A few days ago, on July 11th, 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.
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.