Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Terror strikes Mumbai

Terror strikes again. This time it is a series of clinically well orchestrated blasts on Mumbai's lifeline local trains at peak hour. There is a pattern which SCREAMs global terrorism ( Delhi Akshardham and Bangalore the IT capital sometime earlier, and now the financial hub) but India remains committed to peace and hope. Even though more people will be killed in these blasts than either the NY bombings or London tube blasts, our country will never wage a war against terror . The epicenter of global terrorism is so close to our country that although tremors are common in places like Kashmir we still need events of higher Richter scale to wake us from the slumber that believes all is fine when doves and buses are exchanged.
Coming back to Mumbai. You are not a Mumbaikar unless you have clung to those iron bars in suburban trains battling hordes of passengers. ( yes this definition excludes South Bombayites). And when you see images of stations like Matunga and Mahim on news channels, it sends shivers down your spine. It just reminds of how natural a sitting duck Mumbai is. How easily the city can be attacked and thrown into disarray.
And you feel sorry for Mumbaikars. Any professional in Mumbai is 1.5-2 times more productive than an average professional in the country. In which city will you get an auto rickshaw driver returning exact change in the middle of the night? Where will you get to see sheer human dexterity at work like the guy at Status restaurant takeaway counter in Nariman Point who serves biryani at peak lunch hour. The efficiency of the dabbawalas. The value proposition of the Udipi hotels. In fact, anyone who puts in 8 hours of work after braving the commute of 2 hours is a hero. These are the people who make up Mumbai and its never say die spirit. Not the Bollywood heros whose only tribute to the city will come as an opening remark in a baritone voice about 'yeh hai Mumbai' with snapshots of Dharavi and local trains.
No other city has its psyche so shaped by its means of commutation as Mumbai. Thats why the pictures are so horrific and the experiences gut wrenching. Again like the floods of June 26, it will be Mumbaikars who will help their fellow bretheren. The authorities will come late as usual. Star News will show the same clips 50 times over with as much sensationalism that their reporters can muster. People will sing paens to the Mumbaikars resilience. In the irony that will follow, people will need the same local train desparately the next day to reach their place of work. Life will return to normal within a week. And the city will never sleep?

5 Comments:

At 6:59 PM, Blogger Parth said...

Human life is cheap. It is cheapest in India. This will be forgotten in no time, like the previous ones were.

 
At 10:21 AM, Blogger wanderer said...

Hey Jayesh.
The fact that there are people who care to think in the manner you do represents Mumbai's never sleeping.

 
At 12:27 AM, Blogger Bart said...

I too condemn this blast and wishfully hope some action is taken prevent such in future.
That apart, picking from your lines, "Any professional in Mumbai is 1.5-2 times more productive than an average professional in the country. ". That makes you an unprofessional who was in mumbai :)

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Amodini said...

India, not just Bombay is an easy, soft target. Because the politicians murmur platitudes, and we go along with the "let's be friends" charade.

 
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