something is wrong with this picture

The real tragedy however is that when my mom told me about the blasts on the phone I was not shocked....I was sad ....but somewhere inside me I am learning to live with this terrorism as part of life...not feeling shocked when it happens....and something is just wrong with this picture! To think that my children, whenever they come into this world, will never have a childhood free of this aspect like I did even though for a short while....

These poignant words written by a young friend who lives miles away dropped in my inbox this morning. They ring painfully true in more ways than one. It is a sad fact indeed that we seem to have got inured to news of bombs blasts and terror. Even when it hits close to our own reality. It is as if we have accepted it as a part of our lives we do not have much control on. As the news enfolded on the TV screen one just kept on doing what one was. There was no shock or panic.

I heard about the first bomb as I was watching an evening metro channel. Ghaffar market seemed so remote and distant. It is a place one rarely went to. Then a few minutes later came the news of blasts at Connaught Place. This was closer to one's life. It was the very place where one hung out almost everyday many years ago, the very place where one headed to escape the boredom of home or the stranglehold of college, a place where one felt carefree and insouciant. Remote memories almost forgotten that were brought alive by the blasts. Then the news of blasts at M block market GK I, a place one frequented every day. Actually I was there just a short hour earlier and still no panic. Is this not proof enough of the fact that we have learned to live with terror and simply accept it with sadness and a sense of longing for days gone by where such horror did not exist.

But at least we have know better days, days where such things did not exist, when streets were safe, when all you feared at most was a freak accident, something you would accept with a sense of fatalism. And people my age would even remember times when terror was almost alien vocabulary. Many would not believe it but I can still recall days when one could see a person off at the step ladder of an airplane!

We still have memories but our children, those who are still very young or those still waiting to be born will never have a childhood free of terror. It has engulfed every nook and corner of our lives, even the sanctity of our homes as TV images of gore and violence invade our privacy. Children of today grow up hearing about terrorism and bomb blasts and sadly have by force majeure become inured. It is a matter of survival.

Gone are the carefree days of childhood. Life has changed irreversibly. Something is really wrong with this picture.