Mumbai attacks ‘destructive side of Shiva’s dance’

December 2nd, 2008 - 1:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Dec 2 (IANS) A Canadian professor, who is in India to interview gay authors filmmakers and dancers, calls the terrorist attacks on Mumbai “the destructive side of Shiva’s dance.”“Modern India is a very dynamic place with great creative energy, but this week we experienced with our Indian friends the destructive side of Shiva’s dance. (but) we have no doubt that the creative energy of the dance will prevail despite this terrible episode in India’s history,” said Prof James Miller of the University of Western Ontario at London near here.

In an email to the university from India, Miller said he and his partner John were at the Taj Mahal Hotel just a day before the blasts. Window-shopping at the fabled hotel, he said, they had no inkling of what would follow the next day.

A professor of modern languages and literatures and founding director of The Pride Library at the university, Miller said he is in India conducting research in India on the queering of Hindu sacred narrative, specifically the myths relating to Lord Shiva.

He said he is also interviewing gay Indian novelists, playwrights, poets, filmmakers, and dancers about their work and its reception history, and collecting works for the South Asia collection at The Pride Library at the university.

Miller said, “My partner actually took some photos of the entrance, the lobby, and the courtyard in the historical heritage wing, little realizing that these would become ‘before’ pictures of the setting for the violence of the following day. Our glimpse of five-star serenity now seems deeply, tragically ironic.”

Next day, he said, he and his gay partner watched with shock the story unfold from their friend’s apartment in Andheri.

“Panic was in the air. On Thursday we did not venture out of the apartment…We tried to keep our spirits up, though it was hard to do so with all the confusion reigning in the media, not to mention on the streets in Colaba,” he recalled.

“Mumbai prides itself on its resilience in the recent wake of horrendous violence, though this attack on its most famous landmark, the Taj Hotel, has shaken ordinary Mumbaikers very deeply,”’said Miller.

He said what he and his partner experienced was “the destructive side of Shiva’s dance. We have no doubt that the creative energy of the dance will prevail despite this terrible episode in India’s history.”

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