Wednesday, July 12, 2006

He saw his wife’s number flashing on his cell display, but ignored it. He continued switching channels on the small TV in his office. All the news channels were showing the same images of mayhem in the city; patterns of steel and blood on the railway tracks, bleeding men, women crying in relief and confusion, the police carrying bloody bags and corpses. Panic had spread like wildfire. The bombs had been powerful enough to tear apart the walls of the first-class train compartments.

He allowed himself a tiny smile. Everything had gone as per plan. A well coordinated effort that deserved credit. It was a pity that innocent people had to die. But people have to die for others to sit up and take notice. Those people hadn’t died in vain. They had died for a cause. They were heroes.

It was past two a.m. when he reached home. He tiptoed into the house so as to not wake the rest of the family. His wife had fallen asleep on the chair, anguish on her face. He should have called her back but all the phone lines were jammed, he thought defensively. He shook her gently. She woke up with a start, her eyes instantly brimming with tears. Sobs racked her body as she, unable to speak, handed over their son’s bloody school ID card.

Still in shock over yesterday’s bomb blasts in Mumbai, my heart goes out to those killed and the many others who’re injured. I hope the perpetrators get punished in some way for the atrocity. Nothing, though, can ever make up for the loss.