What were you doing on 9/11?

September 12, 2009

September 11, 2001 — I was at university attending a freshers’ welcome bash in New Delhi.

That was a time before cell phones had become affordable and news travelled slowly.

There were murmurs of an attack, something about the U.S. and a trade center but I didn’t pay much attention.

“Is Osama coming?” someone sniggered, about a senior who shares his name with the infamous al Qaeda chief.

“Osama is sleeping in the hostel. Why are you bothering him?”

Back at the hostel, my roommate asked me if I had heard the news.

“Go look, it’s on TV. They ploughed planes into a building.”

I went to the common room, thinking randomly of Timothy McVeigh and David Koresh.

All the TV news channels were showing footage from the attacks — over and over again.

I had just read the book ‘The Inscrutable Americans’ and as I saw the towers go down, I remembered these were the first buildings the novel’s protagonist had seen in New York.

I was glued to the television screen, unable to tear myself away.

Scenes from assorted Hollywood movies played through my head as I tried and failed to make sense of it.

The spectacle of thousands dying beggared my imagination.

As I turned in for the night, I couldn’t shake of the thought that if this could happen to the most powerful country in the world, then what about us in India?


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Although it was a bad event, it didn’t affect very many Americans even a little bit, other than watching it on TV. America needs to get over its hangover with the 911 thing and get on with the business at hand. It’s over and won’t happen again in our lifetimes; not because of any so-called war, or homeland security propaganda, but simply because it’s over.

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive

You are being naive. 9/11 was a reality and we must never drop our guards again!

It was one of the saddest days of my life. Can never forget the images of both buildings crumbling in front of my eyes! So many precious lives were lost in an instant!

India had recent experience on 26/11 and it was equally significant for Indians.

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

I think too much of money/ efforts are being spent in sieving good and bad. A critical analysis of the situation will reveal that the more we try to indulge in complexities, the more screwed we will be. We need to use our common sense to root out this evil called Islamic Terrorism because it is never going to stop. It is going on ceaselessly since birth of the religion.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

While 9/11 was horrific, I think too much is being made out of it even now after 8 years. Its time for Americans to get over it and not let their everyday life still be ruled by just one event.

Posted by Naveen | Report as abusive