On the 10th I laughed and got into the ladies compartment of the slow local towards Mulund. I wanted to sit with Tarun in the general compartment but he said it would be impossible to get down so I made a face and got into the ladies. The time was 6.30pm and we were at Churchgate. I passed Matunga station. Just the day before we had hurried back from Malad because the Shiv Sainiks were on a rampage at Dadar and Vikhroli. We passed the closed Inorbit mall and the relatively empty stations. But yesterday at the same time that I sat in a local and almost in the same stations that I had passed a couple of days ago 8 bombs shattered 190 lives. My first reaction, selfish though it was, was to thank God. Thank Him that it happened a day late. It was soon replaced by fear for Tarun’s safety as he had left for SantaCruz that day to catch a flight back home. The phone lines were jammed. As I sat in the common room pretending everything was fine my heart hammered wildly. Part of me was confident he must have left earlier; part of me was pushing away bad thoughts. I kept surfing for some kind of causality list. I spent a majority of my life in Delhi. One of my classmate had a bomb explosion in her family’s hotel in Paharganj and lost her uncle in it. The Diwali Karol-bagh explosion took place so close to my home. And yet nothing has been as personal as this. Because for the first time I felt the fear those families must be feeling. And believe me there is no worse hell, than not to know. My hell ended at around 11pm when Tarun was finally able to get through to me but for many others it had just begun.
I know that Mumbai has not stopped and life continues. Like the parliament attack and last years Delhi attacks this would become a date. Another date for India with terrorism. The last time I wrote about the Delhi blasts a reader had asked me what I had done and whether empty words are all I had to offer. Unfortunately that remains true to this day. Words are all I have, but those words are of concern and prayer. Because now I know.