Friday, September 4, 2009

What's the chase for?

Another five lives lost. In a fraction of a second. One mistake. One wrong judgment. Unfortunately, there's no rewind button. And, one life seems a lot more important than the other four. Or so the media thinks.

First they said there was no contact, then they said there was no trace. Soon it was no hope. It finally turned out that there was no life. The 'inevitable' has happened.When will the media learn to stop! Will they learn to draw a line, somewhere, ever?

But why is this news so important in my life? Because of the invasion of the television. Because of the familiarity of the man's face, and his friendly smile. Because YSR is almost a household name. Because my six-year-old knows about the existence of this CM. Because of the limmerick my husband taught my daughter a year ago for a quiz contest at school to ensure that she remembers the CM's name.

I agree the worst fears of the state have come true, and whatever has happened is unfortunate. What's worse is the lack of respect for human life. Images of the parts of each body being collected, pushed on to a stretcher and wrapped in a white cloth before being air-lifted show yet again the least value our country attributes to human life, and the kind of (dis-)respect shown to the mortal remains of our departed!

But for the television channels, my tension would not have reached its crescendo by 10.30 this morning. The first question my daughter asked me after returning from school at 12.05 p.m. was "Amma, aayana dorikara? (Has he been found?)". When I told her what has happened, she had tears in her eyes. All she said was "Ayyo, why amma?". As I explained about the chopper crash to her, my little one was bursting with questions, "But he's chief minister no amma, why did he go like that in rain? Nobody told him not to go? And why did only 5 people go? Did all of them die? Security uncles didn't go?"

Within minutes she called up her dad with more questions. She wanted to know it all - how did the air crash take place, why people in the airport didn't know about it, how difficult it is midway while traveling by air, and when the weather is bad should people travel...

The gist of it is the tragedy hit everyone - including a 6-year-old child. I guess we can't remain innocent/ ignorant anymore in this age of technology, and mushrooming media houses.

But yes, one more lesson learnt. We are born, and then we die. That alone is the reality. Everything else in between, including the life we lead, is just a stupid race - to do this or that, accumulate property, chase material comforts, become corrupt in the process, pick up fights/arrogance/prejudices, make enemies, live in constant fear of losing (things, wealth, loved ones, self - in fact, everything).

And when we're gone, we're just gone - with no trace left. In some cases without even a piece of cloth to cover the person's pride. So what's the point of chasing wealth and losing health when all you need are a few metres' cloth, and a six-foot trench?

Here's hoping that realization dawns on us soon... the sooner the better! And how about spreading this idea to a few others we know?

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