Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Number Game

Quake rocks Sichuan province of China..storms sweep Myanmar..Series explosion in Jaipur ..Around 40000 killed in the first case,around a 100000 in the second and 70 killed in the third..and still counting..
At first I ignore these news pieces thinking of them as just another explosion somewhere or just another nature fury in some part of the world..and I continue watching the IPL matches instead of giving even a trifle of attention to whats going around..and then reports start pouring in that there have been significant loss of death and my attention crescendoes towards it..after a series of switching of channels in between the overs and otherwise too that irritates others around me,I find that the death rates are increasing and I find myself more interestingly inclined towards the news..Somehow deep inside I am not feeling bad for the thousands misplaced..Well i am feeling bad but not able to empathise with them much to the extent that I remain sad all throughout..deeper inside I am not praying for the figures to come down..and please note that itas not that I am praying for the figures to rise either..just that there is not much commitment to the whole tragedy..its not that I enjoy people getting killed but somewhere deeper deeper inside,if there is a word like that,I am not feeling bad about It too..this is easily the most difficult post that I have tried to put as expressing myself the way I want to might not be its open to all kinds of interpretations..
I don’t know if its just human nature or just me..I tend to associate more importance to an event or incident only if there are casualities involved. I don’t know if I am able to get the point across but somehow the events in which say a 100 people die is less important than one in which 500 die..and I guess its true about many of us atleast say a 75 %of us(a very conservative estimate)..Hundreds of people die in Afghanistan and Iraq due to car bombs and human bombs..But then that ends up as a foot note in most of the news as well as our attention.. Somehow 40 lives are not more important or equally important as 500 lives..Simply put in words,more numbers are more eye grabbing than less of them..
Lets take into consideration ,a case,where there are injuries too..Somehow the number of injured people don’t get my attention that much and it just gets side lined although sometimes being injured and scrapping through every inch of life is worse than losing it in a matter of few seconds..I might even be telling all this because I have never directly been involved in anything like it..
It just doesn’t end there..sometimes,the compensation that the state governments announce for the dead might be ,and I say ‘might be’, a boon for certain family members..Well I know you might be bickering over the clich├ęd line that life can not be equated with money as it is priceless and invaluable but still I just tend to think devilish sometimes..and everyone has that side for sure,although many do not come out in the open and owe up to it..I feel guilty for being heartless at times,well most of the time,and conjure up some possibilities.Suppose there is a person who has left his family and probably is a big drug addict or a drunkard and abuses the family members ,physical abuse too..this guy just walks up the road and bam!!There is an explosion and he is ripped apart, the members see this breaking news in the screen ,if they are watching news that is,now,isn’t it actually better for the family that the member is gone and if the compensation does reach then it would be beneficial for the family ,say a timely compensation of Rs 500000 ,as was announced for the Jaipur attack victims..Now another case is when there is this beggar or a labourer ,who works day and night but still might not see 100000 Rs in his/her whole lifetime..Well given an option of death and money ,NONE would chose the latter for sure but just think of it..What if the family is actually benefited by the lakhs they receive..Atleast it would be a strong basement to build upon..I feel I should have never thought of things like this but then my mind continuously swivels towards thinking on thEse lines..and only after putting these thoughts into words,do I get some respite from the guilt..but then I need to know if other people feel the same too..or am I the only zombie around who feels that death after all might be good news for some families whether they accept it or not..i am expecting a lot of criticism from people who read it and they are all welcome to do so..Well people might say that ‘Arun!you wont say the same if you are in such a situation where someone close to you is in danger’..probably ya but then ….still…Cant stop thinking..
I cant explain the conundrum I am in..there are two ways to look at the whole problem..first is that I am sympathetic towards the people who are suffering but then the fact is if there were hundred people dead instead of a 10000 in china ,I wouldn’t have cared for it much..So the consideration angle gets thrown out of the window..Now the second and more satanic view of the problem is that,somewhere deep inside I probably expect the death tolls to rise ,so that there is much more seriousness or debate attatched to it than just brush away that piece of news..atleast there is a lot to talk about now..i guess it is like the opposition parties that might be praying for a lot of casulaities so that they can have a reason to attack the ruling parties..Well I guess that’s all I want to put in right now..As chinese officials now announce that there might be 50000 killed now,figures might rise again!!