Friday, November 28, 2008

Victoria Terminus

My dad was posted in Lonavla, a hill station in the Pune district in Maharashtra. We took the trains to visit my grand-parents in Kanpur often and we would change trains at the VT station. As kids, my sister and I would marvel at the architecture of the Victoria Terminus building and the size of the railway station. My dad who was an engineer with the Central Railways would bore us with stats about how many trains stopped at VT and how many people changed trains at that station while we would cling to his legs trying not to get lost in the sea of people rushing in all directions. VT was a happy place for me and my sister. We had a twenty four hour train journey from VT to Kanpur and we would double up on supplies at the VT station - popcorn -check, Stardust/CineBlitz - check, Archie's comics - check., the latest Amar Chitra Kathas - check.

So its with horror I watched the terminal become a part of the siege of Mumbai. While a lot of news has been focused on the higher end hotels of Taj and Oberoi and rightly so, since these are still ongoing campaigns, the assault on VT was on common people who travel by trains every day. If there is a silver lining to this terrorist act, it is bringing Indians of all stripes and colors together. Indians are also banding together to demand more from their government. Mumbaiites and Indians have shown resilience and defiance to terrorism before and they will again.

Update: The siege is over.

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