First of all, I am traumatized, but safe. Thank you all for your concern and for your mails. It's been over 24 hours, and the city is under siege. I don't really know what to say. It's been a numbing and humbling experience. Numbing because of the carnage involved. Humbling, because they have shown us how vulnerable and helpless we all are. Young men, 22 to 24 years old, killing, dying for an indeterminate cause they do not understand themselves.
Both Taj and Oberoi hotels are very close to our house in Cuffe Parade. Most importantly, Taj Mahal Hotel is to Mumbai what the twin towers were to NY. It's a symbol of what the city stands for. Grand, luxurious, beautiful, enigmatic. I sat in front of the television, watching it burn, and I wept. It broke my heart, to think of all those trapped inside. We could hear the explosions, and they shook us from within. I am not a weak person. I have lived through many terror attacks on Mumbai, but today it's different. We lost the Chief of the Anti Terrorist Squad, a brave man, who fought for all of us, till his last breath. We lost many innocent people, in the hotels, at VT station and on the streets.
The TV channels were quick in giving out the names of the two terrorists killed in the cross-firing. "Abu and Ishmail", they kept repeating. Underlining their religion. But you know what, terror does not have a religion. It's just about terror. For the first time in my life, I feel fear. When I went for a walk, I saw people staring at each passerby. What has religion got to do with it? Does death choose it's victims by religion?
I just heard another explosion, a big one. I stay right opposite the World Trade Centre. We could be the next target. Soon enough, they will find us. But you know what, I am not staying in anymore. I am going to work tomorrow. Mumbai will fight back. We all will fight back.