Mumbai and Terror Attacks…

Three serial blasts have rocked Mumbai yet again forcing its inhabitants to relive the trauma which they have experienced on multiple occasions in the past.

Centuries ago, when the Portuguese had set their foot on the land of Bombay, they had called it a ilha da boa vida which translates to “the island of good life” *. They did not have the slightest idea that the very same island, which had attracted travelers from far and wide in search of a better life, would one day be trampled over by a depraved and irreparable race that would resort to any action, no matter how inhumane, to prove their might and superiority. Bombay has always been hailed for its cosmopolitanism. As hard as it might be to believe there was a time when Hindu-Muslim camaraderie was an integral part of the city’s social fabric. Now, this fabric has been torn beyond repair and all that remains are its frayed and pointed ends that prick the city time and again.

Yesterday evening as I was sitting in my living-room watching “Breaking News: Mumbai Hit By Three Bomb Blasts” being flashed on various news channels only three words escaped my mouth- “God! Not again”. Panic-stricken, I made numerous phone calls to my friends and relatives and when the news, that all of them were hale and hearty, poured in I became my usual self.

This morning I had a discussion with colleagues about the current state of affairs in our country and all of us unanimously agreed that it was indeed miserable. Each time such an incident occurs our leaders display a remarkable alacrity to“condemn” or “strongly condemn” these actions. However when it comes to strengthening our intelligence and security system they conveniently take a back seat. But who can blame them? After all, filling up one’s coffer with the nation’s hard-earned money and lodging it safely in tax havens is several orders of magnitude more important than the national security. And anyway,” security” is a term applicable to VIPs only. The hoi polloi can walk around with daggers and swords dangling above their heads. No one really cares. The frequency with which these explosion have occurred over the past few years makes me wonder if a time will come when they’ll become just commonplace events that happen once in a while. The very thought of it makes my soul shiver.

The macabre images of the dead and injured evoke nationwide pathos. Whenever I see  the picture of a one-legged man covered with blood crying in pain I feel I can empathise with him. I feel that I can understand his pain and suffering. But honestly, I know I can’t. For me and all the other people sitting safely in their homes the entire scene can be changed in one second. Whenever the picture gets too gruesome we can easily switch over to the entertainment channel or flip over to page 3 and read about the latest escapades of a Bollywood actress. But for those unlucky souls, who witnessed the incident first hand, their entire life takes a U-turn. Their physical injuries might heal in due course of time but indelible scars are left in their minds.  For those who lose their near and dear ones, no amount of monetary compensation can fill up the newly created void.

The only good that comes out of these incidents is that the faith of the masses in their strength and resilience is reaffirmed. In the past whenever Mumbai has witnessed the face of terror it has not taken more than a day to snap out of fear. The rising sun on the next day fills the people with fresh vigour and vitality which encourages them to move ahead undeterred. The local trains have the usual hustle bustle. No Mumbaikar is ever unnerved by such incidents. Perhaps that’s the reason why Mumbai is still called the city of dreams. A terrorist attack can just stop a handful of Mumbaikars from breathing. But it can never stop them from dreaming .

*  Mumbai Fables by Gyan Prakash

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21 responses to “Mumbai and Terror Attacks…”

  1. Destination Infinity says :

    There is always a monetary intent / commercial gain behind such incidents – As long as the intelligence is not going to unearth and expose that, its going to be very difficult to control such incidents. Also, a good leadership and strong law and order system is vital to prevent these incidents from happening. Imagine, it happened on the birthday of Kasab!

    Destination Infinity

  2. Bikram says :

    True what you say. People will get up next day to go about there daily work. What else can they do tjey got family to geed while our leaders make a line to be in media with there thousan strong posse. Further bringing cjaos to situation.
    Sad what happened I wish our vountry does take some solid step.

  3. Bikram says :

    True what you say. People will get up next day to go about there daily work. What else can they do they got family to feed while our leaders make a line to be in media with there thousan strong posse. Further bringing chaos to situation.
    Sad what happened I wish our country does take some solid step.
    But for that we got to get rid of our leaders

    • Chhavi says :

      Yes Bikram… Life goes on…. It has to.. But I really admire all the people who resume their day-to-day work right after such incidents take place. I’ll probably sit in my house for a few days and wait for things to calm down 😦

  4. madeleine sara says :

    It is awful what humans can do to one another. Sorry to hear that your friends and family could have been in serious danger. Glad they are well. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. kanagu says :

    I suspect there are traitors in our security forces who help this kind of activities. The day we nab them thats the day we can walk safely.

    Next morning people walk out with new resilience by still the fear will be there which is want those attacks wants to create. Panic. 😦

    • Chhavi says :

      Well, I can’t comment on our security forces but whosoever is behind such blasts needs to be tracked down fast.
      You are right is saying that the fear lingers for a long time. 😦 😦

  6. Purbaray says :

    Sadly terrorism is becoming a part of our lives – we avoid crowded markets, stay at home on festival days….Better be safe rather than sorry..

    • Chhavi says :

      Yes Purba… our nation is heading towards a disaster. I just hope that these blasts don’t become a part of our day to day life 😦

  7. Deboshree says :

    It’s a sad world Chhavi. Humans beings have been called the most dangerous of animals and indeed, what animal is scarier that one that preys on its own kind? Whenever such a trauma shakes us, I feel more and convinced of doomsday.

  8. Hariharan Valady says :

    Mumbaikars’ resilience is an amazing quality. At the same time I wonder whether terrorists and political leadership have misunderstood this- that they can tolerate anything.

  9. ajay says :

    Very sad and disturbing but what is despicable and totally unacceptable is the attitude and mindset of our politicians and lawmakers.

    The emerging leader and our future PM (I shudder to think) says his govt prevent 99% of such attacks and events like these are part of the meagre 1%. Yes right, so you have done your job well and the 1% can be excused any day.

    Another says we should be happy that the attack has happened after 31 months. Really, what a commendable achievement! Every Indian is feeling proud Mr Home Minister. Thank you.

    Some random Thackrey who thinks he owns Mumbai says as long as people from Bihar and UP are there, such attacks will keep happening. What an insight into the terror attacks! Why didn’t you ask for non-Bihar, non-UP army commandos during 2008 attacks? These kinds of people are the worst who create a divide in their own country.

    And a very famous ruling party leader who questions everyone’s integrity, who gets secret phone calls from ACPs and DCPs about fear of Hindu terror
    likened us to Pakistan!! He feels we are doing much better than Pakistan where such attacks happen every day, every week.

    How can these people get away with such statements? Why is no one taking them to task? I am seething with anger.

    • Chhavi says :

      The “we should be happy that the attack has happened after 31 months” statement is appalling, Ajay. It’s hard to believe that people have the audacity to say that right after such a disaster takes place. And the “we are doing better than Pak” statement just shows that our leaders have set the bar so low. 😦

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