I first heard about what happened while I was at work this afternoon. Watching CNN.com, my one coworker and I shook our heads and stared, wondering what happened and why. I first saw that the death toll was at 60, and that an unnumbered amount were injured. And then it just kept getting worse. The death toll keeps going up. It's unconfirmed, but there were children killed. Buildings are on fire, people are dead, and many more are injured. This is insanity at its worst.
The company that I work for has operations in Mumbai, and our entire floor interacts with the folks in India on a daily basis. As the night has worn on, one of the guys working late tonight has gotten in touch with the building that we all interact with, and he's been good enough to post updates on his Facebook profile so that we can see how our Indian counterparts are doing. The good news: they are removed from the carnage and safe in their building. The bad news: in order to remain safe, they have been instructed to stay in the building until further notice. Many of them just want to go home and get to their families. I can't imagine what they're going through, being in the same city and in such close proximity to something so violent and evil. This has to be absolutely terrifying for them. Were it me, I would want to go home and just hug my family like there's no tomorrow, wishing the whole mess away. As it was, I came home and hugged my children tightly, telling them that I love them. I'll freely admit that this has had me in tears. I don't like the idea of people dying violently, feeling isolated and afraid. I want this to end for them.
I'm not going to sit here from the comfort of my middle-class home and start proselytizing as to why this has happened. What matters right now is that this is happening, and good people are dying for shit reasons. Whatever the perpetrators' problems are, this should not extend to innocent people. Likewise, anyone who wants to start spouting, "It's only India" bullshit needs to keep his mouth shut. That's tasteless, and it dehumanizes people who have suffered through something traumatic.
Despite what's happened, I still vow that I am going to get to go visit that country someday. I want to wade into the Ganges and see the mountains. I will not let fear hold me back, no matter how grounded in reality it is. It's no way to live.