As I write this, most of you might be asleep. But I'm pretty sure you must have kept track of the latest news from terror struck Mumbai. Even I've been doing that continuously since I first heard the news at around 1130 PM. I remember checking the news then, when a death toll of 4 and 20 injuries was mentioned. Since then, I have been following it online regularly and not surprisingly, it has gotten worse. As of now (now being 0400 hrs on the 27th of November), a death toll of 80 along with a staggering 900 injuries is being mentioned. Amongst the dead are three of the city's top cops. Of course, the reliability of these figures may be questioned, but then the true figure can't be that far off. That, along with the large number of places attacked in such a short time period with seemingly clockwork precision, really shook me.
Somehow, all this has had a profound effect on me. It may be because of the fact that I have been continuously updating myself to the latest news available, or even because of some idle wanderings of a tired mind. Maybe I will feel better tomorrow, maybe it would sink in by then. But right now, all I have is this sense of evil foreboding. As I sit and stare at my computer screen, with a scrolling marquee telling me more and more about this horrible tragedy, I can't but help feel that nothing will be the same again. A lot has changed tonight. The very fact that I, a normally carefree teenager whose idea of a tragedy is the retirement of Adam Gilchrist; am writing all of this, instead of happily sleeping, in itself speaks a lot. 9/11 changed a lot of things, this might have a similar effect in India.
As and when you read this, you might think that I am blowing this out of proportion. There have been many terror attacks recently, why should this one stand out? You might argue that I am so shaken because it has happened in Mumbai, a city where I have spent quite some time, and that I might not have cared so much if it had taken place elsewhere. As you look back in retrospect, you might even be right. Maybe it is not that big a deal. In that case, I really hope that you are right.
It is a pity for my generation that our most impressionable and memorable years have been characterized by terrorism. I became a teenager in 2001, and soon after that 9/11 happened. Six months from today, I would no longer be a teenager. And I sincerely hope that the end of my teenage coincides with the end of terrorism.
And before I leave, my deepest condolences for those who have suffered due to this tragedy. Unfortunately, that's all I can offer.