The image is in my head is of an orchestra slowly getting into its rhythm as the conductor calls the intruments into action. It was only a matter of time before all of them came to the party. The different players are government of india, people of india, pakistan, the terrorists, the media, US, and other interested parties. Here is the story as I see it.

The tune is being played out at different levels. There was the ground zero which is now over. Now the ground zero has shifted to the interrogation rooms and to the different thanas across the city. There is the other bit that is played out in North and South block in Delhi. The external affairs the ministry called the high commissioner of pakistan and gave him a list, no a demarche, no a copy of the 2001 parliament attacks list. No they just had samosas and hot tea and wondered how to wrangle that UN appoinmtent. The ministry which was extremely active in capitals around the world during the nuclear deal is suddenly quiet.  As has the home ministry gone quiet. Six months to go before the elections, what can be done to salvage the votes. While the people of India hold candle vigils across the world, when they are home they junk the saas bahus and watch news channels trying to discuss the aftermath.  The hot issues being discussed are should we attack Pakistan, is Pakistan a terrorist state, is our govt useless, and should the Taj hotel be nominated as a wonder of the world.  Ok I admit, I made up the last one.  I don’t know how agreeing on any of these options saves us.

While the government of Pakistan mounts a foriegn policy operation that would do Georgia proud. Its ambassador in the US gets himself on all shows and defends his country while a year ago all he did was criticise. Are things so different now ? The country that was divided a month ago now unites under the banner of defending against India.There are statements of patriotic Taleban vowing to fight against an Indian aggression. While the country burns from Karachi to Peshawar, they find time to show the middle finger to India. The so called terrorism list that was handed over in 2001 was probably used to serve samosas. And as for handing some people over, don’t we know it is one way traffic with our ministers accompanying men to Kandahar. And then we nicely ask them to hand them back. If only was it so easy ! All this while the people of Pakistan are treated to an India 101. They are told that the incredible India is hounded by Naxalites, Kashmiris, Indian and now and Deccan Mujhaedden. And so they wonder there is actually an India outside of Kashmir and Bollywood.

The US sends its secretary of state to india and a pentagon reprsentative to Pakistan. She makes one big statement, of which India media carries one half and the Pakistani media carries the second and the world media carries the entire story. India rejoices to the fact that she spent a night in India instead of spending a night in Pakistan. Same statements rehashed over and over. India knows it can’t do anything. Pakistan knows tha tIndia can’t do anything and its first priority is Afghanistan and the US is well overstretched to put it mildly.

In India, under the harsh glare of the world those old wrinkles reappear. Someone says that this has become a big issue because the elite are affected. Someone says this has happened as a reaction to the 1993 riots, Babri masjid, bhagalpur, partition , aurangzeb. Someone says this is because of Kashmir and that we are weak state, because we still haven’t brought the accused in the parliament attacks to justice. While the memories of those men and women who died slowly fade as the last of the candles die out.

Will my country see this through. I say yes. But it will need more than one billion candles.