Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Finally.. a note on Mumbai.

I have not been writing for the last few days.. nothing new in that except that this one time it wasn't inertia. I did not write because I did not want to write about Mumbai. There was nothing to share.. nothing that I knew and the rest of the country did not know already. I followed the news on the television and in the newspapers, discussed it with family and friends, called up relatives in Mumbai, expressed my shock and grief at the loss of innocent lives, and felt as bad as everybody else. Having spent some of the most memorable times of my life in the city, I have always liked it so much.. and one of the fondest memories is standing at the Gateway of India and admiring the Taj Mahal Palace in the night lights. It saddened me to see this magnificent piece of history go up in flames. As for the precious lives lost, this one picture here explains it. This little girl, the same age as my own daughter, has blood all over her tiny body. Somehow I feel it cannot be her's, how can somebody have the heart to hurt a baby.. What touched me even more was the compassion in the cop's face. Aren't policmen supposed to be tough, and if this was how the toughest people reacted, how could we be any better. Sorry for the digression, I chose not to write about it. Firstly, everybody and anybody who ever blogged wrote on the subject. They did add different dimensions, perspectives and helped the 'government' with ideas on ways to tackle terrorism, but there is a limit to novelty. After which, it was repetition and only that. But I seriously do not think that blogging can help a cause that 200 agonizing, untimely deaths failed to. It might help the writer to ease his pain, but it revives it for the readers who go through it all over again. Off course it is not forced on them, you can always skip the post that you don't wish to read, just like you switch the channel if you don't want to watch that telecast. Secondly, I don't think that not writing on the subject doesn't prove that one is indifferent to it, just like writing doesn't necessarily mean that you are very sensitive. I was surprised to see readers condemning bloggers who did not write on it. This post for one. It really did not make sense to me.. But I certainly appreciate the approach taken by a Mumbai resident. He made the headlines today by carrying a loaded pistol at CST to expose the security loopholes. It is just so in-your-face! The pen is mightier than the sword, no.. not when it comes to tackling terrorism.


ashes said...

I completely agree to not-writing-not-meaning-indifference....though I have been a bhukt-bhogi too...a friend pinged me yesterday and asked me how could I go about watching movies in theatres after all that happened in Mumbai, and then write a review on it?

But yes, it eases away some pain when you write, and opens arenas for discussion and provides a platform to share ideas. In fact, this practically sums up almost all the reasons why people blog. And I guess discussions on ideas is what is required at this hour. As I mentioned on my blog also, I strongly believe we need to work towards preventing further such incidents.

Indigo said...

Isn't this the same as everyone blogging when Abhinav Bindra won that medal? At least the current event has many different aspects and perspectives, the Olympic event had just one news. :)

Violet said...

ashes: You have already posted on Mumbai.. Is it expected that from now on you will keep writing only on that and nothing else??

Indigo: The two events are so different. It is like comparing apples and oranges. Yet, going by just statistics, out of the dozen odd blogs that I follow regularly, only one, i.e. Great Bong wrote on Bindra's feat, and then he is known to write on everything, isn't it? On the contrary, it is just one blogger, Jabberwock who has 'not' posted on Mumbai. Even the mommys' blogs were full of Mumbai updates. I was happy to read something fresh from him, and the reader's rude comment really surprised me. This is quite subjective, you may have different numbers if you follow a completely different set of blogs. Anyways, it is beside the point. Anybody who wants to write on Mumbai is free to write and post on the subject for the rest of his life. What I could not accept was readers forcing/expecting people to post on the topic. Blogs are not meant to cater popular taste, unless offcourse you are minting money out of it. It is the author's discretion, the subject and the content. Readers can choose to disagree with the content, but if they do not like the subject itself, they should rather skip the post.

ashes said...

That's what beats me. There are readers who expect you to mourn over for a week or so.

However, since a blog is public, readers always express opinions. They are free to disagree with a post, and free to express their disagreement as well. The author is also free to skip the comment if he disagrees, or even delete it if he feels that comment spoils his intention of writing or mars the beauty of his post/blog. Not that I support this particular commenter of yours to which Jabberwock got rather defensive. He is absolutely wrong in expecting everyone to write, but the topic was such that generally people couldn't stop themselves from writing. Case in point: this very post.

And as I said, it does lead to some brainstorming by a few people, which might help remotely to some extent. Read the discussion on my post here.

ashes said...

Also read this comment and the incongruous opinion mentioned there.

Indigo said...

It might be comparing apples and oranges but the point is both of them are fruits. (Actually you can compare apples and oranges only because they are similar objects). Similarly both these were news items that were on almost all forms of media for long. This might remain longer because of the politicians fighting with each other.

Another reason as you gave can be that you and I follow different sets of blogs. Many bloggers that I follow happily reported Bindra's feat, even you wrote a post.

I am sorry that I could not get my point across. What I meant is that everyone writing on Mumbai attacks is totally justified. And that if say, 10% of the bloggers reported Bindra, and 50% reported Mumbai, it is totally justified because of the sheer magnitude of the event. Also, here you have to find a solution, for which blogging might not be the only means, but it does contribute, maybe to a minuscule portion, by making the common man think about it. It makes a difference if one out of 1000 people who read and write on blogs, takes an action.

Forcing to write on any topic is bad, and I am totally against it too. But someone writing should not be condemned. This was a topic that every blogger felt that he/she should write upon. Even you, who is 'otherwise stoic', wrote on it.

Indigo said...

So do you agree to my thoughts above?

Violet said...

Indigo - Excuse me for not replying to your comments. I am currently on a vacation and avoid checking emails/blogs. As for your comment, this once I feel it did not say anything new, rather harped on the same theme. If you are so interested, please take the time to go through the post and comments once again, I have expressed no opinion at all of people writing about Mumbai, I just explained my reasons for not writing on it, and why I felt that Jabberwock did not deserve that comment. I wonder why you imagined stuff and took pains to counter it.

Indigo said...

Yes, I had to reiterate the same theme because you hadn't got it in the first place, and not even in the second place. Also, I disagreed about you dismissing my opinion in the first comment by just saying they are two different things altogether.

I just went through your post again, and that is what it is, expressing opinion about people writing about Mumbai and a justification of you writing late about it (instead of a reason for your NOT writing on it). I failed to understand what do you mean by imagining stuff.