The end of innocence.
No matter how close to home previous attacks have been, Pune has never actually suffered one. No, it has always watched nervously while Bombay bore the brunt of those Mofos' ideology and perhaps let out a very very quiet sigh of relief that it had escaped another one.
After Bangalore, Delhi and Ahmedabad, how many Puneites shook their heads at the telly, massaged tired eyes with their fingertips and stared of into the distance for a while. Wondering.
Not any more. The first line of this post is actually untrue. We haven't been innocent in a long time. And I suppose I can say there's always been that thought buried deep - how long before ?
Well, we're now officially in the club. Puneites can now join the previous victims and live a life tainted with apprehension. A quietly whispered prayer when a loved one goes out. A moment when the heart beats a frantic tattoo as we walk into one of the many crowded places in the city.
Walking out of our houses, feet crossing the threshold, without having to ever consider the possibility that we may not come back. Yea, that's gone for good.
Tomorrow's dawn will see a new Pune; one stained by doubts, fears and that gnawing, nameless, helpless despair other Indians have come to know so well. At least, I know I will feel all of these.
What an age we live in.
Song for the moment: The Sound of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel