Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A very sad day indeed

It's close to midnight and I am still at the office. But sooner or later, I know I will get home... Unlike the 174 who have already died in the serial bomb blasts that rocked Mumbai earlier this evening.

By the time you read this I am sure the death toll will be far higher.

The television we brought to the office to watch the FIFA World Cup is beaming pictures of mangled railway compartments. And bloodied bodies.

On the roads and the railway tracks, the people of Mumbai are helping each other. The police is doing its best. The wail of ambulance sirens rushing the injured to hospitals can be heard...

My daughter is at home, asleep and oblivious. But there are other children who will wake up to find their world changed forever.

What can one say or do or promise to do in the future that will make that kind of pain go away?


  1. Its time for us to take some action.
    We can't sit and watch.

    I hv vented my feelings at my blog.


  2. hey ms bansal remember last year u blogged abt delhi dilwali blasts and i commented abt people like zakir naik who preach hatred and got away i guess i dont need to say any more inncocent people going home after work cant suffer anywaz take care of urself ms bansal

  3. "What can one say or do or promise to do in the future that will make that kind of pain go away?"


  4. i dont know what we can do to prevent this.. or if we can.. maybe the terror tentacles now run deep enough to make all resistance quite.. unprofitable.. God Bless the people affected.. and God bless the ones who did it..may they be treated the way they are treating other people.

  5. I find it very difficult to think how the people who did this can justify such actions to themselves...what had these innocent people done...its high time we stop taking these terrorist actions lying down...we should track them down and make an example of them, India should stop being a soft target.

  6. With regard to Zakir Naik, when he comes to Oman, he is viewed as a great religious leader and people flock to hear him. How blind can people get. No wonder we live in such a crazy world.

  7. Its really tuf to grasp the enormous hatred that the people who did this must be carrying.. what in thw whole wide world could justify all this..

    however i think that many "locals" would have been unwittingly played part in this.. else i find it simply impossible that such a massive operation wouldve been carried out by terrorists alone..

    and for that we might have partly our corrupt culture to blame.. someone somewhere wouldve been bribed saying that this is smuggling of electronics goods or something like that - considered relatively harmless.. just see what it landed us in..

    anyway its high time we stop cribbing over petty issues and take up the larger ones.. like terrorism.. How? well at the moment that is beyond my comprehension.. still this has set me thinking and the day i have a sensible idea i'l blog it..

    looking forward for a bright India. .Jai Bharat

  8. `The police is doing its very best.'
    May be you would like to review this. Your are looking at at them just rescue and relief operators, a minor, but again not a role they are playing to perfection.
    what about preventive measures they could have taken. Was it that they went overboard with all those raids, by the Anti-terrorists Squads, provoking a challenge on the anti nationals. I mean the ATS in Aurangabad and the city police in Nagpur police made those encounters look like a hopelessly one sided Brazil versus Bangladesh football encounter. No terorists would bare to be cut to such a sorry figure in public. They would, and they did soon, retaliate. Its not easy taking on the terrorists. That's the prob with the police. No touch of professionalism to their work. Sa--Drameybach-- (remember the Sholey dislogue). The police have proved beyound doubt -- Salim Javed are not the best story writers the country has produced. Agar khoi hai to wo hai -- khud police.

  9. I feel frustated at the way politicians react to such attacks in India "Terrorists are involved"... Yeah!! thats takes a genius to figure out. Probably people might otherwise mistake it for firecracker traders who were shipping/stocking up for Diwali.

    And our dear leaders are keen to have round table talks with terrorists in the valley... Duh!...

    more on my blog at

  10. I just came back from my friend's house ..we stayed as neighbours for 30 years.. went to same college and classes..played and fought together..yesterday night I was informed he died near Khar station in bomb blast. I just could not watch his mother crying..his wife and two daughters who were not aware what happened to him..his father who practically collapsed hearing the news.. I have never cried so much in life..only I ask one thing .Is there god in world? He always prayed , never forgot to take blessings, was good husbond and very good son. And here I am who missed the bomb train just by whisker..who never went to temple in life and never prayed.. Where is god..where?
    Whats the point in praying?

