Sad Situation

I was roused from my afternoon slumber yesterday when hubby called to inform me that three blasts have taken place in Mumbai. Frantic calls to family and friends followed. We heaved a sigh of relief when everyone back home was safe and accounted for.

This is the second time in the last four years of my marriage that I am out of India and these terror attacks took place and on these both occasions we talked to family, they said, they were glad, happy in fact that we were out of Mumbai. Yesterday, my FIL told me to continue our stay here in Edinburgh for as long as possible. That was his conclusion. This is what it has come to. It’s better if you are an NRI.

Later last evening we took sonny out in the gardens for his play and to buy some groceries. He is reluctant to sit in the pram now and is quite happy to walk. We don’t have to grab him by the arm, or keep a watch on him from fear of someone kidnapping him or him getting lost in the crowd. Here he is free to walk, stroll, run as he pleases, in the garden and even on the footpath. Could this ever be possible in Mumbai now?

Later when I spoke with my dad, he said that this one is comparatively better than the train blasts which took more lives! At least the death toll is less. As if that makes this attack okay somehow. We have adjusted to such low standards of security. We have so less expectations.

Who is affected and who does really care? The families of the dead ones are so grieved with the deaths, they don’t have the strength to lash out and blame the government, the families of those who are injured are busy taking care of them and worried about their health. When my dad was injured in the 1993 blasts, we were more worried about his health than questioning the government. And then there are those who are well and come out unharmed from these attacks, like us. We are relieved that we are safe, our families and friends are safe. We watch the news, blog, comment, express anger and frustration – but in the end we are just bystanders, helplessly watching the dismal conditions around us. Next day, we get up, get ready, go to offices – of course we have to meet the project deadlines. We have to earn our bread and butter after all.

We are in a loop. Terror strikes, people respond in anger. Blame government, media, politicians, our hopeless situation. Few days pass, anger subsides, people get sucked back into their lives problems, attacks are pushed at the back of our minds, we continue with life until the next strike comes. There is no solution.

The common man’s life is of no importance in Mumbai and in India. You have no job security if you stay back home scared from these attacks. Here in Edinburgh, when it snowed last year for an entire week and the roads were covered in knee-deep hardened snow, people were advised not to leave their houses unless necessary and that didn’t include offices and work. Schools were closed, holidays declared and offices were shut down early in the coming days. That is the level of safety precautions that this government took due to a week of heavy snowfall. And we Mumbaikars are back in offices and kids in school on the very next day of such deadly attacks. Have terror strikes and blasts become a way of life in Mumbai?

It’s a very sad situation.


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