Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai : 26th November, 2008

(sunset over Mumbai on 26th November, 2008)

I am still too dazed with the horror of everything that has been happening in Mumbai since the 26th of November.
Young men, just a few years older than my teenaged son, have unleashed a crazed dance of death in many places in Mumbai. Busy railway stations, hospitals, cafes, luxury hotels ... all have been visited by these deranged men . Locals and foreign tourists, the poor as well as the super-rich... all have fallen prey to them.
I just can not comprehend how anyone can set out to murder innocent people so brutally, whether it is in the name of a cause or religion. I grieve for all the victims of these terrible attacks and their mourning families.
In the midst of all this sorrow, the bravery of the policemen, the commandos and everyone else involved in the rescue of the hostages, makes me feel so proud. To bravely go in to face danger and death while rescuing people who are total strangers, is to me the height of valour.
Just as commendable, if not more, is the bravery of the staff of the two hotels where the attacks took place. Reports are still pouring in of how the staff, most of them untrained in any kind of rescue situation, were instrumental in leading so many people to safety.
Even as I write, the siege is still going on. It is not over yet.
I hope and pray that this is the last we see of such terrible, mindless attacks but my mind tells me that this is not going to be so.
Man was supposed to be God's finest creation, wasn't he? Or is he turning into one of the fallen ones?

42 comments:

  1. brilliant capture!!!! love it!!

    good to see you and yours are safe too.

    Thank you so much for your concern and good wishes.

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  2. Sunita, we've been glued to the news channels...it's so shocking to realise how determined evil minds can go on a senseless rampage. And leaving a path of death and destruction...

    I read this morning that Shivraj Patil had warned of a possible sea-strike two years ago! We're all hoping and praying that it'll end soon. My heart goes out to the innocent victims and their families.

    Stay safe.

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  3. Hi Sunita,
    I'm glad to see you are OK and able to be on your computer. I am grieving with you for what is going on in your city. I have been reading posts on blogs from other countries and here, and know that there are a lot of people thinking about and praying for the people in Mumbai.

    You express yourself well in English. I feel lax that I can only speak English.

    Sue

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  4. Thank you, magic eye. When I clicked that photo at sunset, I had no idea of the sea of blood that Mumbai was going to see just a few hours away.
    Its just so very sad. And senseless.

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  5. Did he, Kanak? I wish he as the Union Home Minister, had also provided the means to protect our city too. Did you see how woefully under-equipped the city's police force was? With self-loading rifles and pistols against automatic AK-47s! It was just so heart-wrenching.
    What is the use of just issuing a warning and then not providing the means of protection?

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  6. Sue, thank you for your concern. These are horrifying times for Mumbai and it is good to know that we have the prayers of people all over the world.
    Sue, being multi-lingual is something that all Indians are good at. We have hundreds, if not thousands, of languages and dialects spoken all over the country. So I suppose this is something that is bred into our system :)

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  7. One of the fallen ones for sure, you see we are only human. I hope things get better, do take care.

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  8. Sorry for the sadness. You would never guess anything ugly was going on by this beautiful sky photo.

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  9. "Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace"

    Imagine-John Lennon


    I couldn't have put it better!
    We should all live in peace!!!
    Eric

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  10. Sunita...I am so glad to hear that you and your family are safe. It is heartbreaking to watch the news, my heart and prayers go out to you and your beloved country. People from all over the world are stunned by the senseless acts of a collective few. What is happening to mankind?!

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  11. Your family & you are in my prayers Sunita as well as the victims of these senseless tragedies.

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  12. Tina, we're all staying indoors even though the incidents are taking place quite a distance away from us. Call me paranoid if you want, but with reports of more terrorists hiding out in the labyrinth that is Mumbai, I'm not taking any chances.

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  13. Darla, I remember thinking that I've never seen the sun so red before and it had turned the waters almost as red. It was almost like an eerie prophecy!

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  14. Eric, that song is one of my all-time favourites! Lennon really knew how to string the words just right.
    Maybe some day it will come true. Imagine...

