There were many such riots, there were many such killings, I lived right in the middle during riots in Madras but for some reason, this carnage in Mumbai has affected me more. May be time will heal; may be my life will move on, but somewhere in my heart there is voice which screams at me that I better not forget. Better not forget where they come from, better not forget the religion which feeds them, and better not forget the environment which nourishes them. I feel a beast is growing inside. I did try to appease the beast; I did try to rationalize with the beast.
I tried the statement from our political leader, “the terrorist won’t win.” Who am I kidding; they have won the game fair and square. My mind went through the teaching from Jiddu, Buddha, Vivekananda, & Gandhi but the more I think, the more it screams. The beast now questions my religion, my faith and my honor.
I feel powerless to see my brothers and sisters getting killed for no reason of theirs. May be they are in a better place, or may be they are just plain dead. There are many who lost their siblings, there are many who lost their kids & there are many who lost their father and mother. What do I have for them? Nothing! What have I done for them? Nothing! The beast just screams at me, tomorrow it could be one of yours, it says. Of all your emotion, fear is the worst. Fear feeds evil; I think the beast knows it.
Don’t call me beast it says. My intentions are virtuous, it says. Standing up for yourself is courage; standing up for others is honorable it says. Do the right thing; let me loose, it screams from my heart.
What can one man do? If I die for this, the act will earn me a number. Here lies someone who died for “A big question mark”. At least you would let me free it says, may be someone else could hold me then you, coward, it says. The beast is winning.
Death, 24/7 on TV, “what’s happening daddy?” asks my son. Tell him the truth, says the beast. “Bad people are shooting”, I say to my son. “Is it in your country?” asks my son. “It’s our country, son”, I say. I don’t want to be there, comes the reply. I hear a chuckle, the beast within. “See what you have done”. “It’s not my mistake, what can I do?” I shoot back. At least let me loose, comes the answer. The beast is winning.
New day, it’s a new beginning I say to myself. As I did for the last 25 years, took a shower went straight to my idols/my Gods. “Trying to hide as always, you coward”, screams the beast. I pray hard, ask my Gods to kill the beast within. As it was for the past 25 years, I get no answers. The beast is winning.
May be there is no God, may be the killing on the name of religion is all a big mistake. God wouldn’t let this happen. God wouldn’t kill the innocent, I try to rationalize. There is total silence. What have I done? After years in front of Him, is this the end? In a moment of haste, I have done the unthinkable. I have questioned the pillar of my very existence. I don’t hear the beast no more. It’s eerily quite.
I cover myself with falsehood; I start my day with a smile. People around me offer their condolences, “It’s a shame”, they say. Impervious to my surrounding; my mind kept thinking, what have I done? “Where are you now”, my mind searches for the beast. “Is this the end?” I ask. Finally, the beast whispers, “Yes, it is. They got what they came for. Yes, this is the end”.