Forgiveness? Really?!

I had a half written article on ‘forgiveness’ saved for my post. I had always been charmed by the concept and thought I would write about it. I texted a friend in Mumbai a few hours ago, “if i write another post wid the same fashion-show-backstage backdrop, wud it b 2 repetitive?”

“Yeah i dunno..rite it n see. there were bomb blasts in my area.” I read the last part of the text again. I had read it right. Bomb blast in his area.
“Wht?omg. r u ok?”
“yeah im fine”
“thank god. n all the ppl u know?”
“i hope so..”

I deleted the post I had written about forgiveness. It didn’t make any sense to me now.

I had spent some time in Mumbai during my internship. I loved everything about the city. The spark, the rhythm, the energy, the people, everything. Every time I asked for directions, every time I asked for train routes, every time I asked for place to visit, I got a friendly response from people who were happy that one more was falling in love with the city they loved.

I have friends and family in Mumbai. Each one took me to their favourite spot in the city, that soon became my favourite too. During my brief two months stay, I made friends with a lot of nameless faces too. The lady who took the same bus who gave me warm wishes before we left, the ice cream-wala near my place who gave us some kulfi as our farewell present, the colleagues who hugged us warmly, the roommate we promised to keep in touch with, the tough-exterior-soft-interior landlady. Whenever I go back, I wish to see the same faces with the same smiles. The thought that I will not get to see some of those faces and smiles when I go back…it is a terrible feeling. I write in my blog about people who enriched my life. The thought that one of them might be in a hospital right now, is disturbing.

And yet there are good chances that it might happen. I am angry. After 26/11, things were supposed to change to make our lives better. I don’t care who is behind all this or whose political support they have. I would still be angry.

I have lived all my life in supposedly safer places. But these terror attacks in any other place kills me bit by bit too. I only asked my friends and family how they were. After the “we are fine”s, I got back to writing my blog. The part of me, that would have mourned over the unfortunate fellow citizens, dies with each such attack. That makes me angry.

Forgiveness is the last thing to feel. I doubt the very purpose of it now. I regret ever telling anyone to forgive.

Terror groups are composed of young mislead kids who would have otherwise been as good as you and me. Yet I don’t feel any sympathy for them. The law and order cannot practically handle all the mushrooming terror units. I don’t feel sorry for them. The dictionary says the antonyms of ‘forgiveness’ are – accusation, blame, censure, charge, sentence and punishment. I feel that.

“keep me updated. n take care” I texted my friends in Mumbai.

“we will”

A part of all of us dies. The part that lives should be resuscitated. I don’t feel it now, but I would want the anger to soon die and sense to take over. Forgiveness? Those who came up with the concept probably didn’t have any dear ones living in Mumbai.

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About sayali611

Spent a lifetime building a wall around myself, only to realize that what remained inside was as hideous as anything I would protect myself from. This blog is my attempt to break free, one brick at a time, and to make sense of what was blocked out.

Posted on July 13, 2011, in Forgiveness, Life, Life-lesson, People, Terrorism and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. “Terror groups are composed of young mislead kids who would have otherwise been as good as you and me.”

    Forgiveness and understanding are two different things. We may understand why they do what they do… We don’t have to forgive them.

    I wonder at times what our lives would be like if the genes that came together to make us had melded in another place. Would I be the one with the backpack of explosives. I like to think not, but then again….

    • You are right I guess. The rule says we must learn to forgive, specially when the other person is also not in control of his actions. But in this case, I might understand them but to forgive them when they are rising as a danger to the people I love, I am not that big. And I will never be.

  2. Whether you feel like forgiving or not is directly governed by the severity of the act in context, IMO.

    So far, I have no near and dear ones who were affected by the blasts. Probably that’s the reason why I am “calm” right now.

    • Touchwood. Neither have I. But Colaba is a place where a lot of my friends hang out. I used to go there too. My friend heard the blast (mild) from his place. It was scary. Having to check up on all your people once every two years, I don’t want some act of violence to make me do that.

  3. inspirationalmusings

    I think forgiveness comes in time, for something like what you’ve described, I can imagine forgiveness doesn’t come easily.

  4. I don’t believe in forgiveness, but I do believe in letting go. This is a nicely written post. You have am emotive style of writing … very effective.

  5. I can’t begin to understand how you’re feeling, knowing that people and places you love are being destroyed by incomprehensible violence. My heart goes out to all victims of violence.

    I do believe in forgiveness and compassion. I don’t equate forgiveness with accepting or condoning an action. I define forgiveness as an act of human compassion, a recognition that, at some level, all life is sacred and I choose to honor that. I abhor violence but I try as best I can to open my heart to the humanity that lies within the people involved in perpetuating violence. It’s very difficult, but I try. Doing otherwise would turn my heart to stone.

