Life and other thoughts

I am still terribly shaken by the Mumbai attacks, I have to admit. It’s been three weeks now but the horror refuses to fade. And the raw fear makes it hard for me to dwell on anything else for too long. ‘Will my loved ones and I be safe?’, I want to know. ‘Let there never be another attack, ever ever again! And no war, please God, please protect us!’, I pray, over and over again. I hope He is listening.

Moving on to more cheerful news, the friend for whom I hosted a baby shower last month gave birth to a roly-poly little girl last night. The proud parents sent us some snaps pronto and I have been sneaking a look at them ever since. I have to confess – I am absolutely enchanted by this little princess! Pudgy little nose, twinkling little eyes, soft baby hair and the most perfect little fingers and toes – aren’t babies the sweetest miracle ever?

I’m dying to meet mother and daughter of course, but a bad cold and flu-like symptoms are holding me back. Sigh!

Babies are the best cure for even the worst sort of depression, don’t you think? Life affirming itself over death and all that jazz. I have been going around in circles ever since the Mumbai attacks, pondering over life and death and the finality and thoughtlessness of it all and other such weighty matters I’d never expected to think about in my twenties.

Why did it have to be so-and-so who died at CST that night? I know countless other folks who pass through there everyday. Did God protect them because they are good people? So were those unfortunate others who died bad people? I know it sounds terribly disrespectful but how else does one explain what happened? And how else can I console myself that my family is good, my friends are good and I am good, so nothing bad will happen to any of us?

All this is hogwash perhaps. I still pray I’ll be proved wrong but perhaps there’s no one protecting us out there. We are all on our own then. As Aai keeps saying, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll be fine until our time comes!’

Now if that’s the sort of world we live in, why not make the best of the time we do have? Considering there isn’t much else we can do, let’s live it up, I figured. So call it resilience or call it apathy, but I am going to be frivolous and happy from now on. Not exactly frivolous, but I think you know what I mean. If it’s all so random, there’s no point agonizing over things or trying to make sense of anything, is there?

I promise myself, I will stop brooding over problems I cannot solve. I shall take each day as it comes and live each moment as if it shall be my last. Cherish each gesture of love. Remind my loved ones how much I love them every chance I get. Laugh at the corniest of jokes and marvel at every beautiful sight. Enjoy each trip and relish every good meal. Smile my best smile and sing aloud whenever and wherever I wish to!

And I promise you, my blog will get back to its cheerful ways too, soon, very soon!

P.S. I realize, you know, that I am not the first person to reach this sort of profound conclusion. But this self-realization is a big step for me, so bear with me please!


17 responses to “Life and other thoughts

  1. Hey dear girl, your para on “I promise myself…” made my day! Absolutely beautiful.

    Amen to every word on that and more.

    Count me with you on the ‘peace everywhere please!’ prayers.


  2. JnM, i see you are so thoughtful and have not let things go off the mind. But i can tell you that there are certain things we cannot get answers to, like your question, “Did God protect them because they are good people? So were those unfortunate others who died bad people?” As you said it, our times comes we will be gone. I don’t know whether it is fate or destiny, but i think there is a motive behind everything that god does to us good or bad. Now we know that the world we live in cannot be taken for granted, like the other lesson you learnt and mention, is to be cheerful and take life as it comes. That is a very good thing to do and i wish you and all of us have that smile all the time.

  3. Awwww hugs JnM. You are a sensitive soul. But please life has to go on, and we have to live it. I like to believe that God feels out pain but wants us to deal with it. Love and Hugs

  4. It’s unbelievable how these terror strikes have impacted us. I had a nightmare last night that terrorists have barged into our home and we’re running from one end of the house to the other, locking doors trying secure ourselves and knowing that it would be futile if these terrorists really want to kill us. It was scary. I remember thinking in my dream why am I so scared of death – that’s the worst that can happen to us, can’t it? And I had no answers. This is terror.

  5. Why cheer? Let’s mourn some more. Let’s cry like the wolves and mourn like the cats. Let’s scream till our lungs can hold no more. No one is bad. We don’t deserve a death like this. Someone cannot just throw a dice and tell me its my turn today. Atleast for our kids, for the generations that are yet to walk this earth, for their sake let’s mourn. Let the shrill of our cries and the pain of our sorrows raise the dead from their graves. A good or a bad life is my choice, but a natural death is my Right.

  6. Thanks Sumana, thanks for understanding. The one good thing (it seems like sacrilege to even say that but…) to come out of this is that we have learned not to take life for granted.

    Hugs back GDS! It WILL be back. Taking charge of our mind, if nothing else, is still in our hands you see.

    Thanks Ritu. I am struggling to keep the faith too.

