A friend of mine told me that when she thinks of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, she mostly feels anger - first towards the terrorists and then towards the hotels that lacked proper security systems.
I told her that I feel proud. She said that its the last thing that she would feel on a day like today.
And I really don't get it.
"They" attacked two hotels - Oberoi-Trident and Taj, a hospital, a cafe, the Chabad house, a railway terminus, a college and a cinema hall. All on the same night.
Sure, one can complain about the hotel security, but what about a popular cafe, that for years has served the residents of our Glorious City. Did they see it coming? Its not most expensive cafe in the country. its not even the most expensive. I doubt they (the owners) had foreseen a future as grim as the one that greeted them - I doubt anybody did. And the railway station? This is India, we don't have state-of-the-art security arrangement in railway stations...they were just ordinary people going back home...hoping to retire early, maybe, watch some TV, enjoy the meal mom had prepaird - माँ के हाथ का खाना ... the cinema hall, the college, the hospital - so many innocent souls, the youth of the city - all targeted. And the Chabad house - the whole family was murdered - all except for little Moshe... Would you believe me if I told you that terrorists would one day destroy your whole family? The question of security hardly arises.
On this day, I refuse to get angry - why should I think of those who don't deserve to be remembered? Why should I talk about those who tried to destroy the city I love, the county that I call home, the people who are my "brothers and sisters"? I wont be angry. Because that will just take the focus away from the brave souls who refused to give up, those who fought till the end, those who are still fighting. I will grieve with the families who have lost; I will cry for those who have shed all the tears they had. I will remember the true heroes, for they are the ones we need to remember - and I will be proud, proud of the fact that despite our shortcomings, we put up a fight. We didn't sit quietly - for a change we did something! I am so proud, of being an Indian, being a Mumbaikar! On the anniversary of the worst day I have witnessed, I am going to stand up and feel proud.