It seems like a date from the last century. A date from the pre-independence era. Something we had not witnessed, like pictures we see in an old magazine, of a burning palace, of a callous youngster in black, of a scattered and blood-stained railway station, of terrified, spell-bound citizens crowding the roads, of an entire world glued to the television.
Of names that popped up. The Taj. Girgaum Chowpatty. Chhatrapathi Shivaji Terminus. Leopold Cafe. Oberoi Trident. A little Jewish boy named Moshe wailing for his parents in the hands of his nanny.
The surge of hatred, towards the only one who survived. The hatred and pain that refused to fade even after his end. An end that was too merciful in the eyes of some.
Of calling up relatives to know if they are fine.
Of heroes. And heroism.
Of not wanting to remember.
The fear. The horror. The panic.
The quivering of the knees, the relentless pounding of the heart.
Of scars that remained.
Of hearing about the Indians and foreigners who were alive just moments before. Of wondering where their Gods were, at that moment.
Of the 26/11 that happens every day, everywhere, to every one of us.
Of never forgetting.
No, it was all real. It was not from the last century or before our time.
It was here. And it was now.