Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mee Mumbaikar...Silent Spectators!!

Warmest season's greetings!! I have been away. Busy. Too busy to look at myself carefully. No no no... not busy as in the socialite types or anything like that..... Before you call me a hypocrite, give me a chance to justify myself. I have been a silent spectator...all this while. Now I am not talking about a week, a month or a year. I am taking into leverage the entire duration of my life. More importantly, i realize i am not alone. It seems like a sad, lonely thing to do. To do nothing but stare. To just watch what is happening without ever raising a finger or moving a limb to change a thing. Surprisingly, that is what most of us actually do. Take for example the recent uprising by the MNS activists. There is no point discussing how those brainwashed individuals held a whole bustling city to ransom - they already have had more than their fair share of media frenzy. How a bunch of brainwashed idiots managed make mockery of the democracy that we boast of. Those people whose businesses were affected, shops looted, damaged, destroyed or burnt down can do nothing but look at the heavens above and try to pick up the strands of life all over again. Whereas, the perpetrators of such evil thoughts still roams freely in his A/C car... Arrests are usually not made in such cases because it is the mob that attacks. Even when arrests are made, most of them usually get out on bail very easily. Sometimes one wonders why the police needs to intervene if all they do is capture and then let them go. Enough said about the people who are trying to drive us back into the stone age. Mumbai, says Wikipedia, has a population around about nineteen million, a total potpourri of cultures, religions and trades. Also, the city has been inhabited since the stone age. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai). When the rains poured over Mumbai, we Mumbaikars stood by each other, bringing strangers into our home. Many stood on the roads and provided food, water or if nothing else showed them the way home. That is the Spirit of Mumbai - undying. Anyone who dreams of being a someone is drawn to this city. There is something about the very air of this city, it makes you want to dream. And if you already have a dream it fans that spark within you, till the little amber turns to a full fledged roaring blazing fire inside. To try and differentiate people in a city like this is injustice. Its blasphemy. Still, however unjust the happenings in the city, most of us remained silent; watching from behind the curtains of our homes. Some of us speak now, albeit still not very openly. That is when i self-introspect. I too remained silent. I think we have remained silent too long. I think we need to speak up. Speaking up does not always kill. Look at the US, when the people turned up to vote in the largest number - democracy (& hopefully even peace) shall prevail at the hands of Barrack Obama. Somehow, the city seems to have gone into a slumber. I am currently reading "Discovery of India" by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Its a beautiful book, written in a beautiful language, about a culture, a country that is even more beautiful. One of the things I learnt from whatever I have read so far is all the while when India was openhearted accepting people of all faiths and cultures, exchanging knowledge, spreading knowledge - India was at that time the most famous in the world and was know as "Sone ki Chidiya". However, when she tried to close her fist, tried to not let people come in and affect her "culture" she started stagnating. The openness of the heart and mind which had led her to her glory - whence the fist was closed - was slowly and steadily lost.... I believe that is true even today. Any one who is highly learned can tell you this, to learn, to grow, to reach the pinnacle of your success you will need to keep your mind and your hearts open to all... for a closed fist can never capture enough........... In the end all that I can say is.... while my city, my country is being held to ransom...at the present moment...i just stand like a silent spectator. However, I am sure this immobility shall not last for long....and when the moment comes...i shall not be found looking for reasons.

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