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13 Jul 2006

Terror, my foot!

Posted by Oblivion in General | 7:50pm

Today's Mid-Day edit begins by saying that you don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand that the chain of events starting from the Bhiwandi riots to the desecration of Meenatai's statue and what happened as an aftermath, to the serial blasts on the trains yesterday, means somebody somewhere wants Mumbaikar's to spill out on the streets and grab each other by the throats.

Incidentally, these same somebody-- the faceless outcasts that they still are-- have at least succeeded in one part of their plan. Mumbaikars have actually spilled out on to the streets.

The catch here is that they have failed to succeed in the second and most important part of their plan: that of getting Mumbaikars to grab each other by the throats. Mumbaikars spilled onto the streets-- in a collective show of the middle finger to those who proposed otherwise.

I know very well that you are already aware of how Mumbai stormed onto the streets to help the injured, the stranded and soothe the injuries that were still gaping along its life line.

There were capsules and capsules of streaming video that showed them offering water and refreshments to people stranded on SV Road and the Eastern and Western Express Highways.

There were captures of students of Sydenham and SNDT college, who camped at Churchgate station with the sole purpose of offering a bed to those stranded at the starting node of the life line.

And there was also that memorable grab of people standing patiently in front of KEM Hospital-- all in a serpentine queue, to donate blood. A result of which has been a no-shortage syndrome, when it comes to blood at all the hospitals where the injured are being treated or are recuperating.

But this is not about all that. And yet, it is about all that and more. It is about the sights I saw and the people I met with, while travelling along the Western Express Highway to Kandivali yesterday, between 7 in the evening and one in the morning.

It is about that little kid and his grandfather near Dadar, who, perhaps in the absence of anybody else in the household, took to the streets with bottles of water and packets of biscuits to contribute in whatever way possible in managing the crisis. "Uncle, you must be thirsty," the kid told me while offering the bottle. A parched me drank gratefully. And I saw in those eyes no fear. So what did those terrorists think while planting the bomb? That was at least the silent way of making one statement-- "Terror, my foot.!"

It is also about those housewives in front of a housing society near Santa Cruz, who were standing with pots of piping tea, water and God only knows what else to help those passing by. And they had this board beside them which read "Beyond Borivli, Can Stay'. I was lucky to get a cab, but there were people who were trying to make it on foot. And they needed succor. Rest. Shelter. It was raining.

It is about the autorickshaw driver, who finally reached me home in the interiors of Kandivali at 1 in the morning. And refused to take the night fare, despite being legally empowered to charge extra. "Nehi saab, aaj ki baat alag hai. Aap thik thak ghar pohuj gaye, yeh hi kafi hai," he bade me goodbye at my doorstep.

It is also about the dabbawala who provides me with my dinner everyday. His shop is near the Borivli station, where there was one of the biggest blasts at 6:34 in the evening. Yet, at one o clock in the morning, the dabba was there waiting at my doorstp to be picked up. It didn't need a note. The piping hot food at such an unearthly hour said it all.

The terrorists succeeded in synchronising a series of blasts that stopped the Mumbai lifeline for somewhere around seven hours. That was all that they achieved on 7/11. The trains were back on track by 1:30 in the morning and they plied all through the night. I wonder if the masterminds will consider this before planning their next attack. I would urge them to-- if this reaches any one of them-- to rethink. After all, what did a year of planning, six months of smuggling dangerous explosives, extensive netwroking and crores achieve at the end-- arond 200 lives and just seven hours of disruption? Bus! I won't budge for that. In the deal they united more than they dreamt to rip apart.

And by the way, I did not spot any member of the celebrated Readers' Digest survey team yesterday on the roads. Or perhaps they were there-- reconsidering their statement.

- Sudip Ghosh, Deputy Editor, Medianet, The Times of India, Mumbai

Cheers to Mumbai! Cheers, Sudip da!

Current Mood: Happy
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2 Comments | "Terror, my foot!" »

  1. By Vj

    25 Jul 2006, 7:20pm [ Reply ]

    @Amit: Understandable - nobody gives a damn. Terrorists bomb some chaps on the street and think they have upset the calm. Politicians exploit the situation to shift the blame to a third-party and borrow another term from public. Media exploit the situation to up their readership and TRPs. It's the chap on the street that is hit, and nobody indeed cares. The words 'spirit', 'tolerance', 'non-violence' etc are just nice-sounding and shallow, utterly delusional and useless. Reality is uncertain and grim, and would remain so unless the populace wakes up from deep slumber.

  2. By Amit

    24 Jul 2006, 8:34pm [ Reply ]

    Utterly thoughtless article. Go and tell this to the family who lost their breadwinners, who lost their children, husbands & fathers and ask if they agree with it. Sadly everytime this happens to mumbai, some son of a gun will either get a verbal diahorrea or pick his pen and start writing about the spirit of mumbai. The inaction of government, intelligence and stupidity of immature media is masked by the mumbaikar spirit. Some journo, well fed with 5 star meals and in air conditioned comforts of studio will debate the affect of this attack and conclude that it did nothing to dampen the spirit of mumbai amidst applause from scores of cowards participating and viewing from home with whiskey and beer in their hands. People lost lives, their families are at crossroads, people seriously injured with loss of limbs, eyesight, hearing- you go and tell them about spirit of mumbai.

    Do these middle & working class people have an alternative? Can they choose to stay at home, quit job and move out of mumbai? They can't.They have to put a brave face and carry on with reality of life, knowing fully well that this ugly face of terror might be waiting at the next railway station or bus or street.

    Ask Mr Sudip Ghosh if he would be raving about this spirit if his son, daughter or wife was caught in this and ripped to pieces. We need to set our own house in order first. Our politics of opportunism is taking this country to brink of disaster. I liked one thing that was said by a commoner- it took Indira Gandhi's life to wipe out sikh terrorism, it took Rajiv's life to weaken & rid LTTE in india and probably we need some another bastard politician to be ripped to pieces before we end this current wave of terrorism. But as long as only common man is hit, all the inaction and stupidity of our govt machinery will be cloaked under mask of the Mumbaikar spirit. The mumbaikar needs to understand this and use this spirit to rid the impotents ruling this nation before this great spirit of theirs becomes history. We need to boil our frozen blood, something like the French revolution to get India on track. We have become nation of cowards, singing patriotics songs and complaining to UN about the problems around us. Kill these terrorists, everything will automatically fall in right place. Catch a terrorist and shoot him in public, shredd him to pieces- no trial, no courts. Only then this spirit would have achieved something meaningful. We must know that nobody is interested in solving our problems, we have to do it ourselves.

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