The way we are


I work at the Times of India building in Mumbai, bang (as it turns out) opposite CST. I usually catch a train from VT at about 10 pm. On Wednesday, I left half-an-hour early and when worried colleagues called me from work, I could hear the gunshots. The e-mail received by a news channel says our building is a target for the terrorists.
Inside, we’re doing our jobs. Everyone is here. Even if they are 21-year-old trainees who have to pass from near Metro to get to work. Even if they went home for just a few hours to sleep on Wednesday. It’s not compulsion and it’s certainly not *The Spirit of Mumbai. It’s understood that this is what we chose our professions for, even if by accident. This is what we do.
The photographers risked their lives to go into the station and take pictures while the gunmen were in there and returned to much back-slapping.
We aren’t being heroic. There is nothing heroic about doing your job.
But we are making a list of colleagues to offer as hostages, if the need arises. We are trying to give out the news. And without meaning to, we are keeping our spirits up.

Quotes of the seige

KV: I hate terrorism, yaar.

Also KV: You know, we must just admit we don’t know how to tackle these situations. We should just ask for help. If it was the Mossad, this operation would have been over in one-and-a-half hours. They would have flown in, finished this and flown out. Really man. We should just admit we are not good at some things and import the talent. Like a Prada bag.

*Please don’t let that phrase circulate.

4 thoughts on “The way we are

  1. “There is nothing heroic about doing your job.” – Thank you for writing that. I had a whole blog post about it in mind, which I decided against because if I wrote it, it would be “comfortable drawing room talk”. I’m glad that you said it while being in the midst of it all.


  2. hmm…what if one choise one’s job with no aversion to the heroic possibilities it entailed (e.g. people who join the armed forces)?

    that aside, i’m glad that you and your family are safe.

  3. Aditi: What I meant was that they are not heroes just for taking part in this particular operation. They are heroes because they *choose* to be in a profession where there is danger of this happening eventually.
    People join a profession for a reason. Crime journalists live for the thrill of the chase. Those in the armed forces hope to undergo tests of bravery and sacrifice. In the same way, it’s not brave of us to come to work during a hostage situation. This is what we joined up for.
    In hindsight, I was venting against journalists who were too scared to come to work.

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