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.