Bomb Blasts et al.

Bomb blasts in Mumbai: 17 dead 131 injured, 23 serious.

I was at a parlor when the story broke. And my beautician was a Mumbaikar. She went pale when I told her what had happened. She immediately tried to call her husband, daughters and siblings living in Mumbai. But obviously phone lines were jammed. When I left the parlor about an hour later, she still hadn't been able to talk to her family.

The next day it was crazy in our office. We were trying to get witness accounts, get our facts right, update our information as new facts and figures came out. Total mayhem. The TV was blaring away in the newsroom. One reporter was standing in front of the hospital and interviewing victims' relatives. As I watched them, I realized that whenever an accident takes place or a disaster happens, we always identify it in numbers- 17 killed and 131 injured. No one really talks about 50 people who may have lost their livelihood because of the 17 people killed. No one really talks about those who are among the 131 injured, who will never be able to be the same again. These individual stories are what makes a tragedy so tragic.

One of the interviewed relatives had lost his brother who runs a shop in Zaveri Bazaar. He had just stepped out for a walk. What will happen to the shop? What will happen to the people who work in the shop? How long will it take for the shop to recover from its damages? No one knows.

Another person had lost his son who had been married only for two months. What will happen to his wife? Will she ever remarry or will she stay a widow in honor of the husband whom she hadn’t even known properly? What if she is pregnant by now? The child will never experience the warmth of a father’s love

I remember an Indian movie which told the story of a guy who earned a meager income but dreamed of sending his daughter to medical school. He worked hard to manage the fees of the good school his daughter went to. And then he gets injured. The girl quits her studies and starts working in a factory near her house. The man spends the whole day in bed, unable to do any work and being extremely frustrated at his inability. The girl then gets an offer from the factory’s owner, to go work in his factory abroad where she can earn better. Her family agrees and off she goes. From there she sends a wheelchair for her father and some money for the family. Its all hunky dory until the end of the movie when we get to know that she is actually working as a sex worker. Such a tragic yet realistic story. So many women are tricked like this by scheming people who understand their dire circumstances.

Nothing has been achieved by this bombing. Nothing has ever been achieved by any acts of terror. Yet they continue- in the name of religion, in the name of clans, in the name of countries, and in whatever possible names one can think of. When will they stop?