Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sounds of silence

Last night at 4 .am. I awoke from a very restless, disturbed 'sleep' (if I can call it that), to an eerie silence..... and in pitch darkness. My heart froze.Another attack? Another crisis? It took me under a minute to figure out the electricity had tripped in our building..... the a\c's comforting hum was's nightly lullaby silenced. I drew the curtains and looked out at the placid bay stretched beyond my bedroom windows.... so chillingly close to Badhwar Park, where the terrorists had landed exactly a week earlier. The moon had set. The blackness of the night was broken by the twinkling lights of fishing trawlers in the distance. What haul would they be bringing in at dawn?? Abruptly,a familiar vista had turned threatening and ominous in seven short days.Everything and everybody looked 'suspicious'. I tried to go back to sleep..... but even the creaking bathroom door made me sit up with a start. For the first time since my childhood, I kept the lights on, waiting for daybreak.... and reassurance.... struggling unsuccessfully to battle the demons inside my head.
I am certain there are millions of Mumbaikars experiencing the same trauma.... it is a city that needs collective counselling. Adults, teenagers, senior citizens, kids..... we can't seem to get our troubled minds to reconnect with other realities..... talk about anything else. When we meet.....WORDS AREN'T NECESSARY. Complete strangers connect through glances that convey their state of mind.
When we hear stray scraps of conversation about the attacks...... we feed on every tiny scrap. It is morbid and macabre. People are ready to believe the wildest rumours. There is an attempt by one and all to 'understand' what happened to Mumbai. But as of now, we are dazed and despairing...does no one out there care???????


hitch writer said...

Every Indian heart cares... and worries... feels raged... and I am sure we will punish the guilty behind these attacks. Need of the hour for all Indians is to make sure the Demarche list of 21 people must be honoured by Pakistan by action. If they cannot control their nation, take our help and help us find the 21 people... Nothing less will suffice....

Here is one sms i got.. must share :

Quote :

The recent terror attacks in mumbai have been a total failure from the terrorists point of view. Instead of spreading fear, they have angered the nation, united the country, woken up the politicians, facilitated the strengthening of armed forces and police, given India international support and put a lot of pressure on Pakistan, where the terrorists were breeding.

Please also note : The muslims in Mumbai have declined to even bury the bodies of these terrorists in their graveyards.

Unquote :

harpreet said...

The Navu chief should also have resigned as it was big let up by navy.You could see Navy chief all over talking when it was issue of pay raise he should also resign.
No one will care for common citizens , we have to rise up to take care of each other , otherwise we are doomed!!

Rajesh Shetty said...


Pardon for not using "Shobhaji" and the reason for that is, after reading serious of blog entires you wrote and having watched your interviews with Rajdeep and Barkha, I felt very connected to your opinion and you as a person. Hence, just "Shobha". You and your readers must see Pakistan's take on Mumbai attack.

Appreciate your efforts...keep writing..keep inspiring..

Jai Hind

Rajesh Shetty

Eray said...

I perfectly can relate to you. Since this event has happened, nothing is the same. My friends, my life - everything is changed. We smile, but there is a sense of disturbance. Every stranger I see I doubt. Yesterday while returning back from Colaba to my home, a red swift ran speedily in the wrong side, and we just stopped right there. The driver was panicked. I don't what had happened, but things are different. We are angry, and I wish I could carry a weapon to protect myself and whoever is with me.

Honestly, there really is nobody to protect us. We only should awaken and do something. I was so upset when I saw the Prime Minister's speech on TV, no emotions, nothing on his face. Only reading out like a puppet. Where are leaders who have fire? Nobody, really nobody.

I have made up my mind and enter into being a Prime Minister of this nation. I have to do it, there is no other way. We have to rewrite rules written by Britishers, we have change this nation, and only we can do this.

We can't spend sleepless nights, we can't doubt on strangers, we have to do something. I don't know what and how, but something can be done.

Vinay. said...

I can understand the sense of outrage and vulnerability.we are with you.the tragedy had stirred up the national consciousness and things are moving from government's side. we must persist with our demand and mobilise international support to extricate those terrorists from Pakistan.there is lot of public outcry and see whats happening to R.R.patel.V.S.achuthanandan and Naqvi who hv put their foot in their mouths.
I am sure you are going ahead with your daughter's wedding as scheduled.come on,get up and get going

Abhinav said...

OMG you've a blog?!

D writer said...

More than counselling what we need is peace. the country cant another attack and another attack....i hope we are better equipped next time...

Anonymous said...


