Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali


Tuesday, October 24, 2006  

Last Sunday, Trinidad woke up to a newspaper headline that, while all too familiar these days, was still disturbing: three men shot dead in a nightclub in Arima early Saturday morning. Some young men had been refused admission to the club; they went away, returning a short time later with guns. They shot and killed the bouncer, then began firing indiscriminately at the clubbers, killing two and wounding a few others.

The headline disturbed for another reason other than the obvious. A colleage of mine often went to that club, and on more than one occasion I'd expressed an interest in visiting the club with her. I'm not a clubgoer by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought it would make for an interesting adventure.

In the office the next day, I found out that another colleague had actually been in the club when the shootout took place, had witnessed people being shot and killed around her. She had come to work, but was still in shock.

Right after I heard this, I went to my office. I checked my email. A message from Nicholas. The closing event for Galvanize, carded for Thursday, was being postponed by a week because Mario Lewis, the artist who heads Galvanize, had had a death in the family--no further details were given.

Immediately I thought about Mario's wife, who was in New York and set to give birth to their third child at any moment. I telephoned Nicholas. No, he told me, Mario's wife and the baby (a boy, born that very morning) were both fine. The death was Mario's brother. He'd been one of the people shot in the nightclub on Saturday morning.

I do not know Mario that well, so I will not be going to his brother's funeral. The next time I see him will, in all probability, be at the rescheduled Galvanize event. I have been wondering at the fact that when I see him, I will be offering him both congratulations and condolences. And I am wondering if there is anyone left in this country, anyone, including the politicians, who still feels that what we are experiencing is only temporary, that what we are going through--do I need to give the literally gory details?--is confined to only certain parts of the country or the population, and does not affect us all. It does, even if you don't know someone who has been shot, kidnapped, robbed, raped, beaten or killed. You soon will.

posted by Jonathan | 10:50 PM 1 comments

1 Comments:

This sounds just like Karachi...

By Anonymous Bina, at 11:17 PM  

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