I am turning into a misanthrope. I don’t want to but when I see a five year old raped and tortured, when I hear news of a bottle and candles retrieved from her vagina, when I see a policeman offer Rs 2000 to the raped girl’s father to let go of the thought of an FIR, when I see a policeman telling the survivor’s family that they should be thankful that the girl is alive, when I see a policeman slapping a protesting girl, when I see politicization of the issue, I don’t see how I can stop myself from hating mankind.
My generation has not seen the World Wars but I have read enough books, seen enough movies, seen enough documentaries to understand what happened. I know how a culture was obliterated, how it was turned into gaseous fumes coming out of a chimney of a camp. I know how millions of carcasses were shoved into pits using trenchers, I know how two entire cities where vapourised in the name of peace. The images are entrenched in my mind. I can never forget the image of a four year old naked Jew boy running towards a barbed fence of a concentration camp as a German shepherd chased him. I felt lucky that I haven’t lived in those times but the ironical bit about history is that it doesn’t matter. It is an embarrassment everyone wants to forget and then commit again. And no, you are never lucky enough. The end of barbarism can never be a done deal.
Has the world turned into a better place to live? Is this a meaningless question? Can our society function without brutality or will it crumble to pieces in its absence?
I do not understand this race anymore. I do not understand why I have to live in a constant fear of losing my loved ones. I do not understand the brutal images of what could happen to my family that spring in my mind every other day. I do not understand the utter abjection with which we treat each other.
I sometimes feel that my mind will explode into a million tiny pieces. I sometimes want to howl with pain, scream so loud that the sound exterminates every human from the face of Earth. I want to give this planet another chance, something that is not possible till humans infect it.
They tell me that I should be grateful for the good life God has given me. I have a loving family and a happy life. Is that good enough reason to be satisfied, to count my lucky stars? How can I be happy when I look around and see misery? How can I be happy when I read about men exploding themselves in marketplaces to serve their God? How can I be happy when I belong to a country where the fragile culture is all about encouraging rapes and molestation? How can I be happy when I see a doctor telling the parents that they can wrap the dead female fetus in a newspaper and throw it in the dustbin on their way out? How can I be happy when I see the subjugation of the weak at every nook and corner? I don’t know how people cocoon themselves and live a detached life. I feel violated.
They tell me that there is good in the world. I would like to believe that but how is good a part of the solution? Is it growing? Is it reducing the coldness? How many more sacrifices before it takes over?
No. Telling me that there is good in the world is not good enough. Tell me how the world is getting better because that is what I want to know. And don’t call me a pessimist. I am only numb with horror. I see things getting worse all around me.
I am scared to bring a child in this world. I am scared that I will spend the rest of my life worrying for the safety of my kid. Apathy has no boundaries. It is a limitless ocean, it is a black hole that has sucked everything that was good in this world. I don’t want my child to live in its shadow and I don’t want to put a cage around my child. I don’t want to live the rest of my life pretending that I live in a war zone.
I wish to meet that 5 year old girl. I wish to hold her in my arms and tell her that it will be all right. I wish she looks at me and smile. I wish to live in a world where this heavy burden of fear does not exist on my chest. I wonder how it feels to live without it. Just thinking about its absence makes me feel rejuvenated, makes me feel like a freed slave. I wish to live in a world where power is not brutal, where humans are not derailed psychopaths, where life is treated as an invaluable gift, where happiness is not insulated and confined to a selected few, where God has no face.
The night sky fills me with awe. The stars and planets are nature’s way of telling us about our insignificance, about our diminutive presence in the universe. And we still have the intrepidity of hurting each other, of clawing at each other’s soul, of raping a 5 year old.
Isn’t that enough reason to be a misanthrope?