For all those who have written in the last two days expressing concern, I would just like to say that I am safe and fine, although a little shaken like thousands of others who were in the Colaba area when the shooting broke out on Wednesday night. And like all those who were fortunate to emerge unscathed, I grieve today for those around us who lost their lives, and for their bereaved family members.
I was at a restaurant in Fort with some friends at 9.30 pm on Wednesday; we were all coming from the opening of the show for which I'd written a short text that I'd posted here last week. There were some journalists among us, and from the information they were receiving it swiftly became apparent that the trouble was of considerable magnitude. My sister, who is also a journalist, was with us, and my most difficult moments of the evening were in trying to restrain her as she bravely decided to head out towards the conflict zone. I dragged her, against her will, into a car in which our friends were leaving, and we made our way down Marine Drive and through Napean Sea Road to Peddar Road, where another friend of ours lives. Like many others who put duty over self, my sister kept insisting that she had to go, and so we stood out on Peddar Road at 2am waiting for a police jeep that could take her to JJ Hospital. My friends Amit Varma, Sonia Faleiro, and Rahul Bhatia, and their respective partners, all of whom had also come to the show, were even closer to the trouble, and were only able to leave Colaba the next morning.
The crisis still rages on; there is no knowing yet if there are further horrors to come. What we do know that is that we now live in one of the terror capitals of the world, vulnerable to infiltration from both land and sea and full of soft targets. Yet, if there is something to cherish at a time like this, then it is the bravery of so many policemen who heroically laid down their lives in combat, and the many acts of individuals to help save the lives of others or give succour to the wounded. Perhaps on the other side of these days of grief and anger, there will be a new determination and a new beginning for all of us.