Colour to B/W

Yesterday, my ten-year-old cousin asked me a question that got me thinking : “What did those guys who were flying the planes that hit the twin towers get out of the whole thing?”

I floundered like a headless chicken while trying to answer this. How was I going to explain the entire situation to a kid who was born into a WTC-less world? I had always assumed that the attacks had a profound effect on every person on the planet, regardless of nationality, and would continue to have a similar effect on the generations to follow. I was a 11-year-old when 9/11 occurred, but I clearly remember the sense of helplessness and sadness that filled the adults in the room with me, while we sat in front of the television watching the stately towers come crumbling down. And we were sitting all the way in India, I can’t even imagine what must have gone on in the US at that time.

So anyway, back to the question. I eventually told him that the guys who planned the attacks were a group of people (and I took care to stress that just because they belonged to a certain religion does not give us the liberty to generalise their beliefs to all people of the same religion) who were unhappy with the US, their policies and their way of life and felt that this was the best way to make their unhappiness known to the world at large. This bunch of people were probably told that they would be regarded as heroes for their cause after their deaths,  and this probably meant enough for them to go ahead with these attacks.

This was the simplest answer I could give him, and I hope it’s the one closest to the truth.

This has definitely been one of the most difficult things I have had to do in a long while because I never want to be that person who encourages religious stereotypes. However, I now realize that there are (and will be) entire generations to come who will know the 9/11 saga only as a part of history, and perhaps this will dull the pain, as time has done with so many other events (which *I* know only as a part of history). The onus of helping future generations move on, and move on in a positive way, is on us – the people who have to answer these questions and re-tell these events. Because it is so important for us to choose our words correctly – what we say is how they will perceive the events, it will shape their attitudes to so many people, things and experiences. We have the power to foster harmful stereotypes and incorrect generalisations, as well as the power to make sure that these very same things don’t continue, so that these generations can learn from the mistakes we made.

Now I sound like an idealist. But I hope you get what I am saying!

And also, how would YOU have answered my cousin’s question?

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action—
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

- from Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘ Gitanjali

I sit here in the middle of my exams, watching my country and my fellow citizens look like they have been jolted awake from a long, stagnant slumber. I watch my Facebook friends feed feverishly fill with recycled messages urging me to sign a petition/ go out into the streets / wear a Gandhi cap to an IPL match. I listen to attention-grabbing VJ’s and failed Bollywood ‘heroes’ tweet about pledging their support to ‘ANNA HAJARE’.

I wish I knew how genuine these efforts of ‘spreading the message’ are. I am not for a moment questioning Hazare’s intentions, I am just afraid that my media-savvy, technologically adept generation has become so used to rushing into the middle of something and moving on to the next with such speed that I, at 21, find it hard to keep pace with. I hope this isn’t one of those things that becomes ‘something we did last week, what shall we do this week?’ affairs.

We, well, have commitment-phobia.


So this is a LONG over due post! Anyway, a bunch of us from class got to attend the 15th International Film Festival of Kerala held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in December. Although the festival was from the 10th of December till the 17th, we got permission to attend it only till the 14th :(

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Just finished reading One Night With A Prince by Sabrina Jeffries.  Yes, a trashy romance novel. Yes, the kind I love. Yes, the one I stayed up till 4 am to read.

Changed the look of the blog again, I felt the other was a bit too dark. Speaking of dark, I discovered that there’s Season 5 of Grey’s Anatomy on Zee Cafe (2 Episodes back-to-back). Couple this with Season 4 playing on Star World.. I am going to get a sizeable dose of dark and twisty Meredith and oh-so-dreamy Derek every week hopefully!

Gossip Girl Season 3. Oh Chuck. But why does Dan look so slimy!?

I am quite amused with this whole business of the Congress offering ‘opinions’ on Shashi Tharoor’s  tweeting business, but a bit disturbed. Isn’t that usually the role played by another major political party in the country?

Right Hear, Right Now


Panic. Terror. Mistrust. I find myself scrutinizing every human being around me, running away from every bag/ suit case/ parcel. I hate this cold feeling that is sliming its way through my body. I’m too scared to move, too scared to stay still.

B O M B – B L A S T – B O O M

Six, Seven, Eight. Twelve. It can’t happen here. It can’t happen to us.
“We condemn the blast”. Is that the best you can do? Protect us, damn you. Stop throwing money around and DO YOUR JOB. Condemn, condemn , condemn. Such a weak, weak, weak word. It reeks of helplessness.

And you. You. Yes, I’m drawing a line. I’m forced to. Div | ide. That’s what you want isn’t it? To be the other? Does it give you a sense of pride? To hurt. Again weak. Hurt. Pain. Suffer. Grief. This is all I can do. All I can say. You’re a monster, inhuman. You think you’re making yourself heard? You’re not. The sound is deafening. Nobody is listening. We’re far too consumed with something else. With the urge to protect, to seek warmth. To believe. You can’t shake my faith in people. I won’t let you.

Anger. Uncontrollable, immutable rage. My city, my people, my home, my country.

Our country. Do you hear me? OUR country.


I was having a conversation with my mother the other day about being able to “have fun” and “live my life” (as I put it)  and she said “Your life is just beginning. You still have time for all that”. I wonder if Scarlett’s mother ever told her that.

Freedom. How well I know that word. I’ve thrown it around during arguments more than once. Why can’t I stay out late? Why can’t I take an auto? How am I supposed to learn to be independent? Why are you trying to protect me all the time?

This is probably what I’m being protected from. No, I don’t just mean drugs, and alcohol and rape. I’m being protected from having to make a mature choice in a situation I’m probably not ready for. Funny, after what happened with Scarlett, I don’t seem to have any qualms in saying I’m probably still too young for a lot things.

But Scarlett was 15.


And well.. I don’t think she realized that she could say “Maybe I’m too young for this”. And now she will never have the chance.

On a related note: I think this is very well written.