I had written another post for today and was about to post it when I felt i should write about something that’s been so important to me for the last 4 years.
4 years ago today our city was besieged by terror attacks and for the first time in my life-I was scared, unsure of tomorrow and afraid to step outside. I didn’t sleep for days and when I did, I dreamt of blood, gore, screaming and fear. With the help of my friend Mr. Sivanandan and my encouraging husband – I set about to interview survivors and their families. I needed to find something positive from all the death,destruction and sorrow of that mindless massacre.
And every year , we’ve been going to different continents and telling people about our stories, our survivors, our heroes-names you’ve never heard of, people you’d pass by on the street but people who showed exemplary courage in the face of senseless rage and irrational hate and survived those 48 hours. Every year I’ve re-interviewed a few, re-assessed where they are and asked them how they feel and kept in touch. And telling the stories made a difference- not just to those we told it to…but to each one of us and giving the proceeds away made us feel that we were in some way, able to help contribute to a change.
Men and women died that night protecting one another. People survived using skills they didn’t know they had, calling on bravery they didn’t know they possessed. And we went on. We should have learnt from them. We can still learn.
Instead of inculcating fear, we must learn to live- not to just survive and go but to understand and to appreciate the value of life- yours and the people around you. We must focus on the moment and have faith in ourselves and in others because help can come from the most unexpected sources and it’s never hard to just do good and be nice.
We were all chosen to survive because of those who gave up their lives instead. But life is about making positive changes and trying to make your life count and the only way we can do that is making every moment of our lives make a difference – to ourselves, to those around us.
It’s 26/11 again now…and it’s four years later. Ask yourself- Have you made a change? If you haven’t… it’s not too late…! Next year- same time- I’ll check in!
26/11- Never Forget!