Walk Naked

RIP shilpa, you are missed and will always be remembered… #puneblasts

– Gaurav Soni (Twitter, on 15th Feb)

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Before I begin this post, I would like to mention that, the contents in here are not what it seems to be obvious from the title. That one word up there in the header is going to attract a lot of traffic, I know that well. What I write here is not spiced up Pornography but rather, Politics, though the two are hardly different from each other these days in this world of ever expanding electronic media. Those who came here, expecting something else or those who are not interested in it may leave the post unread.

There will be a time, pretty soon, when, a new born child, who is just learning to speak, who is in the process of getting inducted to the complexity of the world around, via the eyes of his/her parents, will question: ‘Mother, should I trust my Government?’ And the mother, helpless about how to answer that one, would reply back, ‘Leave it my baby. You are too young to understand that’. And then, some day, the baby will die a humiliating death – his/her body ripped apart by a bomb, hidden under a table by a bloody irresponsible loser, who, unable to face the reality, cries the name of God and kills fanatically –  thinking, it will earn him a place in the, so called, heaven, which he very well knows he does not deserve!

I think you have understood already what this article is all about. The same old topic, am I right? The same old story of a mad man, a hidden bag, a bomb inside, a few strangers brought together by fate to die a common death, and a Government playing the same old blame game – ‘A Foreign Hand!’

A ‘Foreign Hand’, of course, I agree with you. But the question is, are we paralyzed? Or is it that our nation lacks an arm of its own? No replies. No replies. No replies. I thought the Government is my arm, for I voted for it!

Gaurav Soni, a friend, visited me on 12th of February this year. It was a happy day for me, for it was after a long time that we were meeting. We went to Hard Rock Café that evening till night, had a few drinks, had a long talk into the night and then went to sleep. The very next day, was the blast. On 15th of Feb, after he returned back, we had a voice chat. He was alone at home – Mumbai. I asked him, where were his flat mates? He replied, ‘I came back early. They are still in office. I was not feeling well’. He paused. ‘Shilpa died’.

Shilpa Goenka – his colleague.

Till this date, politics had never affected me, or any of the people who are important to my life, so mean and direct on face. Neither did I believe it could ever. The reason – we are responsible, educated, well aware citizens of the nation, having our dreams to pursue, having a happening life of our own to live. We don’t harm anyone without any reason, and neither do we want anybody to harm us – without any reason. We earn money – we are working professionals of multi nationals, as our organizations call themselves. We pay taxes to the Government – strictly within the deadline, or else we may even get convicted in an extreme case. We have our voter identity cards, PAN cards, passports, and along with that, the access cards issued by our respective organizations. We become Indian citizens after all that stuff.

And then, when we visit a mall, or a movie theatre, or rather any public place, we are frisked!

Frisk me! Search me! I carry a bomb! Can I give a solution? I think I should walk naked on the roads. Then, I believe, it will be easier to prevent the disaster. Or, will you still strip me off my skin too to see if there is a detonator embedded somewhere within my flesh? Tell me. No replies. No replies. No replies.

Security is making big business these days. I always carry my Oracle access card, voter ID, and my PAN card whenever I move around here in Hyderabad. Who knows? Some day they might call me a rogue in case I am unable to identify myself! Or who knows, maybe, because of a sudden change in the security policy someday, I would miss a nice movie, or a plate of Biriyani when hungry, or a peg of whiskey after a tiring day – just because not being able to carry an ID proof, whatever maybe the reason, makes me non-reliable. I cannot be trusted anymore.

Things are getting strict now days. Every place is under surveillance. Every city is under alert.

And then, after all these frisking, searching, random checking, suddenly, one day, the ‘Foreign Hand’ comes in from the sky and blows apart the security arrangement into pieces. We cry helplessly for a few days. We carry out investigations, several rounds of interrogations, massive arrests, diplomatic maneuvers etcetera. We then implicate a few, hang a few, the media shouts, the human rights screams, a very generous lawyer then steps in to defend the accused and finally, after a few days, we get satisfied, and get back to the ‘normal’ life the next day – we again start walking on the roads where the security stops us at each step – we become a bit more naked, compared to a few days back, before that ‘Foreign Hand’ came in to strip us of our coverings, and slap us on our face!

