Motherhood introduced me to a gamut of emotions. One of them is Fear. I have never been paranoid or afraid of anything. But this bundle of joy showed me what it means to be paranoid and scared.
It was while checking out schools and day care that a facet of the fear slapped me in the face. Turns out that children having single mothers, divorced parents is a very common thing. And its the norm that the child is in the custody of the mother. Also common is the father & his parents and relatives turning up at the school to meet the child, without the mothers knowledge or permission, irrespective of having visitation rights. I was informed in detail the kinds of measures taken to ensure that the child is not in unwanted hands. " What if they feed the child something or take the child away without our knowing... what if something happens to the child! " this thought spoken out aloud by one of the managers in a school, chilled me to the bone. Needless to say I have strict instructions at her school, and am always testing them to see if they follow through.
And now I know another kind of deep rooted fear. All thanks to the Mumbai Mayhem. I'm terrified of taking her out anywhere. Keep thinking what if it was us in one of the rooms. What would I have fed her for 3 days. Would we have been lucky? My bag always has different foods for her, a snack and a fruit. I always keep a little extra. She always eats every 2 hours, so she is forever munching. During the mayhem, we had to attend a wedding at Lalit Mahal Palace Hotel, I was petrified. Would they think of attacking another city while one was under siege? What kind of security is in place? And it is then I realized, that I had lost my faith in the government, in the system.
Why was there such a huge intelligence failure? Why is there no crisis management in place? Why are our armed forces paid a pittance while our leaders are paid the sky? Is there no competent person who can be an effective, responsible and sensitive people's representative in the real sense? All of us need and ensure that our homes are secure, our leaders go to enormous lengths to ensure that they and their homes have high levels of security. Why can the same not be done for the land that we live in, for the country that we live in? Why do the leaders shy away from their job? Our leaders have a responsibility towards us, the very people who elected them in place. It is because of their high-handedness, insensitivity and uncaring attitude that our country in such a pathetic condition. The British started the divide and rule policy, and our politicians have perfected it.
And brings me to the most important question, that has been on my mind ever since it started. Who do I vote for now? I don't understand how a 49-O will help, except to ensure that no proxy vote happens.
A crazy thought ? -- Is it possible that the earlier Mumbai train blasts and the Bangalore blasts were trail runs, to check the response time?
I have lost all faith, yet have a glimmer of hope that this will not be repeated. I want to give my daughter a secure life, not just from me, but also from our country electives. How long does one stay cooped up at home, not venturing at any public space. How long does one live in terror and fear. All of us have to die one day, but a death forced upon like this is terrible. Living in fear is equally terrible. The terrorists set out to put fear in us, they might have succeeded for a bit but no way can they ingrain it in us, so that we stop living.
In loving memory of those who gave their lives so that many more could live. May their soul rest in peace.
And salutes to all the rescuers. and for all those who do not vote, are not registered, Jaago Re. Lets do something, go and vote. Each one of us can make a difference. India needs it.