Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Too Close for Comfort

Yesterday, there were 7 bomb blasts in Mumbai – all on the local trains. They were all set to go off around the same time in the first class men’s compartment on different trains. The death toll is currently 190 and rising…

This is not the first time something like this has happened. Since I moved to Mumbai in 2000, there have been other such incidents as well. But this time, it felt more real than ever before…

To start with, Jai was on the train before the one that had the bomb. He caught the train that left Churchgate at 5.40 p.m and the bomb was on the 5.44 p.m. train. In fact, he considered waiting for the next train since the 5.40 was pretty crowded but he was late for a meeting with our architect so he decided to brave the crowds anyway. That was how close it was - especially since Jai travels by the men’s first class compartment. It really made me think of the blasts as more than just another terrorist attack. It made me think of the men who died yesterday. They left home yesterday morning as if it was just another day. Families said goodbye to their fathers, brothers and sons, not knowing that this would be the last time that they would see them. And we could have been one of those families… that’s what makes these blasts seem so real to me.

My maid’s daughter still hasn’t come home. She had gone to Borivili for work yesterday and that was the last they heard of her. The chances are that she is okay since the casualties are mostly male. But she does not have a mobile phone and they have not been able to contact her. They have gone to Borivili to look for her – I hope they find her safe and sound. I tried putting myself in her shoes and it was just too scary. The thought that I might have no idea where or how Ayaan was in a situation like this is just beyond thinking about… that’s what makes these blasts seem so real to me.

We were away at the new house, but our current house is pretty close to the station. My mom and the maid actually heard the blasts. Ayaan and my mother were actually close enough to two of the blasts to hear them… that’s what makes these blasts seem so real to me.

Talena, Ranjit, Sirisha and Outsider– thanks for your concern. We are all fine (thankfully) – just a little shaken. But in true Mumbai spirit, we are not letting it get us down. The trains are up and working and Jai insisted on going by train today – he refused to be cowed down by these acts of terror. I made it to office too and the traffic on the roads was almost as jammed as it usually is. Never say die, life as usual and all of that

22 comments:

  1. *HUG* Im so glad everything is ok with you!

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  2. Glad to hear that your family is safe. Sometimes that seems like little comfort in such horrid times. We are all a little older, a lot sadder and more resilient than we think. Your husband is a brave man - it is spirit strengthening to hear his conviction to not bow down.

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  3. That's a big relief to hear from you and to know everything is OK.
    I had no idea that the blog existence would have such an impact on real life feelings.

    I feel very proud to read about the spirit of Mumbai and very glad to note that you have also replied in your normal style.
    Wish you, Jai, Ayaan and your family and near and dear ones all the very best and sincerely wish that you never have to face such events ever again

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  4. [Megha] Thanks

    [30in2005]I am not so brave though. I tried to get him to take a cab but he was pretty adamant...

    [Outsider]I know just what you mean. Before you know it, people whose blogs who read and those who read yours seems like friends and you worry about them, laugh with them and sometimes cry with them.

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  5. Rohini, really glad to hear your maids daughter has been found alive and well.

    Our self-survival instinct is so great that we think taking a cab just one day (which would be my exact same thought) will erase any future possible terror. I so know what you mean, but I also so understand what your husband means.

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  6. I usually just read your blog, but I thought now's as good as a time as any to post something. Glad to know everything's ok with you and your family. Stay strong mumbaikers!

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  7. Scary scary scary. London was hit a year ago, so I know exactly how you must feel now. Hope your maid's daughter is safe.

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  8. Here's my thought.
    Syd Barrett(Pink Floyd) died last Friday.
    Would you think the song 'Shine on you Crazy Diamond' would be apt for both him and the City of Mumbai.

    Anyway I hope the spirit keeps shining on forever.

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  9. My family was in Mumbai as well at the time, they are fine too, I got through to them last night. Jai's experience must have been scary. Anyway hope that your maid's daughter is found soon safe and unharmed.

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  10. Thanks for posting about this, so we know a little more about what's going on. I'll be thinking of/praying for your maid's daughter, too. Your mom's visiting again? That's good--I'm glad she was with Ayaan when it happened.

