Saturday, September 5, 2015

Aylan Kurdi

I have been meaning to write one of my memory book posts of what Gauri has been upto: stories that I may easily forget now if I do not catalog them somewhere. Today, I have the time.

But my brain is heavy, because I cannot get that image of Aylan Kurdi out of my mind. That was another toddler too.

Collectively, our conscience can, if one is being exceedingly kind, be described as sluggish. But children bring out every last nugget of humanity that we possess. I wonder, if somebody even in ISIS can look at that image and feel no pangs of shame or sorrow.

I am feeling awful that this burden is apparently just Europe's to bear, based on proximity. It should not be just Europe sharing this, of giving these people a place to live, to try to reclaim life again. Even if different countries take in piddly numbers in an organized manner, it counts for something.

Words are empty. As individuals, we can do very little, other than donate. And even when you do (I did, to this one), one feels slightly empty and shameful about it: after all, I picked this cause because that photo has moved me to tears many times in the past 2 days: previously, this entire thing had been no more than many headlines on a news website: you felt bad about it, but moved on, as we always do.  And why THIS crisis? Why respond to this little life lost? Awful things have been happening steadily in the past. Libya. Iraq. It took this image to move me enough to make a piddly gesture.

But here is to action, piddly or otherwise. Here is hoping that image gets some people in power to move as well. Germany is taking in 800,000. Sweden is also taking people in: do not know the numbers. Various nations appear to be stirring into action. I want the far flung stable nations to take some: definitely the country I live in now---India---should. Just taking some is not enough: these are people that have been traumatized beyond imagining. The effort has to be well thought out, organized, with a plan to give them better than a makeshift camp where they are abandoned to a life of poverty and all the downward spirals that come with that.

But here, I am just wishing for the moon, aren't I?


  1. Thank you for posting this. I share your feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Sometimes a picture can change things, I hope that is what happens with this picture, then maybe their deaths will not be in vain.

  2. "that photo has moved me to tears many times in the past 2 days..." - same here. I have been an emotional wreck. I cried the night I saw the picture - so incredibly sad!!! I see my 2 year old and think of what he must have been like - happy and playful. Thank you for vocalizing what so many of us are feeling.

  3. You're so incredibly eloquent on such a heartbreaking subject.