This is hard for me to write about, because I wasn't there. I was in the area two-hours before they struck, but I wasn't there when it happened.
I was just one among the millions of mute spectators, who witnessed every bit of it on the TV news channels. Never there.
Many call it a "slap" on the face of Indian intelligence / security services, or "attack on the economy and democracy", or use the usual words: "heinous", "disgraceful", and of course, "shocking".
Politicians fly down with their Z-Security bandobast and declare relief packages for the victims' families. Blame the ruling party. Politicians fly in and fly out, alone, not together. Politics.
I choose to say nothing. I cannot say anything now. Except that we've failed, as a nation, as individuals, as humans.
I commute to work via the Mumbai Western Line local to Churchgate 6 days a week (just started this process 10 days back). I see thousands of people (aam-aadmi) risking their lives, hanging out of train carriages, jumping rail tracks to catch the arriving train, rushing in and out of stations to catch the next local, and even climbing onto the top of the train carriage (Virar Fast Local, especially) to avoid the crowd below.
Risking their lives, for trivialities.
Imagine, everyday, millions of us risk our lives in some way or the other. Break rules. Defy someone. Just to get what we want: reach work/school/college/movie theater early, not to keep our better half waiting, to catch the stock market's opening bell, etc etc etc.
But never do we ever stop and take the risk of speaking up, standing up, shouting, staying mute in defiance. It is hardly any risk compared to what we do subconsciously everyday! When will we ever learn?
Its sad to say, that the terrorists are/were more motivated than anyone (aam-aadmi again) else (barring the NSG and Army, to whom my heart goes out).
I would be going to the Gateway of India, at Colaba--just opposite the Taj on 3-Dec-2008 (evening most probably). I don't know what's going to take place there, I was just inspired by an SMS sent to me by a friend. Whatever happens, it would not be an one-off thing this time around.
I hope to see you there.