Mon, 22 Jul, 2019

But Then, That's Just How It Is

By Prakriti Shree Tuladhar

Picture Courtesy: DWIT News

There was an oddly shaped cloud in the distance. It was dark, greyish like a rain cloud, but not quite. All other clouds were white. And yes, it took this person very long indeed to find out that it was not a grey rain cloud, but smoke rising. The biggest hint being a fire truck, one of the very few, (so few that… “Wait! We have fire trucks too?”)

The fire truck mentioned was going towards the smoke. With a very bad estimate, I’d say the fire truck would reach the fire in about 7 minutes minimum, taking longer because of the narrow roads we call ‘gallis’.

Now the question is obvious. Why did it need a fire truck going “whoo wheee” at high and low pitch with Doppler’s effect to make the person realize that the greyish rain cloud in a clear sky was smoke from a burning “something”?

And the answer is the reason why this article is being typed out.

The reason is that 7 minutes from the burning “something”, people were wailing at their own paces or riding motorcycles and driving cars and taxis at their own paces. People were selling clothes (kurtas, shirts, pants, sweaters, saris) in shops , food, tea, chocolates, cigarettes and more clothes (kurtas, shirts, pants, sweaters, saris) on the road. Simply put, people were minding their own business.

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Now, I am not wise beyond my years nor am I aware of the mighty world and its vast, vast mysteries. Also, most of the time, I cannot make any sense of my own thoughts and feelings. However, I think that what happened wasn’t right. I don’t know for sure because I’m still confused if people were born with morality or they are fed morality like a daily diet from the moment they are born. Are humans born with the knowledge about what is right and what is wrong? If so then, then our understanding of what is right and what is wrong is absolute. And if that is true, then why moral dilemmas do exist?

Going back to the topic on hand. That incident gave me a bit to think about. Maybe it’s just that one incident, but it seemed that people are pretty good at minding their own business, doing what they do every day like everyone.

Of course I believe that the people immediately around the burning “something” were very helpful. Some must have shown incredible courage and others inspiring calmness. But 7 minutes from there, people had no reason to be courageous or calm. And I dare say, if the fire was there instead of 7 minutes away, the roles would have been reversed.

That itself gives rise to yet another question, do people care or are people made to care?

A person dies. “Well, that is life. People have to die. That’s just how it is meant to be.”

Someone you love dies. “ ---------------“ (*incoherent words that make no sense over the heart broken wailing that is coming out from the mouth)

But then, that’s just how it is.

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P.S. I, who is seemingly judging the world and asking questions, has repeatedly typed the fire as a burning of “something”. Why? That’s because I was just passing by that road on a vehicle when I saw the smoke. I lived a good 15 mins away and I needed to get where I had to go quick. I didn’t bother finding what that “something” was. So, for me, it is still “something” that was burning.

But then, that’s just how it is