Friday, July 14, 2006

Edit on Mumbai blasts

Dear all,

Today's Mid-Day edit begins by saying that you don't need to be a rocketscientist to understand that the chain of events starting from theBhiwandi riots to the desecration of Meenatai's statue and what happenedas an aftermath, to the serial blasts on the trains yesterday, meanssomebody somewhere wants Mumbaikar's to spill out on the streets andgrab each other by the throats.
Incidentally, these same somebody-- the faceless outcasts that theystill 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 andmost important part of their plan: that of getting Mumbaikars to grabeach other by the throats. Mumbaikars spilled onto the streets-- in acollective show of the middle finger to those who proposed otherwise.

I know very well that you are already aware of how Mumbai stormed ontothe streets to help the injured, the stranded and soothe the injuriesthat were still gaping along its life line. There were capsules and capsules of streaming video that showed themoffering water and refreshments to people stranded on SV Road and theEastern and Western Express Highways.

There were captures of students of Sydenham and SNDT college, who campedat Churchgate station with the sole purpose of offering a bed to thosestranded at the starting node of the life line.And there was also that memorable grab of people standing patiently infront 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 bloodat all the hospitals where the injured are being treated or arerecuperating.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 travellingalong the Western Express Highway to Kandivali yesterday, between 7 inthe evening and one in the morning.

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

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

It is about the autorickshaw driver, who finally reached me home in theinteriors of Kandivali at 1 in the morning. And refused to take thenight 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 biggestblasts at 6:34 in the evening. Yet, at one o clock in the morning, thedabba was there waiting at my doorstp to be picked up. It didn't need anote. The piping hot food at such an unearthly hour said it all.

The terrorists succeeded in synchronising a series of blasts thatstopped the Mumbai lifeline for somewhere around seven hours. That wasall that they achieved on 7/11. The trains were back on track by 1:30 inthe morning and they plied all through the night.

I wonder if themasterminds will consider this before planning their next attack. Iwould urge them to-- if this reaches any one of them-- to rethink. Afterall, what did a year of planning, six months of smuggling dangerousexplosives, extensive netwroking and crores achieve at the end-- arond200 lives and just seven hours of disruption? Bus! I won't budge forthat. 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. I request whoever receives this, to forward it to as many people aspossible. At least that way, we will build an opinion against thesefaceless faces of terror

Sudip Ghosh
Deputy Editor- Medianet
Times of India, Mumbai


Blogger Dinakaran said...

This spirit is one reason why ex-Mumbaikars like me feel Mumbai is the best city in India. You have to live in Mumbai to feel the spirit.

4:52 PM  

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