Thursday, November 26, 2015

26/11 - Never the same...

Mumbai, a city, which I've visited but once or twice. Mumbai is not a city which tugs at my heart. There is something about the place, which makes me want to look for an escape. It is too crowded, too many people all the time and that does mean - all the time. I recall my shock when I saw the local train teeming with people at 1:00 am in the night!!! Instead of feeling liberated, I had felt disoriented. Mumbai - never called out to me until 26/11 connected us.

26/11 was never going to be the same ever again in my life. Each year as I wake up to family and friends wishing me a happy birthday, I am reminded of what transpired in Mumbai that day. The horror of it always come back. For me, a spectator who is affected because of the date, the horror is just a damp feeling. I think of all those people who were there and then weren't there again. And today, the same gnawing feeling is back because of Paris.

Paris - another city, different feelings. Paris of the lovely bridges, the cafes and bistros, the romance in the air, the sights and sounds, the fashionable, and the ancient....so many memories, so many feelings. And then, a lock down. With just one blow, Mumbai and Paris stand at the same place - equal now in their darkest hour.

The darkness grows
like the ink that spreads on a blank sheet
Except what the ink had power to cover
this darkness takes over asphyxiatingly slowly

You and I continue the blame
Why Paris? Why not Beirut?
Why not Mumbai?
Each one - alone in their sorrows and miseries
Each one - lost and a loser
Each one - taking one small step each day
Will that not bring Paris and Mumbai on the same step
But in sunshine...