I check an online forum dedicated to discussion on issues around South Asia, and someone had started a thread on the Delhi blasts. There was some sympathy for the victims, but some of the members merely speculated if the blasts will now take attention away from the earthquake victims in Kashmir. Damn it, conniving, devious, attention-seeking Delhi. Charred bodies, broken limbs, so they can turn sympathy away from the Kashmiri earthquake victims. Never mind the large Kashmiri diaspora, Hindu or Muslim, that calls the city home. The frantic SMSes that flit across the screen from Kashmiris asking their loved ones in Delhi to call back home and assure them of their safety. I thought the idea of India is shared grief. But apparently Delhi's suffering distracts too much from suffering elewhere.
And then, the story that went around the Indian blgworld, of one blogger's effort to save an accident victim in the face of unparalleled barbarity that apparently the city of Delhi throws up effortlessly. And the comments on the story, berating the heartless, inhuman bleak little place that I once called home. And I experienced shock at the devastating narrative, and then incredulity as it refused to match up with my experiential map of the city. Pieces refused to fit and yet, it was hard to question a tale told with such conviction.
And then today, I was watching NDTV news online, and they played a video taken by a British tourist couple in Paharganj moments after the blast, that showed people using all means possible, cars, rickshaws, little wooden carts used to carry goods in the narrow lanes and bare hands to rush the victims to medical assistance. An overwhelming rush of amateur do-gooders, galvanized by the situation, united in collective misery. I was reassured, I had a solid piece of evidence to throw back at the skeptics, to show that there were yet people who wouldn't leave other human beings to perish on the streets. Blogger whom I'm too disgusted to name, you owe my city an apology.
As for Delhi, it moves on, as it always has. Sacked, pillaged, looted, torched and bombed. Yet on and on.