  11. Let us acknowledge the sprit of the Indian people. Even after such a tragedy, The Stock Market is up over 150 points.

  12. A sheer failure of Intelligence Beaurau to unable to track a possible bomb blast at 7 stations in mumbai!!!....Failure of police & an incumbent government..that even after catching hold of ppl with RDX on them...they did not increase the security checks at places of possible attacks...clearly proves that the govt. has not learnt a lesson from last years bomb blasts in mumbai buses at ghatkopar & parle...government has not even learnt a lesson from last years deluge i.e. 26/7...the government does not do anything...it does not learn any lessons...then why do we have such a useless governement in power????

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. Really a sad and an unfortunate day in the history of India.But,hats off to 'Mumbai Nivasis', for preventing the panic among the people which would have occured, had the people of Mumbai not acted so actively and extended their help in fighting tooth and nail with the problem.

  15. Just came across this letter,and sure its a 'salaam mumbai' act.Pasting it here,so that everyone can read it.....

    Dear Terrorist,

    Even if you are not reading this we don't care. Time and again you tried to disturb us and disrupt our life - killing innocent civilians by planting bombs in trains, buses and cars. You have tried hard to bring death and destruction, cause panic and fear and create communal disharmony but everytime you were disgustingly unsuccessful. Do you know how we pass our life in Mumbai? How much it takes for us to earn that single rupee? If you wanted to give us a shock then we are sorry to say that you failed miserably in your ulterior motives. Better look elsewere, not here.

    We are not Hindus and Muslims or Gujaratis and Marathis or Punjabis and Bengaliies. Nor do we distinguish ourselves as owners or workers, govt. employees or private employees. WE ARE MUMBAIKERS (Bombay-ites, if you like). We will not allow you to disrupt our life like this. On the last few occassions when you struck (including the 7 deadly blasts in a single day killing over 250 people and injuring 500+ in 1993), we went to work next day in full strength. This time we cleared everything within a few hours and were back to normal - the vendors placing their next order, businessmen finalizing the next deals and the office workers rushing to catch the next train. (Yes the same train you targetted)

    Fathom this: Within 3 hours of the blasts, long queues of blood donating volunteers were seen outside various hospital, where most of the injured were admitted. By 12 midnight, the hospital had to issue a notification that blood banks were full and they didn't require any more blood. The next day, attendance at schools and office was close to 100%, trains & buses were packed to the brim, the crowds were back.

    The city has simply dusted itself off and moved one - perhaps with greater vigour.

    We are Mumbaikers and we live like brothers in times like this. So, do not dare to threaten us with your crackers. The spirit of Mumbai is very strong and can not be harmed.

    Please forward this to others. U never know, by chance it may come to hands of a terrorist in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq and he can then read this message which is specially meant for him!!!

    With Love,
    From the people of Mumbai (Bombay)

  16. 7/11 is our 9/11. No longer can we rely on the govt to protect us. No longer can we hide from the responsibility by calling ourselves peaceloving, no longer can we hide under the veil of Gandhian pacifism. It's time for some real action...let the common man make the administration aware...that the visit of the diginitaries is not going to bring the dead back, nor is the paying of compensation from the strained exchequers pocket going to ease things. Force thru the point to the Govt, democratically...if not, by other means deamed necessary. India can no longer bleed to death.

  17. One Wrong thing, no bloodied bodies by the media this time... I feel that it was very good on their part and event the masses that thier was no display of dead bodies...

  18. Hi Rashmi,
    I found these posts in the rediff link -

    Post1 -
    Yesterday, I caught the fast train from Andheri to Churchgate and it reached Churchgate at 5.55 pm. At Andheri station I saw a fair man who looked like a foreigner, slightly grey-haired with a medical-rep/doctor's bag and wearing beige pants and a black coat, who got into the gents 1st class compartment. What drew my attention to the man who was about 55 years old, is that he had an expressionless face and kept looking around furtively.

