Due to all the emotional issues and challenges we have been facing lately, here in the Rajkumari home, Jayesh-G was kind enough to agree to write a blog for me with his remembrances, thoughts and feelings for 26/11.
Thank you Jayesh-G, for sharing piece of your life during that time with the rest of us.
I was in my Second Year M. B. B. S.
Besides the Attacks, 26/11 had another importance for us.
We had our University Exams (my subject that day was Forensic Medicine, Toxicology and Medical Jurisprudence) on November 27 and our Exam Centre was the Government Dental College, just opposite to the C. S. T. Railway Station.
So bang opposite that, I used to arrive early for my exams and sit in the A/C Waiting Room of the Outstation Ticket Reservation building to study ‘quietly’ – quietly meaning away from questions like, “Kitna hua?” “Meri Waat lagi hai!” (“How much could you study?” and “I am screwed, man!”).
On the night of 26/11, I was studying desperately, when Aai called me and showed me what was happening….
Needless to say, I was shocked……I was glued to the Television and forgot about my studies. My friends and I were calling each other and after satisfying over selves that it was NOT a rumor, someone called the Examination Department of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik who then postponed the exam.
On the day of the postponed exam, (Dec. 3) I sat as usual at my ‘quiet’ place, studying, thinking mainly of the exam. The area was busy with people hurrying to buy tickets and trying to come inside/get out of the Station. I do remember seeing two black bags in the courtyard of the building and a few cautious commuters directing the attention of the Railway Police.
When my exam was over, I saw that the whole area had been cordoned off, with sniffer dogs in place and I felt sick to my stomach when I heard that the bag contained about 10 kg. of RDX. 10 kg. of RDX waiting to explode 20 feet away from my buttocks and by some God’s Grace, had not, because of some glitch….
I then wrote this:-
I had sent this to the College Magazine:-
I do not easily write anything.
Indeed, it happens many times, that I have THE URGE, and I have to
take a pen and paper and write as it comes in my head.
On the days of November 27, 28 and 29, I had stepped out in the
evenings (the exams being conveniently postponed and I,
unsurprisingly, reluctant to pursue my studies) and I saw the
indifferent people around me….
…. the panwallahs, the pan-eating, pichkari spitting,
rickshaw-wallahs, the taxi-wallahs, the people in the street, those
with the nonchalant, carefree expressions on their faces.
This poem is dedicated to them as well as those camera-eager,
tamasha-enjoying, bystanders in front of the Taj, giving an
unnecessary headache to the police and security personnel there.
And those brave souls, with the Fire of Revolution in their
hearts, who stood with burning candles at the Gateway, proclaiming the
Sign of Change, but were seen in even greater solidarity and passion
in the Holiday Resorts of Alibaug and Ratnagiri on Election Day.
However, I am aware that not all Mumbaikars are that way, but
as these are, I name this poem:-
‘THE SPIRIT OF MUMBAI
– BY A MUMBAIKAR’
Blank and Black, they stare at me,
While I search for an emotion that I can, but see.
In my eyes, my black eyes, staring,
At themselves, desperately asking.
The Looking-Glass, Impartial, Uncaring,
Showing what it always has, Unerring.
Smoke rose, Fires burnt Anew,
Extinguish them, but They were Again Ready for You.
An Explosion, and Stone and Wood Crumbled,
Just a Loud Noise, and the Untouchables, finally humbled.
The Survivors scream with Joy, a New Life,
Having Passed the Test of Luck, Ordeals and Strife.
The Injured, The Maimed, left Gasping,
Their Eyes, Accusing, Asking, Screaming.
Yet I see Them, I Know They Felt, They Still Feel,
Joy, Pain, Anger, an Emotion to Deal.
The Dead, The Failures, Those with the Blank Eyes,
The Bodies Unclaimed, Rotting, Uncaring of The Lives.
That had Used Them, Enjoyed Them, Felt Pain Through Them,
Rot in all Equality, Their Future, from Now on, The Same.
The Photos of Those, who in Service, have Died,
The Media screaming A Word, Before their Name – ‘SHAHEED.’
Yet, HE Screams, “I WANT TO LIVE!” – after being caught,,
But so did They, Right, or…. am I Not?
He demands tandoori, perfumes and gets a free trial,
“He is a juvenile!” screams his lawyer.
Yet my Own Black Eyes, Stare, Just Stare,
And I Search, I Search, yet I find Nothing, Anywhere.
I Grin, I Laugh, I Know Not Why,
What I do Know, is that, I am going to, with a Sigh, Lie.
“Oh! I am so Angry, so Hurt, I Cry,”
“I Grieve for Them, I Salute Those that had to Die.”
Aha! tomorrow, I Know WHAT I am going to do!
This I will Hear, The Same I will Repeat to You.
Return I will, to my Job, my Studies,
Watch the Television, Next Week, go to the Movies.
Yet there Will ALWAYS be The Question, Unanswered,
Even as had, at That Time When, in my Eyes, I had Searched, Stared.
“If had it been me, to Lose a Son, A Limb, or to Innocents Kill,”
“Would I have been Lucky, to have At Last, SOMETHING, to FEEL?”