If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Jun 26, 2009

Where were you?

When you heard that Indira Gandhi was shot . When you heard that Rajiv Gandhi had been assassinated. When you heard that Elvis or Kurt Cobain had been found dead. Why does it stick in your head ? The moment when you heard that there were blasts on the Mumbai trains. That terrorists had attacked Mumbai and were holed up at the Taj. The thoughts race thru your mind. How ? Why ? The details come in thru the TV and SMS’es . Thru phone calls from friends and family who want to know that all is OK with you. You call up anyone who may be even remotely connected to the danger zone. You wonder about the impact it will have on you, your city, your work, your play.
Later much later, when the immediacy is gone. You hear recounts of the incident. With the personal stories at the end. The reactions and the analysis. Rashômon, a hundred times removed.
On the 28th Sept 1978 we were on our way back to school after our lunch. Yelled out to my friend Aloysius [Ok Aloo] to hurry. He came out and told me that the BBC had just announced that John Paul I was dead. Did we worry about the impact this would have on the faithful? Or the conspiracy theories that would spring up? Or who would step into his shoes? No. All that mattered was whether the school would shut down for the day and whether the next day would be a holiday or not. When the announcement did come and we trooped back home, we tried manfully , on the instructions of our principal, to hide a joy that was not appropriate and display a mourning that for us that day was as distant as Mars.

5 comments:

The Cloudcutter said...

It's funny you posted this just on the day we hear that Michael Jackson died! I wasn't too fond of him but I'm worried about his kids. Hope they're taken care of.
Did you get my email btw?

The Cloudcutter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I was having breakfast (got up late - blame it on the weather) when a friend called to say Michael jackson is dead! I wasn't a fan of the man but enjoyed some of his music, May he RIP.

Mustansir Dalvi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
as any fule kno said...

Clement,
I remember this too, we were in St. Vincents at the time and on that day there was a general buzz 'popediedpopediedpopedied...'

Of course we got our holiday. But then, the next pope died pretty quickly too, didnt he, within a month or so, and then we got another holiday.