    How can a city come to a standstill when there are still mouths to feed and bills to pay, right? Even New York didn't shut down for long--well, parts of it did.

    Sure glad you didn't lose your internet--imagine how I'd have been freaking out if I hadn't heard back from you? On the other side of the planet, there's not much else I could have done.

    Which is a statement in itself about our modern world--if it were not for the internet, would we have ever gotten to know each other? Hmm, I think the answer is obvious.

    Wish I could give you a hug right now, I'm so relieved.

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  11. Nice to know that all of you are safe.

    I read some great stories about how the Mumbaikars helped each other in the time of need. Mumbai has a truly amazing spirit!

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  12. [30in2005] All said and done, I am pretty proud of Jai for taking the train yesterday. I know that the likelihood of the same thing happening the next day is close to zero but it’s tough to keep the irrational fear out when something like this happens.

    [Video] Thanks

    [Jay] When the London blasts happened, they were so far away and easy to forget. But now that something similar has happened so close to my home and family, it is scary. I can totally get how people in London must have felt… Anyway, the maid’s daughter has been found and she’s perfectly fine though scared out of her wits.

    [Outsider] Not being a Pink Floyd fan, I had not heard of the song. But I just checked it out (how did we ever manager before Google?) and you are right. They are pretty apt.

    [Mosilager] That must have been scary – I didn’t know your family was here. You should have mailed me and I would have contacted them for you!

    [Talena] I am truly amazed at the way the internet has brought me together with people like you who have become friends even though we’ve never actually met! Thank you for caring.

    [Ankan] Thanks

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  13. Now that I am learning more about blogs I found this

    http://mumbaihelp.blogspot.com/

    It is a site that has helped so many people at the time of the recent blasts
    A clear case where technology has been used to benefit mankind.

    On the other hand it looks like a 'freeze frame' of the time the horror happened.
    I can almost hear the anguish of people far away looking for the dear ones.

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  14. Hi Rohini,
    Actually I didn't know that they were there, I thought they were in Kerala. It was only when I got through to them later that I found out. But thanks... I'll remember that. I was worried about other friends / relatives.
    Lots of friends are in London so I was quite worried then too... luckily I heard by SMS from them that they were fine within an hour so was not worried for long.

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  15. Boiling with anger right now about all this Rohini... my first cynical post on my blog also happened. Thank God you all are well, but what of those who aren't...

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  16. [Outsider] Yes I came across that blog too. The sad thing is that this kind of anxiety gets heightened because of a breakdown of the telecom services. If there was a way to ensure that they could handle the extra traffic, a lot of this anxiety could have been avoided as people would have been able to reassure themselves by contacting their near and dear ones.

    [Ranjit] Glad everything is fine with your family and friends

    [Pearl] I know. One almost feels a little guilty at one's ability to just carry on while there are families whos lives have been changed forever and in a bad way...

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  17. I am glad to know everything is fine at your end. Glad to know too, that your maid's daughter is back home safe and sound. Must have been scary...

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  18. [Gettingthere] Thanks. It was scary.

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  19. im back!!! it is really good to be back in the blogworld and im glad youre ok...its sick what these idiots are upto...*PREVENTS HERSELF FROM GETTING TOO GRAPHIC*

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  20. [Grafx] Good to have you back too!!

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  21. Gosh yeah, that was too close for comfort. Stuff like this happens so much these days that we're almost numb to it. It's only when it hits close to home that we realise the true extent of the pain and loss. I can't even imagine the heartache of people still searching for their loved ones in the mess. Really hope your maid finds her daughter soon.

    Anyway, I'm glad that you guys are ok and not letting this get to you. Let's just hope something can be done to uproot terrorism once and for all. Sounds vague and idealistic I know, but it just has to be done somehow. I don't see how it even makes sense to claim civilian lives for personal agenda.

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  22. I completely agree. Till now, blasts were something that happened almost in a parallel universe. Now it's something that can happen in your backyard, literally. It's pretty scary...one carries on after something like this but the fear lurks. Like yesterday when my husband's plane was delayed I kept worrying till he landed and called...

    My maid found her daughter the next day. She had spent the night at a friend's and didn't have a way to contact her family with the phone networks down.

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