Friday, December 19, 2008

Peace on Earth

While preparing to compose a christmas wish for all my family and friends, I stopped at the reading for today in a book Sathya had gifted me (which I don't read as often as he would like me too, but when I do, there's usually something strangely wise in it).

"Let's avoid the temptation to make our Christmas worship a withdrawal from the stress and sorrow of life into a realm of unreal beauty. It was into the real world that Christ came, into a city where there was no room for Him, and into a country where Herod, the murderer of innocents, was king.

He comes to us, not to shield us from the harshness of the world but to give us the courage and strength to bear it; not to snatch us away by some miracle from the conflict of life, but to give us peace – His peace – in our hearts, by which we may be calmly steadfast while the conflict rages, and be able to bring to the torn world the healing that is peace.

Christmas is not a retreat from reality but an advance into it along with the Prince of Peace."

War is still an option on the table, unfortunately. Despite the unrest and unease all around, may we all still find the peace within, whichever route takes us there.

Perhaps this beautiful interplay between David Bowie and Bing Crosby, entitled Peace on Earth, could help. And that "my child and your child will see the day when men of goodwill live in peace again".

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The terrorist

Amid all the bloodied battered images in the media these past few days, one stands out in my brain and in my heart - that of a scared and exhausted young man turning over a somersault as he fell out of a window, his body a broken burnt bulleted corpse that dropped to a mangled heap outside the Taj, signalling the end of the seige.

Terrorist, terrified. As death stared him full in the face, he reached for his AK 56 in one last desperate act to shoot aimlessly out of that window. A sacrificial pawn in the diabolical plans of mad men who stay safe in their hideouts, even as they train and despatch these men to kill and be killed, talented intelligent brave young men who could have done so much good for humanity instead.

Terrorist, despised. He is a mother's son too. Someday years ago, he must have been like the little Moshe, crying for water and his mama, playing with his nanny. Till the diabolical mad men went in search of him and found him. He is a father's son too. Like the father of Major Unnikrishnan who kicked the CM out of his home. He is a man who will be buried in disgrace in a strange land, while others are given a hero's farewell.

Terrorist, forgiven. If he asked God for forgiveness in his dying moment, there is no doubt that God would have done so. No doubt at all. If he believed he didn't need to, because he was doing God's will anyway, don't question him now. He is dead, let his soul rest in peace. Question the diabolical mad men who are still alive and more dangerous than before, hound them down, flush them out and question them.

Terrorist, avenged. Sadder for humanity than the deaths of the innocent, is the destruction of the souls of the living. Can we even bring ourselves to avenge such evil? Perhaps we can, but not by bashing countries and politicians. The protest marches, candles, white clothes, banners and emails, will all help to release the anger and assuage the grief, catharses all. With no effect whatsoever on the mad men, the root of the problem. Bashing the government is an act of supreme shortsightedness. Now more than ever the people in power need our help. Let's extend it instead.