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Published:December 1st, 2008 10:17 EST
Mumbai Under Siege: City Held Hostage for Over 55 Hours

Mumbai Under Siege: City Held Hostage for Over 55 Hours

By Raisa Ladji

I am sure, by now, every one is well aware of the terror strikes in Mumbai. These terror attacks have become a so much of a part and parcel of our daily lives. Every morning we wake up with the news blaring about some damn attack. I haven`t directly been affected by these attacks, but this one just made me realize how it could have been me.

 

When it started, it felt like it was a skirmish between two gangs and they decided to settle scores at the Leopold Restaurant. That is when the real picture unfolded. The terrorists went about in cars randomly shooting people on the streets, around hospitals and the Taj Mahal hotel.

 

Since the renowned Taj Mahal hotel and the Hilton towers (the Oberoi) were targeted, this damn act received international mileage. Imagine the hard luck of the foreigners who lost their lives. A crowded railway station was targeted for the random shootout. Sporadic firing, panic all around, death seemed so much of an option! More than 150 innocents killed and over 300 injured.

 

I know, I can never relate to the trauma and pain the families of the deceased are going through, but I feel so helpless, just like everyone around.

 

The news readers saluted the martyrs; said Mumbai is a resilient city. It will bounce back; Mumbai will be back on track. Utter nonsense. Do we have an option but to move on? All we can do is sympathize with the dead and their families for a day or two and wait till another attack strikes!

 

It is not just India, but how long are we going to put up with this? What are the government and the intelligence for? Every time I venture out, I look back homewards hoping to return.

 

The terrorists were aged between 18 and 30. What is it that makes such young souls do this? They say they want to free the Muslims of the atrocities and pain. What atrocities? What pain? I am a Muslim myself. I don`t blame anyone; however these things have just made things more difficult for us. No one is at fault, but then every Muslim is screened more thoroughly, stopped more often. Is this what they are fighting for?

 

I feel so strongly about this. I wish I could do something more than just sympathizing with the families who`ve lost their loved ones, just about anything.

 

It`s my city today; it`s going to be in yours or your friends, just about anywhere. Something somewhere has to start. The time is not far when our existence will be so hollow that we won`t even feel the pain, these things won`t affect us anymore, because then it will just a matter of a few serial blasts, some gunshots and a few hundred deaths!!