October 31, 2005 | 09:58 PM
The Delhi Bomb Blasts
I was there. In Delhi, not far from the blasts. I too was shopping with my family, but fortunately for us, not in the immediate vicinity. But near enough..
Did I hear the blasts ? Perhaps, but during Diwali the sound of firecrackers dominates even the blaring horns of the traffic. And that, in Delhi, is something.
My daughter was obsessing about Pizza so I took her to a restaurant in the vicinity. And there on CNN I saw and heard about the bombs. Strange world we live in. Not more than a Kilometer or so from a Bomb and you only know about it on CNN.
And yet, I drove around Delhi that night, and you could not believe this is city was just hit by a major and deadly terrorist attack. What was this, Indian Fatalism ? Courage ? Or plain simple "oh well, as long as it did not affect me".
That night there was a major 'Chanel' fashion show in town. Everyone was going to it. It was THE 'happening' event in town. I thought they would have cancelled it. But no, it just went on.
On the way back to Mumbai the next day, the plane was full of the organizers of the show. And participants. One of them came to me and said " Shekhar, missed you there last night" And I said "Well, did not think you would have gone ahead after the bombs". He looked puzzled and went away.
Maybe he was right to be puzzeld. The shops are open almost the next day. Even those that were in line of the bombs. The people are thronging back to the markets. The festive season is back in full swings. A twinge of regret. And life goes on.
Except for those that lost loved ones. Except for the arguments. Except for the politics. Except for the blame.
And except for an extra "be careful' when your kids go the market. Knowing that the killing is so random that the 'be careful' means absoluty nothing.