India's two top metropolis both under siege, one by terrorists and the other by nature. Chennai (actually the whole of TN state) is drowning in water, while Mumbai in bullets, bombs and blood as death toll rises in both places
Mumbai: While the city was under siege with 100s of lives lost and an even greater number injured, two things were reassuring. The absolute courage, dedication and sheer grit shown by the Indian armed forces, from the firemen, police, army , navy upto the NSG and MarCos and the extemely responsible media coverage spanning the whole terror strike (I would have to specially mention Arnab Goswami and his team at Times Now for a job well done).
The Nariman house tragedy saw a two year old israeli boy orphaned on his birthday, while he was saved by his nanny. A man who came to the VT station to put his family of 6 into the train, went out to get them water and came back to see them all dead. The newspaper is full of horror stories of the survivors and the dead. The terrorists causing this carnage are said to be all in their early twenties. (I don't understand why I am surprised everytime, by the human ability to destroy brutally and ruthlessly)
The one thing that irritated me and the nation to the core was the political game playing that was played by the bureaucrats. One idiot politician actually came to the Nariman House while the terror situation was still on, and contributed his part in/by hampering the situation by collecting a crowd and attracting media attention to himself. Should this person be locked and key thrown away or should his sheer dedication to grab every bit of limelight be applauded, I am not sure. Our PM for once seems to have acted decisively and maybe for the first time in my memory all the political parties showed an united front.
But I hope against hope that this would not turn in to the usual 9 day wonder and be forgotten once all the juice has been squeezed out of the situation (which is what happens whenever our politicians are involved).
I really believe, India needs a strong national anti terrorist policy, especially as it has always been under terrorists' attacks from the time of its independence and not the wishy-washy excuses given so far to pacify us. Will the last two days awaken the urge to do it? Time should tell. Even as I write, 3 of the 4 places taken over by the terrorists have been brought under the NSG control and the war is still going on at the Taj Mahal hotel and I hope to wake up to the news that everything is under control and Mumbai is back.
Chennai: Nisha, the cyclone terrorizing Tamilnadu, is not yet ready to leave her hold on the city. After just four days of her creating havoc and mayhem, the city is almost at a stand still (it has to be, since even my company declared a holiday today :-)) and news sources say that we have enough water to last us for more than a year without another season. The water levels at lakes and dams have reached perilious levels and had to be drained by 1000s of square feet, bringing in more water to the already drowning low lying areas. Death toll has been on the increase as dams got breached and lakes flooded and people have lost their homes and are waiting on the streets for shelter and food promised to them.
The whole thing sunk in to me, especially yesterday, when my office let off early and I was coming home with a colleague in his car. I live in a relatively high area and we were about a mile from my place when I was commenting to my colleague that if the rain continues, we will need a boat and not a car to travel, when I felt something cold and wet on my foot, I turned to see, that the road was totally under water and it was lapping near the edge of the car window and slowly seeping in to the car. We were nearing a signal and praying frantically that it would be green (which it was... thank God!) or the car would have stalled and we would have had to leave it there and walk. If this is the condition of higher areas, I shudder to think of what is happening in the lower lying areas, especially with no electricity for almost a day and hardly any let up in the rain.
While it makes me sad that I am am not really equipped to help out in either situation much, what I can do is pray for the Victims and their families and hope we never have to face such a situation ever again