Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blood Bathing

I've never felt particularly strong in the subject of communal violence or riots. I have never tried to understand why people get involved in those things. Yeah, I've done the customary clicking of tongue when I hear that x number of people are dead, or y people injured. And I've vociferously participated in debates about how senseless the violence is, how religion is a personal choice, and all the standard stuff. But never really felt it, if you know what I mean. I felt indignant about the injustice of it all, but it was a largely superficial feeling.

Nothing life changing (thankfully) happened. It's not like I've seen a riot or been victimized by one in the recent past to have my perspective changed. But something not so real did change the way I looked at a riot. You see, I had a dream. This is terribly personal, and I have no idea why I am putting this up on a publicly accessible place all. I suppose I'm doing it to let go of some of the feeling I had.

Hmm..so about the dream. Just before I went to sleep yesterday afternoon, I read the part in A Suitable Boy where Seth describes some communal violence near a mosque because a Hindu king wishes to build a Shiva temple to the west of the mosque, so that the Muslims in the mosque always bow facing the temple when they pray. He finds this idea rather amusing, for some unfathomable reason. But whatever. I read the part, went to sleep, not much affected. And I had a horrid dream. Filled with violence, lots of burning, killing, and dropping bombs. Then, for some reason, there was a lot of cooking. A strange house, made of stone, which seemed to half my extended family and a lot of my friends in it. All that was fine. About half an hour of gore and detail followed. My mother was part of the dream. She seemed very active in trying to stop the riot. I don't know why she was; she didn't seem to be doing it for any organization or religious institution. More of a personal mission. And she'd go out and help injured people. To cut a lot of details short, at one point in the dream, I entered the stone house, and I saw three of my mom's sisters sitting near her. She was lying down. She was wearing a saree. My mom looks very beautiful in sarees. Very elegant also. But she was just lying there. Not moving. She simply smiled when I entered. She's not the sort of lady who sits around. Most of my memories are of her moving around, doing something or the other in the house or outside. She had a head injury. A very serious-looking one. I could see the blood stain through the white bandaging. And my mom's sisters were crying. Saying something about blaming themselves, some nonsense I had no desire to follow. I am not essentially an angry person. I don't lose my temper too easily, and when I do, I am certainly not angry for long, unless the provocation's really huge. Also, I am not a morbid person, who fantasizes about killing people, or wishes that certain people were dead. I have hated very few people in my life, in fact, offhand, I can think of only one such person. But at that moment, in my dream, I felt a surreal sort of anger, an almost unbelievable kind of hatred. The sort of thing which is probably described as white hot hatred and anger. An extreme abomination for the vile thing we call the human race. For how could someone hurt my mother? It had to be the most despicable, the most unforgivable offence if there ever was one. I felt an uncontrollable to hurt someone, anyone. To cause great physical pain to someone who could so something like that to one of the people I love more than life itself, and the whole lot that goes with it. For the first time in my life, whether alseep or awake, I wanted to kill someone. Simply kill, nothing less, whoever caused it. Strangle the bastards who inflict that with bare hands. The senseless, brainwashed, absolutely pathetic and disgusting creatures who can engage in activity like that. Hindu or Muslim? Really, anger doesn't give a damn. My pain, grief, anger, bitterness, desire to tear someone from limb to limb (no matter how dramatic that sounds) was so great that I woke up and cried after being awake. I don't know if this sort of thing usually happens, if people usually see dreams like that. It was an insane experience, something I wouldn't repeat for anything in the world, or the world itself. To tell the truth, I certainly feel more strongly about communal violence now than I did earlier, but it's not the dominating thread of my thought. Well, the dominating thread is very, very painful. Too much so to be written down, but I suppose you have a fair idea. I prayed frantically for a long time after the dream. And thanked God (whichever one) that it was a dream.