You want a moment of silence
You mourn now as if the world will never be the same
And the rest of us hope to hell it won’t be.
Not like it always has been.
T’was another beautiful tuesday evening when the comrades would meet with the principal to fight with her on all things she was ready to fight about. We waved to the college buses as they took off from in front of the canteen, and then went down the road to ‘Sallap‘ for our evening dose of samosas ,tea and smoke. Principal madam was at her sarcastic best and the comrades were as always better than her in that. Outcome of the meeting was, i dont remember why – we all decided to screw the canteen guy and one bus conductor – it was surprisingly a consensus.
In another hour the comrades met in the ‘Unit Committee’ room and came to the conclusion that we could draw parallels to the impending strike in college with the Indonesian students uprising and the democratic aspirations after the royal massacre in Nepal. The Free-software geek had suggested that we ‘draw another parallel’ with a new internet software or web or something called wickipedia on the right to information. That idea was emphatically defeated as internet was still another crony-capitalist tool of exploitation. The two mufti policemen *plain clothesmen* from intelligence were there outside the college to check on us and they took our secretary to gather ‘secret’ inputs – the funniest thingy about plainclothesmen in Kerala is that they wear plain clothes along with ‘those polished brown shoes’. We all felt important and good after these meetings – you know that feeling of changing the world ; so there was another round of snacks in ‘Sallap’ and I set out for home.
My ‘honda’ ran out of gas at MarIvanios steps and I didnt have a single Re. left in the purse – chronicles of a third year yenjinearing under-graduate. The writing on the wall was clear – PUSH. I gasped my last breath home after two miles of hills and valleys – our goddamn city is on some seven sadistic hills – and everytime I pushed the scooter up a hill it morphed into a Royal enfield adding to my pains.
‘aaah ethiyo ponnu mon’ , mom said *get the hell upstairs – take bath or something*
‘you need to increase my allowance – I feel so poor’ I mumbled
Asianet news was on TV and I saw images of smoke coming out of that very familiar building. Few floors of WTC was on fire,some plane crash had happened -thats what Asianet said, and my brother was gaping at the newsreader chick with evil intentions completely unaware of the geo-political earthquake.
‘DAA, NDTV idu’ , I told my brother.
He fumbled with the remote – deliberately slowing down at the WWE channel and sadly arrived at NDTV. I got hold of the remote and kept switching between NDTV and CNN. The plane was a passenger aircraft and some casualities were expected.
‘mattavamaru thanne ?’, *Is it THEM?* – I ignored my hindu chauvunist cousin’s angry statement.
Within minutes Sky news feed came on NDTV and ‘oh my god,oh my god’ shouts filled the CNN newsroom – a second plane had crashed into the South tower. It was clear – it was THEM . But who ?
Confused comrades came on phone . Moosa said a plane had crashed into pentagon – after a few minutes it came on TV – now I knew who did it, it was Moosa. Fat-man said it was the Japanese Aum Shrinkyo taking revenge for Nagasaki. I was plain excited, a bit sad after watching guys jump out of the building, arguably fuddled but pretty sure that after the two towers collapsed – our world would be different atleast for another decade – not a big deal from a two fifty thousand years perspective of a humanist but a big deal for a guy who would be in the job market in less than an year.
The scale of it, the horror, the symbolism,the history made by the lucky and inflicted on the unlucky – the sheer genius of it – pure, crystalline evil . They say every American remembers what they were doing when John Kennedy was assasinated , every Indian of our generation will probably remember what they were doing when Rajiv Gandhi was killed – I believe everyone in the planet will remember what they were doing when terror came home to lower Manhattan.
This is a poem for every date that falls to the ground in ashes .
This is a poem for the 110 stories that were never told .
The 110 stories that history chose not to write in textbooks .
The 110 stories that CNN, BBC, The New York Times, and Newsweek ignored
This is a poem for interrupting this program.
Because this is not a 9/11 poem.
This is a 9/10 poem,
It is a 9/9 poem,
A 9/8 poem,
A 9/7 poem
We boarded the subway from JFK after an excruciating eight hours in the airport – thats another post . It was the summer of ’05 – happy and me . Forty five minutes later we came out of the underground platform of 34th street Penn station into the living daylights of Newyork city. They say if US of A is the Big Apple, Newyork is the Big Nipple – and thats true. The first few minutes in that part of Newyork was spend in silence – we were gaping at the mega-city around us like two people put there by chance – with no clue where Paul Barber was 🙂
Swept off our feet by the city’s grandeur – Manhattan is about sky scrapers, about human endeavour – when you step out into that megaplex of bricks and mortar , when you realize that man created these wonders brick by brick,floor by floor : the sweat, blood, tears, sleepless nights, caffeine and cigarettes that went into each of these magnificant buildings : Manhattan is the climax of the human opera, our splendid city and a tribute to the best within us.
Howard Roark would draw magnificant structures with straight lines drawn right into the sky with no compromises . Everytime I saw the structure of WTC, I’ve felt the same – pure, Euclidean – there is no history like Victorian or Mughal or Renaissance, no religion like domes or crosses , no themes that jutt out of the architecture – just a building and thats it. Anyone who would destroy one of the best things the human being had ever created in the name of some God was playing on the other team – he is a traitor – and he never understood the hardship of Creation.
After few days in Newyork,it strikes you. The twin towers stood like two big brothers of the entire Manhattan skyline, it would never be the same . As a visitor you feel the loss , the Newyorker goes through it everyday,every single day. Maybe they’ll overcome the loss, maybe we’ll all overcome hate and in the dawn, armed with a burning patience – we will enter the splendid cities.