I never had much interest in going to India until today.
This morning, a glowing Saturday in Beijing, I treated myself to watching to Ric Burns’ 16 hour long eight-episode New York documentary. I had gotten up to the final episode, which chronicles the rise and fall of the World Trade Center. I had seen this episode before, and it’s not the best of the series, so while the steel symbols of a globalized world were rising and falling on one window on my laptop, I was reading the news on another. News of a city on the other side of the world that I had never been interested in, until a friend shared a story of her parents driving past Cafe Leopold seeing people streaming out, and watching the fire on the rooftop of the Taj as the army rolled in.
The terrorist attacks on Mumbai felt familiar, but this one Op-Ed by Suketu Mehta, a professor at NYU, really nailed down why. The Mumbai he describes has a New York soul.
And his suggested response is a New York response: “…the best answer to the terrorists is to dream bigger, make even more money, and visit Mumbai more than ever… Make a killing not in God’s name but in the stock market, and then turn up the forbidden music and dance; work hard and party harder.”
Dear Mumbai, as a New Yorker who has marveled at our own great city rise from the ashes of an incomprehensible terrorist attack, I have confidence you will overcome this too. As Mayor Giuliani said on 9/11, “Tomorrow New York is going to be here. And we’re going to rebuild, and we’re going to be stronger than we were before.”
So will you. New York is cheering for you.
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