Last night after the high of Cardiff I took the train back to London before flying back to India . Midway through the train ride, I was cruelly reminded of what a messed up world we live in. As anxiety gripped the passengers, as fear replaced joy, the train rolled into Paddington. People began running, rushing, fearing they wouldn't get a vehicle to take them back home.
They needn't have bothered. There wasn't a single taxi. Not one. No way for 60000 people to get home. Like many others, I was stranded in a foreign country wondering whether I should walk or wait and wondering how I would get to the airport. Ubers kept cancelling. The closest emotion to last night was the Mumbai terrorist attacks or the riots I saw as a child.
I was fortunate to be able to eventually get a premium Uber and a hotel that organised an airport drop 2 hours later but as I was being driven back by a Muslim, Pakistani Kashmiri who was working through the night to drop people home and who was horrified by all that was happening around him I was struck by the essential fuckedupness of the world today.
A world where identity strips us of our shared humanity, where the labels we use for ourselves and for others (Hindu, Muslim, tribal, non- tribal, Christian, White, Sunni, Dalit, Shia, Immigrant and more) allow us to regress into the primitive, savage beasts we once were.
But hold on that's not fair to primitive, savage beasts. Because they killed for food for protection. We kill today simply to reinforce the superiority of our labels, while only displaying our insecurities and cowardice. Children, teenagers at a concert, a 60 year old farmer, an Air Force employee eating mutton, tourists seeking commonality and understanding, someone looking for the education his parents never had. That's who we kill.
And our leaders, both religious and political, refuse to lead us to a better world, to condemn the violence in their followers, to spread a message of love and understanding, to lead by example.
As I fly back home, I leave the violence of last nights terror attacks in London and head towards the violence I know I will read about in tomorrow's morning newspaper in Mumbai.
Because this is our world today. Because every single day innocent people will die. Because our leaders don't lead. And because we are no longer human. We are just labels. Like everyone around us.