My niece shared with me this piece written by a friend of a friend, Srinivasa Addepalli ("Srini"), and he has kindly given me permission to post it here. Many thanks, Srini!:

Third Person No Longer...

The veil has been shattered. We have watched terror attacks on TV, read analyses on websites and discussed 911, 267, London and Madrid over coffee. Bad things were happening out there and we were shocked, sorry and commisserating. But it was always out there and them that got affected. It was always terror in third person.

Last night changed it. The attacks were at locations that were close to our hearts. At locations that were painfully very familiar to us. Locations we might have been at last night.

The rooms, restaurants and banquet halls of the Taj and Oberoi were our haunts. We smiled cynically at the metal detectors and security checks at the entrances. What an irritant, we thought. We felt we wereout of reach, safe and above terror. Last night changed it.

I hope it stays changed. I hope we don't "bounce back" as the journalists put it. I hope we don't go back to thinking we are impervious. It is our callousness, this bouncing back, that strengthens our enemies. It is our indifference that prevents us from demanding tough action.

Some of our colleagues, some of our fellow citizens, and some of our guests have borne the brunt of what happened last night. It might have been you and me. This is not drama in third person any longer.

I wish there were some easy solutions to this, a 'framework' that we could apply, some consultants we could call in. But there aren't. Some momentous changes will be required in our country and society if we are to make life more secure for us and our children. Each of us will
have to play a part in this change.

This morning, as we strive to maintain calm and pray for those affected, let's not forget that this is terror in first person. Please don't bounce back tomorrow morning.

Srini

Prabhu Guptara