last words of advise before the bomb finally blasts in Kolkata ( presumably on the 28th...as we have Diwali then :P):

" don't let the rust settle. keep up the good work. blog more."

Hallucinations of a teardrop...sreemanti 10:47 pm, September 14, 2008  

"Bombs happen, people die, someone mentions the undying spirit of the city" these are some lines i found which makes ur disclaimers arrogantly sarcastic. I did not tilt my head on the eco-phy theories. some ppl are meant to dig gold. keep it up.

Aphrodite 11:39 am, September 15, 2008  

bombs again...WTF do these ididots want neway...god knows whn thisll stop! was thr a hoax in kolkata??

Amazing Greys 11:48 am, September 15, 2008  

i've read stuff written about this before, but i think your post just says it all. It couldn't have been expressed better.

~Moo-lah Buz!nezzz~ 11:09 pm, September 15, 2008  

Seriously,bombs scare me.
I'd be the first to run away if I ever seen an article about the undying spirit of the city.

The Ancient Mariner 11:11 pm, September 15, 2008  

wow...

inihos 4:25 pm, September 16, 2008  

Mumbai has been having a lot of hoax bomb alerts too...

Abhishek... inside out 10:59 pm, September 16, 2008  

i read this on a sign board in a pic on the net: "We condemn the bum blasts"
funny, but i condemn passing gas too!

Crepuscule Colour 4:02 pm, September 17, 2008  

Hey there, I don't think you know me.. but thought I'd let you know I love your blog! :)

By the way, even my father's in Delhi.. I was DEAD scared. Phew.

vanilla sky 3:27 pm, September 18, 2008  

its really scary , the way people have helplessly given in to the 'inevitable'

aandthirtyeights 8:41 am, September 20, 2008  

I was quite disgusted by my own reaction to it. "Where? M Block Market?" Call brother. Not reachable. Call dad. "He was nowhere near GK, right?" "South Ex Market." Oh, ok. Move on with life.

Akshaya Kamalnath 12:14 am, September 21, 2008  

Seriously!! we're too numb to react I guess.

Macadamia The Nut 7:26 pm, September 21, 2008  

I could go on and on and on about these A-holes who think it's 'ok' to destroy lives to gain private ends.

But... leaving that aside.. aren't morale(s) destroyed too? And fear introduced? Don't people start accepting such violences as part of their daily life? And get 'adjusted'? In my eyes that's the saddest part.

Doubletake, Doublethink. 8:02 pm, September 24, 2008  

it'd be nice to die in a bomb blast, neh?

btw, you might want to watch achmed the dead terrorist on youtube. VERY relevant to this post :D

Solitaire 11:52 pm, September 25, 2008  

I guess until it does not affect us personally, we will remain numb to these events. We will talk about them, rant, write angry posts, and then forget as if it was only a nightmare.

Poojo C. 8:24 am, September 26, 2008  

The occasional cabbie is usually more chatty than the autowalla who is more chatty than the rickshawwala.

This be deep yet highly entertaining post. Please blog more often A.L.

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