Friday, November 28, 2008
The unfolding terror drama in Mumbai is truly shocking. My memories of Mumbai are personal and warm. We lived and worked there for four years. True, the commuting distances are huge and life is just too hurried and hassled for the city's teeming millions. True, one has the jostle through crowds, negotiate heavy traffic and polluted air.
Yet warm human memories remain etched in my soul. The time when I was stuck in a jam-packed local train and the rough-looking fellow commuters came to my rescue. The time when I slipped on the steep steps of the railway overbridge and strangers came forth to ask if everything was ok. My sweet elderly neighbour who let all the kids returning from school play with her cute little pooch, the memories are many. I've always loved 'Maximum City' as a vibrant place where every stranger can feel welcome. Mumbai has always been India's, and my personal city of dreams. I found the city much more disciplined and comfortable for working women compared to many other Indian cities.
I used to take my son out to Gateway of india when he was a tot. We sould browse through the Prince of Wales Museum and the Jehangir art gallery, where the ancient artefacts and miniature paintings never failed to elcii wonder from my little one. We would end the outing with a boat ride and a stroll by the Taj Hotel. We used to love those outings. the News images seem to be coming from another world.
I only hope and pray that the nighmare will end soon. We must not allow a misguided few to ruin what has been built over generations.