Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Gripped By Terror

**** Readers please note: 'Gripped By Terror' is one long article. I have divided it into 6 sections, in 6 different blog posts. But it is to be considered as one article and read from the top most post, that is this one, to the bottom. It has been divided to make it easier for reading, and also so that you could leave comments at whichever point you feel like. Do not regard the time stamps, and do not read it from the post at 1:12 am. ****

Everything that’s in my head and heart. I’m just pouring it out, in as coherent a form as I can make it.

Gripped by terror is exactly what I was, since Wednesday, the 26th of November 2008.

Reason- Gunmen, terrorists, had opened fire at 11 locations in Mumbai, India.

Let me tell you how I came to know about it.

I had an exam on Thursday and was supposedly studying. I had fallen asleep over my books, when my phone buzzed at 10:55 pm. It was a message from a friend saying “Turn on the news.” I was a little irritated. “What turn on the TV?!” I said. But then I recalled that the last time I’d gotten a message like this.. it was from the same friend. And it was a few months back when there was a terrorist attack at the Mariott Hotel in Lahore. So I knew something bad had happened.

I switched on the telly to see pictures of the famous Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, in flames. Apparently, gunmen, terrorists, had opened fire at 11 locations in Mumbai, India.

“Its hardly news.” I replied to my friend. This was completely misleading of what was actually going on within me.

I was hooked. I could not drag my eyes away from the television. I don’t have any relatives and only one friend in Mumbai who stays far from the scene of crime. But I was glued to the TV and at 2 am in the morning, I was still watching.

It was only after several hours of watching, did I become conscious of what I was doing. Why was I so hooked? Was it because it was India? Maybe. That was when it dawned on me- this was a story like never before. This attack was completely different from anything that has taken place, not just in India, but anywhere in the world.

You know how people keep saying that terrorism is a cowardly act? In my opinion, this time it wasn’t. All the attacks we have had over the last few years, around the world, have been carried out by unknown assailants. At least no one knew who they were initially, and in a few rare cases, they were caught after tedious investigations.

All the previous major attacks we have heard of, have been hit and run. Bombs were placed and detonated from afar. Or it’s a suicide bomber who nobody expected would blow himself up, and not much could be found about the suicide bomber from his remains.

But this time, we had gunmen, directly involved in the attack. It wasn’t orchestrated from a distance. They didn’t merely send videotapes with demands. They were there. Right there. It was personal. They were conducting the whole thing themselves. And they were unmasked.

I asked my friend how he always seemed to be watching the news when something like this happens. He said that a friend’s friend of his had been shot dead. That’s how he knew.

I thought that that was the closest I know, of anybody who has been affected by terrorism. I didn’t think it could get any nearer.

I slept off some time around 3 am. When I woke up at 6, even before I opened my eyes, my hands reflexively reached for the remote. It had been about 12 hours since the crisis broke out. It was still not over.

Is this not different?

While going to school on Thursday morning though, I remembered another friend whose brother is in college in Mumbai. I asked her about it. She said he’s fine. Then she asked me something I really didn’t understand. She said, “Its happening all the way in Mumbai. Why do you care?


kartik said...

ill tel u wat disturbs me the most
these people came with RDX an explosive used to bring down buildings, AK 47's with seemingly endless ammo, grenades etc, according to me anoo they have more money to fund attacks than we do to have to protect our country, our country was not ready for this, we needed NSG's to come from Delhi there was already so much time wasted, GOD FORBID THIS STRUCTURE WASN'T MADE OF SOLID BRICK!!! they would have brought down the building, this event would turn into a catastrophe. It would have been too late

Anonymous said...


u should change the color scheme, it's tough to read red on blue

kicking.and.screaming said...

hello anonymous.
sorry about the colour scheme. ill get down to it asap. right now im a little tied up.

btw- please dont be anonymous!

Jumana said...

ya karthiks rite dey had alot of ammo dey actuali left a 8kilos of ammo outside taj if dey cld afford 2 leave tht much ammo lieing around dey had alot more inside

kartik said...

one more thing ppl plz plz plz be careful of what u post.

We can already see tons of changes hope it all works out well.
CHIDAMBARAM who handled finance is now the HOME MINISTER, VILASRAO DESHMUKH has reigned(father or comedy actor HRITESH DESHMUKH)
4 new NSG command centers are going to be set up.
U all should have seen the big fight that was today(30-11-2008)
They were discussing this topic
it got really hot at one point where one person started shouting & rebelling with violent remarks, it could have landed him into trouble and also to the person who made him angry(i don't want to take name)that's why i warm all of u plz be careful. ..try to get your hands on that video

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ kartik

i know i know! i saw the end of it. maybe its up on youtube.

i want my tv back!! i want to watch NDTV all day!

kartik said...

you should be actually cause these are really strong debates we all should be watching them

kicking.and.screaming said...

no wait.

what i saw was 'We The People.' i dint see 'Big Fight' . On We The People there was a lot of commotion. this man got up and accused Simi Garewal of being the devil herself.

they edited it out in the re run. beats me why they did.

What happened in Big Fight?
or tell me later if its too controversial.

BluE M@g!c said...

no im sorry my mistake its we the people.