Whats The Meaning Of Life !!!!

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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

After the tsunami shock, it's time to pick up the pieces

waves recede, leaving behind the dead and the devastated. The newspapers and television channels have taken over, assaulting us with over 70,000 words and images of information and strident compassion. After sifting through the debris, the flaying arms and the silences, what do we presume? Situated perhaps miles away from the scene of disaster, we want to reach out to the tsunami victims but cannot understand how. It will not take very long for tsunami to drop off the front pages and breaking news slots. And, that's inevitable — after all, life has to go on. Grief and mourning when prolonged only reinforce the passive in us. But will our response be determined by how media looks at time? Disasters are no longer an aberration in our country — we are visited by cyclones, quakes, floods and droughts with a regularity that leaves us eerily numb.Trapped in our atomised existence, we need to work out new ways of relating to communities in crisis. That entails new ways of defining ourselves, so that we can encompass other cultures and geographies within us.
But right now the need of the hour is to identify areas of practical help that can be extended to the victims of the catastrophe. The first of these, of course, is raising much needed funds to provide food, shelter and medicine to the afflicted. But it should be understood that much though it is needed, money is only a beginning. Unless it is usefully and appropriately spent, it can only add to the chaos instead of mitigating it.

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