My heart is in India
I am writing this from the comfort of my quiet home in Canada. My cat is curled up beside me, purring, the heat and electricity are running, I have food in the ‘fridge, I can hear the heavy steel-on-sreel rattle of the street car. The world outside my window seems to be safe, predictable and ordered. But my mind is not here. My thoughts and feelings are tied up with the chaos and terror in Mumbai. Bombay. I have never been to the city, though I had plans to visit this winter. I don’t really know anyone there, except the India Tourism officer who was posted there after leaving Toronto last year. But friends of friends are there, relatives of friends, bloggers whose sites I have visited, who knows who else. The world is indeed a small place.
It is made even smaller when you love. I love my boyfriend and his family, who are Indian (and who live in the capital, Delhi), and I love India herself. And when you love, you are very vulnerable. You feel for the person or place. You are emotionally entangled, engaged. So it can be very hard to be halfway across the world and watch images of murder and mayhem — bloodied people being carried from posh hotels, historic buildings in flames, police firing, people in chaos and turmoil and grief. People suffering. People who are causing the suffering. For this was no act of god, but an act of man. And that’s the hardest part.
The part of my heart that is suffering the most is the part that knows these are fellow humans who inflicted this terror and carnage on Mumbai. People who think they’re right. It’s inconceivable that people with working brains and hearts could think this is a good thing to do. I feel faint when I think of it. My courage quails.
But I feel heartened by the response of the police and authorities in India, who have shown amazing bravery and dedication. There are so many people in this world who run into burning buildings, who storm hotels held by gun and grenade armed thugs, who risk their lives, and give up their lives. It’s an amazing aspect of human nature, too.
I have complete faith in the spirit of ordinary and heroic Indians and Mumbaikers to overcome this act of terror, to retain their humanity, their belief in god and the innate power of goodness and love.
I am sending as much energy as I can to the people of Mumbai and India, in the form of prayers, good wishes, positive energy and love. I wish I could do more, but actually think this is a lot. The more people who stay focused on the positive, the better. If you become too angry or afraid, or despair or give up, the terrorists are winning.
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