#SoCS Aug. 7, 2021

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “wee.” Use the word “wee” or find a word that contains it and use it in your post. Have fun!

This week something strange happened. I have no explanation for it. My cousin posted a photo of a sunflower with a goldfinch sitting on the top in our family WhatsApp group. I like sunflowers. When I looked at the photo, I remembered the sunflower fields we saw on our way to my father’s elder sister’s home. I had taken a photo of the beautiful flowers. Years ago, our daughter was learning oil painting and I asked her to paint the sunflower field. I posted all this in our WhatsApp group. My cousin was astonished that I had not noticed the beautiful bird. I looked at the photo and wondered how I had missed seeing the yellow and black coloured bird. Maybe the memories which the flower evoked did not allow me to register anything else.

I remembered this incident as I was reading an article in the newspaper about the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6th 1945. It is said none of the pilots had any real idea about the bomb’s destructive potential. They just knew they were on a historic mission, to end the war. Major Claude Eatherly piloted the weather reconnaissance airplane over Hiroshima which signalled the ‘go ahead’ to release the bomb. Prior to the bombing maybe he looked at the city as just an enemy target. He did not see anything else.  Later, the target became hundreds of thousands of people like him.  He was tormented by guilt for the role he had played in the tragedy. Later, he was declared insane by the American courts and confined to the mental hospital.

August and Second World War reminded me of an incident which occurred on the 9th of that month in Hospet in 1942. My father told me about this. My grandfather was the headmaster of the Municipal High School. The school had a very good library. That night my grandfather woke up suddenly to see a bright light from the direction of the school. He rushed to the school to see the building burning. People living nearby came running. The school well was at the other end of ground. Hundreds of people had gathered, they formed a human chain. Water was passed  from person to person to put out the fire but the library could not be saved. Later it came to light that the act of arson was part of the Quit India Movement whose goal was to kick the British rulers out of India. My father said he had never seen such a look of despair in his father’s eyes. He never forgot the picture of his school ground covered with half-burnt paper. My father said, “We do not know what the persons who burnt the books to be read by children gained from their action.  But, we students lost thousands of books which were the main source of our knowledge.’

Roberto Bolano has rightly said, ‘“People see what they want to see and what people want to see never has anything to do with the truth.”

Photo sent by my cousin.

By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. Due to the pandemic I could not go to the Home for the mentally challenged for two years. I had been going there since 2011. I have started going again. I was happy that some members remembered me :) All of them are an important part of my life. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made our lives richer.


    1. Maybe they did it because it was a government school and people involved in Quit India Movement wanted to destroy everything government. Even i cannot understand why did they burn books!!


  1. Knowledge and wisdom go hand in hand. Wisdom is implementation of knowledge. In other words wisdom cannot come without knowledge in the first place. Treasure knowledge to gain wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If you look at the wikipedia entry for Major Claude Eatherly, the section called “Later Life” it tells a very different tale:
    “No other persons involved with the bombing of Hiroshima expressed guilt in the way that Eatherly did. Enola Gay pilot and commanding officer of the 509th Composite Group, Colonel Paul Tibbets, said in his autobiography “Flight of the Enola Gay” that he couldn’t understand why Eatherly felt so guilty. While Eatherly did command the weather B-29 that scouted Hiroshima about an hour ahead of Tibbet’s B-29 (which was carrying the “Little Boy” atomic bomb), “Buck” Eatherly had already turned back for their Tinian Island base by the time the bomb was dropped. To quote Tibbets: “Actually, Major Eatherly did not take part in the attack and did not see the bomb blast that was supposed to have haunted him through many sleepless nights.”[
    I don’t think we’ll ever discover the truth about Major Eatherley.


    1. Yes, we will never know the truth. In the article there is a mention of him exchanging letters with Gunther Anders . In the article Sweeny and Tibbets were of a different kind. They dismissed him as a loose cannon. I think each person will react according to their inherent nature. The blustering kind will not be able to understand others who hurt in a different way.


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