Thursday, November 27, 2008

India's 9/11

(All the opinions in the post below are strictly my ponderings - I do not wish to offend / provoke anyone, and I have been and always will be a Mumbaikar to the core)

"It's the day after - and the trains are still crowded - damn, the spirit of Mumbai is unbreakable"

Is a SMS I get from a friend stuck in his office all night thanks to the curfews in the city. I've been hearing about this "Spirit of Mumbai" ever since I was a kid - be it the Babri Masjid riots, the innumerable bomb explosions, the charred trains or the calamitous floods. Praises have been sung about this spirit in media across the world.

This factor which amused me at the start and gave me a certain sense of pride is now forcing me to rethink my perception of the "spirit". Conventionally, a spirit is something that is obtained after the death of a living creature, and that is precisely what Mumbai has long been - dead !

People move on back to work after such disheartening occurrences not out of bravado or the spirit of showing the miscreants that we are "invincible". On the contrary, people move on because they can't afford to stay and mourn... Life has to go on only because life depends on daily livelihood - quite literally in most cases. People feel bad about what is happening, badmouth the media, curse the administration, blame the Gods and damn the terrorists - and get back to their lives as if nothing has happened. How will anything be accomplished if the cycle of events is this predictable - when only those who have lost their near and dear ones shed tears and are hushed by the promises of monetary compensations. Will there ever be a collective uprising against injustice in Mumbai, or any Indian city for that matter?

They say the public memory is short - let's see how short it turns out to be this time !!!

For voices from fellow bloggers on the Mumbai terror scene, check out the list at Indiblogger


lappet! said...

The "spirit of mumbai", heartening at times, is often chilling

Mumbai Diva said...

I completely agree with you. The more one talks about the spirit of mumbai the more defeated it sounds now. For a city that works so hard, contributes so much, the least we can do is to stand up and say - enough.