On saturday, Indian Mujhahiddin, the notorious SIMI in a new form, once again struck delhi with 4 blasts killing 25 people and injuring hundred others. 4 other bombs were diffused just in time.
we had plans to visit karol bagh that evening – fortunately, we decided to visit bhajanpura instead. a relative informed us of the chain bomb blasts when he saw the news flashing on TV. without wasting time and without panicking, we went to the parking lot, took our bikes, and returned home.
almost every channel was airing the same news. there was a chain blast at 4 different places in delhi. two places in CP, karol bagh, and greater kailash. at india gate a live bomb was detected just in time, averting a bigger casualty, as this was just near the children’s park.
it was heart-rending to see the plight of people who had died or were injurred. there was a girl who couldn’t walk because of injuries in her leg. there was a woman who laid dead just close to the pavement. the dustbin in which the bomb had been placed had completely come apart. there were people running with fear. there was blood all over the place.
i remembered suresh who works close to barakhamba road and often visits the central park that hosts cultural programmes in the evening. but all cell phones were jammed. I could reach him at 8. called another few friends who i suspected could be at the spot.
then once again got back to surfing channels. but i couldn’t move away from ‘mumbai meri jaan’ when i came across it on one of the channels. i had heard a lot about the movie (it has been rated 4 – rare in present times when the critics are too stingy in rating films).
mumbai meri jaan is the story of five personality types that emerge in a scenario as bomb blasts, communal riots etc.
KK Menon – he heard about the bombings on television and has since come to believe that every muslim supports the terrorists and therefore it is the duty of common men like him to rid the society of muslims. until the time when an enlightened paresh raval enters the life of KK Menon. K K Menon understands that not all muslims are terrorists or supporters of terrorist activities. he makes friends with yusuf, a muslim youth he forever believed was a terrorist.
Madhavan – he has barely escaped death due to bombing of the train. had an insurance agent not insisted him to travel by second class, he would have travelled in the first class and would have lost life or at least a limb (as his colleague). he is so moved by the close shave to death that he forever fears being killed by another such bomb. He takes a taxi instead of commuting by train. He also plans to shift to the US since he believes it is safe. However, in a dialogue with a friend who resides in the US, Madhavan comes to know that no place in the world is safe these days (there was a world trade centre in one of world’s safest places- the US). he shuns plans to leave india. and once again begins commuting by train that he believes is more environment friendly than personal cars.
Soha Ali Khan – she has lost her fiance in the bombings. until this turn of events, she was a successful journalist who would cover similar manmade and natural calamities and yet the pain didn’t touch her a bit. but she is devastated now. for the first time in her life, she understands how difficult it is to deal with journalists trying to poke you for answers. However, time plays a better healer of wounds.
Irfan Khan – an ordinay man who has learnt to misuse the bombings to his advantage. a shopping mall ousted him for window shopping. he has taken a dislike for all shopping malls – and calls the police about bombs here – all hoax calls. he enjoys the pains the mall owners take to empty the premises and the loss of business for those few hours. until the time when Irfan khan’s pranks on shopping malls disturbs an elderly citizen so much that he suffers a stroke. he knows the vileness of his act. he cannot forgive himself until the man safely comes out of the hospital.
Paresh Raval – an average cop who is about to retire and as his last duties has been assigned to work on the mubai bombings case. he would have gone by the custom followed when any such bombings take place in india – book people from the another community and beat them until they reveal the names of others involved – then book the people named – hand them to the law which takes years to judge their acts before which they are again freed by hijackers at the cost of innocent people’s lives.
mumbai shows it is not frayed by the bombings. the mumbaikars come together to pray for the deceased and peace for the city by observing a two minutes silence. the entire city comes to a standstill for those two minutes. local trains, the life line of mumbai stops. so do passengers who stand up to show their support.
just then i remembered that deep lives at borivali and regularly takes a train to travel to and from office. as soon as i take up my cell phone to call him about his safety that i remember that i am watching a film – wake up aditya, this happened in the past – yaar, what am i doing? i didn’t know what happened to me – may be the film was really very touching or the fact that “it (one of those dead) could have been me“.