a couple of days late, this is the source of the letter i’ve pasted below, from a citizen of mumbai, india.
Even if you are not reading this we don’t care. Time and again you tried to disturb us and disrupt our life – killing innocent civilians by planting bombs in trains, buses and cars. You have tried hard to bring death and destruction, cause panic and fear and create communal disharmony but every time you were disgustingly unsuccessful. Do you know how we pass our life in Mumbai? How much it takes for us to earn that single rupee? If you wanted to give us a shock then we are sorry to say that you failed miserably in your ulterior motives. Better look elsewhere, not here.
We are not Hindus and Muslims or Gujaratis and Marathis or Punjabis and Bengaliies. Nor do we distinguish ourselves as owners or workers, govt. employees or private employees. WE ARE MUMBAIKERS (Bombay-ites, if you like). We will not allow you to disrupt our life like this. On the last few occasions when you struck (including the 7 deadly blasts in a single day killing over 250 people and injuring over 500 in 1993), we went to work next day in full strength. This time we cleared everything within a few hours and were back to normal – the vendors placing their next order, businessmen finalizing the next deals and the office workers rushing to catch the next train. (Yes the same train you targeted)
Fathom this: Within 3 hours of the blasts, long queues of blood donating volunteers were seen outside various hospital, where most of the injured were admitted. By 12 midnight, the hospital had to issue a notification that blood banks were full and they didn’t require any more blood. The next day, attendance at schools and office was close to 100%, trains & buses were packed to the brim, the crowds were back. The city has simply dusted itself off and moved one – perhaps with greater vigor.
We are Mumbaikers and we live like brothers in times like this. So, do not dare to threaten us with your crackers. The spirit of Mumbai is very strong and can not be harmed.
i lived in mumbai for six months. one of the train stations that was targeted was the same one i commuted to and from work on every day. six months isn’t a long time, but it was long enough to make mumbai one of the cities that i consider “home.” there is a lot i could say about stoicism and living life in the midst of tragedy, but for now i’ll let the letter speak for itself, and be proud that i was able to be a mumbaiker once, even if for a short time. (thanks to andrew for pointing me to this letter.)