I first heard about the Mumbai siege from friends over a casual conversation, not realizing the extent of the carnage. But the story truly unfolded when I saw the news on BBC and CNN.
Mumbai, was a city i visited 10 years ago. The city was special to me as it was a city that opened my eyes, to both how the opulent and the impoverish exist side by side. I still remember up to this day, the family that was cooking their dinner on the sidewalk as I walked to MacDonalds. (MacDonald's being the fast food restaurant for the well heeled in Mumbai at that time.) I passed the family again after finishing my dinner to find the same family sleeping right there, by the same sidewalk.
The Taj Mahal Hotel and The Oberoi Hotel both represented the nicest places to stay in the city. I did some shopping at The Oberoi and walked around the TMH.
Just as 9/11 happed at the World Trade center, the bombing in London, the latest siege in Mumbai happened at a place I once visited. And it left me with a lump in my throat. At the back of my mind I thought that I could easily have been there when the worst happened but thank god I'm not!
I guess these places that are targeted are iconic in the city they are in, which was why I visited them in the first place.
For now I look forward to some answers. Who did this and why?
In the meantime, I do worry sometimes. What if something happens and I am stuck at work and my DH is stuck in his office. Who will look after my child? Who will protect her and look out for her.
My dear child, some days I feel that the world is much too dangerous for you, and all I want to do is to keep you near and safe. At the same time I don't want to smother you and I want you to see and appreciate the world for its beauty and its wonderful differences.
Of course my answer to all this is travel. If only everyone gets the opportunity to travel with an open mind, to see that no matter how different we think we are, we have so many more similarities. Violence and hurt, even if it was inflicted on others, will not just cause harm on the intended but will harm everyone else as well in the long run.
The key is to recognize that the human spirit is resilient and we should not allow incidence like this trap us in our own little pigeon holes.