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  15. Thanks, Kim. Every time we think that there is going to be an end of all this violence and that better sense is prevailing, we just keep getting proved wrong. Over and over again. It's so sad.

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  16. Thanks for all your prayers, Racquel. I really appreciate it. Please keep praying... for all the injured, for the dead victims, for their grieving families, and also for Mumbai.

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  17. Sunita: What a beautiful sky in your tropical place.

    We can only hope this killing will end.

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  18. Dear Kanak
    It is too awful and we can only hope and pray that these things do not happen again. I hope that Mumbai and India itselfwill recover soon.

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  19. Sunita my prayers go out to those innocent vitims of this horrible act of terror! The world is shocked ..blessings to you stay safe. NG

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  20. It is peace in Mumbai at last.
    Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes.
    Pray for all those who lost their lives and may God give strength to their near and dear ones to bear their irreparable loss.

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  21. Fishing guy, the violence has finally ended but I think peace will be a long time coming. Thanks for the wishes, though.

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  22. Nicole, thank you for your prayers. I agree, this should not ever happen again anywhere in the world.
    - Sunita
    (I'm sure that was a little slip of the tongue but just making sure ;) Kanak is a good friend but this is not the first time I've been called by her name. Maybe its time we joined forces and started a joint blog, hmm? Kanak? )

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  23. Naturegirl, thank you for your prayers. We can definitely use it and all the positive thoughts we're getting from all over the world.

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  24. Magiceye, I would rather call it a lull in violence. I wonder when we will find peace for our city.
    This violence has done what none of the politicians and social workers could do. All over the city, I sense a feeling of unity cutting across class, caste and religion. Everyone is checking up on everyone they know even remotely. There is a feeling of devastation when we hear of someone who's become victim to these tragic events. Tales of heroism gives one fresh faith that all is not lost.
    Hope does spring eternal.

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  25. Last couple of days have been the worst i've had in my life. A few deranged boys, as you rightly put it, can hold a major international city to ransom, and it takes 750 highly trained security personnel to flush them out! it is a sorry state of affair for an 'emerging superpower'.
    The valor of the officers and the security personnel has been exceptional. They are the saving grace for a country, ruled, not by politicians, but by regionally, religiously and castewise divided tribal chieftains.
    If the irreparable loss caused to the nation can at last impart some sanity to our depraved politicians, the sacrifice will not be totally in vain...

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  26. Green thumb, I can truly understand how you feel now. All over the place and especially in the media, there is so much of disgust for those who try to fill up their votebanks by playing off one community against the other. And it doesnt help at all that we Indians are such an emotional lot!

    But like you, I'm filled with admiration for the people whom this terrible incident has revealed to be real heroes... the policemen, fire-fighters, commandos and the ordinary civilians who were caught up in this horrific tragedy.

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  27. Sunita, it suddenly occurred to me this morning that Mumbai is your city!
    I can just imagine how dazed everyone must be by the recent horrible chain of events, and am so glad to know the violence has ended.
    Your family, as well as the victims' families and everyone involved are in my prayers.
    It's beyond comprehension that anyone can be filled with such a murderous mindset. There is no reasoning with that kind of person.
    Sadly, it's true that evil will always exist in our world, but I'm convinced that good far outweighs it.
    Thank God for all those heroic men and women who showed such selfless courage.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  28. My heart goes out to all the victims and their families as well as all the people of Mumbai who had to watch all the terror unfold in their city. It is understandable that you are so stunned by what has happened. I am glad you and your family are safe and my prayers are with you and your city.

    Jan
    Always Growing

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  29. Dear Sunita my thoughts are with you. It's been such awful few days, with so much hate and terror. I'm so scared that this will escalate even more, I will pray for you. Lots of Love Tyra
    Thanks for one beautiful picture from Mumbai.

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  30. Kerri, thank you for your prayers. Mumbai can definitely use it.
    The sheer scale of planning, determination and equipment that these gunmen had is unbelievable. I wish it could have been put to work for a good cause instead of this horrible de-humanising one.