I am not in India. Even if I were in India and I would have tried to voice out my opinion loud and clear, I don’t think I would have been able to create an impact. But, you guys are the people whose voice is heard, through papers, TV etc. Please let the government know of our feelings. I feel that you guys can convey our voice to the government. Here is my opinion … let one of the following two happen (please pardon my language)

Either we get the B****** members of the organization to which these B******* terrorists belong. And we get the biggest B****** dawood (and whoever is against India), and we execute them immediately without asking or hearing anything. And we execute them in public and we don’t bury their bodies in Indian soil. And we spit on them and humiliate them in public before & after executing them.

Else … let us remove Pakistan from the world maps. Let us finish this once and forever.

P.S. I am a Muslim. I pray five times a day and I really really really want one of the above two to happen. Please do something.

Atishay said...


I am very scared for India.
Today I Can feel the terror in common man’s mind. After reading the above comment I am not feeling good. Removing the Pakistan from world map would toll several lives. Naa…Please stop thinking like this.
I am really scared !!

We all should have patience, I know circumstances are not with us but that’s the only way. We will again communicate with them.

War is not at all the solution. Two wrongs never make a right.

Atishay Jain

Anonymous said...

Going by the number of comments for this post, it seems as though people have cooled down already. Not good. And why am I not surprised? Going about one's business of earning a roji roti is fine, but we still need to sustain our anger & use it as a leverage to bring about further change. We need someone like you with a lot of media clout, to show us the way forward. Keep writing, Shobhaa.

Confused Mind.

Anonymous said...

I dont leave in India, i heard the news of attack from a friend who had send me a sms,every night for 3 nights i didnt get sleep,always wanted to hear the news that those terriost were killed and hostages were released.
Now after all these we are getting to hear about the public spat on the politicians,blame game by our government.We are not trying for a peaceful solutions.

Amol said...

The eyes of the Indians opened due to the terror attacks.They said "Enough is Enough.We want to correct this system."
There was a hope that now, bcoz of people's anger , there would be some correction in the system.
You rightly said , "Stay angry".
But now it looks like people are back to their routines and they have cooled down.The fear will remain in our minds about the possibility of terror attack.
But will this anger remain?

Riaz-NJ said...

Linda Heard wrote yesterday in Arab News:

"The rape of Mumbai illustrates once again that terrorism cannot be prevented unless cities are turned into fortresses, which, in the event, would impede the quality of life for their citizens. Unless the roots of the disease are understood and dealt with by governments then, sadly, wherever we are in the world, we can only expect more of the same."

Mumbai: Need for restraint

This is the FACT and TRUTH !!!

Anonymous said...

It shakes me up a bit every time I hear an official from Pakistan saying "we will thoroughly investigate the possibility of having terrorist groups in this country IF India presents us with evidence."

Who are they to judge and demand evidence when lives have been lost?

I would have admired Pakistan, despite all our previous problems, had they said "We extend our sympathies. Pakistan is also devoted to fighting terrorism, and we will thoroughly investigate the matter to ensure that no potential culprits in our great nation remain unpunished."

Then, I would have agreed that Pakistan is indeed a great nation.

If only.

Instead, India is busy blaming Pakistan. And Pakistan is busy admonishing India for the blame.

Could somebody please take charge and just search for the perpetrators?

Who cares if the terrorists came from India - or Pakistan - or Antartica, for that matter.

The simple truth is that they are terrorists. Their nationality is overshadowed by a thirst to cause harm to those who don't share their sinister ideals.

Why can't we look past our borders and identification cards, and just find who is to blame.

We are too busy getting wrapped in politics and getting agitated. It is a time for anger, I agree. But this is not a time to get enraged.

It is time to act in a calm and rational fashion. It is time to be devoid of all identifying factors other than the fact that the world has two parties - the terrorists and those who block their sinister ways.

Anonymous said...

Look at this video and compare her expressions with our current prime minister or for that matter any other leader's poke face.

Anonymous said...

Last night at 4 .am. I awoke from a very restless, disturbed 'sleep' (if I can call it that), to an eerie silence..... and in pitch darkness. My heart froze.Another attack? Another crisis?....

Yes ure a drama queen... puhleasseee at least be original... u've bored my dick with your repetitive "fake" sobbing.

Amit said...

Politicians and people Emoting

Emotions are a crucial part of what makes us human beings. It goes without saying that a person who cannot feel emotions does not qualify to be a healthy human being. What differentiates us from animals is the degree of control we can exercise over our emotions and the way we channel our emotions towards constructive action. Indians are emotional. Period. People are reacting angrily and emotionally - their anger and frustration is overflowing unceasingly. Politicians are reacting emotionally for a different reason. This is their 'Pavlovian' response to failure and inability to connect with the people or to address the problem. This response from the politicians and 'leaders' of India is particularly striking and disconcerting considering that these are the people who are responsible for leading, managing and protecting the citizens of this country. But when you
think about it, this is what our leaders have done throughout their political career - hurling insulting statements at their adversaries and refusing to get a handle on the problems, leave alone addressing them.
While the people of the country can clearly see the problems and the likely order of priorities to address these problems, our politicians are busy pretending to 'react'.
It is illogical to perform the same experiment in a lab and have a different result. If you are getting the same result everytime, it is your mistake for not being able to change paths and try other means.

