Story of a lost journalist

July 28, 2008

Living in death fear

Filed under: life — Cris @ 08:04
Tags: ,

Ok I know the title sounds way too melodramatic. But I think I experienced a really minute version of that yesterday. My mother and I were watching TV at 6:45 pm when the bomb scare hit all channels. Last 2 days when I was reading about the Bangalore and Ahmedabad blasts, I wondered what would happen if this came to Kerala. And I got myself the reality bite when all channels were talking about the phone call to a Bangalore TV channel, from someone who claimed to be “Mujahideen” (Indian Mujahideen) announcing the next target to be Kerala and the bombs to go off at 7. Gulp!

Few days back I might not have paid a lot of attention to a cranky call. But having seen bombs exploding for 2 consecutive days, I couldn’t help but take the fear to my head. Ashamed now, seeing how most of the others I talked to went on with normal lives. I kept the fear to my self and Mother not wanting to be laughed at. I didn’t let Amma walk away from my side even to a room away when the clock kept ticking towards 7. Terrorism was always something which happened in far away places, something I worried about only on seeing the news and then forgot about later.

This was the first time it hit me what people who are hit by terrorist attacks every so often must be going through. Fearing everyday for their lives, for their dear and little ones, for what could happen the very next second. It is a horrible, horrible feeling. You feel something missing or something rocking hard and fast in your heart. I am not playing drama school here. I know the feeling now. And though I may sound carried off, it is real. I have a habit of taking things to heart, being way too imaginative I am more vulnerable in that regard. Where someone else just hears a story, I might have it all pictured and running live scenes in my head. So the bomb explosion became as real to me as it did in Ahmedabad. Hmm I should probably consult a psychiatrist!

I am not an awful coward as might be the impression I gave away being too blunt. It is just that the understanding I suddenly seemed to have attained was more than what I could handle. I was reduced to feeling I was better off not knowing things ahead. So ok if a bomb exploded and killed me, yeah that’s that and everything would be over, but when someone told me there is a bomb ready to explode any minute and live in fear of that, its not my area of expertise. I thought about all the police force, and the bomb squad people and even the media-persons who had to be in close touch with all this, who actually lived on top of what I call the death-stage. What did they feel like? Bold? Responsible? Or did they too contain a small amount of fear? I doubt that. When they took the path to their professions they knew what was coming, what was on that path. And they still chose it.

No one knew if it was even a real threat. Someone could have been having fun. “Ah 2 cities had its trouble, now we will go and scare the third one”. It was the whole state that feared however. People still seemed to mind their normal everyday business. I found myself losing the fear when the clock ticked way past 7. But those moments surrounding 7 pm, I was expecting to see yellow and orange flames any second. Crazy me!

Hmm I even toyed with the idea of writing one “last blog post”! How carried away can someone get? Well anyway I can’t admit I am back to complete normalcy and sewed the heart of Jhansi Lakshmi Bhai in place of mine. Cause the over-imaginative part of me has now started thinking all the hullabaloo was to drift attraction from the actual event which may happen on a day totally unexpected. Hmm it’s a never ending fear. And when I say my heart goes out to the people in Kashmir, Mumbai, and now Ahmedabad, it really does go out, no exaggerated content of emotions there.



  1. It’s horrible to live in constant fear of death. But life has to go on, so we all will forget it and move on until something happens again.

    Comment by Bindhu — July 28, 2008 @ 12:22 | Reply

  2. To be frank…This was abnormal…and this is exactly what these guys want…and with this blog entry u made them more happy…

    Comment by Gov — July 28, 2008 @ 13:14 | Reply

  3. @Bindhu, yes it is. And yes thankfully there is nothing time can heal, so I got over my little anxiety

    @Gov, they dont need my blog entry to be happy, they already have 46 people in Ahemedabad, 63 in Jaipur and 2 in Bangalore this year to think about and be happy. And if panic makes them happy, any of the TV channels with all the police force and media people equally scattering all around the city would have been more than enough. Sorry you feel that way, but I do not agree there is anything unduly abnormal about fearing death and with this, though not a good point to mention, I did get in touch or atleast have a glimpse of what our countrymen in Kashmir are going through everyday.

    Comment by Cris — July 28, 2008 @ 13:36 | Reply

  4. These things are scary!

    Comment by Nikhil Narayanan — July 28, 2008 @ 16:32 | Reply

  5. I wonder why a hartal has not been called in yet at Kerala. Don’t we have enough surplus for each of our parties to celebrate for a week? or, have the fear of death struck them too!

    Comment by Tedy Kanjirathinkal — July 28, 2008 @ 18:00 | Reply

  6. There is nothing abnormal considering that there were telephone warnings before the explosions in Ahmadabad (which was ignored) and the same was repeated here. Most of the theaters were asked to close down before the evening shows. I had been following the news since 3 o clock and had to go out to meet someone. There was police outside each hospital in the way and in the road. So even though, you might be unaware of all this, the fear cant be abnormal. Anyway the thought of losing someone just because someone decided to blow up the neighboring market is a scary thought. Not the way to leave this world. Worse than a freak road accident 😦

    Comment by Prem — July 28, 2008 @ 19:47 | Reply

  7. People live with this in Mumbai and Delhi every day….and people don’t talk as if some disaster has stuck because they don’t have any other option,next day morning they get up and go to their work coz if they don’t some one else would have replaced him.
    Every one is scared,scared to the core, but very few has options to get to their room hug mom and feel heaven,wake up next day morning and say to the world in tears how scary she felt in a public forum…Media will report..its their job and responsibility to let the world know whats is happening …but how each person respond to it will make the difference….so act responsibly coz a blog is not ur personal diary..its a personal arena and if 100 people like u blog like this,it do will have an influence…an influence which will induce sense of fear when they think of their sister back in Bangalore…this is called terror-ism.Please don’t help them spread their word.Keep ur big mouth shut and act responsibly.

