What were you doing on 9/11?
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.”
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?