Salaam Bombay!

Posted in politics, public policy, society, Terrorism by Nehaa on December 1, 2008

I began writing this on the 27th, never really got around to putting it up then, so here it is now with a few additions…

It’s just about ten pm as I sit in front of my computer wondering how to phrase the horror that has been the past 24 hours…. I’ve never quite been at a loss for words, any situation in life, but the magnitude and the sheer audacity of the act leaves me stunned… shell-shocked.. gaping….stumped; aching for those who lost, lives and loved ones… may they rest in peace… a buzzing in my head as my mind splutters what and how, coming to terms with the harsh reality that the figures in bright flashing red under BREAKING NEWS scream out- 125 dead and 326 injured (as I type this) and channels scrutinizing and analyzing the tragedy, its consequences and the need for Indians to stand together as the phoenix of Mumbai once again rises from the ashes, battles on and marches ahead

I wonder for how long we are going to keep harping on “the spirit of Mumbai”- (not denying that it is indeed admirable and the city has pulled through time and time again, every time tragedy has struck), but now it has turned into a pathetic excuse our wise men and women give to pacify and subdue angry outbursts against them and their governance.

The “spirit of Mumbai”, used so often that it has become a cliché now, and a phenomenon every Mumbaikar will agree with and relate to, even if it is at the very basic level, but to turn this into an excuse and use it as a justification for the failure of action on part of our leaders is reprehensible (and any synonyms you may want to use) to say the least.

Mumbai has proved time and time again that it is for a reason MUMBAI- vibrant, resilient and tireless. Clichés about it being “the city that never sleeps” and being “the city of dreams” are clichés for a reason- they have been used ever so often because they are true! For Mumbaikars, it is not about putting the past behind them, it is about embracing, accepting and walking through each and every disaster and calamity- (terrorism, the wrath of Nature and the hands-off approach of the politicians) to emerge as survivors on the other side.

The financial capital of the country, the nerve centre of the economy and till date the city most nations tend to think off when talking about Indian cities, Mumbai seems to be falling apart, dying a little every day- think infrastructure, and the aforementioned hands- off approach of the politicians and yet, it survives, it ADJUSTS, and as most Indians do with almost everything in this country that is even remotely connected to our administration, it COMPROMISES.

The Taj, a symbol of our prosperity and heritage attacked- caught off guard by a few young men set out to cause havoc and mayhem and we were caught with our pants down, quite literally, as dangerously armed men walk in unharmed and unquestioned and hold the city hostage for close to 60 hours…. and India is an emerging big player in world politics, you said, a country where the people have fallen prey to “extremists” or “terrorists” or “activists” time and time and time again??? TRULY A SUPERPOWER I must say, but then again I am just an 18 year old, what do I know right??? I am sure debates, on which community qualifies as a minority, whether the jawans should be allowed to use the same facilities as the officers and whether Sonia Gandhi is the de facto Prime Minister, are matters of national importance- National Security??- Schmuk!- What’s that??!!

Laudable isn’t it; that Mumbai continues to move forward? Let critics say “Well life can’t just stop, can it?”, but the fact remains that to live through what Mumbai has is no mean feat. Indeed, SALAAM BOMBAY..!


One Response

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  1. Siddhant said, on December 5, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Salaam Bombay indeed! The city of ‘marathi manoos’ and ‘bhaiyyas’ showed perseverance to every situation which tried bringing it in hot water, and this time its composition from the political(or votebank) viewpoint hybridised into unity as people got stands to be united – against terrorism, against politicians, against the quality of intelligence bureau and anything that is to the detriment of the ‘country'(and thankfully they’ve not restricted their unity to the city and the basis for determination of anything detrimental is common). The lawyers of Mumbai have also posed an example before all of us by unanimously agreeing in the bar not to represent the captured terrorists in their trial. ‘Country before profession’ – indeed the need of the hour and what better way to achieve than unity, the same simple yet obscure weapon against the biggest of problems! May the unity last long, really long!

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