Sunday, October 09, 2005

Death the leveler?...250 girls crushed to death in a school in Pakistan

250 girls die, crushed to death in their school in Pakistan. What a terrible tragedy! What was going on in their minds in their final moments of excrutiating agony? What a waste of precious human resource.

What a play of Karma is this? How frivolous and small our earthly possessions feel in the face of this insurmountable loss. How fragile we are (like Sting sang it) and yet many of us live each day thinking we are going to live forever. But is that all to our lives, not knowing whether we'll last another day, another second? But isn't there something more grand to our lives than this feeling of nothingness and no-value to our lives. Definitely God isn't dumb.

So much of LOVE was also lost. There are instances of 50 and 100 or more guys trying to win the heart of just one girl; for many a mere glance from her is all that is needed to make their day and here 250 girls vanish off the face of the earth without giving their love or being loved.

Was Good Earth cruel or just or both? Don't these incidents add validity to the Hindu and Zen teaching of living each moment fully. After all it is the only moment that we have NOW, this very instant. Don't we?


Preethi Ramanan said...

hey subash

:) Lovely piece of writing!! It sets you thinking whether you spend every minute of your life the way it is meant to be spent. Such incidents of death and despair make you want to freeze every second of your life in eternity!! (wishful thinking)

Infact i was wondering while having breakfast today. We have almost everything we could ever ask for whether it is money, comfort, people, etc. Inspite of all this there are times we crib about silly things and be depressed for nothing at all little realising there are zillions of people around the world who would be ready to trade their right arm for the kind of lifestyle we have.

There is this cleaning lady in our organisation who is around twenty five and has three kids and a husband (a good for nothing fellow in his late fifties). On top of all this he is suffering from AIDS. She is taking care of her children's education and her husbands medical needs with a meager salary of 2000 (odd) per month. Despite this she always has a reason to smile, giggle gleefully, joke about little things and also work enthusiastically. I wonder how? Why are we not like that? Do we have more worries in comparison to her? Why dont we spend a minute (just a minute in this busy lifestyle of ours) to sit back and think of all those under privileged people??

This reminds me of an article which came in the newspaper soon after the Tsunami hit India. I was taken aback at the sheer oblivion i was in after reading it. I am sure most of us dont know what happens in the world every single day, when on the other hand we are leading a secure and safe life. Even if we cant afford to help these victims, I wish we atleast read articles/blogs like this everyday so that we are humbled by it. Thank you for reminding us to live life to the fullest Subash :)

Do read the article below and let me know your thoughts :)


An article published in the Editorial column of THE HINDU

An Entirely Avoidable Great Tragedy
I am outraged.

Yes, I not so much saddened as I am outraged.

It is a great tragedy. So many lives needlessly wasted. So many children dead, so many more with little hope of a decent human existence. Millions homeless without proper water, food, healthcare and education. Entirely preventable because we have the technology and the resources to avoid all this suffering and death. In the end it comes down to human frailty--greed, short-sightedness, ignorance, the lust for power.

And then there was an incident on Sunday when an earthquake unleased a tsunami in the Indian Ocean and killed about 50 thousand, give or take 10 thousand. It is getting a lot of press and appeals for help on the internet are beginning to rival the pedellers of Viagra in the volume of email and the urgency of their appeal.

Yesterday 55,000 children died premature deaths, a few hundred million people didn't have adequate housing, hundreds of millions were hungry. About half of all children in South Asia are malnourished. Poverty, a clear cause of malnourishment, is a also a consequence. It is a Silent Emergency.

We are a strange lot. We get on with our lives as if nothing is the matter with the world, when 10 million children die needlessly every year. Then a stupid large wave hits and a few thousand die and we run around like headless chickens. Some sobering statistics:

Every year, over 10 million children under the age of five die from readily preventable and treatable illnesses such as diarrhoeal dehydration, acute respiratory infection, measles, and malaria. In half of the cases, illness is complicated by malnutrition.

Where is the breathless reaction to that? The advanced industrialized economies (the so-called "developed nations") spend hundreds of billions of dollars bombing and killing hundreds of thousands--and spending trillions of dollars in arming themselves to the teeth--and noone bats an eyelid. It is a man-made calamity of global proportions. Then one Sunday morning, a natural event wipes out a few thousand people--almost a rounding-off error to the numbers invovled in the man-made calamity and everyone and his brother wakes up and runs around as if the sky is falling.

Two hundred billion dollars or so to bomb some stupid country; and an awesomely magnanimous gesture of promising $0.015 billion in aid for the natural disaster from the US. The sheer incongruity of the figures stuns one catatonic.

Why? Bounded rationality? Or as I see it, unbounded stupidity. Fifty-thousand dying each and every day is not news. Being essentially innumerates, we do not find statistics very useful. What we need is pictures of great devastation for entertainment and distraction. The pictures of tsunami-ravaged coastlines compel our attention unlike the numbers we read in the annual reports of global institutions such as the World Bank.

Subash S L said...

Hi Preethi,

Mind-boggling and appalling statistics. It is sad that many of us can only be mute readers. My boss from the UK in a conversation with us indicated that with all the money that the US has spent on the war in Iraq they could have wiped out poverty in entire Africa or even in the entire Third World. So why doesn't that happen? That's where politics, power and economic gain all come in and play a very ugly game. The losers are the have-nots; scapegoats and eventual victims of this power and economic-gain struggle.
That brings us to the question, who are the really strong people? The meek and the poor of course. Because only they, can start life all over again after everything they own has been taken away from them. Because only they, can have hungry stomachs and still smile.