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  31. Jan, thank you so much for your prayers and good wishes.
    My nephew lost a classmate in this attack, other friends escaped being caught up in this madness by minutes ... it really makes one realise how fragile life is!

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  32. Thank you, Tyra. There has been so much of the negative going around lately, all that hate and violence, killing and anger. We have been glued to the television all these days and I cant recognise my city. The Taj hotel was such a beautiful building and the promenade outside it was one of the most peaceful, scenic ones you could see. And now...
    Yes, please do pray for Mumbai and that we dont have to witness more mindless violence like this again.

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  33. Sunita my sincere thoughts are with the people of Mumbai you and your family. Hatred is like a cancer and if not eradicated it will consume every one. Religion and Politics has brought out the the ugly side of mankind. We all can't be the same and life is much more beautiful with all our differences. Can you imagine a garden with just the same type of flowers and of the same colour? How boring and unexciting. We need more people to think like Ghandi, who inspired Martin Luther King and Mandela to preach non violence to achieve their Goal. Hatred breeds hatred so let us attempt to rid ourselves of it. Make friends with another race and learn about another culture. Try cooking foods from other lands. Ignorance is the breeding ground for hatred and prejudices. We have to make an effort or we are all lost. We must also get off our high horses and stop thinking we are superior to others. Let the joy of giving and living be real, hug a friend, a stranger, a child and a pet. This can only happen when we make the first faltering steps. Hope I haven't bored you with my rant.

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  34. I'm new here! What a great blog :) ♥ Hugs!

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  35. Helen, you're so right about religion and politics. Today there is a real sense of anger among the people of Mumbai against all those who seek to politicise such tragic events.
    Mumbai is one of those totally multi-ethnic, multi-everything cities you can ever hope to find. It's sad that things like this happen here (it shouldnt happen anywhere but it's especially sad that it happened to such a vibrant, welcoming city)

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  36. Thanks, Trying To Stay Calm. How apt that you should comment on this particular post! Do come back soon. I try to post at least once a week (and working towards more).

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  37. Although it might be over, I travel to office in fear. I heard firecrackers today but gave it a second thought. I look at people more suspiciously. I'm getting so paranoid. :(

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  39. Shaheen, I truly understand how you feel. Believe me!
    Be careful, stay safe. Dont feel embarassed about your fear or suspicion... it's natural considering all that our city has gone through these coupe of weeks! At the same time, I dont think we should change our lifestyle so much that we become unrecognisable to ourselves, right?
    Stay safe !

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  40. Richa, that sounds interesting! Thanks for the offer. I'll get in touch soon, okay?

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  41. I came to your blog because of the Water Hyacinth, and I read on because of your soul. Thank you for opening my eyes to the soul of Mumbai.

    I live in Southern California, far from you, but this whole thing reminds me of September 11 in NYC.

    We live in a time of "lust for power" gone bad.

    Beyond that, I wish to have some of those water hyacinths... That will be a challenge because I live in a hot, hot, hot desert. I also wish to grow some mushrooms........

    If you want jalepenos, I will gladly send!!

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  42. Hello my anonymous friend.
    You're so right about us living in times of lust for power gone bad. Even as we claim to be getting more civilised, I think we're getting thrown back into more barbaric times. At least they had some kind of a code of honour in place those days. Now it's a time when all that is selfish is coming to the fore. Truly tragic for mankind!
    And yes, I think this is an extension of the tragedy of Sept. 11th in NYC. Equally horrifying, equally senseless and yes, equally unifying. That is the one bright spot in this darkness. In a city which was getting divided along lines of religion and community, this tragedy has brought people together. I'm seeing it all around me.
    Ummm... I dont remember posting about water hyacinths (did I?) so I dont quite know what you're referring to. But if it brought you here, that's good enough for me :)
    You live in a desert? Wow! You must be getting to see some spectacular sunsets!

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