Mumbai Blasts

I just happened to see images of the blast on NDTV and CNN-IBN and I must say, it feels really bad to see innocent people being targeted for no apparent reason.Not that a reason is required for a blast,but what is distressing and disturbing is the morbid fact that 7 blasts have ripped (8 I belive as I write this) the Local trains and has paralysed normal life in Mumbai. This is the third such incident happening within 6 months after the ones at Delhi and Bangalore. Slowly but steadily life in the Metro's is becoming dangerous and no more is this piece of news a small blurb that goes on daily at 9 pm.This Bomb Culture could easily spread to other Metros and could very well mean a lot to every one of you.

A few years back, a Bomb Blast was something you would assosiate in J and K, as frequent as rain in Cherrapunji and though you may feel sad at the bombings there,life definetely took the pain out of such news by regular bombing and shelling which made us immune to the loss of lives.Now its no more an isolated happening, and not happening only on Borders..it can happen in your street, your City ..any moment with such fiendish Relegious fanatics causing mayhem with lives.

Coming to the more recent news that I recieved, I see that all the blasts happened in the first Class compartments across the 7 blasts.When you look deeper into the photos and the mms being sent on air, the stomach churns to a catting state, where any further thoughts on the visual images of the blast conjures up ghastly images.

My Friend and Collegemate M.S.Arvind, an employee of Ramco Mumbai, just called up to say he was safe.I was heaving a sigh of releif but still, the images and the wails of numbed and tragedy stricken people presents a helpless image, as I wonder what succour would greet them in such tough times. Arvind apparently was to board the ill fated 18 24 Local train,but didnt board it as he had forgotten his pass and purse..and was left with just enough double digit cash to chug along in a bus.Arvind has been a forgetful guy from College days and its that which had probabaly miracously prevented him from boarding one of the ill fated trains from Borivalli.To come to think of it...If he had boarded, this very moment I cant shudder to think that he would be no more now. He tells me that the police have cordoned off all railway stations on the Western line and had started strict frisking and checking on the bus services,and thats how he was informed of the incident.Infact he tells me that, at a certain point while travelling in the bus,around 7 pm, his mobile phone connection went kaput,and so did it for many Mumbaikars in his bus and thats when they knew that something major had happened, and the mortifying news was broken over to them via people on the road,when the traffic came to a standstill.

The blasts seemingly occured between 6 pm and 6.30 pm at Matunga, Mahim (central Mumbai), Bandra, Khar (in north-west Mumbai), Borivili, Jogeshwari and Mira Road railway stations (in north Mumbai). I, having travelled in the Mumbai trains,know how bad the rush is to get an inch space into the trains.First Class or Second class,both are packed to capacity and the toughest proposition is to get into the train and get off it at the respective stations you would want to,simply because of the deluge of traffic.I guess its double the traffic that enters the T Nagar Railway station at 8 30, in a single compartment...and that can be extremely sticky in there and imagine the chaos when all these people are trying to break loose out of a crowded train.

The next question would be Who could have undertaken this savagery? Without thinking twice,any commoner would point fingers a little northwest from Mumbai towards the evil designs of a certain Musharraf and his ISI. The Pak government as usual , through its PR department would issue a statement saying they "condemn this barbaric act" when openly inside cities they collect money for waging a jehad in Kashmir. Agreed terrorism is the bane of our times,but there must be more robust ways to handle security loopholes in cities, than sitting on the chair and blaming Pakistan for any bombing that happens in India(though the Pakis are definetely a bunch of crazy fanatical zealots who would immolate their families to get kashmir).

Nobody knows the exact cause and would never will.This person here believes the bombings in Mumbai have a more Islamic Reason to it,which I would not fully subscribe my views to,but a more mature response from a fellow blogger(Pradeep) from the south sees a positive tone of resurgence in his article that says Mumbai is made of the indefatigable spirit of bouncing back like the phoenix and will do so united as a city, pretty much unlike Readers digest rates Mumbai like.

Pradeep Nair a Blogger in Bangalore quotes Terrorism is a virus for which no one has found a cure. Not even America's awesome military power has been able to stamp it out for ever. We don't need intelligence inputs to know that terrorist attacks could be coming. As Margaret Thatcher said after the Hilton hotel attack, "We need to be lucky always, a terrorist needs be lucky only once."Home minister Shivraj Patil says there were intelligence tipoffs. May be someone up there took those hints lightly and just slept over vital clues. If that was the case, the blame should be fixed. There is a limit to which we can blame Pakistan. We need to protect ourselves. Our intelligence gathering and security apparatus are most often found wanting, to say the least.At an individual level, we can only get philosophical and spiritual on such occasions. All one can do is to try and get back on our feet as quickly as possible and get on with our daily lives. There is nothing to gain by fretting and fuming over things over which we have little control. What we can actually do is to find a way forward, because we have to move forward.

I totally agree with him, we need to moveforward and quicly put behind the macabre of this incident and learn the lessons as the US did in terms of tackling technological loopholes to prevent terrorism.The media will label it 7/11 another set of numbers assigned rather stoically by the press tommorow and it would become another date assosiated with Mumbai...but soon it would be like a scratch on the skin like a 100 similar ones when wading through the bushes.But eventually Mumbai will walk straight,chin up as I really admire the city for the way it has responded as a united to recent acts of nature and man over the past 6 years.

The Mumbai MetBlogs team has also blogged about it here. Gaurav Sabnis, a rather well known Mumbai Blogger is updating his Blog on all the developments that is happening in Mumbai over the blasts with the exact time lines.Check it here . Gaurav notes a rather strange and stoic brand pushing done by Rajdeep Sardesai when CNN IBN aired the live reports. Check this for pushing brand patriotism over National mourning.

7:42 - Rajdeep Sardesai on CNN-IBN - "These pictures are now being beamed on all CNN networks all over the world. Indians all over the world watching CNN are now watching CNN-IBN. This is the power of CNN-IBN".

Gaurav Comments :: Yes Rajdeep, we are very proud of you. Your timing for patting yourself on the back is admirable

Incase your folks are in Mumbai and you are not able to reach to them I suggest you message to 6388, where NDTV is running a live message update service to hope that your near and dear ones see the messages to know all are safe.

Photos of the Blast (Picture Courtesy-www.Rediff.com)

Photograph of the Blast at Mahim Station

Image from Pradeep's Blog

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