Thursday, November 27, 2008

A city under ransom!

Anguish! Horror! Anger! Sadness! Impotence! Sorrow!

All these feelings and more. Once more, terror has jolted us out of our existence and made its presence felt. A miniscule group of heavily armed militants are holding a city of more than 3 million to ransom.

No one knows to what end. Television channels keep reporting about 100 people held hostage at the Taj and Trident hotels. But what about the families of those inside. What of the lakhs of Mumbaikars as also the countless Indians who are so affected by this? All of our lives are at a standstill until this issue goes to its logical conclusion.

A feeling of helplessness pervades. Numbness to how close this has been.

Last night around 8.45 pm I drove from my office in Vakola to my home in Borivli passing along the Western Express Highway. Exactly 50 minutes after I'd passed the spot, a taxi exploded with a bomb of immense proportions there. The remains if one could call them remains shown on TV were so gruesome I can only imagine the intentions of the perpetrators.

About 10 months back, my previous organzation had organized its annual sales convention on board the Superstar Libra cruiseliner. We were in total a group of 1600 in number and were to board the ship from the Green Gate at Mumbai docks. Since the boarding was to happen only at 6 pm, we were in the interim all waiting in the Grand Ballroom at the very Oberoi which since yesterday has been stormed by terrorists. Likewise the Taj has been something we've always looked upto, aspired to enter someday on our own steam, a landmark of sorts.

And now this, the unbelievable but unshakeable truth about all 3 locations.

We've spent the whole day at home glued to the TV seeing the horror unfold, hoping and praying a semblance of normalcy returns. My folks are wary about my going to work even tomorrow. What kind of lives are we leading when even our day to day life is so affected on such a regular basis.

So many lives lost, so many injured and so many affected. Will all this ever end? I don't know. I guess noone really answer this for me. All I can think of is what we can do to mitigate risks as these. Is there a permenant solution? Again I don't know, but I would surely like to know what you feel about all this.

Let's hope the brave men and women battling even as I type this emerge the victors without any further losses.