Dangers come calling


Nature’s Call:

Mother nature just made a morbid missed call. On the earlier occasion she came calling in these same regions it was a rage that ravaged nations and people in one mighty swell and sweep. That she has chosen to come crawling this time is not to be mistaken as modesty or a measure of her mercy. The message of her Wednesday afternoon whispers should be loud and clear even to our forgetful minds and deaf ears, muted as they are by the mundane and the material: Our fates, fortunes, fancies and fantasies are subject to her final word. Nature will have the last laugh even if humanity wails.

Nature has played out numerous death dances on the world stage from time immemorial. Apart from the vivid media images, what makes such disasters starkly more tragic in the present, are the artificial walls of security all around and the resultant complacence that mankind has lapsed into. This was not the case with the ancients who always had a ear to the ground, revered and respected nature and were more sensitive to its inscrutable plans. Today, abundant info on the world’s ways has ironically inundated and drowned earthy wisdom; instead of enlightenment there is total insulation, exacerbating the shock or panic whenever a tragedy strikes or its prospect arises.

Frantically flying birds, restless animals and even insects, however, demonstrated last week that they are still tuned in to nature’s nuances. The modern human mind, however, seems totally clueless in even comprehending nature’s sighs. Man, having cut his links with nature, has also outsourced his sensory and intelligent functions to instruments and computers. Still, they are no comfort in fearful times as that shaky afternoon proved. Also, during the 2004 tsunami, nature quietly outwitted man by keeping the lurking monster in its depths a secret, beyond the reach of his satellites and sundry equipment. So with prediction being a mirage, preparedness becomes the key. So, this time around nature played the opposite game on a jittery humanity, testing its failing nerves and ‘fail-safe’ tools with only scares and shivers, while reserving the inevitable worst to who knows when or where!

All this is said not to belittle the achievements in the realms of science. Still trying to understand nature and attempting to conquer it are two different things. But mankind has always pursued the latter course, reserving the unkindest cut for nature. Man’s incessant tampering with and trespass of nature’s domains are already making this world uninhabitable what with environmental hazards and scientific Frankensteins looming all over. One does not have to attend summits and seminars to realise this self-inflicted havoc. Our stifling streets and stinking surroundings are adequate proof of the short-sighted assault unleashed on God’s endowments meant for all of His creation which includes the coming human generations too. Now, it is not that tectonic plates shift around, Tsunamis arise and volcanoes go off owing to human emissions, drillings and sundry other ‘minor’ intrusions. But the point is, while nature itself is in a revengeful mood to rid its surface of the vilest of inhabitants, namely marauding mankind, should the latter too keep provoking her into speeding up the process?

Neighbour’s call:

It is in the nature of the above faceless caller from the South-East to arrive without info or invite. But the callers with familiar faces who came from our North-West could have easily been kept away. At worst, the LoC may well have been drawn at Ajmer where Pakistan’s President, his pet son Bilawal and the entourage of hangers-on came to pray. One does not have to guess what they prayed for though officially the son declared that peace should be upon India, their perennial prey. But will not India’s path and passage to peace be better served minus these visitors and their vicious designs and deeds?

Indeed the Delhi Durbar and the sumptuous feast in honour of those calamitous callers was a tad too much even by India’s soft standards. After all, when goats invite the wolves for lunch, they become the lunch themselves. Ditto India. Pak is a State that harbours every known terrorist in the trade: Osama raised several families post 9/11, Dawood lives happily ever after and the latest ‘wanted’, LeT chief Hafiz Sayeed of 26/11 fame, remains a State guest/actor. But our peace-talk pal would talk nothing about them. On the contrary, animosity against India rages high, good food notwithstanding. And worse, Pak Presidents somehow also win the diplomatic and PR wars, successfully showing up India as the offender. The latest luncheon was no different, with India’s leadership, itself a sinking ship, at its indulgent best. Over hefty servings of kebabs and biriyani, respectful entreaties were made to Pak not to allow use of ‘its’ soil against India! Now, when did PoK cease to be ‘our’ soil?

Oh, yes. Something fruitful was indeed achieved: The two heir apparents, Bilawal and Rahul, apparently hit it off very well at the highest table. So when is LeT chief Hafiz Sayeed being couriered to India for trial? Not that we will hang him! The idea is to know if such indigestible items figured on the duo’s menu!

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