The most important thing for our leaders to do is an honest introspection of India's weaknesses. We do not have a security system that will protect us if we keep our doors and windows open. Everyday there are trains, buses and flights to and from Pakistan. Our security system is totally broken. Are we not blind if we do not close the tap that is infusing terrorists from Pakistan into India? Does it really require so much intellect or intelligence to see that we need to break all transportation links with Pakistan and be on the guard? Leaders of India, stop begging and abetting Pakistani responses - be prepared to do what you need to do right now to PROTECT the people of our country. For once understand, that taking responsibility does not have to occur when you RESIGN from your position - be responsible right now! People of India, rise and communicate with this deaf government before its too late, before we succumb to the tragedy of a deaf leadership and a mute population that refuses to force the government to listen and do as it asks it to!

The Voice of Reason said...

"Last night at 4 .am. I awoke from a very restless, disturbed 'sleep' (if I can call it that), to an eerie silence..... and in pitch darkness. My heart froze.Another attack? Another crisis?....

Yes ure a drama queen... puhleasseee at least be original... u've bored my dick with your repetitive "fake" sobbing."

Well, your dick is probably jealous because you're always fumbling with your words and you can only dream of expressing your thoughts in such a beautiful fashion.

And there is no logic in calling someone a drama queen when he or she is clearly concerned after terrorist attacks in the city that he or she lives.

Please take your personal attacks elsewhere. You look like a dimwit when you say such things. I'm done saying what I have to say, and I'm not saying anything in my defense if anyone disagrees with me.

Sundar said...

can empathize with how u is a kind of epidemic situation in society and people are in deep misery..very understandable.

If I could give a suggestion, it is infinitely more important to tackle the surfacing of fear and other hurts within us this time and face it, not merely manage it through a plunging into reactive activity..our fear and anger should not determine the course of our response...we should watch our fear surface, allow it to play out and respond in the calmness within..else fear can create a lot of unpleasantness and state of dis-ease for each of us, only increasing our misery.No amount of external symptomatic reactions can solve the anguish within.
We have to win the war within us so that it enables a sustained win in the war our outside whatever it takes to do it.
The movie 36th Chamber of Shaolin comes to mind here.

It is possible a lot of you may disagree to my suggestion.Needless to add, it is only a suggestion.We can agree to disagree.

In my opinion, it is a time for release from pain rather than mere management of pain.The repetitive patterns of history show us as poor learners in inner world realms.

These are difficual times but the challenges are opportunities for individual evolution.

God Bless. Take Care, one and all.

Anonymous said...

: (

Zlaek said...

Could you please write something on what we could, or you would do about this?
Or do we accept that this is a reality, here to stay, and live that way?

Amit said...

I agree with Zlaek. There have been so many valuable suggestions inserted on this blog. I am sorry Shobha, but all these suggestions seem to have been adapted by you as a venting of feelings. People have a lot of hope from celebrities and socially active people like you. You should either stabilize these expectations or take responsibility for doing something constructive. Please advise....

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ. I spent a sleepless night when a woman from a sleeper class compt was raped by dacoits in PUSHPAK express a year ago. I spent a sleepless night when a person from UP was beaten to death by his own country men in front of hundreds of onlookers. And many such atrocities committed by Indians (common men) on common men make me spend sleepless nights. This incident does not. In fact is reassures me that something will be done by the elite to prevent such attacks in future.

*Aham* said...

Hi De,

Yes, tremors of the inner voice is something thats here to stay. Sad but true. It took me a lot of time to digest that life was crawling back to normalcy.

Just because some people overslept. Bombay has lost her sleep. Bombay lives to her attribute "The city that never sleeps", just because took a cat nap one day. She slept, and we wept. And will weep till our voices are heard and promises are kept.

There is a void within, And restlessness. I want to hear some good music, but none can sound in the silence.
"Silence is the loudest cry"

Faisal.K said...

