Mixed emotions of terror


Image Source: ABC

I woke up this morning at 5 a.m. Just like every other morning. Unlike every morning though, I reached for my phone and checked the news. I was devastated to hear about the death of a couple of innocent hostages in the Sydney siege at Martin Place overnight. It hadn’t ended well as I’d optimistically thought last night. Sure, the end didn’t seem near but given that no one had died, I held hope for no one to be hurt. Except maybe the man who started it all.

Turns out he died too. And as I read about him, all I could feel was anger. Anger at the justice system for failing us. Anger that he was out on bail after being charged as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife. Anger that he was on bail even after 40 sexual offences against women.

I shed tears at some of the other articles. Photos of Sydneysiders leaving flowers. Photos of the hostages escaping. The thing is, I am used to terror attacks. I wouldn’t have thought I’d be affected so much. But unlike Mumbai, I honestly believed Sydney was safe.

Spending 15 years of my life in Mumbai, I was no stranger to random acts of terror. Since 1993, Mumbai has experienced its fair share of terror attacks. Most of the world probably knows of the 26/11/2008 attack in the heart of Mumbai. I was here in Sydney at the time and woke up to the news fearing for my loved ones — my sister who caught the train into CST station every day for college, my friends who worked close to the hotels where the terrorists had taken hostages on their shooting spree, my college which they passed through while firing their guns. I have lived through years of having bombs go off in trains I caught to college for 5 years.

There was always fear. There was always someone to blame. There was always anger. But then, there was also solidarity. There were people looking out for one another. There were people exchanging smiles on an otherwise busy train. There were people helping others. It was us against them; ‘them’ being the terrorists. And to beat them, we had to get on with our lives. We had to continue with work or college. The fear wouldn’t completely go away. But you started each day with the hope that there wouldn’t be any attacks. That there wouldn’t be any lunatics.

This man from yesterday was a lunatic. A criminal. It angers me to read people referring to him as being ‘mentally ill’. I find it offensive to those who are truly battling mental illness. This was a man who obviously thought he was above the law. That he could terrorize women in particular. This was a violent man who has scared my city and my home.

My heart goes out to the families of those hostages who died. I know the fear of potentially having a loved one caught up in something like this but I can’t say I know what it is like to actually have someone you love being held hostage. It must be heartbreaking.

I hope that we as a community can find that solidarity to come together. Yes, there are several questions to be answered. And yes, the reality is that there are possibly other lunatics like him out there.

But we  can’t let the fear get to us. That is what they want.

We pick ourselves up and we get stronger.

Hopefully, we find strength in one another to continue to stand up to lunatics like this. Through the sadness, the numbness, the fear and anger, we will face several tomorrows.

Until next time,

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  • Zita
    16 December 2014 at 5:07 pm

    It really is quite hard to wrap your head around isn’t it. I can’t imagine what the hostages, their friends and families have had to deal with over the past 24/48 hours. Really does give the wake up call that at any time in any place things can change in an instant.
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  • nabanita
    16 December 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I feel so angry that innocent unsuspecting common people suffer due to such morons who think they are above the law…Such incidents makes me feel so unsafe but at the same time the power of standing with each other
    nabanita recently posted…How I cheated fear and got away with itMy Profile

  • Rebecca Stephens
    16 December 2014 at 9:52 pm

    It must be just awful for everyone involved, including the amazing police officers who risked their own lives to save the lives of others. #TeamIBOT

  • Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages
    16 December 2014 at 9:55 pm

    I feel for you that you know fear so well but it has given you such a great insight in to how people band together, how community matters, not just int he hard times, but always.
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  • EssentiallyJess
    16 December 2014 at 10:20 pm

    It’s just been awful. Really I have no other words for it. How do those people get past this? How do any of us really? It all changed yesterday.
    EssentiallyJess recently posted…Hold You Up #IBOTMy Profile

  • Aditi
    16 December 2014 at 10:52 pm

    This news is heartbreaking and terrifying at the same time. Can’t even imagine what the hostages and their families must have gone through… And can only pray for them.
    And as you said, we need to stay united and fight against this!
    As I type this #indiaforpakistan trending…. So sad about the kids…what atrocities in the name of f…… religion!!!
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  • Shilpa Garg
    16 December 2014 at 10:58 pm

    This is simply shocking and disgusting! When will all these barbaric and insane acts stop? Read about the tragedy in the Pakistan Army School. Kids?! They were innocent kids!! :'(
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Road Safety is in Our HandsMy Profile

  • Swathi Shenoy
    16 December 2014 at 11:16 pm

    I was just watching news about the kids in the Pakistan Army School and here is one more shocking news! This one is really disgusting act!
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  • Kathy Combs
    17 December 2014 at 5:31 am

    It is beyond awful the things that go on in this world we live in. It is nightmares coming to life.
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  • Sheethal
    17 December 2014 at 5:55 am

    And today when we hear about all those children who died just because Taliban thought that’s the right way to take revenge, this news became old. Likewise, tomorrow when something else happens, the kids deaths will take a back shelf in our minds. Guess, that’s how life goes and how we move on. Like you said, We pick ourselves up and we get stronger…
    Sheethal recently posted…Life is about living not fearing…My Profile

  • Christine
    17 December 2014 at 11:02 am

    Such terrible, terrible things happening. I saw the updates on the news as things were going on, and I can’t imagine the mood of the city right now. It must be hard to bear. Thanks for sharing your perspective with us.
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  • Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    17 December 2014 at 8:18 pm

    You have captured the essence of how must of us are feeling right. It’s so sad, those poor children growing up without a mother, and that store manager’s partner without the love of his life. Sad x
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  • Michelle Longo
    18 December 2014 at 1:06 am

    Such a difficult thing. I can’t imagine living with the fear of attacks like happening frequently and yet so many people do.
    Michelle Longo recently posted…True Story.My Profile

  • Asha
    18 December 2014 at 4:05 pm

    My heart goes out to you. I share your weeping over this. We’ve lived on the other side of the world for two years now, but Australia is still home, and this event shook my terribly. You’ve hit the nail on the head in making the distinction between this man’s lunacy and mental illness. And I share your feelings of “this doesn’t happen in Sydney”. It really doesn’t.

  • Ananya Tales
    19 December 2014 at 10:12 am

    Its sad..that world has come to this..
    Take care dear!
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  • elly stornebrink
    19 December 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I can’t imagine how challenging it is to live with fear daily of a potential terrorist attack: how dreadful! I would be angry to at the so-called “justice system” where criminals seem to get away with murder, literally! You may appreciate this post of mine where I spill out my anger as well a touch on something you mention on your post – <3
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  • J.Gi Federizo
    26 December 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I was late in hearing the news when it happened. But it saddened me just the same. We always live in fear that one day, this or that victim could be us, or someone we love…
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