Ye Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan

In the voice of Mohd. Rafi from the movie C.I.D, when Johnny Walker sings, “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Jeena Yaha, Zara Hatke, Zara Bachke, Ye Hai Bombay Meri Jaan”, never did anyone realise how these words would hold a whole different meaning on Nov 26th, 2008. Or is it? Has Mumbai or Bombay as we prefer to call it, witnessed too much that it can hold in its belly all these events and still carry on and on and on? Resilience and “Spirit of Mumbai”- are these words just to solace ourselves and are now turning out to be synonyms of lack of security, lack of facilities, and lack of proper administration and trying to come in terms with it. Is the ‘chalta hai’ attitude making us into ‘jalta hai’. I am writing this from the comfort of my secured room in Southampton, England. And I wonder what my friends working back in Mumbai are feeling right now. Do they feel safe, now that the 60 hour plus tussle is over? Or is it just the beginning of a series of sleepless nights? Paranoia, Panic and the sense of fear, and then trying to come in terms with it as life moves on and we all look forward to another day, facing the rush and hustle-bustle of the busy Mumbai. Braving the danger? Don’t think so. It is bread we need to earn and hence, work to attend. But amongst all these, scores of questions bother me. Can anyone answer me? Is anybody hearing?

1. Has the involvement of the international press in broadcasting this event as a terror attack of a similar magnitude as 9-11, brought the much-needed attention of issues in India? How much is too much? Is it the death-poll that decides if the news features in the headlines or in the ‘international section’ where they also discuss ‘the new Made in China fake iPhone’. Is it because a Rabbi was killed, and a Jewish center was held hostage that the world is taking notice? Or is it because of the supposedly Britons that are involved?

2. How is the Indian coalition government going to juggle these major security issues when the left, extreme left and the opposition are juggling with it?

3. Does terrorism with no disguise, no form of covers on the face, open firing in CST, blowing up Oberoi and the Taj means it is finally time to take things seriously?

4. WTF is the ‘Spirit of Mumbai’ ?

5. What exactly is meant by condemning of attacks? Is there a difference between I condemning the attacks, and some PM doing it?

6. Mumbai has loads of ways to get into. Air, Road and Water. First up, coastal security. The terrorists sailed into Mumbai right under the nose of the Naval Command in Colaba. HOWWWW…??

7. Is security still going to be a state-level thing? Is a Delhi Bomb Blast more important than a Mumbai bomb blast, or a Guwahati Bomb Blast? Is it going to be judged by the matching egos of the Shiv Senas and the Dixits or Gandhis? Why is it still Mumbai under attack, not INDIA under attack? Is it because we have these attacks happening in different parts of the country every now and then, and we have kind of got saturated and need to categorize them now?

8. Is it too much to expect a strong ‘Leader’ as the PM, or is just not something we can ask for in a coalition government?

9. 2008 India boasts of being a rising economic power inspite of low-life corrupt politicians, inferior security systems, inadequate health management. Is our tax being spent the right way?

10. What next? Are we gonna debate over this repeatedly in News channels and publications letters to editors, and wait till the next blast to discuss something new?

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