-by Teena Roy
Sleeping for a short while is always difficult. Firstly because you don’t utilise the entire 10-15 minutes for sleeping, and secondly because you are sleepy even after that. Anyways having come back to my senses, I looked around. As usual, the library, with a mess of books, files and papers in front of me. People were doing several things; some were studying, some reading novels and some others reading with their eyes closed. “Well, ain’t it a normal day?”, I told myself. Observing that sleep was still overpowering me, I decided to read something other than the n orbitals of hydrogen and their shapes. And hadn’t checked my phone for a while. So here I was going through the news and that’s when I saw her. She had black eyes, clear deep dark black eyes. One wouldn’t miss such beautiful eyes easily. Her face was covered in dirt , her clothes ragged and her hair were tied as a pony tail right on the top of her head, but to a side. Amidst the ruins of the war, without knowing that her parents were dead, she was smiling…That’s how children are, that is what innocence is, they do not know the meaning of life and death, of the mass killings that are happening right now. Anyways, that’s how I spent my next half an hour, reading through the Syrian civil war, it’s causes, effects, death tolls, refugees, violation of human rights, everything. Guess what, it’s been burning for more than six years now, longer than world war 2 and believe me, the casualties are seriously huge. At first, I didn’t get who was against who, in fact I still don’t know completely. But one couldn’t ignore the numbers. About half of the population has been displaced, over 4,70,000 people dead with 1.9 million injured. And then you have diseases, including poliomyelitis (which has fortunately been eradicated from India), chemical attacks, public execution, rape…
I know what you are thinking now. All these years this was going on and I didn’t even know about it. The thoughts are mutual. Of course I have seen in newspapers about some chemical attacks on women and children but never before have I thought about it. And the fact is that most of us do not bother about the crucial important issues of the country and the world. It required a pair of innocent blue eyes for me to actually understand it and probably will be needed by others too. You realize the importance and severeness of situation when you experience something like what I did.
Of course India has several problems, religious conflicts, Maoist attacks but nothing of this intensity. Thank God!
But staying in a more peaceful country, shouldn’t we do something for them? We have been more fortunate and in my opinion that calls for realizing our responsibility towards them, doesn’t it? However we know the answers to that. What are going to do sitting thousands of miles away? Fight? Hold protests here? Speak up for them in public?-too scared for that. Honestly, I don’t know. But at least we can wish and sincerely hope and pray for them.