A Barbaric Wake Up Call

The terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which ordeal is not over even as I write, is, in my opinion a rude and dastardly wake up call. For Mumbai. For Bombay. That we are world citizens.

The world has changed from even what I knew of it, let alone my elders and their reminiscing. Terrorism is such an integral part of our world sense, it nearly seems normal now. Its happening everywhere. Right, wrong, justified, desperate, its happening. Little children know what it means. I cant recollect perfectly, but I’m sure I didn’t learn the word terrorism till my 8th standard when the babri masjid was demolished and the riots followed. But then too, the word floated on the air like a stray feather never really resting. Slowly and steadily though the paradigms of protest and rebellion changed and morphed into what we know now as terrorism. All this happened and we watched our television screens not really bothered as much about the people dying at the Gaza Strip, Rwanda, and everywhere else in the world actually. We were more concerned about the soaps we were missing because we had to watch the news so as to look updated in our social circles (we didn’t have tata sky plus then).

India experienced bomb blasts, time and again. Now more and more ‘again’. That’s a horrible thing to happen. But it happened and ended swiftly. Only to eventually stay in the memories of those who bore the brunt, directly or indirectly. No faces of Satan, no building of a story. Last night and today are different.

It is a rude reminder to us that we are now more a city of the world than ever before and we will never be able to go back. We panicked as the stories and the rumours built. Walked till we found a cabbie who was thankfully still plying the roads at 11 p.m. in the turmoil. God bless him! We sat through the night as we witnessed hostage situations at this level for the first time. As I messaged everyone I knew to ask if they were ok and offered my home as a respite from the madness I realised the horror of terrorism was too close to home. It had invaded our collective personal space as the Taj Mahal Hotel burned. A lot of the world lives like this it seems. Now Mumbai too will live like this. My friend Sahil, who stays close to the Taj Mahal Hotel, “heard the AKs go rat a tat a tat”. He will never forget the sound though I’m sure he’d have been happy to live with the sound on tv only and not 2 blocks from home.

A girl friend who camped at my place was emotional and melodramatic through the night. I wasn’t. I wondered why. But my first waking scene was of the Taj Mahal Hotel burning. It broke my heart and I realised I was numb. I couldn’t believe this. It was all so unfamiliar, but in places as familiar as the back of my hand. Not even a trip to the agiary helped. Guess God was already too busy trying to help to actually turn and listen while I asked him to go help. I love my home and helplessly watching as some men (young, some of them, as the photos show) with warped goals riddle us with bullets and puncture our relatively safe cocoon is a nightmare that will probably linger.

Nevertheless, life will go on. As I’ve said earlier, human nature doesn’t allow complacency. There’s a phoenix in each and everyone of us and we all rise and walk on. But the scars of these last 20 odd hours will always bring a vacant look to our eyes and a cringe on our faces. We will never be the same again.

Mumbaiites are now world citizens. Welcome to the jungle!

5 Comments so far

  1. Updates on Mumbai Terror Attacks | DesiPundit (pingback) on November 28th, 2008 @ 5:31 am

    […] at Mumbai Metblogs is saddened that this attack is “a rude reminder to us that we are now more a city of the world than ever before and we […]

  2. Metblogs Mumbai on high alert | Kuala Lumpur Metblogs (pingback) on November 28th, 2008 @ 8:23 pm

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  3. somrajc on November 29th, 2008 @ 11:58 pm

    Hi Friends, saw your reaction and posts in this website, and it’s really pleasant to see that we youth are getting aware and awake of the incidents going on in our country. The only difference why we Indians have to suffer every time is because of people like us, we are the youth – but when the country needs us, we sit back at home and keep posting blogs and think ourselves to be a nation fighter. Some of us reacts by liting fire on the roads and pin pointing the Ministers and Leaders of our country. But, Friends have we ever thought that the steps we are taking, whether it is helping us anywhere or just going in veins???? When will we think in a proper direction??? We are the one who should be fighting with the crime and terrorism to keep our country safe…. If 1 just 1 Indian from the entire states , cities and villages contribute our live to the Indian Army, can you realise what actually the Indian Army would be???? It’s very easy to sit back at home and pass out grievances and suggestions, but actually it just takes one step ahead of our courage to protect our country. WAKE UP INDIANS WE HAVE TO CONTRIBUTE OUR LIVES TO OUR COUNTRY, WE HAVE TO FIGHT AGAINST THE TERRORRISM, ASK THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT TO COUNT ON US AND WIDEN THE ARMS OF INDIAN ARMY…. MAKE YOURSELVES RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH.

  4. nakul on November 30th, 2008 @ 10:42 am

    Mehernaaz as I read your post, I tried to reflect on the deep pain, sorrow and anguish that you have so communicated so poignantly. I know this will sound funny but I hope that the nightmare lingers on for the rest of us as I am sure it will do for you. In a few months, all of this will be consigned to dispassionate and objective analysis (I use these terms in a pejorative sense) and we will carry on with our careers, our love lives and our parties. We will carry on but it will not be a resilient carry on…it will be one which involves forgetting the deep seated malaise of our current reality. Today and perhaps for the first time really I realized that my country needs me far more than I have been willing to give. It struck me that this idea, this astonishing and astounding civilization we call India is wounded and not enough of us tend to it, nurture it and dare I say give a damn about it. No, the only way to minimize the risk of re-occurrence of this tragedy is to keep this pain and sorrow fresh in our minds and most importantly act on it positively. Only in the lingering nightmare will we find our way out..So lets not get up from this bad dream just as yet.

  5. zindadil on December 17th, 2008 @ 4:46 am

    One must know the intent of these terrorists.
    This was the handy work of people within India and this time it was to get rid of the three Valiant police Officers.
    It so happens that the Pragya Malegaon blast case was on the verge of being solved and with this a good number of people from the Military Loyal to RSS(as the RSS has infiltrated the Military ranks) and Local Shiv Sena (i have my doybts on them, but then again, who knows?), the BJP (Pragya belongs to this group) and disgruntled police officers loyal to the BJP, RSS, Sangh Parivar, and Bajrang Dal would have been exposed and locked up. Hence the Military and the Opposition with the aid of the local police collaborated and created a mayhem. A diversion to take the attention off of the Pragya case.
    How could three top notch high ranking police officers who were involved in the Pragya investigations got killed right away. Where was the back up, was the back up itself the killers. A post mortem would have had established that but instead they hurried the last burial faster than expected.
    Modi the Hitler comes to offer condolences and prize money, which the families of the sacrificed police officers refused. The families know who the real killers are and some day they will open up to the press.
    These Great police officers had received death threats and what a scene to make it look like a terrorist ploy.
    Politics are dirty and the Romans, the Greeks, the Caliphate, the Americans and all played it well. One dosent come to live for over hundred years and in such a short life span, one does things we cant even imagine. What a world and what a fraud.
    My heart goes out to the ones who laid their life to serve justice. they will be remembered amongst the people who like a just society.
    The killers looked like they were a bunch of people trained to get them out as at their age they have no sense of what life is. They could be trained to commit suicide attacks as many out there from different faiths.
    They disguised it to look like a LET attack. They did it good, but there are people who are questioning this and some day the truth will come out. But it will be late as Prgaya will roam free and undisguised as it will be the BJP ruling from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

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