    When I got off at Churchgate station, the woman who got in with the crowd into my 1st class compartment ran out again and called out to a young female Samosa/Bhel seller for her big bag which she had left with her. The Bhelwali was putting it into the 1st class compartment next to the ladies 2nd class compartment but this woman asked for the bag which she put into my 1st class compartment which was next to the gents 1st class.

    She had a long plait, was wearing a salwar kameez and was around 35 years old.

    Sheila, Andheri

    Post 2 -
    I didn't see the blast but can tell you that in Mulund at about 12 in the afternoon there was a cop who boarded the bus and was checking the luggage of passengers with what looked like a metal detector.

    Such a check does not normally happen.

    Did the police have prior intimation that there could be some trouble on Tuesday?

    Rahul, Mulund

    These are the posts from passengers who notices som suspicious activity on the fateful day of the blasts. So since yours is a very popular blog, if you can post a new entry on the suspicious activities noticed on that day which people can contribute to, may be we can help the authorities nab the perpetrators of terror.

    Thanks and Regards,

  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  20. It was 6.30 in the evening as I got down from my company bus and walked back home, thinking on what to write for my article on Zizou and his Golden F(B)all, when I heard the news – bomb blasts rip through Mumbai. Seven blasts ripped through the Western Railway line right from Borivili to Matunga. About 30 were expected dead (initial reports) and all communication lines were jammed. Just for a second, I thanked my stars that I had left Mumbai 2 months back to come back to my home town Hyderabad. But then thoughts went back to the place that I had started my career in and where I put in 2 yrs of my life.

    If one has not lived in Mumbai, one cannot imagine the extent to which the city lives in its local trains. The local train is densely populated and people just fight their way through it day in and day out through the teeming millions. Many office goers leave office late just to avoid being caught in the notorious crowds. I always felt that at the end of the day as I reached my house in Powai wading through the masses, I had successfully completed a Mission Impossible Act (without the special effects). Somehow, all this came back very strongly in my mind as I went through the various news items describing the dastardly act executed by a set of lunatics. They struck where it makes the best logistic strike at the nerve centre of the city, causing maximum damage with minimum ammunition. One shudders to think how many more would have died or been injured in the subsequent stampede that resulted.

    My heart goes out to Mumbai as it seems forsaken by almost every element under the sun. First, it witnessed the water-logging fiasco and then the Shiv Sena thugs decided to have a party at the expense of others and now this. Ofcourse, every story talks about the spirit of the Mumbaikars in handling all these events but then that’s more a case of making a virtue out of a necessity. Does Mumbai deserve all this? Nature, society, terrorists everyone’s bunny target, it seems. I suddenly feel a sense of being away from home in the midst of all this.

    Investigations would, eventually, reveal the hand of some fundamentalist group but we must be careful not to allow the situation to go out of control. Remember, the 93’ Mumbai blasts was a pre-cursor to all the riots that took place. It is imperative not to allow such a situation to develop once again. Any such violent retribution is no solution; it only widens the barricades we have built between communities. This time it's Mumbai; it could be anywhere tomorrow.........

    There’s a sense of helplessness, anguish, grief and anger as I see the news. The earlier blasts did not make me realize the extent of damage (physical and psychological) this may have created but having lived in the city now; there is a sense of outrage and grief at having one of my homes attacked so brutally. The only things I could do are to call people, mail them, perform a silent prayer and probably put down my thoughts to paper and that’s what I am doing – pouring at my anguish against the perpetuation of cruelty by the bloody terrorists. It may be taking time out of our schedules and office work but I think it’s worth it; it feels lighter now………

  21. Hey Rashmi,

    The reference you have drawn between ur daughter & other children is really touching...
    I wish everyone saw others' kids with same eyes as theirs...there wud have been little less crime in this world... :(

  22. Dear Rashmi,
    when the newpapers were filed with the shocking stories and photographs there was one news that grabbed my attention. Mr Arjun singh saying muslims may get reservation......
    Giving it a second thot I felt for last few months while the whole nation was busy thinking abt wht and who should be 'reserved' approximatley the same time these terrorist mite have hatched the plan.
    When will our politicians and teh people start focussinng on grave issues like terrorism and think of a solution instead of indulging into cheap pplitical gimmicks.

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