So, much has been said and written about the unfathomable terror unleashed upon unsuspecting individuals across the city of Mumbai by terrorists who are as old as I am, who are perhaps as educated as I am, who certainly knew enough to adhere to fashion trends. I have tried to reason with myself and those who are glued to their television sets around me, the rationale that these young boys possess but have come up with nothing comprehensible.
The armed forces and police personnel have performed their duties remarkably in the face of adversity with the limited resources available to them. When news broke that he took three wounds in the chest despite wearing a bullet-proof vest, I was not surprised given him flimsy jacket. While our countries politicians are ensured 'Z' category security, we DO NOT have the required resources to safeguard our forces. It's no surprise that there are fewer men and women wanting to join the forces that protect when there is such disrespect for who they are and what they do.
While they have been trained for combat of this nature, the staff at the Taj Mahal Hotel and the Trident-Oberoi weren't. Yet, they managed to outdo themselves and be hospitable in an hour when they could have just been human. I read in a first person account that they spent the hours between fearing for their lives making sandwiches, providing bottled water and warm blankets. That's not the sort of service one expects would stem from training, it comes from an ingrained need to remain true to the cause of humanity even when faced with people with an abject disregard for life.
It's been nearly two days and I hope the mayhem ends soon. The places that have been attacked have been changed, the sort of change that rebuilding and refurbishing will not reverse. A couple of months ago and I was right there, at Leopolods, Oberoi, walking aimless-taking in all that Colaba has to offer.
As my heart goes out to those who survived the ordeal and those who didn't, I'm left with the empty feeling that at another time, another place, it could be me. It could be you. And, that just isn't right.