Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Disaster Management

When crisis hits and you stare into the face of a disaster, that's when you get to see true courage and sensibility... you see humanity and humility... you see Integrity...

Although, I was not a live spectator of the Carlton Towers tragedy at Bangalore yet I was fortunate to read/watch the live coverage of the whole incident. When I saw what was happening and how things got messed up further and we lost 9 valuable lives, I asked myself, "Why are we always under prepared for crisis?? ". Why do all of us just take it for granted that our safety is someone else's responsibility and feel relieved that we were not one among the crisis hit! I would like to recall my article on New year where a small incident happened at my place and how people reacted with an Oh! and Moved On!

When someone gets dumped, they weep, scream, howl & make life miserable for everyone around them but when a life is lost in such an incident, they sigh in relief and Move On! Ironical isn't it, that our own mediocre thoughts leave us as a hapless victim.

When I read that a trapped man tweeted from the building that "Our rescue ladder. It'll only reach the fourth floor. We're on the fifth!"... Firefighters asked people on the top floors to jump, and that when they did, the safety net spread below couldn't take their landing!!!
Firefighters having a tough time reaching the building!! Why?? Well a known fact about Bangalore..large traffic jams! The double tinted glasses were impossible for people to break open, in-turn got themselves injured while trying. 

Is the lesson learnt? Are we prepared? Why were people unaware of the Emergency exit? How many of us actually learn our building map when we move to a new place? How many of us actually know that when there is heavy smoke around, a reasonably clean, wet handkerchief can save you? How many of us actually apply common sense and realize that smoke has a tendency to move upwards and when you face it, try sticking to the floor... Well, I understand that disaster management is not everyone's cup of tea, but does that mean that we hold someone else responsible for our lives? Tears rolled down when I read that a lady in her 20's with 2 kids at home, named Benzy, died as she jumped out of the building because she had a wheezing problem and no one could help her. She saw people holding a bed-sheet below and thought that she would survive... survive to go home but in vain; she fell flat on the ground and lay in a pool of blood. Was she completely responsible for her death? Her belief in the helpless mob standing below, was it wrong? Why aren't we asking questions?

Instead of shedding blood and committing suicides for demented reasons like a separate state; Why don't we work for a cause? A cause that will serve the purpose of helping people and not making a fool of the in-cognizant innocent students who have disregarded the fact that tomorrow when they stand on the other-side of the University gates, no state, no religion is going to serve them a career of their choice. Why do we never revolt for the Right reasons? Why were the fire-fighters nets small? Why were the ladders small? Why don't we have good infrastructure to save people? Is Benzy's life only Rs.2L worth? Why does the govt. only provoke issues which can be a cause for riots and not work "For the People"?
Why don't we ask "WHY"? WHY don't we ever draw a line and say, "I will not bear this anymore!"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Life is Unfair... Move On!

When I look around, I see agony, lack of optimism & suffering for the sheer pleasure of it. Life can be easy but complexity is what we seek. We fantasize perpetual misery and do not consider ourselves to be worthy of goodness. Why?

I see an old man crying on a mistake he committed 25 yrs back, I see a gal gawking at a guy in misery because he is 4 yrs younger to her, I see a group of friends,presumably close to each other, sharing their happiness with only a privileged one in the group and restricting her from discussing it with the rest of the "gang", fearing jealousy, i see a mother failing day by day, i see friendship loosing it's charm, I see a man always sweating for money despite his success, i see a girl avoiding her "home" to keep her freedom intact, I see a society driven by goons talking about caste superiority, I see a mother shed tears for a "mangalik" daughter, I see a wife who is a daughter too, tussle with herself to prove that she cares.. cares about her pre-marriage & post-marriage home, I see a best friend eventually forgotten, I see an ignored childhood for a bewitched life, I see money overpowering relationships, I see a gal wretched when she can't fit into her jeans, I see superiority always treated as an outcast, I see caste overruling love.....Why?

Expectations, demands, cravings, loyalty, fear, superstitions... these are a few terms that we fix in our mind as a prerequisite just as we start moving... Moving On from our past!

I expect my "best friend" to be always there! I get demanding with my dad for silly things ignoring the fact that he would be sacrificing his wishes to fulfill mine, I fear of things which were and will never be in my hands, to succeed I tame my mind to believe things which never made any sense... and finally, left empty handed. Who is to blame? Why is it so difficult for people to think rationally and behave sensibly?
For those who haven't heard Iron Maiden [Wasted Years], "I close my eyes, and think of home,
Another city goes by, in the night, Ain't it funny how it is, you never miss it till it's gone away".
We conceive that "Nothing will change"... we try clasping sand as long or as hard as possible and gradually find out that it has already slipped out, too late!

When I pull-up myself and think, Why? Greed is the only reason I see, We are people, who think that only we deserve the best and the world can go take a hike! If you are caring or thoughtful, "he needs something from me, else why should he do it" is the thought behind. If someone is kind and genuine, "Oh! she just craves for attention". Why? Is acceptance so hard to digest?

I was a loner at school, actually not always, only during my stay at Delhi because I was beyond the word "innocence", lived always in small towns and found it too hard to adapt to the careless and fast paced life of a Metro. I could never get accepted (I tried really hard) and the day I completed my 10th board exams, I bid adieu to that god-forsaken place (purely my opinion) and moved with my family to a comparatively smaller city[Then], Hyderabad. Strangely Delhi had trained me well so hyd accepted me with ease and I gradually made friends, good friends! I had learnt the art of building relationships and how to speak, interact and gel. Did that mean that innocence is unpardonable? No! that's not true. Act smart and be rooted and Most importantly, Learn To Move On :), that was what was missing.

In11th std, I made an exceptional friend who cared, loved and believed in me for who I was and by 12th std, I started forgetting the value of her friendship, I forgot to be there, I Moved On in front of her eyes. I hurt her, I was ruthless! Before I realized, I had come to the point of no return. Thereafter, whenever someone treated me the same way, I always apologized in silence, to her, and hoped to meet her again and Say, I am sorry! Though it is too late, but better late than never. So Next time when you think of a friend and feel like calling, don't think, just call! You never know how late you are, but it's better than never.

From school,college friends/foes to crushes to colleagues to crucifying managers to love; I have Moved On! I have learnt to accept & hopefully, will continue to do so. This post is just to tell all those who feel that Life is unfair :), look around and appreciate what you have, trust me, there is someone in this world who doesn't have all that that you do, so Smile. Live in the present, cut expectations & be there for others, kill demands, stop craving, be loyal, face your fears head on, superstitions are always stupid situations, care for your gifts and smile at the future because If you think it always happens to you, think again! :).