Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

7/11: Seven Bombs Rip Across Mumbai

Posted by Jerry on July 12, 2006

First off, I am perfectly fine right now; safely at home. We are all safe.

Just a few hours ago, during the peak of the evening rush hour in India’s economic and financial capital Mumbai, 7 bombs ripped across 7 different train stations along the western part of the city, with the first 5 bombs exploding within a span of 15 minutes.

At the time, I was at work getting ready to leave for the day, when I suddenly received a hysterical and frantic phonecall from one of my colleagues who had already left work some minutes ago. All she did was scream into the phone telling me to NOT LEAVE THE OFFICE and to make sure that others also did not leave. And that was all she said. No explanations, no reason.

Typically, I would be leaving the office not too long after she left, and I would also–like her–take the train home. This time, since I had much work left to do, I had decided to leave later than my scheduled time.

A few minutes later, I receive a call from my Dad saying that there has been a bomb-blast in one of the train stations by his workplace; he tells me to leave work immediately. Now, I get slightly worried and I announce at work that there has been a bomb blast in the city; it doesn’t seem to have much effect on my co-workers. They looked at me, then kind of nonchalantly got back to doing whatever they were doing–editing, chatting, joking around, etc.

Gradually, a few others began receiving phone calls with the same information. Now, finally, people begin to actually take notice; we begin to congregate around a couple computer screens and look up some news websites. The Indian Bureau News of CNN (CNN IBN LIVE) temporarily goes offline, presumably because of being overwhelmed with site traffic. The Internet just generally got slower. Other news sites did not have up-to-the-minute news. Then, we noticed that all landlines and cellphone lines were down; so now, we couldn’t make or receive any phone calls or text messages.

Meanwhile, my friend who had called me hysterically on the phone, had already arrived back at the office and was relaying her story to us. She apparently, was at the station at the moment of one of the blasts! She saw two coaches of a train go up in smoke after hearing a loud, thundering sound. Then, she said, there was a massive stampede of Indians running helter-skelter, screaming “Bomb! Bomb! Bomb!” It was at that time that she had made that frantic phone call.

Finally, we were all gathering in our office, not knowing for sure what was happening or the extent of this incident. Some of the people there simply considered spending the night over at work. We begin getting sporadic updates from the websites as more bombs explode across the city. Despite all of this, I notice that most people are not too distressed but are relatively calm. This has happened to Mumbai many times before, they said.

Then, one of the guys I work with–who I realized, also lives awfully close to my residence–decided to cab it home. We got two other girls who live further down the same route to come along with us, deciding that it was better and safer to get home as soon as possible.

The streets were grid-locked. Traffic was barely moving inches every few minutes. The monsoon rain also felt it opportune to pour down on us at the same time. After some hours, we reach a point where we (the male co-worker and I) had to get off the cab and just walk it home from there because vehicles weren’t being allowed beyond. Apparently, the place where we got off at was about less than half a mile away from one of the other bomb-blast locations. Mumbai Police had cordoned off the location; the street that would usually be packed with people was eerily almost empty; most shops were closed.

After reaching home safely, I finally got to see the full extent of this terrible attack. The preliminary reports say that about 160 people have died and over 300 people have been injured in the 7 bomb-blasts in the city. All the blasts happened on trains that typically carry upwards of 100,000 commuters during the peak hours. Co-incidentally, or not, today India also saw 5 serial bomb-blasts in the Kashmir region of Srinagar. Pakistani terrorists are the most suspected in these events, though nothing has yet been confirmed. 

Some power-hungry, despotic Indian politicians immediately grabbed the airwaves to declare the incompetency of the government, criticize the Intelligence community, and spin the whole issue (only in a matter of hours after these events) into political issues. One of the despotic idiots who came on the air to spout his bile was Gopinath Mude (can someone throw him in jail, please?).

It seems like India just experienced a wave of terrorist attacks. Today is India’s sad 7/11. 

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4 Responses to “7/11: Seven Bombs Rip Across Mumbai”

  1. Jason said

    Glad to hear you are okay! I got gooseubmps when I read your post, reminded me of when 9/11 happened over here, no phone services working, couldn’t get information, couldn’t get a hold of friends and family…

    I hate zealots.

    Anyway, stay safe!

  2. innommable said

    I read this with horror. I’m really glad you’re OK.

    By the way, I got 9-11 (Emergency phone number, right?)… But 7-11?????????????????????? Is this some kind of awful joke?????????

  3. Garfield said

    Hehe, she isn’t all that hysterical as you portray her to be. She is quite level-headed you know.

    So good that you reached safely and better still that you made it to work today. (Does that sound like managementspeak?)

    I see quite a touch of drama to the entire proceedings. And that is vry amusing.

    P.S: You know I actually forgot I had to talk to T. It’s only 5 minutes later I realised that oh yes, I had called for that purpose!:)

  4. john enright said

    Whew. Good news tht you’re okay.

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