Meanwhile, I am awake, trying to track the whereabouts of a friend in Pune.
Tomorrow is just another day. Living with the bomb is not easy, but we don’t have a choice. Bombs, blasts, bullets, bodies, there is a sense of déjà vu. I remember the first time I had to deal with these words. It was in 1985, soon after Mrs Indira Gandhi’s assasination. I was a rookie crime reporter in Delhi. New to the city and new to the trade. And then a series of transistor bomb blasts rocked Delhi and North India. The 1985 serial blasts, probably among Delhi’s bloodiest brush with terror, were carried out by Khalistan sympathisers who used transistor-like contraptions with an explosive mixture of picric acid and ammonium nitrate in addition to dry batteries. Many died, including children . Many others were injured. I was among those tasked to to make the rounds of the hospitals where the wounded had been taken. It was hard to look at the mangled body of a two year-old. It was harder still to ask questions to weeping parents. But crime reporting wasnot for the weak-hearted, and one soon learnt the tricks.. Then came the bus massacres. Passengers were pulled out of buses and shot in cold blood in Punjab. It was a big story but soon we got bored. IN the early days, our seniors went to cover the bus massacres. Then when such incidents lost their novelty value, they sent us — the juniors. “Donot get too involved, don’t get emotional” a senior colleague advised.
How many deaths does it take to realise that too many people have died, sang Bob Dylan. As I stay awake, worrying about my friend, worrying about Pune where I spent some of my happiest years, I wonder … does any one care.
Tomorrow is another day. The dead are gone. We the living have to learn to cope with the bomb. We donot have a choice so don’t let the bomb bludgeon your soul. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. While our hearts and prayers are with those who lost their near and dear ones in Pune, let us carry on our lives as normally as we can. Airports are on high alert, but go catch that plane, catch a star … LIVE .