Thursday, April 24, 2008


The other day I was watching the movie Bombay on TV. Now the only way you wouldn t have heard of or seen the movie Bombay is
1. if u have been living under a rock for the past 15 years
2. if u don’t appreciate good movies and prefer to watch movies like veerasamy etc.

Jokes apart, It is one of the most beautiful Indian movies I have seen. It has mani ratnam written all over it. The story is impeccable, the actors are impeccable, the direction is mind blowing and I am not even going to talk about the music. It speaks for itself. After all God composed the music for it. its gotta be great!!! :)

Anyway as I was saying I saw the movie (for the 7th time I think) after a very long time and it took me back to 1992. The babri masjid riots. On December 6th 1992, the babri masjid was demolished by hindu extremists and the whole of Bombay was burning. At that time we were living in surat- a city which is 5 hrs from Bombay and hence was affected by the riots. My dad had gone to a god forsaken place called babrala for a 6 month trip from office and my sister, mom and I were alone in surat when the riots struck. We were hindus living in a muslim area then, and my sister and I were attending a muslim school near home. Our muslim neighbors were extremely nice people who helped us when our area was attacked by muslim extremists thirsty for hindu blood and I don’t think I would be sitting and typing this if not for them.

I was a six year old for whom riots meant no school for ten days. It is only now that I realize what my mother would have gone through without having my father for support and living in a muslim area. My mother was a 30 year old woman with 9 and 6 year old girl children. It is only now that I understand what she would have gone through, what a struggle each day must have been. A struggle for food, struggle for milk, struggle for life and existence and yet there wasn’t a single day when my sister and I went hungry or a single time when my mother actually made us realize the seriousness of the situation choosing instead to keep all the troubles of herself than let us know. Sometimes I wish I had at least half the courage and fortitude which she has. I would be a very different person today.

I remember there used to be no vegetables or bread or milk at home and my mom would be scared to leave home to buy it because she was afraid that if she was attacked/killed, we would be alone. So if she went out anywhere she took us with her and I have vivid memories of sitting on a policeman’s motor bike and going to buy milk and veggies (due to curfew no vehicles were allowed to run and only police jeeps and motorbikes dotted the empty roads). I also have these disturbing images of entire buses being burnt and curfew being declared. On the roads where we usually saw children playing, vehicles zooming, people buying vegetables etc we saw skeletal remains of burnt buses, police jeeps and absolutely no souls on the road. Some of these images are etched and ingrained in my memory and I am not likely to forget them for a long time to come.

During the riots a part of our school was burnt by hindu extremists and many of my friends lost their parents. It was appalling. The massacre of innocent people in the name of communalism makes my blood boil. Also people who make statements like all muslims are terrorists or terrorism is rampant because of the presence of muslims irritate me to no end. All terrorists might be muslims but not vice versa. Someone rightly said that it is only in times of adversity that the true colors of human beings show. And in times of adversity you are neither hindu nor muslim. You are just another human being either capable of helping or in need of help.

To all the extremists and fanatics who are ready to take innocent lives and demolish prayer houses in the name of religion I have only one thing to say to u. The primary difference between animals and us is the fact that we have the ability to think. If u cannot think, cannot value another life, cannot understand that terms like hindus and musilms are trivial and are of no consequence whatsoever in a world where relationships and human bonds matter the most and not caste, creed or nationality than u most probably shouldn’t have completed evolution and your very existence is a shame on the human race.


abishek said...

I cant even say I understand, cos ive lived all my closeted life in chennai with my folks.
A really good friend of mine here, that I met one week after I moved here is from Serbia. She was a refugee that moved to Holland during the war. Some of the stories, she says are enough to give night mares even to the one listening. But shes one of the most optimistic ppl I know. She still believes in people and is not cynical. Its great that her spirit isnt crushed.
I dont even remember the babri incident. I must have been in second std and I dont think it affected us much in chennai.

Also, I am guessing ur dad must have been equally worried. I cant relate to ur mom and i sure can relate to ur dad.

Its great that you ppl escaped unharmed.

maybe i should start blogging instead of hogging ur comment space. The thing is I wouldnt be able to disguise names and I am prone to bitching about ppl. that wouldnt be a good idea. :D

Kausikram Krishnasayee said...

