A few days ago, I was stuck at home for 4 days due to an unfortunate health condition.
Does the above sentence look too boring? Too Indian-in-the-British-era type? Well, maybe it is just another effect caused by the above-mentioned “unfortunate health condition.”
There was nothing that I could do to kill time. My laptop was not working, I had no books to read, could not go out because I had no energy/strength/whatever. I resigned to this jobless fate and sat, slept, sat, slept, sat, slept, slept, slept…
However, the next day, I saw a stack of newspapers, in the kitchen; probably left by someone who lived at my flat before me. I always knew this stack was there in a dusty corner, but never really gave any importance to it. But due to lack of anything better to do, I decided to read them. I have never read a newspaper before. They bore me. It is as simple as that. The only things that interest me are Archie comics, and an occasional article by Shobhaa De.
So me taking an entire pile of old newspapers, nearly a year old, would shock many. In fact, if someone would have come and told me about it, I would have laughed in the person’s face!
And I read each newspaper, each page, each line, word by word. Checked out the discount offers, the theatre shows, the movie listings on Star Movies, all a year old. Skipped some pages of sports, because no amount of boredom seemed to spark my interest in sports.
Ask me what i learned from this “great effort”. Hell to me if i learned anything from (highly condescending tone here) newspapers! There was just one thing that struck me.
Every newspaper had reports of people being murdered. For someone who has always heard of murders, and other crimes since the time she can remember, reading the articles seemed to bring reality home. Murders, or other crimes had never registered any fear in me. Not even when people raised their concerns about me living alone when I had to return home after 3 am. And not even when of my seniors in school was strangled with a telephone wire. It was always something that happened to someone else. Of course everything happens to someone else until it happens to you. Think about it.
And the sad thing was, all the murders reported in the newspapers happened in the city i lived, some even in the same area as mine.
Funny thing is, most of the murderers were people who could not contain their anger. Immaturity reflects in each of the cases. Some, because of something as simple as their sweethearts crushing their advances.
I am no one to judge murders, murderers, motives etc. But sometimes, the thought crosses my mind about how the world would be, if there were no criminals, no terrorists, no nuclear weapons, no guns, rifles, whatever. In the end, what is the point of the whole thing? You would die anyway. killing another person does not increase the number of years that you live. in the end, all those momentary victories seem so futile, so insignificant, so meaningless…