It’s been over a week since Madrid, and I have managed to get the adrenaline out of my system. I’ve been sleeping well too. Of course, when I went to bed most of last week, I was praying hard for my Bombay and its innocent people who had their lives at risk because of those dastardly terrorists. Every morning I would wake up and think, yes today it is over, today I will read the news and the news will say that they’re all dead. It took a few more nights than I thought but the soldiers managed to kill them though not before they (the terrorists) managed to violate and murder so many innocents. Sorrow and shock are obvious reactions but more than those, I am just quite simply offended by the things that have transpired. The ease with which they came, the audacity with which they set up such a bold mission and the cruelty with which they executed – I am offended by all these and more than that, I am offended by the utter intrinsic failure that let this happen.
We have seen a great deal of atrocities in India of late. Bomb blasts killing tens or hundreds are fairly common now? The reason this war of sorts has grabbed attention worldwide is because it was “live” – it was live action, a random shooting, hostage-taking long-drawn saga that sought to prove that these terrorists can do much much more and do so in the most menacing and scary way.
I am also truly offended by the aftermath of this war. The political bickering on TV alone gives me an ulcer and isn’t at all surprising. But the apathy is hurtful and offensive. For instance, Bollywood – an industry that relies on the idiosyncracies of Bombay for everything from production finance to shooting locations to entire film ideas – is conspicuous in its absence and failure to support Bombay through this horrific time. It has always irked me that Bombay newspapers are usually filled to the hilt with Bollywood gossip. SRK farted, Kareena kissed a guy, Ash is worried about which saree to wear, who was seen at what party with who and wearing what – these are verbose articles that we are subjected to day in and day out. Even TV actors’ gossip is now being covered in detail. These actors make crores of rupees off us (much of it is tax-free too – fucking crooks). Is it too much to ask that these actors take a little bit out of their coffers and support the city and its people now?
No… the only semblance of Bollywood that we have seen in this crisis has been the most offensive as well – Ritesh Deshmukh (I don’t know where he puts a goddamned extra “e” in his name but you’ll forgive me if I don’t give a fuck) parading around the maimed Taj hotel in his dark shirt and Ray-Bans (shades-in-the-shade dipshit) with Ram Gopal Varma in tow, surveying the scenes of destruction with an equally nonchalant Vilasrao Deshmukh (a chief minister who has downplayed this tradegy with his vague, unemotional responses and played a disturbingly large part in allowing this to happen).
Give it a rest assholes, the bodies haven’t even been cremated yet and you’re already trying to figure out which brave commando you are going to play? Do you really have to write the screenplay before the bloodstains are washed out? Shame on you all, you douchey, insensitive jerks. Shame on you all. You are disgusting, heartless pieces of shit and I hope that not just this movie but all your future ones are irredeemable flops. I, for one, am going to permanently boycott all movies made by or with Ram Gopal Verma and Ritesh Deshmukh. Or perhaps I will boycott Bollywood altogether till I see some hope that at least someone in this multibillion dollar industry actually cares about the city that has given them heritage buildings of their own to live in (Shah Rukh Khan, I am talking to you. And yes, you are aging and not gracefully.). I am tired of the stupidity, selfishness and opulence. Dare I say I am disappointed that none of these selfish pricks were actually at the Oberoi or the Taj when the killings began. It would have been a public service in fact if it resulted in fewer crappy movies with substandard plots and even worse acting.
And speaking of absentia, where is Raj Thackeray – the ferocious Maratha? No statements? Where are your brave vigilantes who strut around in their underwear or beat up innocent taxi drivers? They should have gone after the terrorists, nay? Are you hiding in some farmhouse far away from all this ruckus? Well good, I do hope to see you again when this is all over. Your mindless violence and your drivel about dividing the Hindus into Marathi-speaking and all other unimportant sorts is sorely missed, you pathetic bigot. You deserve to get “asshole” tattooed on your forehead IN MARATHI.
And that brings me to the famed “Bombay spirit” or the resilience in all things Bombay. The Bombay spirit is what fills up blood banks after the bomb blasts and it is what makes truck drivers rescue school children who are about to get swept away into an open gutter during an epic flood. It is the living proof that despite our rude hindi-marathi hybrid language, the Bombayites are kind even to strangers. It probably is the resilience to bounce back bravely after every assault on the things we hold dear. But I also wonder if the courage to go back to work the next day is just out of resilience or the need to go back to work. Cafe Leopold is open already not just to send a “fuck you” message to the terrorists but because the owner cannot sustain further losses. People don’t stop taking the train because they probably cannot afford to not take the train! What are they going to do? Stop working? Hire a chopper to commute from Panvel to Churchgate? The media needs to stop using “the bombay spirit” in a way that implies that the terrorists can throw whatever shit they want our way, the government can continue to ignore us and we will continue putting our lives at risk because we don’t have a choice. “Oh, there was a bomb blast yesterday, whatever, let’s go back to work” is NOT what the Bombay spirit is about.
It breaks my heart to know that the major who died fighting the terrorists was 28 years old. That is a tender age to die and a terribly unfair one too. The authorities knew there was a threat, they could have vacated the hotels, they could have ensured tighter border security. They could have done SOMETHING instead of just ignoring the threat. India is a peninsula i.e. 3 out 4 directions we are bordered by fucking water and there is ZERO border security in the financial capital. Is it so easy for a bunch of hateful war-mongering lowlife scum to bring a ton of ammunition to our coasts? It is shameful that our governments would be so frivolous and dismissive about the lives of Indians. This incident has shown that they don’t give a rat’s ass about Indians whether they be the lower/middle-class shopping for vegetables in the bazaars or the rich ones dining in the swankiest restaurants or the army men who have pledged their lives to the nation.
And speaking of rich people, shame on the rescued hostages for not giving credit to the armed forces. Shame on the foreigners who went on CNN International as those who “escaped from the Taj”. Listen, Mr. Rambo, you did not escape. You were rescued – by the unarmed firemen who went up the ladders to get you or by the hotel staff who put themselves at risk when they could have just as well run away or by the commandos who fought for you with full gusto. In the same vein, I am disappointed with the Indian guests who went to the media with stories that gave no one but themselves credit for escaping alive. A lot of people died while you were lucky enough not to. You are pathetic and attention-seeking for going on air with half-truths. No one knew this was coming so there is no need to act cavalier about it.
I am going to do my part to help. I am going to strongly condemn this act of violence and all acts of violence henceforth. What’s that now? You say that making statements does not lead to anything? But that’s what the Prime Minister is doing!