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DATE: January, 23 an essay by Sourabh Tiwary

Some days you wake up changed. Some instances have the hands to mold your mind to a different shape. This is about an incident that occurred in Gaza this month. I am just writing my odd thoughts about it, after which I feel to rest my eyes and sleep. I read about it in the present issue of a fortnightly magazine “Frontline”. The magazine had on its cover page, the picture of a child. The picture of, probably a dead child! That, I don’t know. But it was buried to its neck in debris which was probably created due to an air raid conducted by the Israeli air force on some building. Let me just remember about him. His face was splattered with dust and blood on one side. His hair was all churned up. The eyes were closed. His mouth was little open with a deep red tongue visible in its coop. I wonder about the sense of horror that he must have felt before going there. I felt a piece of it myself as I gazed continuously to that picture. He was certainly a very beautiful child. I hope, he’s alive. It began with the rummaging of Gaza strip by the Israeli forces. First they bludgeoned the cities by their bombs and then killed as many by their super-sophisticated armed forces. More than 700 people died. A rocket hit precisely on a U.N run school and killed 46 people. Most of them were woman and children. The news made waves all around the globe. The day I read it, it felt fresh. Now when I have read and re-read it, it seems to have got old. Old as each of our past incidents get old. Dying slowly in our minds, leaving no impressions, just a tombstone, and sometimes even that seems to be sinking in its weight. Those woman and children. How they would have hurried from their little homes. It was a good idea to hide in a U.N run school. Israel wouldn’t step to destroy it. After all it was a U.N run school and its coordinates had been provided by the officers concerned to the Israeli forces. But still nobody could snuff off his destiny. I turned another page of my magazine. The coffee on my table must be getting cold. I had a cold sip. There is a picture of two girls crying in tears. They are holding a woman who is covered to her neck in a traditional burqa. Why are they crying? What have they lost? May be their father or a beloved acquaintance. They might have seen something ghastly, something cruel happening before their eyes. May be a person, shattering to his pieces. How will they forget them? Those cries, that scene of blood, that building going down with a missile or their lovely home burning to ashes. May be some years after they might forget it as a nightmare but will their mother ever be able to ever forget it. Life without a husband or brother or sister or father or a friend. Life ceases to be just a life after that. It becomes a long waiting. A wait that goes on and on. Till their life ends and their death meets them again to their past relations. In heaven, for sure. But life is too long to wait. I couldn’t have waited. Without the ones I love, I would be a soul less body. A body that has to be hurried fast on an ice slab or else it starts stinking. There are mass protests in all over the Arab countries. Some of the opportunistic leaders there have led the masses to believe that the time had come for retribution. The government of Venezuela, led by President Hugo Chavez ousted the Israeli ambassador from his country. France sent peace proposals. Other than that no special pressures came from either United Nations or the (mighty) United states. Israel is still fighting. Hamas is still hiding with its guerilla tactics in the forests and firing Qassam rockets in the Israeli fields. But why should I care for this? Why should I care unless I can feel a human heart beating inside me? I can feel pain and separation. I can feel emotions and fear. And I can certainly feel for my fellow human beings; dying mercilessly in Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq or India or Madrid. This shouldn’t have happened to them. As we slowly move into time, we come closer to our ends. Death is an ultimate end. Sometimes it comes slowly. Sometimes we go slowly towards it. But before that, we are never really dead. Yes, with our inactions and stone heartedness and with our stoical attitude with which we keep ourselves masqueraded every time, we can surely turn into something LESS ALIVE. May be I am becoming one too. Still I can feel in myself, a subsiding pulse and an ever growing ANGER.

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