Sorrow is a spectator sport.
Those in the know, know this to be true.
It's what you do when a friend calls crying.
You sip on coffee, discreetly bite into cake and (half) listen.
It's that bottle of cola and a twisted single-use straw that quenches your absent thirst
as you wait to glance at bullet holes and stare at the women while waiting.
Yes, sorrow is a spectator sport.
It's posing arms akimbo on a railway line that leads to (human) skin purse and lampshade.
It dips its toes in reflecting pools made in cratered earth.
It admires the gold on granite at Namgyal Chortan, but overlooks 2420 names.
It is dressed in designer threads as it poses, anorexic leg jutting out of bright red in the river roads of Patna.
Sorrow is a photo opportunity.
It is Insta-cool and Yoloness.
It is gawking at the crystal pathway that accompanies the blood-spilt saffron sari.
It is a tick mark on a tourist itinerary.
Sorrow and spectators close their eyes
in Kilvenmani, in Marichjhapi, in Nellie, in Hondh-Chillar, in Bijbehara, in Ramabai,
in Amarnath, in Pathankot, and in my city.Who else, after all, but a discerning audience to assign weight and value
to tears and tragedy.
(The Coimbatore bomb blasts took place on 14th February, 1998. 11 places. 12 bomb attacks. 200 people were injured. 58 people died).
An Agnostic Agonises
Poet, columnist and TEDx speaker, Dr Srividya Sivakumar has been a teacher-trainer for twenty-one years, and has published two collections of poetry. Her poem, Bamboo was nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology in 2018. Srividya wrote a weekly column, Running on Poetry, for The Hindu’s MetroPlus, from February 2014 to December 2016. Her column, Srividya Speaks Poetry currently appears in the online literary journal, Narrow Road.