    Oh yes, I have had many such nightmares in broad daylight D. Planning what I’ll do if this happens or that – I thought I’d go mad thinking of it. So I want to stop now. As you say, the worst is that they’ll kill me. Perhaps torture too. But it will happen once. Why should I die a hundred deaths thinking of it everyday now, when I am so happy and blessed?

    You are right Raaji. I am with you, but will this help? Who’s going to listen to our cries? I have given up. I am going to be happy now for as long as I can.

  7. Hey D,

    Can I tell you something about “that which cannot be controlled” ? You will worry and worry and worry about it, you will imagine it to be ten times worse that it actually is, you will have nightmares about it, everytime you think about it your palms will sweat, you BP will sky rocket, you’ll feel scared and lonely and out of control – am I right ?

    Look D, I am currently going through a similar phase for completely different very personal reasons. You know what I do ? Everytime I feel a panic attack come on – I count all the blessings I have. I have E, a loving husband, a loving pet, parents who drive me crazy but still love me, in-laws who drive me crazier but still like me, a big extended family that’s accepted me wholeheartedly on husband’s side, mad mafia type family on my side…. When I feel stabilized by all that knowledge, I meditate. I tell myself that I am a good human being, I’ve done everything I can to be of use to someone else. I’ve have not consciously wished anyone harm. Those whom I have harmed in the past – I try to forgive myself for that and improve. And I pray to God, guide me through that which I cannot control and that which I cannot understand.

    You know D, it helps. I mean, you have to come up with a routine that helps you – or you are going to drive youself batty. I know I’m going to regret writing all this here because I’ll be a laughing stock, but I’ll tell you one thing – whatever it is, its never as horrible as our fevered imagination makes it out to be. Remember that.

    Moving on to happier topics – do I detect the maternal instinct starting to seep through ? I think I do ! 🙂
    Babies are great for affirming the faith that there are still good things left in the world. I hope you plan on having one soon, because girl – you’re ready. I can tell.

    So, let me sum this up by saying that just like we don’t know how life or when life will end, so too we don’t now when or how life will start (outside the womb I mean) and its perhaps the mystery associated with these circumstances that worry us. Be cheerful D, its all going to be OK.


  8. I saw mumbai meri jaan yesterday and yet again realised that mumbai terror is going to haunt us all for a long time – anger, frustration and helplessness are what I feel now and makes me wonder what more we can do than just pray and hope. safety is a word of the past in Indian metros, where I grew up. I feel ashamed at just being worried about it and not do anything about it.

  9. Well, every cloud has a silver lining…:) So, cheer up! You know this sort of attitude really bucks me up! You yourself dispelled the gloominess through this post…keep smiling always:))

  10. U know, yesterday, someone came home. he was a friend from Mumbai. He told us about the people we knew, who were hurt in the attacks. Suddenly, the entire ordeal was personal. Someone we knew was hit by 2 bullets and survived by pretending to be dead. That’s right – he held his breath with 2 bullet wounds in him(one of those bullets was in the stomach).
    Then, the 2-3 of them who survived hid in the AC room. There they lived, without food, water or loo, for that night, the next day, and the next night, and half of the next day. The ones with bullet wounds were thirsty. They had no water. Then they were rescued. This person is on his way to physical recovery, but has developed other symptoms of mental trauma. we call this PTSD, but PTSD was just a term before last night. Am shook up again, and your post was just the stimulus i needed to share this with you.

  11. Hey, no one is laughing at you Priya – not on this blog at least! 😉 Thank you for your heartfelt comment. I’ve been trying all this except for relaxation techniques. I think I need to try them too. Consciously unclenching that clenched jaw and so many more things like that. Hmmm… I love your line – whatever it is, its never as horrible as our fevered imagination makes it out to be. Really? That makes me feel good. Now about your happier topic, what can I say? Just that you made me very happy. Yes, it is something I have been thinking a lot about these days. Who knows what the New Year will bring? 😀

    Thank you Mampi. Your words cheer me up.

    Hey passer-by, I don’t know what we can do to make us safer, but we can definitely do something to lessen the misery. This blog – – is trying to help the victims’ families in any way they can. Would you like to contribute?

    Hugs M! I am not sure why you sound so worried these days. I hope you are able to sort it out soon. If you want to talk, give me a shout anytime, okay?

    Yes, I didn’t want to end on a hopeless note Mithe. Our life is not hopeless, in these tough times, it’s hope that sustains us nahi?

    Oh God, I cannot even begin to imagine this situation HDWK! How did these guys cope? I am so glad they made it through though. They did but their tormentors didn’t. A silver lining again na? I hope your friend is able to work through the PTSD too and emerge a stronger person. Hugs!

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