Sunday, December 14, 2008

Terror Tourism, anyone?

Went to Leopold’s some days back. I guess almost 10 days after many innocent people lost their lives at the same place. Keeping in tune with the Mumbai spirit (whatever that means), the cafĂ© went about its business like any other day. The place was brimming with beer and customers, dry pink-coloured rose on the table, bunch of firangs scattered across, nothing had changed really, except ONE thing.

No matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t avoid seeing the bullet marks, on the walls, the pillar, the glass, the entrance, the shutter, almost every where. Firstly, I feel it is utter nonsense on behalf of the Leopold’s management to open the restaurant before getting rid of the bullet marks. They might as well not have cleaned the blood stains. Even better attraction for their customers, right?

Let’s face it. Loads of Mumbaikars, people like you and me, actually had the audacity to reduce the fiasco to nothing more than a tamasha. ‘Terror Tourism’ is what it is called. The underlying concept being that so long as it doesn’t happen to YOU, it’s nothing more than an amusing event. People went for evening walks with their dogs outside Oberoi and took videos on their cell phone even as others battled for their lives inside. I felt the fucking assholes ought to be sent in with the commandos. Maybe then they could have had a better view for their video, right?

But that’s the bitch! I thought only the people are guilty. But what Leopold’s did was maybe a step ahead. Bloody fuckers who know nothing better than cashing in on innocent lives. Not to forget, two of the victims were actually the Leopold’s staff. If you believe in bouncing back, bounce back the right way. It is not some irreparable damage. ONE day is more than enough. 10 days? Don’t fool me, please.

Just when I was leaving, I saw a group of youngsters. Everyone had their cell phones out and they were taking turns, posing with a bullet mark in the wall. Maybe ‘Terror Tourism’ works both ways. The owner is getting his customers. The customers are surely happy. I thought only journalists are vultures. But no, there are more. After all, vultures are just another breed. Maybe I should shut the crap.

(PS: And no, I didn’t take the above picture. It’s a file photo taken by one of the newspaper photographer, which he did because it is his job. We needed it for a city story.)

1 comment:

Sal said...

Yes you're right. Leaving the bullet holes and shattered glass at Leopold's so people 'dont' forget' may have pushed it a tad. The Taj reopened with not a sign of the attack ever taking place, which some may say makes it look like nothing ever happened. But people taking pictures with bullet holes in the wall and against the backdrop of the ruins of the Oberoi is probably worse. Lots of sick people out there.