Save us…

I was dozing pleasantly last night, when a message from Mallika came through. Are you all right, she asked. Why, I replied, what has happened? South Bombay under seige switch on the television. A knife twisted in my gut and a sudden clamminess drenched my palms. I jumped up and reached for the remote. The husband was snoring pleasantly. He asked, what happened? I dont know I replied.  I dont know. And then the horror unspooled itself almost like I were watching an action flick, the kind with Van Damme and Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis taking on terrorists. But these were frightened looking men, hastily putting on bullet proof vests and going in to confront demons. Demons with AK 47s and carbines and satellite phones and the training that made them merciless killers. Spraying bullets, holding people hostage in the Taj and the Trident, and gunning people down at CST and near Metro. Taking hostages at Cama Hospital. It wasnt sinking in, I sat stunned in front of the television, the hours turning into minutes, online with friends around the world. Messages and calls started pouring in, by the bucket load, Are you alright, is everyone safe?

My mother was in Daman on a mini break with a group of friends, and her mobile was unreachable. My stomach was churning. I saw the terrorist, walking down the street, his eyes maniacal, brandishing an AK 47, the way you’d expect a college student to carry a guitar. He could be my son a few years down the line, He couldnt have been over 20. There were others, and others, and explosions, and police officers succumbing to injuries. I saw them a couple of hours ago, putting on bullet proof vests and leading their men into the line of fire. Unstrategic perhaps. But courageous. With little piddly pistols in their hands. Over confident, Brave. And grossly underestimating the extent of the training, and precision and determination of the terrorists they were confronting. It was horrific, a never ending horror movie we were watching live.

The husband went off to sleep. The rest of the house went off to sleep. I held my child tight and sobbed for all the mothers who had lost their sons, for the wives who had lost their husbands, for the mothers who had the curse of knowing that their sons had brought such grief to the world, the mothers of the terrorists.

I am still in shock, I couldnt post all day. And this is a post with no analysis, no detailing, Nothing. Just an overwhelming sense of helplessness and futility. And a rising anger that we have still not learnt from our mistakes. That we still expect shoddy politicians to protect us from terrorism when all they are interested in is protecting their chairs, For the police officers facing sniper fire with no protection at all. With antiquated rifles in the face of state of the art weapons. In face of the obvious confused bungling of the situation in face of the meticulously planned operation that is still to be quelled at the Taj, the Trident and Nariman House as I write this, over 24 hours since the horror started.

And anger against God, Who let innocent lives be lost. For a war that no one will win.

Please pray for the souls of the deceased.

And a moment of silence for the brave personnel who lost their lives so we could live ours.

Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar, Ashok Kumte. I owe you my life. I salute you.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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14 Responses to Save us…

  1. I completely agree. The tragedy is beyond comprehension. And my heart bleeds for the family of the cops. Also the NSG men who are in there still fighting for their lives.

    The only good thing is that our politicians haven’t made a mess of things. Yet.


  2. Save us indeed.. only i dont know who is going to save us.. so glad that you all are safe

    take care


  3. Kakali says:

    Glad to know you & yours are safe.
    And I had the same thoughts as you about the brave policemen – we commoners do owe our lives to these noble souls.


  4. As soon as I heard the news last night … I wanted to call everyone I knew in Mumbai to make sure they were safe … I tried looking for your email id … but couldn’t find … glad you and family are safe.
    The ATS /army / NSG … a salute to you from all countrymen !


  5. Why! says:

    Its insane..I had friends see this live at Leos..and some images were so disturbing,I couldnt sleep all night.. and whats worse is it has indeed managed to cripple us coz we arent allowed to get off home!!
    take care.. as usual we will bounce back,as if we have a choice..yet!


  6. Preethi says:

    Came to check if you were alright.. thank God you are!! I agree with you.. I am also experiencing an overwhelming feeling of helplessness!!


  7. dipali says:

    Heartsick. And utterly helpless. What does one do in the face of these horrors?


  8. Aathira says:

    I am still shocked, its over 38 hours and nothing seems to be settling down 😦


  9. sscribbles says:


    We all are praying for peace to prevail. May God give us strength and courage to take this battle head on.


  10. i am still a little shocked with the whole incident. i think it will take some time to get over it..we all owe the NSG/police/army men our lives.


  11. Priyanka says:

    60 hours! And these men wanted to destroy Taj.
    Btw, this post was featured today in Hindustan Times. With blog address. What you write, Kiran, comes from heart and so eloquently. Happy, sad or horrified,
    we love reading your blog cox all if us can identify with what you say.


  12. d says:

    Glad to hear you and family are okay. Just the thought of all those bodies lying around their luggage at VT station and the ones who were shot while they were in the middle of a meal .. just heard the security advisor and home minister have resigned. Won’t bring back any lost lives but atleast there is an attempt at accountability to all those victims and city of Mumbai. Let’s all pray this will be a TUrning Point


  13. suma says:

    relieved that you all are fine…

    i think what everyone feels now is numbeness and hopefully anger too…

    linked you up in my latest post…hope that’s okay by you…


  14. Childwoman says:

    I teared up reading this, just like everytime I see or read the news now… 😦


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