Sep 10, 2011

Where were we on 9/11?

Tomorrow marks the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy here in the United States; which makes me ponder over where we were ten years ago on that fateful day...

I had just reached work and called in Israel to convey I had arrived safely in office. It was a customary habit we had been accustomed to.

I went and grabbed myself a cup of coffee and was just about to login when Israel called back with a kind of panic in his voice - "Mone! A plane just flew in to one of the world trade center towers!" and suggested I go watch the news. Within minutes he called again with the news of the second plane hitting the second tower.

Just then I heard similar hustle bustle among my colleagues and everybody rushed to the conference room where CNN was playing in the big screens. The first tower had collapsed already and they were showing play backs of that when right in front of our eyes the second tower came tumbling down too! My head was spinning. Holding my head with both hands I slid to the floor in slow motion  - sitting flat on the floor. It seemed like I had no energy even to stand and felt like the whole world was closing in. I had just delivered a child and may be that too played  a role in my discomfort.

People in the room were crying silently, sobbing in whispers, and no one was talking. Everyone felt helpless, void of any hope. No one went back to their desk. They were all glued to the TV. When I gathered the strength to stand up again I took permission to leave.  I just wanted to reach back home to my babies.

Israel too came back home soon. Lot of our friends worked in New York but we were not sure if anyone actually worked in those towers. Tried to reach out a few in vain. More news was coming in on the Pentagon bound flight. There was a widespread rumor at least one more flight was missing in the air. America under attack was the headline flashing across the network. Our hearts melted in fear. Mostly fear of more impending danger.

Within a day or two we were back up and running as normal. Here and there people were sharing how someone they had known had escaped the ordeal or how someone reached home walking over the bridge etc. For a while it seemed like good stories, encouraging stories and I was heaving out a sigh of relief when our phone rang.

It was Keol, a friend of Israel, his former colleague. When I picked up the call she was sobbing on the other end and said Nath hadn't been home yet. It was Day 3. She added that there was a subway train stopped underground and people were still returning home. She hoped he was on it and was on his way home. She had spoken to some priests in Nath's hometown in India who had assured he was alive. 

Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months but there was no sign of Nath. Our hearts sank further. Keol was still waiting and hoping. We didn't know what to say. Then one day she called and said she was ready to accept Nath might be no more. She had a family gathering to bid him farewell, sold her house and moved out of New Jersey. We invited her over to come and spend some days with us; she obliged. That was the least we could do. That was the last we saw of her.

She had deleted her email account, changed her phone number and didn't share her new address and so we had lost touch with her. Over the next nine plus years she has been in our thoughts and prayers more often than she would ever imagine.

This past Christmas there was a cheerful greetings from her in our voice mail; unfortunately there was no call back number so we couldn't reach back to her. But we are now comforted she is fine.

Keol is much loved and we wish her strength through the rest of the way; Nath too is fondly remembered as always...

14 comments:

Tomz said...

In the morning my mother's loud cry woke up me from sleep. With a news paper in her hand she said that a huge terror attack had happened in America..that was how we received the news..

Bikramjit said...

I was driving to London on this day to pick up a friend, who had arrived from india to visit me ...

When i got a txt saying this has happened and to be careful ..

sad such a sad situation .. so many death of the innocent .. I hope GOD makes them pay for what these terrorists did especially the ones who planned this and are still at large ..

Bikram's

R. Ramesh said...

gosh...i try to forget that horrible day:)

Mangala said...

Thousands of lives changed in an instant of madness!!How can people do this in the name of religion?? I wonder if these ppl ever sleep peacefully even for a night....

KParthasarathi said...

For me in India it took sometime to know the seriousness and the extent of damage it did to the lives of many who worked on the spot and to the psyche of the countrymen.As news flowed in we were amazed at the way everyone responded to the grim situation.America's determination to exterminate terror commenced from this tragic day.
You have brought out wonderfully the sense of disbelief and horror that prevailed on that fateful day.Koel is one tragic victim of the attack.There are so many whom we never know whose lives changed totally that day.
May God forbid such madness anywhere in the world

anilkurup said...

Yes indeed it is good to know that she is well. She may have a reason too to not leave her id and contact info. She may have wanted to tell you that she is back into living but may be preferring to be away from the past.
That is her decision she thought was best for her.

Sometimes we want to forget things, people and even a place. I do. Trying my best to do that.

You can find comfort in the fact that she recognises your affection and prayers for her.

deeps said...

For most of us had someone somehow affected by that tragic incident…I was in Allahabad, in our classroom, when all of a sudden our prof got the call… he ran out and later came back and told the class what was going on in the us… he had friends there….
The tremor still vibrates all over…even after 10 years…

kavita said...

My prayers for Koel and so many more who lost their family and friends .I hope one day you do meet her again.

Rachna said...

I was living in California back then. I was woken up from sleep when my sis-n-law called from New Jersey frantically asking us to turn on the TV. We just saw the nightmare play out on our TV screens. My husband's bil worked in the North Tower of the WTC who luckily evacuated in time and survived. My heart goes out to all those who lost their lives and their loved ones.

Balachandran V said...

9/11 will haunt the world forever. Remember what Osama said? 'From now on, Americans shall live in fear'. I felt a chill running down my spine looking at Osama. There are too many Osamas in the world, not only in Islam, but in 'democratic' countries like US and India. Only subtle differences in the modes operandi.

Glad to know that Keol could survive the tragedy. It is the living that suffer more than the dead, isn't it?

A said...

9/11 changed the world forever. It was terrible day

ES said...

9/11 was terrible indeed. But truths of why it happened don't come out or even if they do, people don't accept it. I just hope that such incidents don't happen any more.

YL said...

Whatever may be the truths of why it happened, It should not have happened. This is not the way to show the anger/protest/or whatever it may be.

YL said...

As soon as I posted my previous comment, my heart was heavy with the atomic bombings against the cities of Japan in 1945 in which more than 250000 people were killed. why such wars and killings of innocent people? why cant we have a world with no wars?

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 
HostGator promo code