24 June, 2021

Alien In The Backyard

Has the middle class, shaken at last by 26/11, learnt anything?

Apoorva Salkae
Alien In The Backyard

When the earth moves under our feet and a seismic shock overthrows all conventional assumptions, the image that remains embedded in our memory is often not the defining moment of destruction but a small detail; a microcosm that captures the magnitude.

So, when two planes blazed through the twin towers in New York, the picture seared into our emotions was that of the unidentified ‘falling man’, who chose to jump to death from the upper floors of the North Tower, rather than burn from the fire and smoke. The photographs of his body tumbling through the air were so disturbing that for many years, American media would not publish them.

When I look back at 26/11, that sense of individual helplessness was as disturbingly encapsulated by a single image. From the windows of the Trident Hotel, people were holding up handwritten scraps of paper, scrawled with a silent plea, ‘Save Us’. They waved down at us, as if to say, don’t let us die. In the alley behind the hotel, friends, families and lovers huddled...

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