Three hours of running from pillars holding up tin sheets to police posts, which provided security cover to shacks that had cropped up as polling booths, made me realise how frustrating the whole process is when the world’s largest democracy goes to vote.

It’s been more than two years since I moved to Mumbai and, frankly, voting was never top of my family’s agenda.

But, it all changed post the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Although we skipped the candles and the drama outside the Gateway of India near the Taj, which saw a protracted gun battle between armed militants and Indian security forces, one cannot deny the impact the attacks had on our collective conscience.

My wife said we cannot just sit back and accept whatever that happened as part of the new reality – terror can strike anywhere, anytime.

For her, it was the “jaagore” moment. For me, after doing my bit of reporting and producing news on India and South Asia for around 10 years, including an overnight vigil outside the Taj Mahal hotel till the miltants were finally eliminated, it was more like “we’ll see.”