I cannot believe how ordinary indians call out for a destruction of my country and its annihlation. We in pakistan are people judt like you with families, with hopes and dreams for a better future. Their are suicide blasts here every other week, do you hear us calling for your deaths. Why don't we all realize that these militants have no identity, they are against everyone of us who wat to lead normal lives...they wat to plunge this world into chaos and what do we do in response? point bloody fingers and ask for more murder. Well done

*Aham* said...

yes faisal, I am totally with you. We react violently, but the fact remains that no one couldve moved sop freely inside india without help from indians... and if we saw them and were unsuspicious, its the fault of indians.

We should stop fighting this "country" war of words... anti-pakistan sentiments will not help... we need to protect our borders and also be vigilant. Sadly, we realise only after trauma.

Faisal.K said...

What we need to do first is to unite as people from this region. Screw the politicians they will always sing the same tunes, no M.P or their children were traveling trains which lead to death at the "real icon of Mumbai" the CST station not the bloody Taj, the playground of the botoxed and famous.

We should all get together and ask our respective governments to stop playing this stupid, they did it we didn't do it game. Make a joint task force of commandos.. with only one mission, if you see a terrorist..whether he wears a prayer cap or a tilak you shoot first ask questions later. This is the only way to eradicate this evil to me.

I am glad that after watching vicious sound bites on TV from the Indian medias coverage of the "supposed Indian opinion" there are voices of sanity still out there...we stand with you in prayer, hope and the will to carry on.

May those who perished find peace and their families the courage to move on.

Amit said...


I think that the people of both countries have abandoned their loyalty and responsibilities to keep politicians in check. In case of Pakistan, the situation is very challenging because, the army is the real ruler there, the government is in there just to keep the international pressure off. Every Pakistani is not a terrorist. But Indians and Pakistanis of the non-extremist and educated sections need to wake up and do something about our country being held to ransom by inept politicians and militia that will not stop untill they have terrorized the last one of us.

Last but not the least, you are a Muslim or a Hindu second and an Indian/Pakistani first. You have the likes of Shahrukh Khan go the other way on this - emphasizing his Muslim identity and not expressing solidarity with the victims. It is sad that religion is used to polarize and to demarcate our territory (promoting the ego or 'nafs' (urdu)or 'ahem'(sanskrit)) instead of uplifting the soul.
Thanks for writing here.

Reggiana from France said...

I think that by not jumping to comment before every camera or microphone which undoubtedly were thrust in his face, he showed the consideration that you so obviously lack.
He knows that his status of mega celebrity will give a weight to every word he says or doesn't say, that they will get distorted by the likes of you. He basically can't win; guilty if he doesn't speak, guilty if he does.
Well, you should be happy, he has spoken, and very well at that, though I doubt that will satisfy your ilk of people.
I don't know you, I once saw you in a TV report where you were peddling your latest book and positioning yourself as the symbol of modern India, since you are as old as it is. I will give it to you, there is nothing closeted in your megalomania! The Embodiment of Modern India, indeed! One word of advice, leave that to the true celebrities in whose limelight you are so desperate to bask that you have to drag them into every argument you try to kick up. You may not like the reality, i.e that you are nothing more than a lower grade subcontinental Jackie Collins but you should get reconciled with the facts: you are not, have never been nor ever will be the icon of India, for Indians and for the rest of the world; Shah Rukh Khan is and this is probably what gets your goat.
Envy and pettiness are the wrinkles of the soul and, unfortunately for you, there is no botox cure for it; Shobhaa De, dear, you are really showing your age.

Rajan said...

Let the "Reform India" our first priority. We can!! We will!! Do not lose heart and vigour. Be in the race… Give ideas!! Spread ideas!! Make "Reform India" movement a great success!!

As in schools, children pledge: India is my country and all Indians are my brothers & sisters...

Now we, the voters have to pledge...

I'm an Indian. My vote has great power to make my India safe, stronger and united. I'm not in favor of any party. I will vote only for the best of the lots candidate, who is from my locality. I will vote only for service-minded, well-educated, non-corrupt, non-criminal and below 60 yrs of age candidate. I will vote for the same candidate again in the next election only if he/she has fulfilled all the promises, made the government more responsible, deliverable & progressed. If all the candidates are bad, i have the right to use 49-0 power to remove all the candidates from the election.

This pledge has to deeply evolve everyone's mind to vote only to the right candidate.

(All the NGO's, college students, diplomats in India can conduct voter's awareness campaign across India and make all voters pledge. Circulate this by email too)

Result within one election:

Once we adhere to our pledge and vote accordingly, our government is reformed within one election. And for sure, the government machinery will get reformed too as best of the lots are in the power as well as in the opposition too, corruption will be reduced drastically, and will deliver the best to their people. And from the next election onwards, all parties will start keeping best candidate only.

Please do reply with your suggestion & advice on the above to

I wish you can make a big movement in your city for making awareness among the citizen and pledge to vote for the right candidate.

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