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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"What Mumbai spirit?"

That is the headline of a blog post on the New Yorker magazine website. Written by Naresh Fernandes after the Mumbai blasts on July 13, the piece gets right down to brass tacks in the opening paragraph itself:

Three hours after a bomb turned a bus stop in Dadar, in central Mumbai, into one of those ingenuously twisted metallic installations that the city’s minor sculptors so love, a murmuring crowd converged on a multiplex less than fifty metres away. What seemed to be the problem? “They’ve cancelled the 10 P.M. show of ‘Delhi Belly,’ ” a man in shorts with an angry demeanor explained. Surely no one had the stomach to watch the scatological sleeper hit on an evening on which three blasts in southern Mumbai had left eighteen people dead and about a hundred and thirty wounded? “These kinds of things happen all the time,” the man replied. “Why should we put our lives on hold just because there have been a few bomb blasts?”

As can be expected, this article did not go down well with some readers, who have been scathing in their comments.

Disclosure: I grew up in Mumbai (then known as Bombay) and lived there for 30 years. As such I am all for lauding the Mumbaikar's spirit. But human nature is such that we tend to (and need to) move on after a tragedy. In that context, Naresh Fernandes may not be far off the mark when he writes what he does in the concluding paragraph of his post.

Read the piece in its entirety (and the comments) here.
  • Thank you, Arpan Bhattacharyya (Class of 2010), for sending me the New Yorker link.