Two years ago- this day, I had realized something. I had realized that the term "Terrorism" was not just a term used by politicians almost everyday of their term in or out of office. It is not just a term that could grab you a prize when used appropriately in say- a debate or essay-writing contest in schools. It is not just a term used in lazy chats along with tea and biscuits. It is a term, very real. And its reality is something that you realize only when you feel it. Not read, not talk, not think- but feel it. You feel it- when those Numbers- 200 or 300 on the television screens cease to remain mere numbers. You feel it when you dread the ringing of your phone. You feel it- when you see a family lose a father, or a husband or a brother or an uncle- in a mere moment that you had never thought you would see soon. People are born and are dead each day of the year. But on a few of those days, the birth or the death mean something to you. Not numbers on television screens or the newspapers- but an invisible rope tying up something tight deep down in your mind.
The two years have faded in time. And every now and then, during this time- when media runs out of stories or when celebrities “Tweet” about it, the episode emerges out from its ruins like some ghost of the Christmas Past! And as all the “dutiful” citizens do- we usually tend to stop doing- whatever that is, we do and listen to what the media has got to say. Even though we are all the “all-knowing”, “cynical”, “true-citizens” of this great Nation- we still like to believe that justice prevails sometimes. It’s a real word that means something outside the dictionary too. Even though we are realists, our thoughts, still tend to get influenced by fantasy. We try, earnestly, to be the “unintelligent”. And it is with all these fantasies crowding our thoughts- we pause to live our lives and listen to what the media has got to say. Sometimes- rebut, or denial at times or sometimes it is about how the “sole-captive” enjoys singing old Bollywood numbers! With a secret pride whooping the conquest of intelligence and realism over fable and fantasy- We, the Citizens, go back to our “peaceful lives”.
Two years the candles had burnt with their flames fueled by the souls of the lives gone. And let’s say, twenty years from now- something does happen. Something close enough to “Justice”. But when that happens- this great nation would have lost those citizens who would have cared for this “Justice”! Twenty years from now- from being “Acts of Terror” or “Loss of loved ones”- the invisible knot suffocating us now- would cease to do so. What was felt now- would go back once again to be “Numbers” in the pages of history. Just like Jallianwala Bagh Massacre or Hiroshima/Nagasaki. The children of the future would have to remember these “Numbers”- as they would become answers to questions on the question papers. They would mean nothing. It would feel nothing. It would remain “Numbers”- black symbols on the white pages, its existence not felt though, real.
Is this what we want? Let Lives be valued as lives- not mere numbers. And I shall wait for that to happen. I shall wait...