I have always had bad dreams and the occasional nightmares. I don’t remember the last time when I had a dream which made me smile. I dream these bad dreams even when I sleep watching something pleasant or thinking something good.
On the night after Mumbai was attacked, fear gripped the city and me. The visuals of mayhem was what I slept with. I woke almost 5-6 times that night with nightmares of violence. I accessed the Internet on my laptop in the hope of finding some good news.
It was getting worse. At 4:00 PM, the news flashed of ATS chief being killed along with 2 other senior police officer. This was not a regular terror attack. It seems so odd to call it a “regular” terror attack.
In the past a number of bombs went off somewhere in Mumbai and many people died and many got injured. Those who were not caught in the explosions are relieved that they are not the victims of the explosions. Ministers start visiting the location surveying the blast site. They vow to take action and is out of there just as the way he/she had arrived there. They can’t be wasting time there. Its just a couple of deaths. They have a country to run.
The next day, police have cleared the area with the help of the affected organization and Mumbai’s trains would be back to normal. We would praise the Mumbai’s spirit and all that stuff.
Sometimes I wonder if the Mumbai’s spirit exists or is it the fight for survival? Do Mumbaikar really have the fighting spirit or its just that we do not have a choice. The choice I guess is between staying home scared and fighting fear to survive in the competitive world. To a large extent, I think Mumbaikars build an invisible wall among themselves. Beyond these invisible walls anything that happens, nothing affects them or they don’t want anything to affect them.
I don’t blame them. Spending hours commuting, paying the high rent/EMI, paying for the high standard of living, paying the taxes to be the highest taxpayers in the country and jostling with other Mumbaikars for basic necessities, they hardly have time to think about world, terror and politics. They have too much in their mind to wait for something good to happen. They have bigger problem which will affect them at the month end.
I am digressing here.
I got up next morning that CST was clear of terrorists. A colleague calls up to find if trains are working. Another colleague is already on his way on his two hour journey to the office. I get ready for office.
In a job like mine, I live from schedule to schedule. We in the support group can’t postpone today’s work to tomorrow. Somebody needs to be in the office to give “Support”.
As I get ready, Mom wakes up. The news channel are beaming live pictures. The reports much worse than the night. It was a full-fledge war. The newspaper vendor delivered the newspaper and the milk vendor delivered milk. The garbage man took away the garbage. It was difficult to believe that terrorist with sophisticated were fighting and killing people at the other end of the town.
As I leave home, Mom asks if I would be attending office.
I reply “Ofcourse! How long will I stay home scared?”
She nods in agreement but I know she fears and knows that anything can happen outside.
I, on the other hand walk out to find a deserted Mumbai!
To be Continued…….