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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

क्या हुआ?

(July 2007)

Yesterday, on my way back home there was a traffic hold up on the Nizamuddin bridge over Yamuna. The reason for the traffic congestion turned out to be a sizable crowd of vehicles and people gathered on the roadside. I thought people were buying vegetables fresh from the toxic Yamuna bed. But they weren't. Instead, there had been a road mishap. And, as so often happens, the तमाशा was on.

Most of the onlookers were just filling up their quota of accident related audio-visual information and driving away. Some lingered around to fill the new arrivals up on the story.

I wondered whatever they'll do with the gory details of the incident?

Perhaps, they wanted to feel better themselves!

This is how it works.

When you come across others' misery and suffering, you are fearful at first (it could have been me!) and relieved subsequently (होनी को कौन टाल सकता है but thank God you chose someone else!). The worse the misery, the better you feel. The incident details are required to relive your good fortune by recounting the incident to many others. Until your own fears subside. The more scared we are at first, the more details we need and the more story telling we need to squeeze the fear out of our system.

Like squeezing a towel over and over again, until our inner fears have subsided for good.

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