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This week,
somewhere in Pakistan
a bomb exploded
leaving a trail of
melted toys and severed limbs
– ripping apart lives and
splintering souls,
painting the horizon
a violent red.

While I cursed
a too-slow computer
people mutely watched
three men on a beach
deliberately
beat a boy.
They watched as his
thin arms
were raised in plea
and still watched as
the blue-grey waters
claimed him for their own
(they said
he was mentally unsound.
As if that changed
anything at all)

A train has derailed elsewhere.
Bodies trapped
in mangled metal,
the pungent smell of charred flesh
pervading the air
as a sari
blotted with blood
quivers in the breeze.

Over the sound
of a fan whirring,
Louis Armstrong croons
of rainbows and red roses,
and tells me that
we live in a wonderful world.



06/06/2008

 

 

 

First, the cacophony of sirens. Go downstairs. Turn on the TV.

 

 

 

A battered bus. Misshapen metal. Shards of glass which crunch under the boots of khaki clad policemen. Distant voices of army personnel, shooing the swarm of people peeping over the yellow tape. Necks craning, eager for a glimpse. My mum flinches at the slow trickle of blood, forming red rivulets on the roadside. Fist stuffed in her mouth, she doesn’t notice that her cup of oats is dripping, forming white pools of their own.

 

 

 

The scene changes swiftly.

 

 

 

A mass of attendants dressed in crisp white. One surreptitiously pats his hair, preening at the cameraman, enjoying his 2 seconds of fame. Another blusters around, ordering people here and there, the corner of his eye fixed firmly on the revolving camera. An ambulance drives in. Dozens of hands reach out for the door. Blood spattered and dazed, a lady is lifted and laid on a stretcher. More tumble out. The interior of the hospital is shown. Vesak decorations and colourful streamers still adorn the ceiling: a stark contrast to the dismal scene.

 

 

 

Visuals of the explosion are shown again.

 

 

 

The blood still drips from the foot board. Deliberately slow.

 

 

 

Will this ever end?

 

 


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Till now, Death is something I’ve associated with old age and disease. The possibility that someone my age could die in an instant never occurred to me.

She was one of my batch mates. Although she left school some where around grade 6 or 7, I’d seen her randomly at parties and concerts but was never on a hi-bye basis with her since I didn’t know her that well.

She died a few days ago.

It was terrible seeing her lying inert in a stuffy funeral parlour surrounded by gaudy flowers, looking remarkably lifelike in a pair of jeans and t-shirt, right down to the leaf shaped earrings she wore and the colourful band around her hair. Her face was swollen and unrecognisable. She’d died riding a motorbike with her boyfriend.

I know it’s highly illogical, but I’m pissed off with her boyfriend. I’m pissed off at the fact that a girl, not yet 18 had to die simply because of a moment of thrill. (Yes, I know that he’ll be living with this guilt for the rest of his life, and yes, I do feel a tiny shred of sympathy for him. But just a bit, mind you.)
I’m pissed off because no parent should ever have to bury his or her offspring. Seeing her parents going about in a daze accepting meaningless words of sympathy from nameless strangers made me realize the extent of their pain. No parent deserves to go through that kind of hell.
I’m pissed because I never really knew her. I could’ve talked to her when I met her here and there. A casual ‘hi’ would never have hurt. But I didn’t.
Who knows we could’ve even been friends.