People who are planning to visit Mumbai have sent, as I expected, emails of alarm and concern, but alongside it, they have also sent an outpouring of sympathy and love. This is especially true of people from cities which have experienced terrorist attacks - London, New York, Madrid - they have sent incredibly moving words of empathy. From New York, I had this email:
"Listening to the first reports from Mumbai of today’s horrible news, my first thoughts were of Deepa. How is she? Is she safe? Yet I know, since I am a New Yorker who went through the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, that even if Deepa is safe, she is also very saddened and very angry. Sad and angry that such bad things happen to her lovely and beloved city and country. I and my wife understand a bit of how you feel and what you are going through."
Since the queries continue to pour in, yes, I am well, so are all my guides and other associate staff, and my loved ones. Two friends who were at the Taj last night were rescued and are back home safely. But there is an element of uncertainty as well, because the hostage situation is not yet over. I have no news also of some friends who work at the Trident and the Taj.
In homes all over Bombay, people are discussing how to solve the "terrorist problem". Tighter security, better intelligence, better emergency responses - all of these are being spoken about, in bitter and angry tones.