Monday, September 8, 2008

Impotency kills

The difference between ‘important’ and ‘impotent’ is more than just a spelling mistake

NOBODY told me that ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan’ is a horror movie. Horror that leaves you stupefied. Horror that brings you face to face with the spectre of real-life. Horror that freezes you of the fluid of thought. When even fear flinches to flow, for what do you name it – the fear of plunging yourself in the ‘you-never-know-when-it’s you’ terror of everyday life; or the fear of helplessness, the feeling of being handicapped in a world of cell phones, heart-transplants, space-shuttles and Cyborgs. Being scared is not a familiar feeling after a cinema like this.

And then you discover that horror too, comes with a long menu card. The most horrifying part for me in this blood-splurged reel were not the scenes of the blasts, not the amputated bodies shown strewn all around the living fibre, not the daredevil attempts of the director to make the disaster look as alive as possible…No, the part that grips and numbs you is where you see the typical journalist Soha and the typical cop Paresh crying over their irony.
Everything is fine, practical, matter-of-course, the-way-of-the-system, non-mutable and all that…until it happens to you, until it touches you.
Writing about it, talking about it, gossiping about it, investigating it, doing the autopsy, everything dwarfs in comparison to the terror you feel when you see it all naked with your eyes, or worst when you imagine your most-feared sights when one of your close ones is incidentally in the city of the blasts that very day. I had only to go through a night full of that fatal terror, fear and anxiety during the Ahmedabad blasts to realize that.

The irony could only be the last nail in the coffin. The irony of impotence.
I am a journalist. My friend is a teacher. My neighbour is a doctor. In the course of my work I interact with top-notch technologists, CEOs, enviable geeks and acute business minds. Another one I know is a senior official. The list has barely started before I start citing Income tax officers, Black-Belts, mighty editors, cerebral scientists, stellar celebrities, media moguls, CAs, bank managers, bright students, spiritual gurus, high-flier executives, book-authors, advertising geniuses, PR power looms, NGO enthusiasts and so on. Professions vary and so do the powers they wield.
Everyone is powerful in their own way. Everyone has a strength that can make a lot of difference. Unique, inimitable, stark, heavy-duty and formidable. And we don’t need their visiting cards for the adjectives to be earned. At the end of the day, if not anything else, there is a citizen, a human being out there.
I don’t know and can not speak on anyone’s behalf, but the question at least to me is scary enough. How much of the power inherent in me, have I even cared to use till date? How much of the potency that my life has, do I bother to value, if not apply? Why does a movie like this leave me thinking and regretting for letting complacence, pragmatism, helplessness and fear sabotage my powers?
Don’t we all have the powers scary enough?
Power of speech, power of vigilance, power of reconciliation, power of peace, power of negotiation, power of precaution, power of teamwork, power of faith, power of initiative, power of contribution, power of denial, power of consciousness, power of sensitivity and the power of effort?
Is it impotence or worse than that – the illusion or acceptance of impotence? Don’t we know how terminal a stage that is?
Why don’t we bother or dare to stop our powers from rusting away?
Terrorism and impotence – it’s a new chicken and egg story all over again.
Meanwhile, Ram Gopal Verma and the Ramse Brothers have more competition than they think. Watch ‘Mumbai…’ only if you have intestines long enough.

Pratima H

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