Friday, April 14, 2006

To Kill a Mocking Nerd

Respect can only be gained, it can never be demanded be it in this life or the next. The icon who had just passed away had during his life gained the respect of a large section from amongst the populace. We were told to go home early from office as trouble was expected from mourning fans. On the way home we saw remnants of burnt tyres on the road and evidence that the tar on the road was witness to stone throwing earlier in the day. Shops had already pulled their shutters down but we managed to scrounge some rations which would get us through the day. Cable TV was off so we could not know what the status was in the other parts of the city.

The next morning, the day of the burial, a few grocery stores were open for a short window. We managed to get some more basic necessities. The shops were out of Maggie noodles. The guys behind us also asked for Maggie noodles :-) The roads had a deserted look. As the cable TV was still off, calls came in from out of town apprising us of the situation. Buses and cars were burnt in various parts of the city. The news channels were broadcasting clips of a policeman being beaten up. Even a TV crew was attacked. It seems that a lot of fans were not allowed to pay their last respects and so they went on a rampage. Cars, shop windows that did not have the picture of the actor were damaged. I called up a friend who told me that police had to resort to tear gas near the main road adjoining his residence. The whole of geekville had come to a standstill.

I think it was time to do away with euphemisms, especially the news reporters. Damaging other people's property is not called mourning. For many it was just an opportunity to vent their frustrations. Maybe the memory of an abuse/slanderous remark that was born from the car of the higher in status. Maybe the memory of the tone of voice of the other person in an argument whose outcome had already been decided by the look of the clothes on our back. The mob mentality that day has resulted in the death of 6 people including a policeman. But even a mob is made up of people. Thats what Atticus would have told little Scout in 'To kill a mockingbird'. Even a mob is made up of people.

No comments: