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An Inextinguishable Flame

December 22, 2008

The life of Anoop Thomas was simple. He was just another normal guy who lived in this land of contradictions called India and he was happy with his life at the moment.
A good job at a major financial firm in Mumbai, a good salary and he was proud of all the things that he owned and he was particularly proud that his thoughts and actions were progressive and secular.
Having grown up in Kottayam, Kerala, he was in tune with the social reforms brought in by SNDP and the political movements like communism which swept across the state and he was happy that he got to experience the good aspects of life in Kerala.
His father was a major industrialist in the state and right from a young age, he had the opportunity to experience and learn from his father. Right from a young age, his father (being a devotee of Sri Narayana Guru) taught him the finer details of this complicated machinery called life and right from a young age, he was taught to be humble and kind to everyone and that money did not matter as much as “THE HEART”.

Though he was brought up with lavish splendor, he was always in tune with the problems of the proletariat and his father who was respected by one and all actually encouraged the formation of unions to safeguard the interests of the workers across the state.

As it is with all men, he wanted to experience life outside Kerala and when the opportunity did present itself to him; he took it with both hands. Having got a seat in NIT Allahabad, he was excited to be living outside the state for the first time and the four years of engineering were spent in idyllic and sylvan settings. He was a good student and he also spent a major chunk of his time processing information of everything he saw about his country. It was like the Pandora’s Box had unfolded before him!

One thing led to another and by the time he was 26, he found himself in an ocean of emotions and a splattering of colors called Mumbai doing something he liked for a living.

He was professional happy with his job and he was more than happy with the causes and various NGO’s that he helped when ever he had the time.

Life did seem simple and perfect for Anoop until 26/11/2008 when he found himself in the Taj Hotel to attend a party. By 10 PM the party was in full swing and at that particular moment, he did feel absurdly happy.

Shortly, above the din of the music which wafted all around, he suddenly heard clear and crisp gunshots which were followed by a banshee like wail of a hundred people. As he noticed in a daze, he found people running into the hall ultimately followed by a couple of people with large backpacks and big guns!

What followed was absolute slaughter and from a corner he could see the lifeless bodies of countless friends who were full of life just a couple of minutes earlier.
After some time (could have been minutes or hours), he suddenly locked eye contact with a terrorist. At that moment, he did not notice anything except those eyes. Those eyes full of hatred and rage. He knew that his time was up and with a short prayer to Jesus waited for the never ending stream of bullets.
He felt being hit by a couple of bullets and also felt the searing pain which raked his whole body. Thankfully he passed out shortly with just a single thought in his mind.

When he woke up in the hospital, he was thankful to see the faces of loved ones and also to see a plethora of emotions being displayed on the cosmogony on many a faces.

The doctors claimed that he lived because the 6 bullets that entered his body had not ruptured any of his vital organs and that he would live a happy and healthy life.
When he was alone in the night nursing his wounds, he could think of nothing else but these words…………….

Without differences of caste,
Nor enmities of creed,
Here it is, the model of an abode,
Where all live like brothers at heart
(The motto of SNDP)

And these words from a Malayalam songs;
orayiram kinakalal kurunnu kuudu menjirunnu mooham
koluthiyum keduthiyum pratheekshagal vilaku vechu mooham

“These desires were made on the bases of a thousand dreams”
“These desires have been given light by the dipam (lamp) of Interest though it was snuffed out earlier”.

He swallowed the hot tears of loss and felt an anger swell inside his body like never before. He vowed to help fight extremism and disparity between people at all costs and realized the ineptitude of the hundreds of people affected by these cowards.
With a silent prayer, he felt the sweet joy of sleep overwhelming his mind and the last thing he thought off before falling asleep was of HOPE!!!

As JP Joshi Sir pointed out in my earlier post:
“The more tolerant you are, the less you tolerate the intolerant”
But I suppose, one cannot and should not lose Hope!!!!!!!!!!
This is a Story…. but yes, it must be applicable to a hundred different people……

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Kislay permalink
    December 22, 2008 7:11 pm

    Is this person your friend or acquaintance ? Well , I am glad that he survived . I hope he heals physically as well as mentally ( I mean the trauma) .

  2. Ajit permalink
    December 22, 2008 7:15 pm

    Dude, it is a story….. 😛
    Thought that I could make a point thru a story…..
    But I suppose that it is the story of hundreds of people who survived the attacks…..

  3. Indian Home Maker permalink
    December 23, 2008 1:50 am

    The first thing I read this morning is this!

    Now let me read the last bits (quotes, song etc)one more time.

  4. Ajit permalink
    December 23, 2008 2:55 am

    LOL…. IHM,

    Thanks!! and actually there was no particular reason behind this post, just felt good writing the same….

  5. Vinod_Sharma permalink
    December 23, 2008 3:00 am

    A very touching story, written with great feeling…Hope cannot be killed by Hate.

  6. Ajit permalink
    December 23, 2008 3:19 am

    Thank you Sir

  7. Bones permalink
    December 23, 2008 4:19 am

    Well written

  8. Ajit permalink
    December 23, 2008 5:45 am

    Thanks Bones….

  9. neets permalink
    December 23, 2008 4:51 pm

    really touching one..

  10. J P Joshi permalink
    December 23, 2008 6:25 pm

    A really touching and heart rending story that is so true to life. Don’t know how to react… Life, hope, hate, anger are all real emotions for us mortals. ??????????

  11. Ajit permalink
    December 24, 2008 6:43 am

    Thanks Neets for visiting…

    JP Joshi Sir,
    From what I know, human are full of complex emotions…… 🙂

  12. Indian Home Maker permalink
    December 24, 2008 9:44 am

    And now look what Santa has left for you on my blog here!

  13. Kislay permalink
    December 24, 2008 10:18 am

    Great Story man .

  14. Ajit permalink
    December 24, 2008 11:17 am

    Thanks IHM, I am thrilled….
    and thanks Kislay…

  15. Smitha permalink
    December 24, 2008 11:55 am

    Ajit, I somehow misssed this post – its a wonderful story – really beautifully written and definitely makes a point!

  16. Ajit permalink
    December 24, 2008 12:03 pm

    Thanks Smitha…..

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