    Comment by Gov — July 28, 2008 @ 21:07 | Reply

  8. @Gov, first of all, wish to ask you not to take this personally, as an argument against you. So please do calm down. There is no use keeping “a big mouth” shut when talking is your job in blog. And a personal blog is esentially personal, its where people speak their minds and I believe, its totally upto the author to decide what he/she wants to reveal in his personal space. I understand your point, just wish you used a better way to express it. I do realise what lives people are forced to lead in Mumbai or Kashmir. But I have an idea when they had a first time experience in tasting terrorism, they might have had a similar reaction. Far as I can see, its the only natural course.
    And please, do they need bloggers to know what people are going through when people are running out of theatres middle of the day and having a hell of a time right out open in the city?! I think not! As for the influence, I am inclined to believe on the contrary, that more people outside will get to see what terrorism leaves behind and be tempted to act for the sake of humanity. For I still have faith in people and that there are more number out there with hearts in place than the ones who lost it to Terrorism.

    Comment by Cris — July 28, 2008 @ 21:18 | Reply

  9. @Gov, not everyone who reads this succumbs to fear; there would be a small percentage who would be incited, feel motivated to take responsibility, step in and act – which ever way it is. One cannot generalize human psyche – the same stimulus can act different on different people. When the news “there is a snake in the room” is yelled out, some jump up the chair, some hunt around for a stick!

    You never know, what or who picks the stick upon this news! There might be a million who jumps up on the chair, but lets not loose our chance of the ones with the stick, by suppressing freedom of speech.

    Comment by Tedy Kanjirathinkal — July 28, 2008 @ 21:21 | Reply

  10. I was in Museum (Daily meeting point for my gang) at that time and police were extra alert from 4pm. They shifted unattended bikes to a safe distance and wanted everyone to leave the place as soon as possible . The whole area was cleared by 6.45. We were clueless about what was happening! They never said the word ‘bomb threat’ . Any way , my mom called after seeing flash news in TV and wanted me to reach home asap. She knew that I’l be in Museum and every channel was flashing news about evacuation going on in Museum and kanakakkunne. Hearing about the bomb threat , we were tempted to stay there with curiosity. 🙂 Not without fear, but still, we were curious. Repeated calls from home and police changed our mind and scooted the place. It was like a harthal day. Roads were empty , police everywhere and i was stopped 3 times on my way back to home by police for ‘checking’ . I am happy about how our govt handled the situation even if it was a prank call.

    Comment by Srijith — July 28, 2008 @ 21:37 | Reply

  11. @ Gov : I felt like Cris was opening her mind about how she felt. Between her lines i could sense that she realized how over reacted she was! But, a blog is a blog. The content will be decided by the author and we have no right to question her unless it was personal. Describing what she felt during the alert time never supports terrorism. Like Tedy said, it can end up as an eye opener to few people. Or think about the extreme – a terrorist reading it and quitting terrorism! 😀 .. No i said ‘extreme’ ! 😛

    Comment by Srijith — July 28, 2008 @ 21:51 | Reply

  12. It is taking ages for me to read all your posts as i missed out a few days.Its quite interesting to read your social views…
    meanwhile dont you worry of a bomb strike in Kerala as it is the home of terrorists.I believe chances therefore are less

    Comment by Eashwar — July 29, 2008 @ 14:29 | Reply

  13. @Srijith, the extreme happened. Look above, there is consolation for Cris too, “nothing to worry” with reasons he he 🙂

    Comment by Prem — July 29, 2008 @ 19:47 | Reply

  14. lol Prem!! though i didnt get which ‘terrorist’ you are pointing to , its cool to say that i have a friend who can convert a terrorist to human 😉

    Comment by Srijith — July 29, 2008 @ 22:10 | Reply

  15. @Nikhil, yes they are!

    @Tedy, yes expecting a hartal declaration any day now. And thank you for that snake bit, that was nice.

    @Prem, true. Expecting something bad is worse than something bad happening without warning.

    @Srijith, the extreme bit is a little too much to hope for. But then I hope the post doesnt work against the other way up, like Gov points out. Looks like the fear exists within everyone but making it visible in the form of a post can be discouraging. Oh well not seeing it doesnt change things or the way one feels.

    @Eashwar, Blasts are monsterous wherever they happen. Its really sad to read about Malayalees at the top of SIMI and other militant organizations.. simply fail to understand their reasoning… I understand the sarcasm behind the comment, but then such minds wouldnt stop for a second to blow up the entire nation, Kerala included.

    Comment by Cris — July 30, 2008 @ 00:40 | Reply

  16. Crissie, even if the extreme is impossible, like Tedy said, someone may get inspired enough to react against it. Thats enough!

    Comment by Srijith — July 30, 2008 @ 01:12 | Reply

  17. yes, that fear was something many of us felt as deep as u did, dear..
    i left bangalore for kochi on the same night when we had serial blasts here.. ive never seen bangalore roads so like a ghost town at 8pm on a friday. I was to meet up with some old friends n then leave for trvandrum on sunday evening.. we somehow manage to jump into a train and the next thing we do is to jump out coz we started getting frantic calls from family n friends to get out asap! so, there we go back, postponing the travel to the next day.

    the fact is: they did manage succesfully in terrorising us and holding us all in the fear of what is to come.

    Comment by usha — July 31, 2008 @ 09:12 | Reply

  18. @Srijith, thank you bro! That was one of the intentions, if not all 🙂

    @usha, yes they did. I hate it when that happens. Somehow though I know all this is going to be happen in the exact same order if they chose to do more pranking again.

    Comment by Cris — August 2, 2008 @ 20:19 | Reply

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