Sunday, September 24, 2006

The world has changed...For Worst!

The date is – 2nd September 2006. I am standing outside ICICI ATM waiting for my turn. In front of me, the famous Ganpati festival is going on. There is huge crowd assembled for the evening aarti. Kids are playing near the idol of Ganpati. People look happy, the music is loud but it only adds fun to the whole scene.

Suddenly, a guard comes to where I am standing. He looks suspiciously at me. I stare back at him, wondering what’s wrong. Suddenly, he asks me pointing to a parcel near me – “is that yours”. I look at that brown unidentified parcel. Fear grips me. I look back at him and started to shake my head to say it’s not mine. Even he gets scared. He looks around trying to search for a person whom he can verify with about the parcel. Another guard comes from the bank on the other side. Both of them have a conversation among each other, trying to know who this parcel belonged to. For a second, even I get scared and all I want to do is to drop the idea of withdrawing the money and run away from there. We all have same fear in our hearts. What if it’s a Bomb!! My heart starts beating faster and I can feel the sweat on my palm. Then the person inside the ATM comes out and takes the parcel in one hand and looks around at us, wondering what is wrong. The guard realizing that it is not a bomb but the parcel belong to him start scolding him. I breathe a sigh of relief. With my heart beat returning to normal, I could hear the music in Ganpati pandal and I look up to God and ask – “What has happened to us! Some people who are fighting in the name of religion have forgotten what God preached. Where is this world going to?”

The date is – 12th July 2006. Its 3:30 in the morning. Our cab is rushing towards our home with full speed on a nearly empty road. Inside my cab there are 3 more people. I don’t know anyone of them. I have never met them. Perhaps I will never meet them again in my life but what binds us together is an urgency to reach home. All four of us are quiet and thinking about an event, which will change each and everyone of our lives life for days to come. The silence in the car is deafening but neither of us can speak anything. On the road, the business is going on as usual. The milk van is delivering the milk to the various shops. A drunk staggers on the road losing his balance and nearly escapes being run down by a van in front of us. The buildings on the either side of the road are standing tall and safe, giving an impression that our fears are baseless. Some of the lights in the flats are on, telling us that our safety is at stake and our fears are true because in some of those flats, some people won’t come back home tonight or forever.

The date is – 11th July 2006. Its 6 in the evening and it’s nearly tea time for all of us. We are laughing on a stupid joke when someone shouts – “Lets, go for tea”. We readily agree. It’s been a nice day. It wasn’t raining that much. Weather was cool. I have just joined Accenture and there wasn’t too much of work for us. We have been in training and a tea break was a thing which everyone is looking forward to. While walking along with my colleagues, I make a stupid joke and everyone started running after me. I enter the cafeteria thinking what new I should try to eat today. Looking around I realized that there is a crowd near TV. At the same moment my phone starts ringing. It is my mother. The first thing she asks me is where am I? I am little taken aback by her tone. I tell her I am in office and I am thinking what to have in snacks. She then tells me that there have been blasts in Mumbai and I suddenly look up at the TV and start walking towards it. While watching the news on the TV I tell my mom, it’s not one blast, there are two. Within few minutes the TV is full of coverage of not one, not two but 6 bomb blasts. Through the news I come to know that several blasts have taken place in the first class compartment of local trains in Mumbai. Local trains – the life line of Mumbai. I keep looking at the screen, not knowing what to say or what to do. I inform my mother that I am safe in the office and she need not worry about me. I look at the screen and tears tickle down my cheeks. Some people wont be alive to say this to their loved ones.

How can one kill an innocent while still believe in God? Which religion preaches killing of an innocent? Whether you are a Muslim or a Hindu or an American or an Indian, a life is a gift of God, how can one take it away in the name of God? Give me an answer to this then I can decide whether to believe in this or not.