Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Children of Men...Are We?
I don’t blog often. It is a combination of personal choice, procrastination and laziness. I don’t have the discipline or the energy to blog on a regular basis. And, I admit, a part of me holds these 500-word ‘articles’ in a bit of contempt. I think to myself: Why should I waste my time writing 500-word posts when I could very well spend that time, writing a 50,000 word novel. Blogs are for people who are part-time writers.
But, last night, as I was lazily scrolling through my Twitter feed in search of things I could Retweet in order to gain followers or disseminate information I think should be shared, I started coming across the hashtag #IndiaIsWithPakistan. 141 dead. I realized something awful had happened. Again. I scrolled some more. A gentleman, who I do not want to name, had very interesting views on moderation, women journalists and Sagarika Ghose in particular who’d tweeted with that hashtag. There were about 50 replies to his comment.
Sagarika Ghose’s tweet had more RTs and Favorites. The replies though were less.
I slept. It was late and I knew I had a first draft to finish, so I went into slumber-land.
I didn’t tweet, or RT or Fave any of the hashtags #IndiaIsWithPakistan or the others. I didn’t have enough information on Twitter, nor the energy to Google for it. And I’d like to believe, I have some kind of a vetting process before I RT anything to my 800-plus followers.
Today morning’s headlines are filled with Child-Killers, those monsters of atrocities committed against mankind. X number of people dead, including children and Y number of people injured, again, including children. (The reason I am not using real numbers is because I don’t know them myself, newsfeed is only as accurate as the people who disseminate information through it). Besides, writing 131, 142, 121, it’s …it’s awful. They’re kids, I think to myself. Kids, teenagers like my cousins studying in America, becoming bright, shining lights that will, amen, set the world ablaze one day. Kids, like my dearest heart, my little cousin who turns 6 on the thirtieth of this month, who I watched being born. Kids, like my nephew who asks me for Lego games every time we talk (it’s our thing). Just KIDS.
I turn the pages, read the International section. Sydney Siege. The brave Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson. Another hashtag #IllRideWithYou. And next to it, in a small three-column, 250 word article, an article about Yemen being bombed. Again.
I re-check my Twitter feed. Opinionators ask a brilliant question: What is happening in the world? What is happening TO the world?
I think to myself, how come we live in a world where a terrible, terrible novel like Kingdom Come is not myth but reality? How come Google provides information on how to make bombs or discount purchase firearms and people are so fed-up and angry with each other that they’d just as likely shoot each other as hug them? How come, ANY of us, ANY of us who are framing the social conversation in whatever small way we can, opinionators and citizen journalists who tweet #ItookADump #EpicFail or who fill their Facebook Walls with inspirational quotes (myself included) in order to look ‘cool’ and ‘smart’ and mold ourselves to what society’s image of cool, smart, hep and other generation X bullshit is, are talking about ANYTHING else but this?
I recently posted a picture on Facebook: Don’t talk about it. The only way to do it is to live by example.
I have to make up my mind now. Will I use my blog, my books, as a medium of framing social and political debate, in however small a way I can, so that WHOEVER reads them (there are at least 4 people I know who will) and keep asking these questions until they get answered or, will I forget about these tragedies and go on and figure out a way to write the next bestseller with the smartest hook, maybe a black room and a gimp, since erotica sells a LOT? The thing is; I got into writing when I was a kid, GOD, that word again, because I had this insane idea that being a reporter means I get to be part of saving the world.
As I grew older, I realized the world did not want to be saved.
I am sincerely, sincerely hoping NO ONE else gives up on that notion like I did, and we have more people asking the questions that need to be answered, in books, in traditional media, on Social Media, on political, economic and religious forums: Influencers and policy-makers and people who understand the fundamental difference between “religion” and “politics” and try to make the world a safer place for our kids to grow up in. (Mr Modi, I hope you feel me.)
I know, this is a rant-post, or whatever is the hashtag term for it. I still needed to write this. I just wish…I just wish my apathy had not needed a tragedy to wake up for.
Till next time
For everyone who wants to know more about what has happened: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/express5-16-year-old-from-peshawar-tells-terror-story-delhi-prays-protests-on-dec-16/