I was at JKD’s place. A visit long pending – she had fallen down a month ago. hurt her knee very badly. Ended up getting operated.
We were generally chatting and catching up on films, life and other things when the call came.Blasts in Mumbai – 3 of them. Turned on TV. some people – ‘journalists’ screaming and yelling. the anchors sounding gleeful (switched 3 channels – same behaviour). eye witnesses played in a loop. by the third time JKD was able to perfectly deliver an eye witnesses’ lines. And then she (JKD) asked an important question – why are they not telling us exactly where the blasts happened instead of this crap. Where in Dadar, Where in Jhaveri Bazaar. Where ??
Drivng home from Andheri West to East – there was a quiet calm on the roads. The 8 pm traffic is usually heavy and noisy. Today it was neither. The rains had kept many people away from work. The blasts either kept them at work or they were stranded en route to the suburbs. People followed signals. didn’t flash their high beams. didn’t honk incessantly – there was Nakabandi – but it was smooth and well organised..
Roadworks at Juhu Gully – the red flashed on the panels was almost symbolic
While at a signal before Juhu Gully meets SV road – i was waiting by the side of the new East to West flyover project. A thought flashed in my mind – what if the bombs were here ? And then another flashed equally rapidly – what could you do if there was?
A thought here – the Mumbai police has kept most of safe this last three years. I wonder how many terror threats they foiled. They failed on this one. People died.
If we live in a society that is fairly open and mostly free – there is a price to be paid – because there will always be people who want to break your resilience and your spirit through violence. And just because you are a system like China doesn’t mean there isn’t violence. There has to be more vigilance. Better laws – and better monitoring. And there will always be that tussle between security and liberty.
Can systems be better – yes. Can they be fool proof . No. Because the terrorists have an advantage that the System doesn’t – they can kill innocents without a twinge of conscience. Their cause means more than lives. the thing also to remember is that when we keep comparing our systems and response to 9/11 – we forget one thing about them. People came together, political opponents came together and the Nation united in the face of terror. We behave the way we have always behaved through history – seeing tragedy as an opportunity to score points…
Must admit – however much my anger is at the blasts – the system that was so very wobbly post 26/11 swung into place. The cops were putting out information. The
vultures journalists from TV channels were kept out. The politicians seemed more or less mature. There seemed to be centre state co-ordination. The HM flew out a few hours before the channels reported it. NSG was on its way at 8. And, twitterati swung into action – the #here2help & #mumbaibblasts hashtags helped. There were, of course, rumours. But, they were quickly dispelled.
There will of course be questions to asked and answered. But for today – apart from some random spouting there seems to be unity.
There were of course those who were spewing vitriol. But, then they always do.