Last evening Delhi experienced a series of bomb blasts. High alert. Stay calm. It could have been worse. All headlines. And the blame game once again.
Oh, they will say, she is not condemning them. I don’t know who them is. Let the police do their job. I have my theories. We all do. One-liners don’t work where so many lives, whole societies, are under threat.
The Times of India carried a front page story about an 11-year-old balloon seller on Connaught Place. The last time I had met one was a few months ago; he also had those darts that you aim at the sky and they light up. It was late; there were no buyers, so I bought two. He left. Would he remember me?
The newspaper tells us that the cops are interrogating the boy. (They have named him Rohit. They have his picture but very self-righteously they say they haven’t published it…you damn well don’t). He saw two men place the ‘bomb’ – a plastic bag really - in a dustbin and 15 minutes later it blew up.
They are depending on him for detailed descriptions. Some NGO is helping him recollect. All clues are important, but in a busy area people do alight from autorickshaws, they do wear black and may dump plastic bags in dustbins. How did this boy even know what information to provide and regarding the time…was he wearing a watch and keeping count?
There will be the usual debate about official versus unofficial figures of the dead. I have never understood this. If it is the work of terrorists why do the cops not release actual figures?
Meanwhile, from the pandal across the lane where I live music is playing. Cops would be sitting there as they always do. The sky is dark at noon. Today is the Ganapathy visarjan (immersion of Lord Ganesh idol) that ends the festive occasion. It has been raining. Large groups will make their way to the sea.
Chances are they would already be drenched. When you are dripping wet it does not matter where the water comes from.