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Bombay at war… November 30, 2008

Posted by espritnoir in Random Thoughts....

I don’t need to express to all of you, how dark the past few days have been for Bombay, and for India in general. What seemed like the possible plot of a high action movie, came true right before our eyes. And left in its wake a sense of destruction, desolation and anguish the likes of which Bombay, and for that matter, India has not seen in recent years. Innocent lives were lost. People’s sense of security and peace have been shattered. Those of whom who had the fortune of surviving this ordeal are probably scarred for life. And, last but not the least, Bombay may have lost one of its most iconinc landmarks forever. It is undeniable that at least to many of us, me included, the majestic Taj was – i stand corrected, IS – as symbolic an image of Bombay, as the Twin Towers were to New York. All i can hope and pray for is that the Taj is also rebuilt in all its glory, just as i hope our faith and trust is as well.

But amidst all this, a few thoughts come to my mind. Like all other Bombayites, I too cheered and thanked the men in uniform for all their bravery and for putting their lives on the life, so that we could feel a little more secure about ours. The Mumbai and Maharashtra police, the National Security Guard, the marine commandos, the Army, the Navy, all those who put themselves in the path of a bullet deserve credit for their role in making our lives a little safer tonight than what it was last night. Be it outside the Taj, the Trident, Nariman House, CST station, Cama Hospital, outside the airports, railway stations, or at any crossing and signal in Bombay. I felt more safe yesterday going back home, than i felt the day Bombay was closed down due to the riots over local politicians being arrested. However, in all of this, I fear that once the initial cheering and euphoria dies out, we will soon forget their bravery. After a few Indian victories in Cricket and a few hit Bollywood movies, we run the risk of forgetting all that these men in uniform have done for us in the last few days, and we shall soon get to the point where we are brazen enough to complain that these cops take Rs. 100 everytime we break a signal and question the discounts the military gets in army canteens. I feel that we should thank these men in some way, before we forget.

A bigger worry is that we also run the risk of forgetting all that has happened in the Bombay since the 26th. We, me included, get too involved in our lives to remember that something like this ever happened in our city. Because we have seen it on the television so many times, in the news in other countries and in the movies, in my opinion we run the risk of being desensitised towards it days after it has happened. We just think “It’s something that happens inside the TV. It doesn’t affect me.” But it does, and if it doesn’t, it should before our apathy kills us. And even then if it doesn’t, I think at some level we are dead already. I think all Indians, at least those of us who call Bombay our home, need to visit “Ground Zero” and see for ourselves what has happened there. Unless we see it with our own eyes, we will never fully understand the trauma of those who lived to tell the tale, and we will never realise that today, more than ever before, we need to stand together as a city, as a nation, as one person and scream out in one voice, “WE WILL NOT LIVE OUR LIVES IN FEAR! WE ARE GOING TO MOVE AHEAD!! AND WE WILL STAND UNITED AGAINST ANY ENEMY!!!” We cannot be consumed with our petty differences anymore. We cannot put up with a North – South divide, we cannot allow our politicians to break us further based on religion, language, caste, economic status, or any other grounds. We all have said it before, and we all have heard it before, but it’s time we started acting up on this for a change. It’s time we learned NOT TO FORGET!

I am sorry for venting out my feelings out to you in this manner. I had a similar outburst in front of my family last night, and i think the after-effect of the outburst that remained with me all night, has forced me to share my views with you. I would like to propose that we, as Indians should put our money where our mouth is, and do something to thank our heros in uniform for whatever they have endured for us. In whatever way possible. Be it monetary, in kind, spiritual, time or any other way, that benefits them the most. In my limited capacity, I have proposed an idea, but I am sure it can be bettered and I would appreciate it if a thought was put into this, and a plan is worked out. But the critical thing is doing something. Now is the time to do, and not debate, and discuss.

Also, i feel that everybody must visit the three battlezones within the city – The Taj, The Trident Oberoi and Nariman House, and pay homage to those who succumbed to terrorism. I think this must be done, before these buildings are rebuilt and the blood is washed away from the streets and our collective memories. I genuinely feel that to finally understand how real the threat is to our people, our city and our nation, we must see with our own eyes and feel with our own heart, the pain, the anguish and the terror that has engulfed our city today. If we do not, once again all of us, me included, run the risk of forgetting the shocking incidents that have happened right before our eyes. I understand again that not everybody may feel the same way about this as I do. But i sincerely feel that if we forget this incident, we will forever desensitise ourselves to the most important thing that binds us today – Humanity. And we may have to think twice before we call ourselves Human Beings again.

A Concerned Citizen and a Human Being



1. Paradox Philic - December 25, 2008

Where have you disappeared??

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