    • I try as well. But when they don’t value it, repeatedly, they leave me no choice but to turn it into stone. I hate the very thought of it. I wish for my heart to not turn into stone as much as I wish for peace to prevail.

  6. I guess the more you forgive the less they strike again – one of those Gandhian principles, they say. Clearly, that is not reflective of what happened so far in Mumbai.

    • Gandhi was born in pre-terrorist era. His ideas worked well for armies, they were still human. They won’t work for such dark forces. I am a huge admirer of his principles as well, but clearly they have their limitations.

  7. Hi Sayali..just found you while chking out the CCC page.Love ur style of writing…honest and refreshing…by the way,I’m a Mumbai lover myself…did my PG in Pune and my Internship in Andheri….I love every bit of the fast Mumbai life..the vada paav,the locals,everyone minding their own business and esply how life just picks up from where it left no matter whether a flood or a terrorist attack or an earthquake…life just goes on… “Mumbai meri jaan”…I was in tears as I watched ystdays news.Thanks for this touching post…hit straight at the heart…keep up the gud work!
    Cheers,
    Sparky Laurie

    • Mumbai is our jaan isn’t it? What happened hurts. We move on, always do. This time there were no tears though, only anger.
      Thanks for the compliments. Will go read your stuff now 🙂

  8. That is one situation that would be hard to forgive. I can understand your feeling some sympathy for the “terrorists” and their plight, but I can’t understand their actions, and feel them hard to forgive/get over. I would have an especially hard time letting go if friends and special people are injured. The thing is — everyone there is injured from this.

    I pray your friends are kept safe and peace comes to the area. I hate the thought of that kind of torment for anyone.

    Blessings ~~ Shonnie

    • Thanks a lot. All my people are safe. Life has moved on.
      It is very hard to forgive, this time I don’t even want to. Even if that fills me with rage. But I will try and forget. Whatever keeps one going.

  9. Nicely written Sayali… Your writing shows that you are seething inside but also reflects that you also have a hope for a better future and that you are ready to work towards making the world a better place to live in.. All I have to say is that forgiving is very essential.. If you don’t forgive, you are unable to let the past go… You can let go off the past only when you learn from it and forgive..

    • Thank you Pooja. I believe in that too. There are times when we get to question our own values and principles. This is one of those for me. Right now, I have moved from angry to calm. Hope forgiveness follows.

  10. It’s difficult to forgive acts of hate, act of evil. But if you say you don’t believe in forgiveness, what about when you make a mistake or do something that hurts someone you love? We all hurt each other emotionally, let someone down. If there was no forgiveness, the entire world would be apathetic for life and probably more people would turn into terrorists. Forgiveness helps lessen evil and depression in this world. I’ve messed up plenty, and if everyone I loved never forgave me for my mistakes, I don’t know where I’d be. A lot of people commit suicide because they can’t forgive themselves or haven’t been forgiven by someone else. Please don’t let the acts of certain people harden your heart. No matter how big the evil, we’ve all done something that needs forgiveness. Forgiveness heals, unforgiveness harms yourself more than anyone else. It’s even medically proven that when you don’t forgive you make yourself sick. But, a lot of the time, forgiveness is beyond our sphere of capability. I;ve found that crying out to the only One who masters forgiveness perfectly can help me forgive.
    “Mercy triumphs over judgement.”
    Much love to you, I’ll pray for you and those experiencing that evil. One day, all evil will be done with. God bless

    • Your words are well received. I had that belief system too. Right now, I’m re-analyzing what I used to believe in. I know how important forgiveness is. I have never held a grudge for anyone for long. But should we apply this as a rule to every mistake? Should we also forgive actions that need punishment to tip the balance back? Where do we draw the line? Frankly, write now, I’m confused.

  11. Thank you for this post. Seriously.

  12. Well written… I personally think that forgiveness is a wonderful thing. It helps us get over some things in our past and facilitates us in moving on. It helps in smoothing the pain that we have, or some else has to us, given over the years.

    However, there are some things which are beyond forgiveness and should be treated as such. Something like terrorism is one of them.

    I would not want to see forgiveness even within a mile’s range of those associated with heinous acts of terrorism.

    • Glad to know that I’m not alone on this one. Frankly, I still do feel a little guilty about being so stubbornly unforgiving. But so far, haven’t found any other way. Just hope we don’t have to go through this again.

  13. I liked your article. Isn’t it an interesting technology,
    thanks to google I found you.

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