Listening to those profoundly confused wanderings of a raw questioning mind
Mud in my eye or could it be that old one about my inability to read the terrorist texts out there in the open, in full public view, daring, carrying an almost identical dare on the covers. And then, the next; who am I? Damned or condemned, make a choice. My choice can occasionally, as someone endowed with the basic human intelligence, tell, justifiably so, be what’s right and what’s wrong. Strictly as I see it but how many of us are really daring enough to take that risk, telling the truth from the other thing. Dar lagta hai. Sachai se moohn mod loon, to shayad shanti toh shanti us paar intezar kar rahi hogi. There is also that promise of martyrdom – not necessarily to rid you of your dar but plainly to help you live that moment when the psycho is hard put to listen in to those profoundly inane rantings of a near delusional mind. Listening to those profoundly confused wanderings of a raw questioning mind.
Mind you it feels good, only momentarily. And the thrill of it, when it first broke, the cracking shell. An eternity it seemed and unbelievable at that. I had broken it, the shell. It had lasted an eternity or so the beholder thought. And come to think of it what a good meal he and the family must have made it, when my psycho and his clan had sat down for dinner at their fancied Italian joint somewhere on the Gurgaon Ridge. A good meal out of the couple of thousands I had paid him to tell me the truth, the whole truth. Kya Bimari hai mujhe. There are no brownie points going a begging when you get into the heat of battle. The psycho and you, you and your psyche. The oracle talking down to you from his raised pulpit. Frankly, if you ask me, the patient, just as unaware of what ailed me then, now and before, after my meetings with him. Dr……..The choices too suddenly seem to dwindle as the tos and froes went on. An empty dare can have chaotic consequences. It must retain its face/ability to score all those brownie points when the heat of battle is on or just past. The pinpoint accuracy of an earlier operation you may discover isn’t that easy to come by again. Suddenly not possible to attain, not immediately perhaps, but certainly minus the desired results, you may discover, one of these days, if you survive the ordeal of living. If that, to make the choice is what daring can be about. Largely able to score all those brownie points a terrorist movement needs to sustain itself and most importantly to retain its credibility as viable force capable of inflicting hurt. Unfortunately the developments on the frontlines, the LOC in particular, sound far from reassuring despite the cacophony of all’s well relayed in an unrelenting chant on our broadcast media. We have reached a dangerous stage when perhaps unwilling to see where to draw a line. The Man boastful observations by the me Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh and the Army Chief Gen Pant and his mentor, the Prime Minister’s National Security Adviser, the mastermind as many boastfully describe the former Indian Intelligence Chief. That some four dozen soldiers are killed in cold blood, within handshaking distance of Srinagar’s major Cantonment township, adds a new gloss to the sense of josh which the ruling party in Delhi appears to have adopted as a war cry. Or, so it had seemed on two successive nights when last week the BJP ranks suddenly appeared to put much credence by Josh rather than Hosh. Two simple words, but drastically different in their significance. More so when you are engaged in building up a form of war hysteria, when your party leaders proclaim their preference for Josh not hosh, braggadocio for sure. Not quite living dangerously but surely looking out for action as the battles within rage and indeed cause the better part of you an agonizing weekend. And those who believe in the power of the dare must be prepared for the bluff being called. The Josh wallah’s hosh may have taken to its wings when the bloodiest road-side tragedy between Indian security forces and the militants unfolded itself between the saffron fields of Pampore and Awantipura, leaving some four dozen servicemen dead, the militants having this time over chosen to revert to the time-tested and grim IED blasts. I don’t know what exactly that means but my experience as a three-time war correspondent tells me it sounds ominous. The Generals and their civilian masters will quite predictably enlighten us what the midweek’s incident did or did not mean, they will also promise more blood and fury in retaliation, the only problem I would anticipate and shudder to think of is the moment when the Security Forces go to avenge their fallen colleagues. The civilian, like it or not, will be asked to make good the loss. We have the Army Chief’s word for that: the guilty shall be pushed to the wall, or, the other one that those who are not with us are with them. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. The old jungle book comes in quite handy at times such as these, when reason continues to take the back-seat. We shall, of course, be assured as night yields to another bleak winter’s day in Kashmir that the the guilty shall be punished. Only, the guilty, like soldiers, would meanwhile have moved on to another destination and the wounded soldiers and their angry bosses will have moved to fields further afar seeking revenge. Mr. Modi and the Home Minister will evidently be all fire and brimstone. Mr Modi’s party has been at best of times very suspicious of the valley, its people and the mainstream political leadership. Mr. Modi’s visit to the state late last week wasn’t really the Modian slugfest, its minutest detail worked out. Except of course if it be one’s case that Mr Modi’s party has triumphed and that it has revealed its capacity to drive the separatist wedge harder than anyone else when it came to sowing discord and mistrust between the people of Kashmir, Jammu and now Ladakh. Am sure the thought must have crossed Modi’s mind as he spent those few lonely moments at Dal Lake in Srinagar perhaps rehearsing a less complex line to try his hand at talking in Kashmiri as Kashmiris do.