Time for elections. We say, ‘Not interested in voting’ ‘How does it bother me?’ ‘Nothing’s going to change’ ‘Who wants to stay here in this country so filthy, so much problematic?’ ‘I will finally settle in US’. When someone asks, ‘So, what is your view about the blast that ended eleven lives?’ We then cry back, ‘They who sit there in the Parliament are idiots, criminals, inefficient bastards, illiterates. They are bloody thieves, liars, whores, eating away my country, my people, and my resources’.

Wow, nice to know that we are aware of that, at least! But who wants to vote?

Obituaries are not written for the victims of blasts. Not a rule, I guess, or maybe because it is not possible to write ‘so many’ obituaries. Difficult indeed, I agree, regarding the volume of deaths which occur. Who is going to write so much? Who is going to do so much of research? Amar Singh is visiting Big B – that is easier, isn’t it? Or, Aishwarya Rai was having cold, now she is recovering – even easier, right?

I am very sorry Shilpa, I haven’t carried out much research on you either. So, I won’t write an obituary for you. Obituaries end eventful lives of great men. But you will forever be alive in the hearts of those few people for whom you were ‘Life’. Don’t bother about anyone else – don’t ask those people to remember you who made you walk naked, just like they have been making us do, every day, and then, that evening, the ‘Foreign Hand’ came in to gift your life – a bomb. I don’t know how powerful the ‘Foreign Hand’ is, or rather, I should say, I don’t even know whether it actually exists at all!

I will say something to your mom, if I ever meet her someday – something which you did not even get the chance to speak to anyone, for before you could realize that, you were away: ‘Mother, I don’t trust my Government!’

Shilpa Goenka is just one instance. There were hundreds of thousands before her, and I am sure there will be many hundreds of thousands yet to follow her. And these deaths will continue as long as we, the people, continue to carry our distorted religious beliefs with ourselves when we walk out of our respective homes. We don’t know, and neither will we ever learn, to restrict our religion, our faiths, and our beliefs to ourselves and lock them inside that small room in our houses while moving out on the road which belongs to all.

To those who died, we can only cry for. For those who are about to die, I would suggest, don’t run away from death. You will never be able to escape that reality of your life – death. So, before you die, make sure you do at least one thing in your life, which will inspire hundreds, still alive, to be one like you. You will then find that you are not dead, but reborn – not as an individual, or as an ordinary man to die again in a religious attack, but as a massive force that continues to grow in a never ending geometric progression.

We got to fight that ‘Foreign Hand’, remember? Because our respected Government refuses to do so. We are at war!

Mr. Balasaheb Keshav Thackray, I can’t hear you this time. Is there some problem with my listening? Or some problem with you speaking as loud as you did always? I saw My Name Is Khan. Nice message. Nice movie. It will make a lot of money. Just now while I am writing this post, my friend, Nipun, saw an Ad and informed me about MNIK accessories being introduced in the market for sale – Samsonite bags which the ‘Khan’ (from epiglottis) carried, and the Reebok shoes which he wore on the way to tell the President that he was not a terrorist.  And, Mr. Raj Thackray, I cannot hear you making any noise anymore. What happened to you guys?

I don’t know if Mumbai belongs to the Biharis or not. I don’t know if the Railway belonged to Mr. Laloo Prasad either. But I know that Pune belongs to Maharashtra. Shilpa and others, at that fateful moment, belonged to Pune. And, above that all, their lives, which they lost so miserably, belonged to them. You two disappointed me a lot. I thought you are the Marathi saviors, but then, when are you going to save Maharashtra?

No replies. No replies. No replies.

Or, are you busy counting the number of Marathis who died? Are you doing that?

No replies. No replies. No replies.

I don’t expect a reply either.

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‘You know Chaki, I used to chat with her a lot. I still see her on my chat list. She is offline. And I know, she will never be online again… ever after’ said Gaurav.

‘I don’t know how to react to that. Why don’t you write… write a blog, maybe… about her?’ I asked.

‘I can’t write that well, that’s a problem. Writing is not my cup of tea’ he replied.

If you can’t Gaurav, I tell you, I can. This post is for you, Gaurav. This post is for Shilpa. This post is for all those who, unknowingly, step into death, while their lives still await them to come and enjoy it.

I don’t bother if anyone reads this article or not. But I know this for sure, Gaurav, you surely will. I thus give you a suggestion, wishing the best for you: Block Shilpa. That will be better.

Block her!

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