The Slow Death of the Mumbaiyya “Spirit”

Dear Mr. Authority,

    The clock ticks ominously as there is another triad of bomb blasts that rock the city. Just when I am almost certain that Mumbaikars have nothing to worry about, there is another insane attack on the city – rendering me helpless once again. Well planned attacks as earlier – in the highly crowded areas at a time when people are jostling each other to get home from work on time!

    And then begin the political cat fights. The Opposition purposefully opposes and reigning Government vehemently defends. The blame-game ensues – terrorists, extremists, naxalites or even the deceased Osama. The parliament convenes, issues orders, rejigs the cabinet, deputes more money to put up supposedly terrorist-proof barricades and then adjourns with the same lack of mental strength and helplessness as us commoners.

    And a week later- newspapers, TV shows, radio programmes will all be galore about how Mumbai has bounced back, left everything behind and is up on its feet. Celebrities, politicians and anyone who is someone talking about the infallible Mumbaiyya Spirit of rising and re-rising from the ashes every time.

    I am unable to understand your shortcomings to instill the basic sense of security in the citizens. After all the talks of implementing advanced security options post previous terrorist attacks and squeezing money out of us for the same, we are yet to see the result that was projected to be seen. I personally do not believe in the safety measures put in place in malls, theatres or even railways stations. Anyone could easily carry arms/ammunition within the recesses of their bag and go scot free through the security check at the entrance. 

    Atleast don’t mock us with a false sense of hope that we are truly safe here – we are no idiots.

    It is not anger that makes me talk this way – it is that vulnerability of knowing that I can’t do anything about it. Whom do we look upto for support in times like these? Who is there to protect us? Why is the common man being taken for granted here? Each of us has these questions in the mind – hounding us – till we realize they are just rhetorics and have no answer.

    Do we have a choice of being lost in sorrow and not moving on? Do we have a choice other than springing back into action and leaving everything else behind? No sir, we do not have the luxury of making a choice. We are forced to go back to business as usual, trying to calm our troubled minds. It is nerve wrecking every time I see an abandoned scooter in a bylane or an unclaimed bag on the overhead rack in the train. The claimed “Mumbaiyya Spirit” is just short of a farce now.

    I am scared – scared of the uncertainity that I have to live in. Scared of these unknown faces who derive sadistic pleasure from wiping the existence of random innocent people. Scared for myself and scared for everyone around me. Mumbai is not a safe haven – being well- exposed to all sorts of evils.

    I humbly request you to sit up and take notice. It is time to take corrective action with lasting repercussions. Instead of just having a brilliant sweep-up team post an atrocious event, kindly invest in putting up the precautionary measures as well. I still want to believe that you can protect us in the future. Don’t kill my home sir, don’t kill my city.

Yours sincerely,
A hapless commoner

P.S: In the interim, I shall go back to uphold the many expectations that are set by the Mumbaiyya Spirit. I rally in front of the Mantralaya, participate in the Remembrance walk for the deceased and light a candle at the Gateway of India.


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