Many fleeting thoughts

A lot has been written about the tragic incident that occurred on a Delhi bus the night of December 16th, 2012. An innocent, regular girl, wanting no more than to live a regular life, had to undergo heartbreaking suffering. On December 29th, she departed, leaving us all to continue living in a cruel, insane world.

She is gone. The aftermath has consisted of a national outrage against sexual harassment of women in India, many protests, and a dead government waking up to its people’s demands. An atmosphere of conflict and rage still persists all over India, especially in Delhi where I live.

On a personal and spiritual level, I have felt a number of things in the last many days. Thought of jotting them down here.

  • Karma does not explain suffering. How does one explain the suffering that girl went through, on that bus, at the hands of those deranged men? The simplistic explanation offered by Karma, that we pay in this life for actions in our past life, seems perverse in this case. 
  • Life truly is unpredictable. Our plans are made of dust, and we are constantly fooling ourselves into believing they are concrete.
  • I have always believed that the litmus test of fairness is: how do you treat and co-exist with those less powerful than you. Humans have always failed this test. Rich countries exploit poor countries, men exploit women, humans exploit the helpless animal kingdom. As a species, we are morally bankrupt. Other animals never take from nature more than they want. When they fight, it is for the existential need of food and reproduction, never for greed.

I believe in smiling at life’s absurdities, and moving on. However, the suffering of the girl haunts my mind. I can simply pray that her family finds peace someday, and that we can do better as a society in providing a safer country for everyone, especially women and children.

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