For survivors and the family members of those killed in the 26/11 terror attack, the memorial event at the Gateway of India on Monday evening was cathartic.
Some of the accounts of families coping with grief, captured over the last three years by The Indian Express in its Stories of Strength project, were played via audio visual clips. Many others found solace in meeting families with shared or similar struggles.
Manisha, wife of police constable Arun Chitte, who was killed in the attack at Metro Cinema, said not much has changed in her life. “When we come for the event, we feel good. But when we return home, the struggles and pain are still as fresh. But the children have grown up now and my responsibilities have increased,” she added.
Almost all the nearly dozen families of survivors who attended the event found the musical performances stirring.
“The multi faith presentation with the Sikh spiritual song and the Tibetan monk chanting was moving. It was a beautiful and meaningful event,” said Bhisham Mansukhani, writer and survivor of the siege at the Taj.
Rohan Kamble (19), who lost his father Rajan Kamble at the Taj where the latter was a staffer, said the event gave him much to think about. “I learnt a lot. There is more to think about terrorism than just our pain and sorrow,” said Rohan, who attended the event with mother Shruti and brother Atharva.
Sadashiv Kolake, who was shot at CST while he was seeing off his colleague, said that he is reminded of the day by his family and friends every year. “I recall things that happened on that day at CST. The security has improved a lot in past 10 years and we are better equipped now,” said Kolake, who attended The Indian Express event for the third year running. He said he finds the event a great attempt to recount the struggles of the common people.
Rajkumari Gupta, who lost her husband Shivshankar Gupta, a bhelpuri vendor at CSMT, said that the last 10 years have been difficult. “The children have grown up. Both my sons have started working. The years have gone by swiftly but I wish he was around to see his children doing well,” she added.The ordeal, the hopeA chance to heal