It was that time of year again... Time just flies past at alarming speed. Given the situation and the mood Ive been in, there were obviously not going to be any celebrations. Updated Facebook with a status msg requesting people not to wish me, and work friends were asked not to decorate my desk and make it a grand affair (which birthdays in office generally are).
A not so surprising birthday get together at a friends place was thrown despite my insistence otherwise. I started off being very very angry, and having a fight with Aj for having gone ahead and inviting people when I wasnt in a social mood, and not in a place to have fun yet. I was/am still in it. This is 'terrorized' in all its glory. For how I made him feel for having done no wrong except try to cheer me up, Im sorry. I was (not surprisingly) not in control of anger, frustration and quiet desperation that I had been feeling since the last week, and which hadn't yet vented.
Crying on the phone and blogging about it is a great way to feel better, but nothing compares to a long, warm, protective hug. And I got that. In the midst of me YELLING incoherently, unreasonably, I was hugged. And it was just what the doctor asked for. I gave way to what i was actually feeling, and just let go and cried. It strange, that strength I felt in crying.
I had the nicest evening since a very long time. It was a wonderful break from the tumult of the past week. Thanks Raj, Bhv, Chau and Aj for having spent Monday evening blowing up balloons, Bhv again for very good naturedly withstanding the embarrassment of travelling around holding red roses and a cake, Riz and Nuz who came in spite of being a work day, N and Ob who got me a wonderful bouquet and N specially for her incredibly warm hug, Rushi and Devang who came even tho Aj conveniently forgot to ask (ALL) my OWN friends to come. All these people didn't have to spend so much time and energy in trying to cheer me up, but they did, and I am touched.
Wednesday threw me back into the glum, with the niceness of the previous evening having worn off. Home seems different when your dad's not living with you and is parked at work day and night. For it isnt over yet, Its just begun. Investigations, Reviews, Reports, Eyewitness records...
We also needed to go pay our respects at Hemant Uncle's house. Since dad couldn't make it, Mom and I decided that we just couldn't wait anymore... and set off in the evening.
One will be amazed at the simplicity of a person of this stature. Nothing in the house speaks power, glory, position. It took all the courage and determination inside me to stop from bursting out all over again. A 2 foot long picture of him with a single garland around it, adjacent to which on a table lay the following - His Uniform ironed and neatly folded with Medals and Badges in their respective loops, Baton, Uniform cap, Belt....and the bulletproof dark green helmet television screens last showed him wearing. I cant describe in words my feelings at the time...
I barely made it past the gate after we left before I couldn't hold it in any longer... and got into a cab headed home when i noticed something that replaced my hurt with anger.
Just a stones throw from the house , streets are lined with HUGE posters saluting the courage and might of the three Mumbaikars (Karkare, Kamte, Salaskar) who lost their lives from political organisations, Leaders, Hopefuls, Private companies you name it.. Dadar the Plaza area, and the area under Tilak bridge is inundated with posters. When a person like me who was at their house for a matter of less than an hour left, and couldn't deal with seeing their faces all over the place i wonder how traumatic it would be for the family to leave home, maybe even for a short walk, to feel a little better... only to be besieges by posters/banners forming a part of political propaganda which must throw back the tragedy in their face.
Could these nincompoop, thoughtless, butt faced politicians be any less sensitive? Is letting a grieving family mourn in peace too much to ask for? First they try to en cash in on grief by offering charity (err compensation) so that they can use it in their political speeches, proclaiming how benevolent Mr. Modi is. Next they disrupt peace and sanctity of the house (and surrounding areas) BY VISITING.
Really, Mr. Deshmukh, Ms. Pratibha, do you think they're feeling any better now that your royal behinds visited them? [You will be interested to know that an hour before these two toured the hotels/ CST and the grieving houses, all venues were checked by sniffer dogs and traffic halted for security reasons]. More than a hundred people deployed for your safety? One person? What about us Millions of Indians? Whose money it actually is?On the other hand , I hope u come FACE TO FACE with terror, so maybe you'll know what it feels like. Are you too preoccupied since your ass is on fire right now to realize that taking your son and a prominent filmmaker along on an official entourage was a bad idea?
This was the not the first time mission that wives of Karkare, Kamte and Salaskar thought could probably be their last. Only like always, hoping against hope, they prayed in anticipation even as visuals of their husbands donning the gear flashed garishly repeatedly on tv screens, they prayed that they do actually come home. But im guessing your pint sized brains are far less evolved to understand what that mustve felt like. Waiting for a loved one, knowing they are surrounded by gunfighting, grenades and bombs is a feeling that goes beyond what humble English words can offer, and far greater than the money-dealing and scam-planning characters you've honed to near perfection.
Maybe one day our Prime-f*cking minister takes terrorism and understands the sentiments of the citizens so well, that he speaks impromptu, without words being fed into his mouth by a speech-writer, and sounding like the drone of a out-of-work transistor. Maybe one day, his voice will break while choking back emotions as he watched people from his country bleed and die...
Until then, God Bless us.