Imagine the face of a child lost in a jungle full of blood-thirsty animals.
I saw the same look on four faces this morning. They were all adults. They were not lost. They were in the city.
They just had slanting eyes.
Those eyes never stopped scanning the faces around them. They stayed close, as if they were all bound together. They were afraid. Very afraid.
They expected a mob to pounce on them any moment. Just as it had happened to another one with slanting eyes, just a few days before. And to another. And to another. The “war cry” was not to spare any slant-eye.
Far north, in a place where, perhaps, neither these victims nor these villains had ever set foot, in a frenzy that raged for days, people killed one another. Headlines gave it gory colors; endless intellectual analyses ate up TV hours.
Those on either end of the knife ran for different reasons—to save life, to draw blood. Did either of them know why?
A twisted video of that violence had poisoned minds, far away, here, where I live in meek hope of peace everywhere.
Maybe on hindsight, maybe influenced by the fists of law, the attackers in my town later said they were wrong to launch the assault. But the seeds of fear, of hatred were already sown.
We are good at that. We keep doing it, just like that, every so often.
All of them probably saluted the same flag just a couple of days before, on Independence Day, national holiday.
The victims probably used the day to move to a “safer” place.
And those on the other side? Somewhere else, someone was probably plying the poor, illiterate, unemployed puppets, hardly out of their teens, with food and drink spiked with social poison.
Someone who feeds on poverty, hatred, violence and fear. Supermen in white for whom peace, awareness and harmony are kryptonite, never to be permitted in their proximity for too long.
In the evening, I see the station overflowing with people. Mainly young; mostly students. All with the same fear in their slanted eyes. They are going home.
Someone has succeeded.
They stand, strangely quiet, looking around every now and then, waiting patiently for their train.
My home is running out of “safe” rooms. Soon we will all be running from, with no place to run to.