Mumbai… 27-Nov-2008

It has been a long night, with lots of checking on whether friends, relatives, colleagues, are safe. And checking the news over and over again for that incremental piece of information. Lots of emotions as the night crawled by. 87 people dead (so far – and how many families die as a result of that?) and several hundreds injured, some fatally so. 11 cops go down in the encounter. Its 9AM now. The traffic is sparse. Mumbai is not yet back on the roads. I am going to be working from home. The chief of ATS is dead (aren’t the india police chiefs always standing behind a few others who take the bullets on their behalf). Guests at Taj and Oberoi (many tourists and high flying corporates) would have experienced fear like never before. I just hope they dont  have to face it ever again. The violence has 2 associated words this time – indiscriminate and terrorism. I think I understand the second one. Its been there in our lives for a while now. We suck at eliminating the fear from our lives. We are humanitarians. We can’t kill people. We can watch people getting killed. Indiscriminate – terrorism is always indiscriminate, isnt it? When you plant a bomb, are you sure only hindus or only muslims will get killed? no children will be killed?  what does someone mean by discriminating terrorism?

latest – 3 terrorists shot. 5 tourists hostage (brazilians).

When I wake up tomorrow, will I feel safe? I had plans of being in South Bombay later this week. Will I feel safe? When I park my car, will I look around at all the other cars and people with suspicion? When I walk into the lobby of an elite upmarket restaurant, will I look around for guns, AK47s, grenades and magazines? If there are no more terrorist attacks in the next 15 days, will I still keep looking for guns? Or, will I forget everything and move on? Will someone be talking about how Mumbai bounced back within a week? Will people forget the 87 who died? Will we all forget that we haven’t bounced back…. that we have just moved on.. like ungrateful bastards… because we did not have a choice? because we never asked for a choice? because we don’t even know what our choices are?

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About Amit
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

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