This, I understood when I was flipping through all the channels in my television, tonight on 26/11.
Let me first of all salute all those heroes who died. I wish I have a death like theirs.
It requires a lot of courage to know that you are going to die and still stand up to a terrorist. I wish to include all of them by name. But doing that would mean they have become our history. They haven't. They are the martyrs of our reality. They are very much alive in our discussions today.
All the channels have been airing special bulletins on 26/11 today. With a tinge of sorrow everyone reported about the deaths. And then they showed how life has came back. In NDTV, they had showed the gunshots, the burning Taj, the press lying on the floor, the firemen trying to curb the fire. And then they showed the today of the Taj Hotel. Pigeons flying. Men feeding them. Tourists taking snaps. And a small child crawling on its knees through the pigeons, happiness on her face. It was beautiful. And that is what I wish to call the Colour of Life.
Life is so very beautiful because it is multi-centred. There is no absolute one thing that everybody wish to do. There is variety. There is diversity. There is colour.
Just go to a city in the night. You will feel that. There will be lights everywhere. Blue, yellow, neon, sodium. There will be the fruit seller with his orange, blue, black, yellow, red. There will be the flower seller. There will be the stationary shop. There will be the rice shop. There will be restaurants, cafes. There will be the mobile coupon centres, Xeroxing stations, the cycle shop, bars, the hardware shop. There will be the hospital. And not to mention the vehicles on the road - cars, buses, rickshaws, motor cycles. And there would be the trees on the sides which we simply fail to notice in the dark, but when we reach near them we feel an eerie sense of fear of the ghost hiding above it.
Or just flip the channels of your television set.
There will be mourning prayers for the dead at some place. Debates about the same at some other place. And then there will be that cricket star who took 5+ wickets in his come back match. And then discussion on how he performed. Then there will be the unexpected 0-1 loss of a soccer club. And their manager's explanation. There will be prime time movies. There will be soaps. And there will be reality shows. And there will be fashion shows. And there will be a lonely preacher talking about religion. Then there will be some ads. (These ads are the most contrasting colours. They will be so funny sometimes. Like after the interview with the NSG chief about how they finished the terrorists there was the docomo ad where a car hits another and the man who was driving the first car get down to see what happened, suddenly police surround them from all directions, and this man would be holding his hands up "Hands up". But the police men catch some terrorists from the other car, gives a pat on his back and leaves).
And there will be people. There will be a fisherman who talks in impure Hindi about how he saw the terrorists getting down from the rubber dingy they used to travel. And there will be a debate where different experts tell their own views about how the world should work. One foreigner telling India should unite with Pakistan. And an angry Indian saying how Pakistan hurt the "people of India", and how they want nothing but a war. And the anchor who does not let emotion come into the debate, but still pours in questions which can be answered only through emotions. There will be sports stars, analysts, super sexy models, actors (including actresses), yoga masters, commentators, extras, junior artists, real artists, judges, showmen, and the animal planet man who goes after the largest otters. And there will be another debate, where a victim describes very emotionally about how he was terrified as well as all others when they heard gun shots, and how the hotel authorities helped them to escape, and how they comforted each other, and how the NSGs gave them cover and took them to safety under the local police. And then about how there was some report which joked at the victims who suffered. How the government was doing nothing. How Ajmal Kasab has more security than any other man in Mumbai. And he asks the minister P Chidambaram "What have you done?"
And the minister says calmly "If you were I what would you have done. That's the answer to that question." (This is when I came to understand that all our politicians are not fools running after power)
And there is this whole sense of joy, sorrow, humour, love, trust, respect, motivation, failure, desperation, solitude, business, confidence, seduction, success, hope, affection, envy, hatred, warmth,...This is called the colour of life. The way things go on. The way people come and go. The way topics come and go. But life goes on, for ever and ever.
Just get out of the painting called life and view it as a whole. It's so colourful. When we are inside it, seeing only our neighbouring pixel, we can't see the true colour of life.
Let life go on...