With a Sigh…
I was browsing through Haruki Murakami’s Underground, a book based on the Tokyo Subway Gas Attack of 1995. In the preface he mentions the reason he decided to write the book. Apparently he read a letter that was published in one of the American journals. The letter was from the wife of one of the victims. Murakami uses plain English and puts his views forward beautifully:
A subway commuter, he had been unfortunate enough to be on his way to work in one of the carriages in which sarin gas was released. He passed out and was taken to hospital. But even after several days’ recuperation, the after-effects lingered on, and he couldn’t get himself back into the working routine. At first, he was tolerated, but as time went on his boss and colleagues began to make snide remarks. Unable to bear the icy atmosphere longer, feeling almost forced out, he resigned.
The letter shocked me. Here were people who still carried serious psychological scars. I felt sorry, truly sorry, although I knew that for the couple involved my sympathy was irrelevant. And yet, what else could I do?
Like most people, I’m sure, I simply turned the page with a sigh. [My emphasis]
Shocked as I was after reading this, I realised that we go through something similar almost on a daily basis. When we read /watch news about people getting killed in bomb blasts, women getting raped, lower caste people being killed for violating the ‘rules’ of the caste system, what do we do? We just flip and page…or change the channel. With a sigh, of course.