Thursday, 14 July 2011

Resilience

Yet again, last night, Bombay was tested. Three bombs in meter boxes and a car at Zhaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Kabootar Khana respectively.

Our brilliant news channels dazzled us with their complete inability to see the point, yet again (and frankly, despite all the practice they've had). We didn't want to know when the previous attacks were (we remember, jackasses) or the 'science' behind their dates; at that point, we didn't care if it was a failure in intelligence; and we most certainly didn't care what Israel would have done had this happened there (seriously, Gul Panag, wtf were you thinking?). All that mattered was if everyone you knew was ok, and if they were out, getting them home safe.

And twitter came through beautifully. I have never been so proud of the fact that I'm active on twitter. Almost without exception, everything else was dropped and the prime concern became connecting those who needed help to those who were offering it. And there were SO many of the latter. People willing to let strangers into their homes and offices, offering lifts to anyone who needed them, tracking down people who couldn't be contacted, traffic updates, information on hospitals, lists of the wounded, numbers to contact for blood banks, links to public spreadsheets with numbers for people to contact by area... I must make special mentions of @sidin and @b50 for rallying information, quelling rumours, matching up the #needhelp and #here2help hashtags, providing accurate, up-to-the-minute traffic updates; essentially keeping twitter from turning into a large group of headless chickens. I'm glad that in whatever little way I do, I know these people. All their efforts went together to ensuring many of us got home safe and sound.

And all through today, I've heard one word being tossed around. "Resilience," everyone is saying. Yes, I saw that resilience take the form of ruthless efficiency last night. And I can't help but think: is this what it's like for people in Kashmir? Is that the degree of desensitization we've reached in this city? Yes, despite how we all acted yesterday, I choose to use that word. Because as a city, as a singular unit, we have reached a point where three bombs were detonated in crowded areas and literally within minutes, we were rallied and ready. We're like the broken woman who's reached a place where she knows that at some point, the wife-beating husband is going to come home drunk again and has a first aid kit hidden in the bathroom because she knows there's no way out.

And just like that wife will patch herself up and go straight back to making his dinner, we've gone back to our lives. It's been a day. One day. And we're back at work, sending each other angry emails; back online, watching videos of cats with bowties; talking about gigs and haircuts and Harry Potter.

I want out. I don't fucking want to hear about the unbreakable spirit of my city. Because you're making Bombay out to be that wimpy kid who picks up his bag and quietly walks home after he's blind-sided in an alley by four bullies.

I don't want to be that woman. I don't want to be that kid.

5 member protest rally:

Mudra said...

Yes. Thanks for this post.

jhayu said...

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic there, Muduu. Because I know all I'm doing about it is writing a fucking blog post. But I don't know what else to do.

z3phyr said...

Bingo ! The I-want-out feeling hits the nail on head.
Why do we wait for our guts/spirit to show only when we are down and bloodied. It was a good trumpet to blow for the first few times but now... check this out: http://www.rediff.com/news​/2008/dec/03mumterror-the-​heartbeat-of-a-wounded-city-that-​will-bleed-but-will-not-be​nd.htm this was after 2008 attacks, filled me with pride. but what now? write another article applauding our 'resilience' and wait for next time ? As it has been doing rounds on twitter, this spirit is something we have to show out of compulsion.

And frankly, that gul panag tweet, although grossly ill-timed and immature in context, is something even i wonder. :/

Mudra said...

I'm not being sarcastic...! It was genuine. You've said everything I've wanted to, and the whole back-to-Harry-Potter thing all over Facebook the next day really really pissed me off. So yeah...

And about it being "just a blog post", consider this - I pay more attention to Greatbong than I do to Barkha Dutt and the news hounds. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. So it's not that small a deal. :)

~crazymms~ said...

good post, i dint want to hear about nonsensical mumbaikar spirit...i agree on most things u said on this about the city folks being like wimpy kid! journalism in the country has never reached a lower level anyways

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