Strong post :) have not got words to say.
P.S on second thoughts may be i have...
i am an animal activist/extremist how dare you talk ill of veerasamy :P

Sanket said...

Hey....powerful post!
I have never witnessed a riot first-hand so I wouldn't really be able to understand the gravity. There was a riot once in my hometown - Solapur..after the gujarat riots..i got sickened by the stories i heard. I firmly believe that human life is above everything..every religion, caste, nationality..whatever.
I can understand your anguish over stereotyping of the muslim community. Imagine what an indian muslim who loves india as much as any other indian feels when his patriotism is under suspicion just coz of his religion :(

Anonymous said...

Serious post after a long time. Good one.

The primary difference between animals and us is the fact that we have the ability to think. If u cannot think, cannot value another life

IMHO in an excited state / brainwashed mindstate, its not that those people cease to think/dont have the ability, but they always think only thier point of view is right.

As the dialogue in movie says "In the right situation, we are all capable of the most terrible crimes", terrorists are not specially created creatures, they are one among us.

Terrorism is a disease without a vaccine.People will get immune to it in the coming generations.(Even we are to an extent,the fact that you travelled in a Mumbai train is a classic example)

Milinta said...

don't even think about comparing human beings and animals. Animals are far far better when compared to the mayhem humans make around themselves. i remember reading a three page poem by Vairamuthu about why animals are infinitely better than homo sapiens.And trust me, each and evry sentence in it was so true. i don't remember th whole thing but it ended with something like,

"Manidhargal vanangum sila vilangugal ingundu
Aanal vilangugal vanangum manidhargal engum illai"

Meaning, there are quite a few animals that are worshipped by people but there are no human beings who are worshipped by animals.

Jaya S said...

Obviously it was a trying time for you and not much of use can be said by people who have never had to go through such's terrible that we insist on calling ourselves civilised and yet fall prey to petty issues, without realising the social and psychological implications, particularly on children. It must be so much worse for the kids who were, and continue to be, orphaned as a result. I'm glad you brought this up, because we so easily forget what's going on outside our closeted lives.

Vijay said...

I have a view that historically all muslims are from hindu roots. All muslims descendents have hindu fore-fathers down the family tree. This means that if a hindu kills a muslim, it means he is killing a hindu only. Why don't they realise it. This is sheer logic. Some one should hit this logic into their brain washed brains.

Revathi said...

you ought to start blogging. helps u give vent to so many things!!
BTW do i know u? because i have known approximately 7865 abhishek's all my life. which one are u?? :P

lol. i am so sorry. u think the SPCAA will come and get me?? i am scared!! :P
Thanks for visiting!! :)

exactly my sentiments. and the sad part is that the patriotism of most muslims in this country is questioned because of their religion!! :(

//Terrorism is a disease
well said. and yeah i agree. i guess people dont lose thier abilityy to think. what they do lose however is common sense!!

surprising but i understood that without the translation!! :), lovely words. and yeah i think its a disgrace to animals to compare them with such barbaric humans!!

oh!! i am very very lucky. i had wonderful parents and lovely neighbours. i definitely wouldnt call myself psychologiaclly affected. some of my friends i remember had nightmares for a very very long time!! it was pathetic. i am very very lucky!! :)

Thanks for visiting!! :)

>>Jass said...

Whoa! This reminds me of a similar situation my folks at home were in after the assassination of Indra gandhi. All sikh shops and a few homes were burnt down and similar shit like that.. (of course i wasnt born then , i was born only the next year, A super baby would have saved them the trouble.. I know you ll go like "sad very sad" after reading this :P)

Man listening to / reading such stuff gives me the goosebumps...

/* I don’t think I would be sitting and typing this if not for them*/
You think we should be glad that you are alive? *sigh* :P

dante said...

unfortunately enuff, that movie is banned over here to this day ... apparently they are afraid that somehow watching that movie could lead to similar events here .... then again they also banned zoolander so you should know how "stringent" is their filtering process ..... *grin* .... anyway i am of two minds about this issue .... basically i hate all races and religions ... i tend to like ppl and not by where they are from or what race they are but thru their character .... sooo forgive me if i tend to occasionally generalise ppl based on what the minority does .... i am sure we are all guilty of that sometimes .... *grin* .... well tat's juz my two cents ....