Tears welled up in my eyes as the images flitted by on the screen. A brother venting at the camera for the loss of a sister – a sister who had gone out to buy a rakhi for him. An inconsolable mother asking for the culprits to be hanged in front of her eyes for killing her daughter – a daughter for whom she had all the dreams in the world. A father snatching away a mobile phone from a relative, asking him not to tell his daughter that her brother is no more. A father bemoaning the loss of a son-in-law, a husband whose wife does not know he is dead. Students who went to buy books, children who fancied a hot snack amid the light Hyderabad drizzle. August 25th marked a black day in all their lives, a day they would never forget, a day of lost lives and dreams.
Bomb blasts are everyday news if you’re an Indian. But this is so close to home that it hurts more than the others. It’s time my city fell to the curse of the metros in this country. A curse, perpetrated by cowards who kill innocents in the name of religion and region. Cowards who cannot put forth their needs to the establishment through the right channels, who resort to such weapons of terror and pain. All I can do is hope with all my heart that all this blood that has been shed will not go unanswered for, that those who did it will be caught and justice will prevail. It’s only a hope, but it’s still hope.
And very close on the heels of these terrorists, on being a veritable pain in the you-know-where, are a new breed of insensitive warts called news reporters. I don’t want my news to come from a father who’s just lost his child. Or a man searching for his loved one among mangled remains of the dead bodies in the hospitals. I can wait a few weeks for them to mourn in peace and then recount their tale if they have the heart for it. I wonder what differentiates these media hounds from that bird of prey sitting near a malnourished child, waiting for it to die, so it can live off its remains.
I’ll be honest, I might take the day off tomorrow or I might work from home. I’m sorry, but I’m not some resilient Mumbaikar who can jump back into the daily routine like a jack-in-the-box and show up at work on time, as if nothing happened. I’m just a scared Hyderabadi whose sense of security has been blown to bits. Whose only claim to fame till now was the Charminar and the IT industry. Whose claim to fame now will include bomb blasts and bloodshed. I cannot return to my life nonchalantly when fellow Hyderabadis have lost lives. It could be me next.
And as the Buddha looks upon this city from his seat in the middle of the Hussain Sagar, a sense of irony drifts in the air that one of the blasts occurred right at his feet, in a park named after his birthplace. The Gods have a weird sense of humor, indeed.
And yes, to you, cowardly abomination of hell who perpetrated this act: I’m not a saint or a great leader to say I forgive you. I don’t. I won’t. The day will come when you will be at death’s door and I swear to you, it will not be easy. For you, the only ordeal worse than death will be your judgement in front of the Almighty, when you will be condemned to burn in hell for all of eternity. I cannot forgive you. I cannot give up my right to hate you. So, damn you. Damn you to the ends of damnation.
P.S: Very emotional outburst? Yes. Because it’s my city and it hurts.
P.P.S: We celebrate Onam tomorrow. But a festival is the last thing on my mind right now. Not when 44 families are cremating their dead.