A few days after we reached India, there is a series of bomb blasts in Guwahati killing 80 people, striking terror in the hearts of everybody.
Last night, terrorists land in Mumbai by boat, take out their weapons, and shoot indiscriminately at people.
My parents stay in Guwahati, have stayed there for the last 40 years, and unlikely to move.
My parents-in-law stay in Mumbai, close to Oberoi Hotel in fact, where even now the battle rages between the security forces and the terrorists who are holding people hostage.
My sister works in South Mumbai, again close to the Oberoi Hotel, she was next to Leopold Cafe an hour before the shooting started.
She takes ( used to take) the local train to her office everyday. Until the Mumbai train blasts happenned two years ago.
Are we to live with terror? Attacks are so frequent that the drill has become well rehearsed – hear news on TV, or get call or SMS from friends/family. First thought – self-preservation – are all teh people I know safe? Frantic calls go out – and the bottomless feeling in the pit of the stomach comes until everybody we know has been confirmed to be safe. A small guilty sigh of relief – and then more news on TV. So and so number of people killed etc etc – these people, since I dont know them, are now a statistic. A statistic, though, that strikes terror into our hearts, because who knows, we or our loved ones could be there in that list.
If the terrorists are aiming to strike terror into the hearts of people, then by God, they are succeeding! We are scared. So scared that I am wondering if I should have moved back at all – do I have the right to expose N to all this? As a parent, is it not my duty to ensure her safety – it was safer in the US ( ummm.. was it not??)
Or should we stand and fight? How does one fight a nameless enemy?