Haunted by Mumbai

I'm somewhat surprised that there hasn't been more discussion of Mumbai on the blogs that I read.  I guess it's because once you've said "how awful," there's really not that much more to add to the conversation. But I found myself repeatedly borrowing my dad's computer this weekend in order to check whether there was any more news.

I'm not sure why this story got to me so much more than any other horrible attack.  I think the uncertainty of the situation, and the fact that it's still not clear who did it, or why, kept me looking for more information.  And while I've never been to Mumbai, I have been to India, and stayed in another hotel in the Taj chain.

In spite of the early reports that the attackers were targeting Americans and Brits, the overwhelming majority of the victims were Indian.  In some cases, the attackers just fired into crowds, but in other cases (e.g. the chefs at the Taj), they clearly could have le Indians go, and chose not to.  As far as I'm aware, they never made any specific demands.

We were in NYC for the holiday, and took the subway all over the place. And no, I didn't worry about the possible threat against the system, although there were cops everywhere, especially on Thursday morning.  I take the DC metro every day, and I just can't manage to stay worried all the time.

3 Responses to “Haunted by Mumbai”

  1. Wendy Says:

    I think one of the reasons is that the attacks were so widespread. With the 9/11 attack, you had the feeling that you could run away from the towers, and you’d be ok. But the attacks in Mumbai were designed to cause true terror. There was unpredictability in the targets. I mean, a hospital? Why?

  2. jen Says:

    I have also been reading a lot about Mumbai. Did you see the piece in the WaPo this morning, that the gunmen simply landed launches on the fishing pier and took taxicabs to the city center? And that it was only 10 guys? As with 9/11 (which I believe was perpetrated by what, 11 hijackers?) it’s shocking to see how much damage a small group of determined people can do. Also, the sustained nature of the whole thing was cause for thought for me. Certainly it ups the raw terror factor when it continues for days. I couldn’t help but think, this is India’s 9/11. Their home minister resigned already, and it will cause some serious soul-searching. And some serious expense, as they try to fix the issues.
    As for it not being noticed much, this event somewhat reminded me of the tsunami a few years back, which occurred over the Christmas break and took a while for people to notice. I don’t think it’s because people don’t care — they’re just unplugged at holiday times.

  3. Amy P Says:

    I think the fact that the thing went off during the Thanksgiving holidays definitely reduced the blog coverage.
    By the way, the hotel staff seem to have been amazing. Over at Althouse’s blog, she has a long quote from a British survivor who spent the attack barricaded inside a restaurant at the Taj.
    “But come 5am, we were fairly confident the police were going to get us out, so I marched over to the bar and found a bottle of vintage Cristal champagne and opened it and began pouring it into glasses. Then the head waiter came rushing across to me and said, ‘No, no, you can’t do that!’ and I said, ‘Well we’re going to’ and he said, ‘No sir, those are the wrong type of glasses. I shall find you champagne flutes.’ And he did. The service was immaculate.”

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