When I woke up that day, it was raining heavily outside. Suddenly,something struck me in my head but I was not able to figure that out. Then I got a call from my mom and she wished me happy birthday. Yes,it was my birthday and I had turned 28 that day. Its hard to remember simple things of life when u are away from ur home, staying in an unknown city and serving some foreign clients 10-12 hrs a day.
As soon as I placed my cell, I received a call from Devina. She wished me the same and also asked whether I told my mother about our 2 yr old relationship – or not. That day I told my mother about my relationship with Devina. At first, she was shocked but then told me she would like to meet Devina . I was confident enough that she will like my choice. I booked a table for 3 in the most prestigious hotel of Mumbai. I always dreamt of taking my mother there. Having lost my father at an early age, my mother played dual role for me. She was everything to me right from my childhood.
After all the arrangements done,I called Devina to tell her about the plan. She was extremely happy that day. She even asked me whether she would wear a saree or a salwar. I suggested her to wear the salwar -which I gifted her around 2 months back on her bday. she agreed. Finishing my office works early, left for home, took my mother who arrived that morning in my apartment and we were on our way to THE TAJ, – the majestic Taj. Devina was already there as she had this quality unlike most of the girls reaching on time. She greeted my mother and we went inside the hotel.
I was eagerly looking for a plan so that I could leave both of them alone. I knew my mother would not be comfortable talking Devina in my presence..so I decided to leave them alone for few mins.As per my plan I left saying -that i have to attend an emergency call and I will be back in 15-20 mins.I reached near Gateway of India and texted Devina saying I will be back in the next 20 mins.
I was enjoying the beauty of the sea from Gateway of India. For everyone who comes to Mumbai, be Indian or a foreigner undoubtedly Gateway of India is one of the most favourite places to hang around in India. Everyone loves to enjoy the scenic beauty out there.The couples who were sitting at the bank of the sea reminded me of Devina. Then I turned my head towards the magnificent TAJ standing tall. I was becoming restless guessing about their conversation .The only thing I was thinking about was whether my mother liked Devina or not.
Suddenly everyone started running near the main entrance of Taj and sounds of gunshots can be heard clearly. I ran towards the gate but was not able to enter as everyone was coming out from the base floor of the hotel. I was thrown out – by the people .I asked someone who was just coming out from the hotel-
”what is going on inside ?”..
he was breathing heavily and replied-“few armed people are firing indiscriminately inside.”
And with this he got out of my sight in no time . My heartbeats stopped for a minute or so. After few minutes, it was clear to everyone present there that it is a terrorist attack and not any –Mumbaiya gangwar. The attack continued for almost 60 long hours. Those 60 hours were the worst time of my life like many others whose relatives were trapped inside the Taj -in the hands of few men.
I was praying for my mother and Devina. I was cursing myself for leaving them alone – but of no use, I couldn’t get them back to home with me. The only thing I can do was to pray and follow news related to Taj. I was dying every moment. Days seemed to be longer than years.
Then after 60 long hours, the NSG commandos brought the dead bodies out. And among -those dead bodies, two were mine – the two most important persons of my life, the two loveliest people I meet ever, Devina and my mother. The white salwar suit that I gifted Devina had turned red , soaked in blood. For the first time I was watching my mother taking a nap like that, still not able to believe that she will not wake up this time and say to me
”aaye shona,amar kache aaye”(Come my boy,come to me).
Those 60 hrs took away the two most important women of my life and with which I also lost my voice like my mother and Devina . After 26/11 I died every time I saw a couple walking down the street or when a child playing with his mother. Every time the news channels showed the documentaries of 26/11 attack I died many times watching it.
4 years passed,today is my birthday.It was raining then and it is raining today as well.But I know that neither my mother nor Devina going to wish me today but they are blessing me wherever they are. Life is getting worse day by day without them. Even the tears have dried up now. When I switched on my TV, I saw the news of Kasab, one of terrorists responsible for turning Taj into a war field on 26/11 and the lone terrorist caught alive hanged atlast. The news refreshed all the memories of that day. Everyone who suffered the attack try to forget but its impossible to wash out those images from our brain. Yes,this is indeed a happy moment for all of us,I lost all hopes that in this life,I will die without witnessing this moment.
After 5 days,when I will go to TAJ hotel for lighting the candles with fellow survivors of that deadly attack,I can look up at the sky to both of them and can say that Kasab is dead now. But the real justice will be done when the actual perpetrator of the attack will be no more in this world.Not physically but when the thoughts they spread in the name of “Jihaad” inside the young men like Kasab -and others will -get washed off. Executing Kasab will only feed a base blood lust that will make our society more bloodthirsty and violent but with no doubt he doesn’t deserve anything less than that. Maybe it will take some time, but the death of Kasab has given us a ray of hope.