All Talk and No Action Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I have surprised myself by linking to Swamy's article and yet not addressing why that article came to be written in the first place.

Mumbai Terror attacks.

I haven't discovered any new emotion after the attack. My thoughts have been more or less similar to those on the 26th of November 2008 and 11th of July 2006. I am not sure I or my loved ones will be lucky the next time around.

Only a minor dissonance here:
Mumbai doesn’t retaliate perhaps because it is a practical, trading city. This is where money talks and equalizes relations. It is a city on the sea, open to the outsider, willing to do a deal with the one arriving from distant shores. It doesn’t want to miss any opportunity to make a buck, and that buck has no color, no creed, no faith, and no language.
While Salil Tripathi heaps praises and sketches out the quintessential Mumbaikar traits, I disagree with him on the basic premise of why Mumbai doesn't retaliate.

It is incorrect to assume that trading cities value money over lives.

Most Mumbaikars go back to work the next day because they have no other option.

40% of Mumbaikars have an income of less than 3,500 per month and one in every two Mumbaikars, lives in a slum. 

Not many families in Mumbai can afford to take unplanned leaves.


I recall a poem that I read in class 12. While I have forgotten the poet and the exact lines, the gist is: A fruit seller lost her husband in a mishap. Living a hand to mouth existence and with two kids to support, she was back to the market the very next day. But alas, the customers who knew her tragedy, derided her and questioned her love for the dead husband. They deemed it unfit to buy fruits from a heartless widow.

If only people understood : Not everyone has the luxury to grieve.


Nova said...

While I agree with ur last statement... I know Mumbaikars who went about life... watching movies, playing poker etc barely a day after the mishap... 11 odd ppl got together not to grieve but to play poker mins after the attack... that I find inconsolable...

Amol said...

Due to the blasts, even if 10% get scared and decide to stay at home, 9 million are still on the streets. Nobody is going to notice a drop of 1 million, as the streets are going to be as crowded anyway.

Mumbai benefits and suffers from her own numbers. It's the same thing that implies spirit, that also attracts acts of terrorism.

All Talk and No Action said...

@Nova - Studies show that a higher than usual number of women conceived children just after September 11 attacks in the US. Apparently, the need for mating, communion, etc. rise in human beings after they are struck by tragedies. Its a human need to reconciliationa nd assurance. Should we judge then and say that these people should have mourned and what were they doing indulging in sex?

Yes, a lot of people must have gone for fun activities - but why judge them? We will never know their true state of mind anyway.

On a related note, if people cancel their plans and stay back at home - doesn't it hurt businesses (hotels, etc.)? The city and its residents stand to lose again.

@Amol - Well said! I agree. I am only miffed about over romanticism about Mumbai's grit and spirit.