ByÂ Anuva Kulkarni:
Everyone was tweeting about it. I didn’t even know what a flash mob was. But I watched it, and, oh my god.Â Wonderfully caught on film, CST station after a busy day of work. People pushing through the crowd, like they do, everyday of their lives. And suddenly, the trains stop. The speakers go quiet. The announcer’s voice is replaced with music.
Music? At the railway station? People look around and above, as if the sky had suddenly clouded over on a harsh sunny day. Indeed, that must have been bizarre. But the camera-men have truly caught the smallest reactions and emotions, the unstaged reality. A tired, sweating white-bearded old man. Groups of women returning from work and children.
And in all the confusion and curiosity, a thin teenage girl starts dancing with all the vigor and energy she can muster. Within moments, a mob joins in. They are the youth of the city that never sleeps. There’s excitement on their faces, and co-ordination in their movements. The song plays on, the crowd smiles and claps, and the camera pans over the sweaty faces of people returning home from a hard day of work, now laughing and singing, all sharing in the spirit of the dancers.
The camera takes in a wider view, and I suddenly shiver. Three years ago, that green stone floor was stained with blood. Blood of people so very similar to those who danced and sang there as I watched.
Those monsters shot every innocent person in sight. They aimed and shot at little children. Who would do that? What kind of human beings are these people? What are the ideals they believe in? Killing children, innocent people; wiping out whole families?
As I watched the video, the traumatic pictures flashed before my eyes. On TV that day, as I watched smoke rise from the Taj, and all that had happened during the night in that great city, I had known what trauma was. For three days, I watched the news, scared, numb, and feeling so damned helpless as people like us were being killed. They were killed, held at gun point and just shot like we don’t even shoot animals anymore.
And here were these people, alive, happy, dancing to Rang de Basanti, wanting to rekindle hope into all those who were present around and all those who would watch the video.
They’re sending out a message. They’re telling us to fight back, and take what is our own — our lives. The right to live without fear in this city, and in every other place in the country.
We can’t let the 26th of November happen again. Never again.
Can we fight fear? Can we destroy it? Can we chase this evil away, so that it doesn’t touch us or our loved ones? They think so. And so do I.