Personal musings. Views are my own.

Houses, fire, and trains

I got a ride to work this morning from my boy Jay who’s in town for a few days and is crashing at my place. We took Sacramento down to the highway, a big, wide boulevard that cuts through the humbolt park. As we pulled out of the gas station on Fulton and headed south, we saw huge stacks of smoke billowing up in the air, like a mountain was forming from black rain clouds on the corner of Sacramento and Madison. As we crept closer, we saw flames reaching out onto the road in the distance, then pulling back. Closer yet, and we see a small, wood-frame house is in the process of burning to the ground. An ambulance was already on the scene, and as we passed, a fire truck, a fire department SUV, another ambulance, and a few more cops pulled up. Seeing flames bursting through windows and doors made me wonder what the trains in Mumbai days before must have looked like. Sudden, horrific bursts of flames pushing through cracks of the train car doors, between the bars on the windows, and over the hearts and souls of almost 200 people.

It’s been two days since 7 bombs went off in first-class commuter rail cars heading to the western suburbs of Mumbai, all bursting the train cars open within 10 minutes of each other. Now that the physical wreckage is being worked through, and the emotional and mental wreckage is only beginning to process, people are starting to wonder who would commit such a horrific act. These types of attacks happen much more often in India than they do here in the states, but it doesn’t make them any less violent, gruesome, and heart-wrenching. Mumbia police have detained 350 people for questioning in response to the incident. But such a high number of people suddenly under police custody scares me to death. No one seems to be questioning the nature of such detentions, and what grounds people are being held—at this point, that doesn’t seem to matter as much… I’m sure a good handful of people being held are people the popo have grudges against for any number of other reasons, and this event is just an excuse to try to pull them into the system, which is proly actually doing more harm than good. I would have hoped that in light of the way the US has handled it’s current affairs, people would see that one horrific act of violence can easily be followed by more, government led acts of violence. But in the fog of anger, frustration, sadness, and pain, it’s not as easy to see…