13 July, 2006

A generation 'X-ed'?

The recent blasts took me back to the time when the '93 blasts had taken place. We were in college, sitting back at the library to discuss a project, when we heard a sound- as if something large had toppled over- three times over. We realised later that these were the bombs erupting at Plaza, Shivaji Park and Worli. And since my college was in the middle, we heard them all with absolute clarity, and on our way home as we passed Shivaji Park and Dadar, we could see charred remains of what had been someone's home, another's place of income, a third's happy moment out with the family... The rest of the day was a blur trying to call people and check if everyone's safe, who needed blood, organising the same and more.
The recent chaos caused by the Shiv Sena also reminded me of the '92 Mumbai riots, as they are so called. That was a time of real terror, not so much for us as we were Hindus living in a Hindu and Christian area, but more for the close friends and all who were Muslims. And I remember each one of us praying that our colleagues and friends will be safe and we can meet them later. I remember being panic stricken especially for my rakhi brother who is a Muslim, and his family. I saw familiar places and landmarks disappearing, never to be seen again. A entire neighbourhood never being the same...a city that never had issues on who you were or where you come from, only what you can achieve, was now a city of people who were out to get blood.
Then too, as now, the surge of humanity moved forward helping each other and the spirit of Mumbai was seen again.
But now, after a decade, the terror struck again. In a harsher, colder way. And it makes me wonder, has Mumbai really moved on? Have we really got past an old wound to experience a new pain?

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