You know that I'm basically a radio jockey (FM Rainbow) and a singer (for a band called The Works) but the moment this story broke out I just couldn't sit at home. I wanted to be in the middle of things in some way. Fate helped out when a friend from Sky News UK emailed me and asked me if I could report for them and help them out for a few days. I immediately agreed. The first day till their crew from London came in, I reported on the phone. I was on ground with the crew for the next 3 days.
I have one thing I want to say to everyone. I've noticed that our city is "Resilient" and all that. I actually think that a lot of us are too carefree and forgetful. I fear that a week from now, no one will even talk about this.
I don't know what we as citizens can do to change the system...I'm sure we can do a lot...but I can't think or suggest specific actions. But what we can and MUST do is...NOT FORGET!
DO NOT forget these last few days and DO NOT let people forget. DO NOT joke about it ever and feel happy that it didn't happen to you...because trust me guys...it DID happen to you. The fact that you didn't get a bullet in you DOES NOT mean that it didn't happen to you.
Feel sad about every person who died...and not glad that it wasn't 5000 people instead of "just" 190. Keep talking about it and being indignant till finally someone somewhere notices that we JUST won't take this lying down and does something concrete to prevent such a disaster again.
Realize also that NO area is untouchable. South-Mumbaites always thought they were the coolest people in the city (no offence intended). They thought that all the shit happens in the suburbs. Guess they were wrong eh? Shit happens and can happen everywhere. No place right now is safe if you think about it. Today it was south-Mumbai...tomorrow it could be Bandra or Mahim or Dadar or Chembur or Vashi. The randomness of the whole thing is scarier than anything else. Please DO NOT think that because you stay in the suburbs, 26-11 didn't happen to you. What happened was...the incident showed that it can happen absolutely ANYWHERE...even in the "cool" parts of Mumbai.
I love Mumbai...and I love its spirit. But don't forget what happened on 26-11 under that pretext. Forgetting something this big and "moving on" isn't the resilient Mumbai spirit. Its the callous and selfish attitude that Mumbai has a LOT more of than strength and solidarity. CARE! Don't give up...and Don't get tired of talking or hearing about this.
If we must have a quality that the world will recognize and remember...let it be doggedness, not resilience. Lets keep at the government and the powers that be...till we finally know that we are actually safe to live in this city that I know you and I love very much.
I love MUMBAI. I really do. I can't imagine being anywhere else. Lets help make it a safe and better place to live. These are my thoughts.