And so the week culminated in a series of bomb blasts ripping through the capital . Since I had been reading, and not watching television, I was not aware of the serial blasts . It was only when my sister in law called up incoherently asking how Srin was , that I pressed the panic button and called her up .
She was safe and riding back in an auto with her friends from the vicinity of Sarojini Nagar. Given time I suppose she would have gone to GK , or CP or wherever young people hang out on weekends . The mandatory warnings of not to venture away from the campus for the next few days over ,the anger set in .
Hyderabad,Ajmer ,Jaipur,Bangalore,Ahmedabad and Delhi ...
It could happen anywhere . It makes no sense to tell my daughter not to venture out and to keep away from crowded places because one does not know when and where they will strike, just as it makes even less sense for Mr Patil to go on National television for the umpteenth time and talk as if he were an an inept college principal unable yet again , this new session, to handle unruly seniors ragging freshers and taking recourse to threats which nobody takes seriously .
His voice is flat and even , the expression on his face deadpan . But of course, it's a scene and a script he is familiar with , so you can just go ahead and and applaud while appreciating the fact that he did not refer to notes or have a lackey prompt him , while talking to the television reporters . It is interesting to note that from the flashbacks that Aaj Tak aired on statements made by him that there was very little deviation .
The Chief Minister on NDTV had more howlers to offer in a conversation peppered with "you know" .She said she was not aware of what "they" were planning - who "they", were ,was not clear - the terrorists, the police? She was also under the impression , poor duck, that the blasts happened on a busy Sunday evening .
The Financial Times had this to say about the state of Indian intelligence .
Therefore , while the political parties battle it out and terrorists rampage on unchecked , we ,the people ( to borrow a phrase from NDTV and here , I also recall Laxman's puzzled Common Man in his checkered coat, a perennially baffled expression on his face ), live out our petty lives -with our petty fears ,our commonplace ambitions which sometimes get snuffed out before they are realised , our trivialities - and our whining and sniffling .
At times like this , we get angry and vent out our anger at street corners or our private soapboxes , we respond to appeals on TV channels and send out impassioned messages berating the government or the people who perpetrated these bestial acts of violence , (not realizing that it is yet another trick by the channels to measure their ratings and the viewership numbers ) ,but by and large we respond , obediently ,to what Big Brother and Big Sister tell us .
And something tells me , that like Laxman's common man , we sit , watch , wait and suffer ,sometimes quietly , sometimes not , because we realise there is very little we can do .