On 26/11/2008 I was comfortably sitting in my house in Chennai and was a mere silent spectator of the News TV shows which were providing live coverage of the massacre that swept Mumbai.
Hundreds of innocent people were held hostage by terrorists having horrific purpose in their minds, some of the prominent and iconic buildings in Mumbai were burning in fire and so was the soul of many Indians.
Even days and months after the incident my local train journeys to college, occasional dinners in luxury hotels and even violent scenes in movies used to remind me of what the hostages went through in the Taj hotel or Trident hotel or the railway station etc. I must admit the feeling was scary and sad.
It was a tragic incident which we would like to forget but we better not. We better not forget it for the sake of the brave NSG commandos, Mumbai police and many more people like the staffs in the hotels who redefined professionalism and patriotism.
Along with rage, remorse and hope this incident gave birth to Indian heroes for whom we feel extremely proud. No matter how much we thank them, it will still not be enough.
It also brought together political parties to brainstorm beyond party agendas and forget inter party rivalries for a little while in order to deeply think about National cause and security.
Many promises by political leaders were made and I hope that at least some of those strategies to tackle terrorism have been executed well enough.
We Indians have shown immense courage to bounce back and progress but in the midst of all these developments I realize that the best thing which has ever happened to me is the fact that I am born as an INDIAN.
However I feel a little silly and very ashamed that why did it take an incident like 26/11/2008 to occur in order to have this wonderful realization in me?
I dont have an answer. I can only say 'Jai Hind' from the bottom of my heart.