Pray for all of humanity

I am going to take a break from travel pictures to write about something that has been on my mind the past few days. The world is seeing an onslaught of terror attacks, each more horrific than the next- the sheer horror is hard to imagine. I am no political expert, so I am not offering any theories or hypothesis. One would expect the same level of horror for each of these episodes- whether it was Paris or Brussels, Lahore or Istanbul, Ivory Coast or Nigeria, Syria or Yemen, Beirut or Baghdad, or Pathankot in my own country. But we see Je Suis campaigns for Paris and Brussels, but not for the rest. It is easy to say that these social media campaigns are just a pop culture trend but it is a reflection of what we care about.

The western media BBC and CNN of the world pander to their viewers- any episode in Europe or USA gets far more attention than a similar episode in Asia or Africa. But shouldn’t every life matter? What did the children in Lahore do to deserve such an end? Shouldn’t we have the same compassion? Isn’t every life worth the same?

If media focuses on what gets them viewers, social media focuses on what people have heard and are reacting to, and the governments change the landmarks for those episodes that are “trending”. We hear from terror experts that in the face of such violence it is important for the country to band together, have a strong sense of solidarity, which will eventually lead to resilience. So shouldn’t this support be for everyone?

I come from a city that has been repeatedly suffered from terrorist attacks- from 1993 bomb blasts to 2008 attacks, Bombay has endured a lot. The city banded together after each attack, resilient in spirit, but living abroad in 2008, it was a story till the terrorists were arrested. Then the channels focused on their nationals impacted, before moving to the next big story. Seeing the moving tributes for Paris, I can’t help but wonder why the same reaction isn’t available for other countries.

Facebook may allow me to change my profile picture to show solidarity for France or Belgium , but I want to pray for all of humanity- every person affected by all these senseless acts for violence.

My review: Little Bee

I finally got out of my books drought, and picked a book to read on my flight to Colorado. And by all the luck in the world, the book was a great one.

The book touches a topic that you rarely read about–refugees.Without giving too much away, the book is a heartwarming and brutal story of a Nigerian refugee Little Bee, in her early teens, who is now in United Kingdom and just out of deplorable detention center where the women have to go so far as to complete a series of paperwork to obtain a sanitary napkin.

She reaches the door of Sarah O’Rourke and her husband, whom she met on a beach in Nigeria on a fateful night that changed all their lives. Little Bee reaches Sarah’s door at the most tragic time, the day of her husband’s funeral. As Sarah deals with tragedy in her own life, her only hope is Little Bee. Each of them find the will to pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward.

What is truly amazing about this book is how it captures both Little Bee’s view point and Sarah’s by writing one chapter in Little Bee’s voice, followed by the next one in Sarah’s voice. Little Bee, who has seen horrific atrocities in her young life, still had a girlish innocence describing how her life would be better as a British pound coin.  She tries to find solace in the only person who showed her some kindness.

Sarah, who was unfaithful and neglected her husband’s depression, was selfless in trying to protect Little Bee and her sister.

Sarah’s son Charlie, always dressed up as Batman, is touching, as a child who always wants to find out if you are a baddie or a goodie and is the ray of hope Little Bee needs to move forward.

A must read book, although the book reminds us of an unfortunate reality–there is no refuge for refugees.