143 was an underestimate… toll up, exceeding 170, due to terror in Mumbai!

Indeed, we mourn the deaths of all those who lost their lives during the past three days amidst the mayhem and terror that struck Mumbai on 26th November. My heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims. The natural demise, or death due to illness of a beloved person cannot be as painful as when death strikes someone thus, ruthlessly, unexpectedly, so terrifyingly!

Heart-wrenching, hard to believe, difficult to accept… is it fear, hatred, vengeance that will replace the sense of freedom, love or compassion within the hearts of those who lost their dear ones, and even among those who may not have lost anyone close, but a fellow countryman, a fellow citizen?

The government’s helplessness, ineffectiveness, or failure to predict this heinous event has evoked public fury, a sense of fatality not only among Mumbai residents, but across the nation and internationally across the Indian diaspora. Whether or not it has evoked fury among other nationalities is hard to say. Indeed, among foreign nationals, those who would have lost their kin visiting India, there is bound to be some emotion. For the rest of the world, well… life goes on. Terror such as this is being inflicted on civilians somewhere or the other, across the world, on what seems like a routine basis. Until it affects each of us directly, we read about the pain, feel bad about it momentarily, perhaps a wee bit longer and then move on… helpless with a sense of impotency. Something within us dies a tiny little bit, a tear rolls down one cheek and some pressing issues related to personal survival tear us away from thoughts and the sorry plight of another people.

Will atrocities ever end? Will there never be peace? Will there always be demons lurking somewhere, ever ready to pounce with or without provocation, eager to grab what is not theirs, prepared to destroy all that was beautiful, or not-so-beautiful, but holding life, nevertheless? Will terror continue to take its toll?

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