Thursday, July 13, 2006

Why Hullo!

Hi everybody! Thanks for all the nice messages. I am doing well, albeit busy, and feeling slightly cagey but also a little disconnected from everything that happened in Mumbai.

To hear about so many people dying, and to hear that it was on the train line that many of the Mumbai Consulate's workers take every day, is tragic and emotionally baffling. I mean, in the final analysis, the bombings are a cowardly and craven act, and that is all they are. Has a purpose been announced for this, or has a group taken responsibility yet? Is this about Kashmir, is it some extreme Islamic critique of pluralism (aka ungodliness I suppose)? And do "they" really think that bombing innocent people on trains is going to advance their cause?

It's amazing that a group would want to unravel all the peaceful gestures that have been made recently between India and Pakistan. I guess that's what they want, to unravel the peace process, because that would mean peace with the current borders, which is unacceptable? Better deaths than the "wrong" peace. I hope it doesn't work. India has a long way to go to creating a truly harmonious mult-religioius state, but there's no way this kind of campaign would lead to India seceding land to Pakistan or to creating a separate Kashmiri state.

It is very sad, that's for sure! I hope India does not become victim to a prolonged insurgency. With any luck this will continue to bring India together, much as it's done in Mumbai so far. Mumbai has gotten a fair amount of press recently about being named the world's least kind city (in Readers Digest), but this event has brought Mumbaikars together in a really amazing way.

There was also a news article today about terrorists targeting the US Embassy in New Delhi. I don't know if it's true or not, but when I stop to think about it, it's very unsettling. Ach. Anyway, I don't really have much to say on this whole affair, only that I hate the feeling of helplessness that sparks these people to such desparation, almost as much as I hate the violence done to the innocent people on those trains. If there's any good to come out of this, it is that it challenges us (well, I guess I should only say me) to reflect on what we each do to contribute to other people's happiness or desperation and anger. Maybe that's what's happening in Mumbai. I kind of think that's what happened in Madrid as well. I'm sorry it takes violence for it to happen. How incredibly tragic.

Anyway, I'm totally fine. I'm doing a few people's jobs as they are all out of the office. I'm working long hours right now, and will be incredibly booked through July, but life is ok. I am certainly happy being in India, and just hope it doesn't degrade into communalism and violence any more. I don't think it will, people here seem more resilient than that. Of course, I live in a bubble, or as one friend called it, "camp". We'll see what happens. I'll try to keep you updated. And maybe find a good poem to post. Thanks again for the hellos. Hello to all of you!

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