I guess the heading of this post is as much friendly and as much attention grabbing as any other media outlet’s news heading these days. Now that that’s covered read on, if you haven’t already decided to troll me. You could still do that after reading no?
Woke up today, rather late-ish compared to my recent pre-sunrise awakenings. Morning pages revealed yet another insight into something that I needed to work on. And just when I thought I was pretty satisfied with the insight, the news hit me. That Paris was attacked, just like Mumbai not too long ago – with coordinated terrorists brandishing guns and weapons and killing anyone randomly. BBC was its usually stoic self, CNN had too many headlines – in fact it seems to be enjoying the job a bit too much for my convenience. President of France declared a ‘state emergency’. A twitter hashtag had already appeared. #PrayForParis. I shared it too. What could anyone do except pray, especially when the shoot’s still going on even as I write this one from a safe distance of thousands of miles!
This reminded me of my awareness of terrorism via the 9/11 attacks. Even though it had no direct connection to me, the visuals of falling WTC towers brought tears to my eyes. Why tears? I could only find the answer much later – I was suddenly aware as to how silly and meaningless life can be – for those who killed, for those who were killed, for those who were related to both, for those who were related to none but tortured in the name of pre-emptive action, and for people like me whose world view changed forever suddenly. And years later as I hear of wars being fought, democracies established, people trolled for speaking out, cows made gods vehicles, men made scapegoats, women made fashion or sex or empowerment symbols, my world view gets more concrete. That somewhere our idea of terrorism and what defines terrorist is all wrong. And I think we are all terrorists in our own might. That a terrorist chooses to kill is just he/she explicitly expressing himself, while we are all terrorists for wanting to face terrorists’ reactions with more merciless reactions. Let me explain, though I think even my friends will misunderstand me for saying this:
It must be Carl Jung who said – ‘Only that which can destroy itself is truly alive’. Sad but it seems to be the truth. That as a civilization, we’ve created terrorists – probably unconsciously with our completely fear-conditioned minds – is proof enough. And even though it is extremely wrong time to say, I will never blame a terrorist if he kills me, for I know somewhere in my urge to ‘buy things’ and ‘stay in competition’ I may have affected his life so sadly that he found only one way to react. This doesn’t however mean we must pardon any terrorist, I only mean to say that we need to face the fact that we are as much a terrorist by our own limitations or inability to look into the eyes of another man/woman and to seek understanding as to why he/ she chose to kill. The very fact that we all shout for a caught criminal’s hanging, irrespective of his reasons, is probably proof enough. Perhaps some reasons are better some not, but that we haven’t cracked the code which enables living for all kinds is something that we as a civilization must ponder upon. (Or do we think hanging is one aspect of the code? My god that makes us even dangerous than terrorists).
And in the mean time, when my near and dear ones, including perhaps me, will be attacked and killed mercilessly someday, how do I respond? I have no answer. Do I have a solution to stop this problem: No. But who said I was alive anyway. I only live in my myth of freedom and independence. In fact even this freedom is only as much as the media and conditioning seems to tell me I have. I am born because my parents wanted me (seriously they did, I mean this exact me or some other me?); I go to school because education is good (despite the current situation of the world that this very education created); I marry after comparing research notes on religion or education or economical status (I guess people really wish they were born in those countries in which parents help in sharing these notes); I work my way up through all the office and start up politics; if I succeed I buy estates, homes, furniture, fashion and what not irrespective of their use and if I don’t succeed I blame everyone else; and in the mean time I act like I care – for vegetarianism even though I drink cow or buffalo milk, buy leather wallets and shoes, collect silk and woolen wear and what not; (and even for cows – how dare they eat cows – my friends just eat chicken, mutton, lamb, venison, crabs, fish etc; and for my revered laddus – how dare ‘they’ reject my laddu when I offer it to them;) for my family which I have no reason why I created it; for a society which I often truly believe is full of morons; for a country that seems to be giving me my rights though secretly its rulers, those for whom I hypnotized myself to vote for, take the very rights away from my hands everyday, and then…and then I die.
But my death was already done – when in the coincidental moments of clarity I could have acted more courageously, unconditioned myself and found meaning and joy in little things I did – but alas, I was too busy for all of it. But please don’t blame me for this, I was busy making someone else responsible for all the things that I didn’t have in my life, just like a terrorist does. I blame the TV for the anger it creates in me; I blame the hospitals for the health issues it can’t solve; I blame the cinema for rapes (though I’m up for every chance that I can get with women); I blame the politicians for corruption (even though I won’t mind getting away without a traffic challan with minimal tea-biscuit charges). And so instead of some bacteria / virus / cancer inside me killing me, why should it be any more tragic and criminal when the cancer of this civilization kills me. In fact I can argue with gods, saying probably I could have controlled virus in me, but how can I control cancer in society! Probably I will blame them and I will blame god too.
Because they, the ones I call terrorists, were bestowed with the ability and had the choice to do things differently; because like me they were humans who could change their world view? Seriously, then what am I doing with my ability to find that change in me? If I’m not up for that change – what does that make me then? Can I be someone who accepts responsibility with all that is extraordinarily wrong with this world? May be there in lies my clue to the answer as to how I can resolve this issue . In the mean time, I will live with this fear, make peace with it until I find the answer. What if I’m killed in the mean while? I don’t know. Why should I care about my life, when even terrorists, the so called scum of our society, don’t seem to care about it. And when did I actually care about it – except when I had to troll or spit venom on someone who questioned my conditioning. And by the way didn’t I already mention this, I was dead anyway. And that’s why I won’t mind being killed by a terrorist. May be I will even tell a sorry to him for making him kill me, as I die dramatically as they show in movies. But I won’t think of what I can do to change now.
I’m sure I will find time to think of it another life time. Who was it said who said “We meet ourselves time and time again, in a thousand disguises on the path of life?” You see am leaving the answer to the mercy of time, because my understanding of time is wrong too – else why would time move fast when I’m enjoying life, and why it stands still when a terrorist with a gun attacks me, as I wait… imagining what news channel will my loved ones watch after I’m dead. Perhaps as a soul (I mean if I ever really had one), I will realize that real-like framing of time (also like in movies) where in one frame I see all politicians, media people, and the so called real terrorists think – “now that we have their attention, lets spin this further for our benefit” and my loved ones agreeing with them – consciously or otherwise.
Disclaimer (wish I could write this piece without this): Perhaps this is a very wrong time to write such a post. But it is this very situation that prompted to think of writing this and no not when someone killed someone else some time ago…but today. Please note that this is not to offend anyone…dead or alive or their relatives, but to make all who have the ability to read and comprehend this fully to ponder on the monstrous meaninglessness of life and the great misconception in our minds that we all are innocent bystanders who get shot for no reason. I write with the belief that we all are responsible for the current fearful, sad and angry state of our lives and probably we will start finding road to the answers when we acknowledge this.