How many times must a man turn his head, and pretend that he just doesn’t see?
- Bob DylanAugust 6th- Peace Day. P-I-E-C-E Day.
Today we had an interesting session in college. Our professor spoke to us about war and peace. About death and destruction. About the World wars and the concentration camps. About Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He threw a lot of numbers at us too. Numbers running into thousands, millions, billions. Dead, injured, missing numbers. After a point they began to bounce off me. I listened on and on, till he played this song. How many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died?
And that really Is the question. Those weren’t mere numbers. They were actual people. People with lives, homes, and families beyond the purpose of war and all annihilation I once heard this line in a movie- “In the nuclear world, the real enemy is war itself”. This is because war doesn’t see beyond destruction. Destruction of cities, towns, buildings, monuments and people…
People. The one factor that makes a piece of land, a country. I place worth living in. a place worth dying for. But what is a country without the people on it? Without the smiles and the laughter? What is a country filled with tears? A country filled with emptiness.
All of us tend to think that just like completely utopia; complete dystopia is also a myth. The truth is, that the horrible world of our nightmares is already here. This afternoon, I was at Mumbai Central Station. Beggars with all sorts of deformities lined the railway bridge. Inside, where they load the cargo, three street children ran around. They jumped on the sacks and ran around the carts. Suddenly a police man came and shooed them away. His voice was rough and he had a stick in his hand. He cursed them. He yelled at them. They ran away and disappeared somewhere in the throng of people mechanically flowing in and out of the station.
If a nuclear bomb were to be dropped on the city that very moment, our last memories would be ghastly. The policeman would have the memory of yelling at the children. The children would have the memory of being lost in a crowd. And I would have the guilt of not having done anything for them. Still do…
In a very scientific, objective world, all of us have become mechanized robots. We look at the world in black and white. In right and wrong. In good and bad. In numbers and not as people. In the virtual and not the real.
But someday the boundaries will blur. Even for us.
This is truly a rambling of my mind. It makes no sense to me. But I hope it makes sense to you.