Sunday, September 11, 2005
Where were you?
The scars haven't vanished yet.The wounds aren't healed yet.The moment is too fresh in memory to do a where-were-you analysis.So much has been written,seen,said,heard about it that a redundant post like this can do no justice.But I couldn't just let go the moment.So I thought I would put down the horrid moments,as they unfolded before my very own eyes.
It was a clear September evening.My brother and I were having the evening breaker and tea.Restlessly changing channels to agree upon something to watch.Or to eat quickly and run out and play.A news channel showed a tall building,flames coming out from the very top.Breaking news in extra large fonts and red colour flashing at the bottom part of the screen.Our first reaction was that some floor of WTC must have caught fire.The scaled down images were a huge mislead that make us think that.Then we saw the enormous holes in the girth of the building,that alarmed us.We started listening to what the broadcast had to say.Words like probable,attack,terrorists,aeroplanes,death,destruction started pouring in.
Wait,AEROPLANE?What has an aeroplane got to do with that?
The news reader ended the suspense.Said that aeroplanes crashed into the tower and the explosion caused such massive destruction.It wasn't known yet if it was an accident or a planned move.This struck us hard.A boeing jet doesn't collide with buildings very often.This was something out of the worst nightmares.
Suddenly,suddenly in front of our very own eyes and millions around the world,another plane curved in from the background.It was headed straight for the second tower.Horror of horrors.The news reader didn't know how to react.All he could muster was "Seems a second plane is headed the same direction.....Oh My GOd!!!".The impact was immense.An explosion,the smoke cloud,shattered rmains of the once tallest buildings.We were dumbstruck.Too unreal to have happened.It was like a nightmare.
We remained glued to the TV.Slowly it started trickling in that there had been similar attacks on the Pentagon and another plane had crashed on the ground near Pennsylvania.Then people started talking about the connection of these events,and it didn't take long to figure out.The attacks were clarified as being terorrist attacks and people were said to stay calm and stay home.A high security alert was sounded,ironically after the events had taken place.
The most striking image was when the tower crumbled giving in to the huge imapct.There were shots of camera where the unassuming cameran was taking shots of the destruction from below and suddenly there were shouts to run away from the place.The tower was coming down.The camera shots showed a huge blat of smoke and rubble just rushing through the air in the lanes.People shrieking,shouting for help and running as fast as they could.The tower crumbled and fell to ground.Taking so many lives with itself.It wasn't long before the second tower came down too.The aerial shots showed how the building crumbled floor by floor,layer by layer much like a pack of cards.In a few minutes time there was a gaping hole in the face of New York.Forever.
After these lightining fast happenings,the time came to analyse and take stock of the situation and the damage done.3000 people had lost their lives.Some of them were fire fighters who were trying to save people when the building came down.There were official statements about the incidents,all air traffic to and from the country was banned.
The most disturbing image I saw was of people jumping from the top floors of the towers.Panic stricken and short of ideas they just jumped from such a height to take a chance of saving their lives.They just floated in the air for a while,a long while.Then the camera lost them.A few seconds later the world lost them.Fear of death imminent must be such an overpowering emotion.They were staring at their own deaths as they zeroed in on the ground.On Ground Zero.
I woke up till late in night to watch every telecast possible.Then I woke up early to rejoin the telecasts.I was in front of the TV for the entire week.The newspapers had a gloomy,gory look for the entire month.I had saved the newspaper of 12th sep, but I guess I lost it somewhere.
The war followed.If something this heavy hits the ground,the earth is bound to be shaken.In this case there was an earthquake.Afghanistan was razed to the ground.
Once again the entire imagery flashes before my eyes.The towers float into oblivion.