Friday, November 28, 2008

Bombay.. changed for ever!

I am a native of Bombay. Lest you point out it's called Mumbai, let me state that it will always be Bombay to me. The reasons for being so are for another post that I may put up later.
You may be aware of the recent attacks that have taken place and as of Friday 10.54 PM GMT, they are not yet completely over. This attack has changed the Bombay I have know beyond anything I can comprehend. I can sense this change, even when sitting relatively far away in Boston. You can hear the change in voices of friends and family, who I have spoken to. You can hear it in the voices of Indian reporters covering the story. You can also see it in the pictures. We have had riots, bomb blasts in trains, all over the city and the outskirts. Each time, Bombay has bounced back. But not this time, from what I have heard and seen, parts of Bombay were a ghost town on Thursday and Friday. Let me remind you this is Bombay, popularly referred to as the city that never sleeps, where the trains stop running only for a few hours between 2am and 5am. I guess what brought this about was sheer ruthlessness and macabre manner of this attack. 26 people with sub machine guns, rocket propelled grenades and hand grenades wrecking havoc on the popular places where the affluent eat, drink and stay. Yes there were attacks on the main railway station, a hospital and a targeted attack at a Jewish center. But the main focus was to attack the places where power and money hang out. As a bonus, these were also places frequented by foreigners, people coming to do business and enjoy the pleasures of Bombay.
The international angle of this attack is going to both help us and harm us for years to come. It's going to help us by garnering support from the international community against the terrorists of whichever nation. It's going to harm us, by making people think twice over of carrying out business in Bombay and in effect India. Bombay after all remains the financial capital of India. You know a change has come, when Indians themselves re-consider visiting Bombay. This is common across people who live within and outside of India. This is evident when airlines cancel flights to Bombay, yes Bombay! Not because of weather, or a war! But because of a terrorist attack.
I try to visit Bombay at least once a year, and it never fails to surprise me with changes. Newer hotels, new infrastructure, new malls and restaurants. It was always fascinating to see it change so quickly. But this time around it is going to be a different kind of change. A change that is not welcome. I travel to Bombay in 6 days, filled with sadness and frustration to a city, my city ravaged by terrorists who have succeeded in instilling grave fear that a Bombayite never knew! I leave you with some pictures [some are rather graphic] that can be seen here


M.R. 8:15 PM  

of the 5 blind men and the elephant.
The problem is intricately complex and will defy any accurate analysis. If we are able to enumerate all the problems/evils being faced by the citizens (importantly including the rural 'real' citizens)and start vigorously eliminating them we may be nearing the solution, but only very slowly.
I want to commit to paper, cohesively, the problems as I see them but when I will do it I do not know.



I am an Informatics Specialist, involved in analysis and visualization of biological and clinical data. Photography is what I do in my spare time. I live in Cambridge, MA.

This blog is the medium to showcase one photo per post from what I shoot. I will try to do post one a day!

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