Why is it that we realise the worth of this precious word only when there's lack of it?
My family and I just watched the Mumbai ordeal, glued to our television screens for two days straight. The images have engrained themselves in my mind, the heart has bled, the eyes have wept and the blood has boiled as I have watched Mumbai succumb to heartless acts of terror. Before my eyes, there was fire and pain and anxiety, and all I could do was sit transfixed in front of the television, just hoping and praying for the nightmare to come to an end. The helplessness of the whole situation was more painful than seeing any of those images before me. My country was in pain, and there was nothing I could do.
When we first heard about the attacks, panic was the initial sentiment. I called my friends and family in Mumbai, and heaved a sigh of relief after making sure they were all safe and far away from the danger zones. Then began the endless hours in front of the television screens, flipping though various news channels, trying to get news about the latest developments. A handful of beastly vermins reduced Mumbai to a warzone. After each blast, each gunshot, each erupted fire, I could feel my heart race. Each sound of a gunshot rang in my ears like my own life was in danger. With each fire, it felt like my own skin was burning. With each hand grenade blast, it seemed as if a portion of my own self was amputated and left behind somewhere, where the world was a better place.
I cannot even fathom how the people actually going through the trauma of the attacks would be feeling, if I, sitting across from a television, could go through these emotions. I cannot even bring myself to imagine what I'd go through if I was a hostage at the Oberoi or the Taj, watching dead bodies and fear everywhere. I cannot even begin to understand what mental torture it is, to lose a loved one at the hands of terror attacks. But the fact is, there have been people who've been subjected to this pain. There are people who've lost family and friends, whose lives have changed in the span of 60 hours. There are people, who never thought, that in an instant, they would never see their loved ones again. My fingers tremble even as I type this, so I can't say I understand the pain of those who have gone through it. I cannot. All I can do is, extend a hand of sheer support to them...
The news channels are now showing the funeral of the brave men who died to save our lives. Who bravely and fearlessly fought terror, so we can realise the worth of peace. It infuriates me to see brave soldiers of our armed forces lose their lives, over non-sensical terror attacks. I am angry to see a mother break down at her son's funeral. What for? Why did they have to die? Their courage is exemplary, and their reasons honorable, but why why why? It doesn't make sense. What good comes off acts of terror like this? What will change? Brave men lost their lives...but how long are we even going to remember their sacrifice?
At the end of the whole traumatic operation, the news channels have now started to talk about the reason and analyse executed plan of the terrorists. The blame game is about to begin, so is the finger pointing and the one-upmanship. The politicians, like hungry vultures, have already started taking rounds of the streets, and giving speeches and false promises. The fingers are raised, and so are the voices. They have come to scavenge of the civilians and get a few more votes in their bank. Will they remember these days and nights of terror for long? Well, only till the next elections. Will anything be done? Only till this has been forgotten? Are they going to be any more prepared? Only to face the next attack. With my deepest and more heartfelt feeling, I request them to sod off and leave us alone. We don't want games, we want life.
After 3 days, I find myself in a state of mixed feelings. Fear. Anxiety. Pride. Patriotism. Grief. Sadness. I will perhaps never forget the faces of brothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sisters, mothers...who cry at their loss. I will never forget the anger when I hear gunshots from inside the Taj, or watch a roaring fire deface the Oberoi-Trident. I will never forget the story of a newly-wed woman, who lost her husband in the attacks, and broke down on television. I will never make myself forget the sacrifice of the armed forces, who gave their lives for my safety. I will never forget the pride I felt as I watched the commandoes getting dropped off by helicopter at Nariman house. I will never forget that one of my dad's business associates, a friend, were caught in the line of fire along with his wife, and their bodies were sent home yesterday to 2 young children and an elderly father.
I salute the armed forces.
I salute the unsung heroes of this conflict.
I condole all those who lost their lives
I pray, that I never have to see this again.
Proud to be an Indian today.