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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mumbai sprung back faster than NY

It was difficult not to eavesdrop on their conversation. Sitting at a corner table at Leopold Café, the young couple from Birmingham was very soft, almost whispering in each other’s ears while sipping from their beer mugs.

Jason Cairns-Lawrence, 42, and his partner, 22-year-old Jenny were in New York during 9/11, London during 7/7 and the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. They call it ‘coincidence’. They were more than ready to talk about this strange coincidence.

“I will say that Mumbai sprung back on its feet faster than New York or London. New York took almost a week to come back to normal. But I see that Mumbai was back to its usual business from day three. This is amazing,” says Jason, who works as a sales manager with a UK-based company.

Jenny, the more soft-spoken of the two, had another interesting observation. “I can’t imagine somebody opening his shop the next day his brother was felled by terrorists. He looks sad but he is ready to pick up the pieces of his life and move on. As I look around, it’s impossible to tell that such a ghastly thing had happened. In New York, people carried the look of terror in their eyes for weeks after the carnage. In London, the police appeared more scared than the common people,” she says, and there’s surprise in her eyes.

Talking about the attacks in New York, Jason recalls how people were afraid to come to the business district for weeks after the attacks. “There’s something that’s missing in Mumbai which wasn’t missing in New York or London. That is terror,” Jason adds.
Are they following the terror trail? “I shouldn’t be laughing about it but it is some strange coincidence for sure. The terror attacks just happened when we were in the cities. May be we will think about putting it down on paper some day, but neither of us is a good writer,” Jenny manages to smile.

As the couple turn their attention to their beer again, we request them to pose for our lensman. They agree. “We have come here as tourists and we are not scuttling our plans. We are staying in Colaba and we are going to stay put for a couple of days. While in New York, we were actually thinking of moving out the second day itself. And we did,” Jason says matter of factly.

A little later, the couple gets up after finishing their drink, walks lazily across Colaba Causeway holding hands and disappears. There’s nothing to fear.

Courtesy : DNA - After hours

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