Saturday, February 21, 2009

Survived the Colombo attacks.... still there!

Was I scared? Numb? Resigned to my fate? Ready to die?? A few hours after the aerial attack on Colombo, I am still reeling and confused. There we were in the rooftop ballroom of the Taj Samudra to attend The Colombo Fashion Week where my new line of relaxed clothing - Spiritual By Shobhaa De - was to debut. We were approvimately three minutes away from the first entry of the lovely model, wearing a garland of Sri Lanka's national flower, the blue water lilly ( nil mahanil), that I had picked as it is a symbol of peace, when the power was switched off, and we were told there was an imminent aerial attack expected and Colombo was instantly enveloped in an eerie black out. Seconds later, we heard the bombs drop and the night sky lit up with flares as the anti aircraft guns went into action!
Rushing down from the ballroom was not going to be easy, considering there were at least 500 people crowding the space. I was seated next to the American Ambassador, Robert Blake, and he moved very quickly as soon as he received a message on his Blackberry. He asked me to follow him through the kitchen - but I was not about to do that and leave my two children behind. I lost him. And started looking around frantically for Aditya and Avantikka. Some of the models were screaming and a few had fainted. People were scrambling to get out, as the terrifying sound of gunfire continued outside. The Taj Samudra is next to the army base, and about a kilometre away from the President's Palace. The air force base ( target) is right next door Initial reports said 4 or 5 Czech made planes flying really low, so as to escape radar detection, had flown in from the sea. Two were shot down - the others were likely to fly back!!
I am still in shock. This is the best I can do right now. Not sure when we can get home. We were to fly out at midnight tonight on an Air Sri Lanka flight. Not the best plan. More when I can...

28 comments:

Ashutosh Didwania said...

Strange, isn't it? No place on this planet seems to be secure anymore...Had I been in ur shoes, I would have been left wondering as to what exactly are we living for...how does our work and profession really matter when we have no idea what we are about to face the very next second...and hold on...its not about luck or destiny...its all man-made disaster...People keep on talking about maha-pralay and stuff...isn't all this equitable with mass disaster anyway?

Varun said...

Hey, Hope you are all fine there. Take care.

itsaugust said...

OMG you must have been frantic till you located your children!!! Please do take care and I do hope all the planes are shot down...grrrrr

hitch writer said...

geee glad to know your ok...

I almost forgot you were in the emerald island ...

whew...

Arjun said...

wear a helmet (at all times)
i know this ain't the time to be funny - bombs falling around certainly ain't funny!
But avoid high profile tgt areas if you can.... and get back to India....

Anonymous said...

Make sure people miss you when you die and for that u gotta stop bitching and start writing positively. Sarcasm is the outburst of frustration(n ur write ups are overloaded with it) so stop clearin your closet in your writings

John said...

Hi Shobhaa,

How terrifying! I know nobody is immune to terror these days, and that too in the midst of a fashion show.

Hope and pray you and family are okay. See you soon back in Aamchi Bombay!

Best wishes and be strong, always,

John

Vinita said...

Unbelievable. Good to know that you are fine. These days it's like anything can happen to anyone, any moment and any anywhere. The world is totally an unsafe place.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Thankgoodness you and yours are ok. Thankgoodness the destruction that could have been, was contained. Still, innocent people lost thier lives.

Stay safe and let us know when you are back.

We worry about you.. the intrepid traveller!

Sidhusaaheb said...

I had a sense of foreboding that something like that was going to happen, when I read your previous post, since the LTTE had been pushed into a corner and was very likely to attack Colombo, but I didn't want to dampen your enthusiasm.

Glad to know you're safe! I'd like to continue to read your columns and blog, you see.

:)

Shreya said...

Good to know you and your children are safe. It was very sad to know the situation in Sri Lanka. I hope people are safe and sound.

Shruti SriHarsha said...

" There is no place, which is SAFE anymore"; never know what you will end up in NEXT MOMENT! Glad to know u & children r safe. Be sure of whats happening around and oly then travel back. come back safe home....

Lina said...

"Boy soldiers & toy guns" had the last laugh, Shobhaaji! lol!!
You spoke too fast.

Anonymous said...

How exciting!

Colombomb said...

well, shobhaa, maybe there's too much of 'terror' within you, which is why you attract such situations in your life.

So, I'd say to you (unless of course, you enjoy the 'adventure' and the chance for sensationalism - Enough is Enough. Do some introspection, and find some inner calm and peace. Your external world will start reflecting that calm soon enough.

Maddy said...

Wishing you and your kids a safe return

the turncoat said...

You're such an adorable bitch :)

Piper .. said...

Stay safe and God Bless!

*Aham* said...

anonymous... colombobomb... the turncoat>>

the best thing to do is Ignore... but i have to tell you guys,... we are taking this hate club a little too far... here is a lady who is reeling from terror and irrespective of whether you like her or not kidly abstain from such filthy language at this moment. and anonymous>> whats exciting... is it exciting that so many people died? not so long ago bombay was in the same state... was it exciting then???


i wish not that you go through a situation like this. but will you be excited if terror visits you? and BITCH... a worried mother... YES, every worried mother IS DEFINITELY A BITCH?


yes i am upset... upset terribly... because i was reading live updates from my friends on facebook and twitter... i was aware about the situation there and experieced rthe whole thing through their words and updates.. just as i did during the mumbai terror.

-----------------------------------

De, glad you are fine... love and hugs to all your family.

The Dreamologist said...

Hope the innocent are untouched. What is with the world?

@lankr1ta said...

Am glad nothing happened to you, Ms De. it must have been a horrible experience.

anonymous... colombobomb... the turncoat, your remarks speak a world about you folk. I would not display such glimpses into your characters in a public forum.

Pulkit said...

haha, the models fainted! haute couture mein phat gayee. he he...sorry but that was hilarious. Glad you guys are safe.

Inexplicably said...

How shocking and unfortunate. Am really sorry. Hope you and your kids are back home safe as soon as you can.

Anonymous said...

I did not mean to hurt when I exclaimed how exciting. Anything dangerous thrills(not joyful) us, when we are not the victims. Thats unfortunate voyeurism. Of course, I feel sorry for the victims thinking that anyday the victim may be myself. And my own dear people lost their lives in such attacks. Some of us love to watch movies like Psycho and Extortionist all the while shaking with fear. And we take death rides in Disneyland with eyes closed most of the time.

the turncoat said...

@ @lank1ta

eh, cunt.

speaks more than just the world about me now, doesn it ?

thomas said...

i specifically did not attend because of night mares before hand. exactly as you describe

thomas said...

genocide brings out the worst in people. nest pah?

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