And we shall overcome…

Lumbini Park, Hyderabad Abhishek was rather happy. His first semester mid-terms just having ended at his engineering college, he and a bunch of friends had taken a long train journey to Hyderabad to enjoy the frills and thrills of a big city. Life in a rustic small town in the state of Maharashtra can get rather dull, without too many sources of entertainment. They all need a getaway. A chance to see traffic, high-rises, to savour pizzas, and to ogle at pretty women sashaying in a mall. Even a ride in an amusement park is a fair deal. And there was a laser show lighting up the sky – what luck!

image At the same time Sheila felt a craving for aloo tikki. It had been such a long time since she crossed the Narmada and made her home in a place where she could not find roadside chat vendors, who would charge a pittance for a mouth watering snack. Having gone to Koti Bazaar to buy some GRE books, she always inevitably landed up at a chat vendor to relive those moments, that taste.

Abhishek and Sheila were both excited, and thoroughly enjoying themselves. Hardly did they know that their luck had just run out. Some SOB had made sure that it was the last time they were amusing themselves with such trivialities. Who would tell them that it is safe no longer in India to walk around on an idle weekend.

The two blasts that ripped Hyderabad yesterday terminated Abhishek. Ctrl + Alt + D, as he would have learnt so early in his engineering lessons. And mutilated Sheila – she who had high hopes of studying abroad, of liberating her family. Smashed.

The Times of India writes:

The killing just doesn’t stop. At least 40 people were killed and scores injured in two powerful blasts in Hyderabad, one at an amusement park packed with weekend holidayers and another at a landmark eatery in the heart of the city on Saturday evening…

Weekend holidayers ripped open in a blast. The sad part is (via The Hindu):

A group of 45 students from the Amritavahini engineering college in Sangamera town, Maharashtra, on a sight-seeing trip to Hyderabad, took the brunt of the massive explosion at Lumbini park.

When I think about it, I cringe. Barely a year ago, I was myself in an engineering college. And since it was in a village setting, we often made trips to a big city (Calcutta) to satiate our thirst for city lights. And who doesn’t crave for chat? Those mouth watering snacks you can get for a pittance?

Even if we forget the suffering of the victims, the unbearable agony of their families, and the rude shock to their friends, forget about individuals and stare at a larger perspective:

Such vicious attacks prove that cities like Hyderabad and Bangalore, emerging icons of a vibrant nation, are firmly in the cross-hairs of terror groups which have made India a country with perhaps the highest number of civilian victims of terror (leaving aside war-torn countries like Iraq). [TOI]

I am not sure what our reaction should be. We mourn for those who suffer, but we need to show the perpetrators that we are not affected by them. Our lives should carry on — we flinch but we fight, we are devastated but determined. The growth phase that we have been celebrating lately — which has obviously been an eye-sore for many — can not slow down — not because of a bunch of freaks. We need to push further, undeterred, unrelenting, unwavering. The elephant, pulsating with energy, must show empathy, but not slow down. For that is what the freaks have been hoping for. For that is why she should not succumb. For that is why the country needs to learn from Bombay. For India is more than geeks, nerds, corrupt politicians, baniyas and snake-charmers. For it is also the land of milk and honey children extol. For it is that India for which we live. And fight. And, we shall overcome. Someday.

[Of course, the stories are made up. But not the reality]

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About kpowerinfinity
I *♥* technology, business, conversations, experiences, books, music, theater, coffee and people. I am an entrepreneur in the city of Bangalore - my company, Capillary, provides customer engagement programs and marketing services to retailers around the world.

11 Responses to And we shall overcome…

  1. shuz says:

    I just hope the families of those hurt and killed find strength to make it thru this bad period.
    nothing more to say

  2. @shuz: I wish the same. For the families and for the country.

  3. keshuvko says:

    well, i am wordless.
    tragedy it was but life should move on.

  4. ruhi says:

    A very thought provoking post. I hope the Indian Govt. wakes up and does something instead of only saying that it’s an act of “terrorism”.

  5. They’ve gotta have the heart of a beast and te mind of a devil to target civilians!

  6. My heart cries…have grown up in a place where a bomb blasts every alternate day…..taking life has become easier than chewing a gum today

  7. manuscrypts says:

    yup, having a blast takes a whole new meaning… but on mumbai, a lot of people argue that there is no such thing as a spirit, people dust a blast off and move on because they have to earn a living, there’so choice….. i tend to agree

  8. @all: Yeah. Somebody has to really go postal to do something like this. Hope Hyderabad recovers soon.

    @layon: I agree. And the worst part is that its started happening routinely now in places where it is totally unexpected, like Hyderabad.

    @manu: Well, as you said ‘people argue’ — doesn’t mean that they have won the argument. And whatever the reason, finally they get on with normal lives and not cower in terror. That’s what matters.

  9. manuscrypts says:

    hmmm, do they actually get on with lives as shown in a paper report or news channel as the shining spirit of mumbai? because the ones whom i have heard talking about the spirit are the ones who are unaffected. here’s a link that perhaps says it better than i can
    http://harshada.livejournal.com/12420.html
    meanwhile, hyd, bangalore are expected soft targets acc to intelligence sources.. of course, what intelligent stuff was done to counter this is a debatable topic…

  10. @manu: I agree with you. A lot of it is because finally its livelihood. However, it is still commendable that the city is not completely crippled. I am sure many other cities would completely succumb to such an incident, and wouldn’t life be worse in that case? If people stayed home because they were afraid? Do we want to live a self-imposed curfew? Do we close down schools? I guess getting to work, even if a necessity, is better than staying home and looking at 24-hour news channels showing blood and gore. At least, it gives (perhaps false) impression that life is moving on. That all is becoming well again. And the (perhaps false) impression gradually becomes a reality of its own. And we wake up again one day with news of bomb blasts ripping our cities!

    And yes, all Indian metropolises are the possible targets of terrorist organizations — but just sounding a carpet alert doesn’t mean anything. Do you think people would stop living in our cities because they are possible terror targets or would people suddenly become far more paranoid — take each step fearing mortal danger? Were you suddenly far more aware of whatever was happening around you when you went to that mall, or movie theater, or to worship, or the restaurant on Sunday/Monday? If the intelligence agencies want that to happen, they have to convey that clearly.

    Don’t think the questions can be answered to anybody’s satisfaction on a blog post, nor can the country’s future be secured.

  11. Nova says:

    It indeed was atrocious! May the Almighty bless their souls!

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