Sunday, July 31, 2011


Photo taken at Green Mountain, Vermont (KsK)

The fire of retribution burns within, each dying ember embellishing a ghost upon the floor.
The ghosts of the past haunt me more and keep the fire burning still.
Yet, lost in the fire I can’t be;
For, to those whose senses are not under control, there can be no self-perception.
Without self-perception peace is lost; and without peace, happiness too.
And thus, I must let it go, and not forget;
“In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.”
 - Courtesy Bacon, Poe and The Gita

1st Jan 2011

It is a beautiful sunny day in New Orleans, Louisiana; unlike, last evening when cloud cover threatened the countdown to 12, as weather gods always seem to do. However, threaten was all they did, and that being so, there couldn’t have been a better place to welcome the new year.

But, that was last night; not the subject of this post. Right now we are in the National World War II Museum on Magazine Street. We have already spent all afternoon here, watched “Beyond All Boundaries”, the 4-D WW2 documentary narrated by Tom Hanks, and, spent time reading and listening through most of the exhibits, in particular, the Normandy Landing.

We have, now, reached the end; the last segment, the one on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The exhibit includes photos and documents from the Manhattan Project, letters from Einstein, and pictures of the havoc wreaked by Little Boy and Fat Man.

Did the quarter-million odd people die to save many more Japanese and American lives? Or, was this retribution for Pearl Harbor? Or, colder still, was Hiroshima and Nagasaki subjected to an involuntary weapons test? In any case, the role of the bombings in Japan’s surrender and the U.S.’s ethical justification for them, as well as their strategic importance, is still debated.

As I, thus, wait for my friend near the exit of the museum segment pondering about the morality of America’s action and Japan’s pain, my nose tingles. A whiff of perfume permeates through the room and toys with my senses. I close my eyes savoring the sweet smell. I feel something brush against my face. I open my eyes to see beautiful, silky blonde hair slowly moving left.

The moment was surreal and I wanted time to be still. But, I am no Hiro Nakamura. All I could do was to close my eyes, remain catatonic and soak in the moment. That was, till my ears decided to play spoilsport.

I hear a voice, emotional, almost in tears, however with a smug satisfaction of vengeance. The silky-haired heroine was talking to her boyfriend. Amidst all the rattle tattle I catch the words, “Shouldn’t mess with us!”.

If at all there was a time I hoped I had an auditory impairment, this was it [Knocking on wood]. Thanks to my ears, the moment was lost; my mind drifted and I was stuck again, dabbling with the morality question.

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