One thirty: we speak to him- he is with a hundred other people.Safe he says.
Two a.m : Can't get through.
The Taj is on fire.
The army has been sent in.
There are bomb blasts.
People escape. They have seen dead bodies on the stairwell. Where is Uncle S?
Four am: Fresh fire breaking out. More gunshots, more bombs.
My eyes shut for a minute- I think I fall asleep. But I won't- I can't. He is in there. Seventy seven years old, all alone , in the middle of a WAR. He went for work- and he is a "hostage". Mum and Dad try to lure me into their bed but the chair is my friend. I have found my spot. I won't move. I can't.
Six am: Still burning, still fighting and still no news.
Scarsdale, Boston, Islamabad, Andheri west, # 51, #105 are sitting and watching- hoping against hope he will call.
Sunrise: Mum and Dad decide to go across to #51 -it's been too long. WHERE IS HE?
Seven a.m: I lay down, I fall asleep.
Eight thirty: I am up again. Call mum, no news. I call his number. Nothing.
I watch the news thinking I will see him maybe on TV.
Nine thirty: He is spotted!!! on TV (Headlines Today).
He is ok!!!!!! Well, physically ok. Twenty minutes later, we speak to him. He has spent the night in a six by eight foot bathroom with five other people with no room to move or sit or breathe. Spent six hours in utter silence listening to the battle right outside their door. At nine am, the army finds them.
On the twent seventh of November, he is sitting with us at the dining table- shaken and shattered but he is with us. Just like after nine eleven Bee masi walked out, scarred from what she had seen and been through, but eventually coming back to us.
Can we can sleep now?No, The war wages on.
No knowing when it will end.
This has been close, closer than ever before. Will we ever be able to sleep again?