So, are YOU afraid?

Posted: December 1, 2008 in mumbai blasts Nov 2008

Amitabh Bacchan wrote in his blog, after the Mumbai terrorist attack started, that he took his licensed revolver with him, to bed. Albeit in discomfort, but that was HIS reaction.

I cannot quite identify with his response, but perhaps as a targeted celebrity, his concerns could be different from those of common citizens.

But all of us have been afraid. Some more than others. Any of us could have been in the Taj or the Oberoi, any of us could have been at the VT station, or in the train when the earlier train blasts happened. Our loved ones could have been there. In some cases, they might already have been so.

Sends a shiver down the spine to even think about it. What if??

Yes, the fear is there.

I remember as a child, in 1971, when the war in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) was going on. And there were air sorties going above the skies of Mumbai (then, Bombay). We would have the periodic sirens going on, and we were asked to shut all lights so as to not give out the fact, looking from the sky, that this was the city of Bombay. Anti-aircraft combat was regular.

I was around 7 years old at that time. I still remember quite vividly, crouching in the balcony of our dark apartment, looking up into the sky, to see if we could spot any aircrafts. In fear as much as in curiosity. Even as my mom kept telling me to come inside the apartment, and not stay in the balcony. As if there would have been more harm done being in the balcony, should a bombing have actually happened.

But such were the reactions of fright. I was afraid then. But over time, those thoughts became fuzzy, and the larger exposure gained over the years, made me realize the folly of being afraid.

But we are afraid again.

Would I feel safe for my daughter to go to South Mumbai today? Would I worry for her if she had to? I guess so. Will I be wary of stepping into the Renaissance or the Hyatt today? I presume so. Will I worry to be at crowded places like multiplexes, airports, railway stations, malls? Again, I suppose I will (I flew from Delhi to Mumbai, on Friday evening, even while the Taj encounter was still on).

We may need to do, what we have to do. Life will not stop. But there will be new fears that we will live with now.

An Amitabh may sleep with his revolver by his side. We may just make more calls on our cells, to check on our loved ones, to let others know that we are okay. And perhaps pray some more..

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