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Apr 23, 2018-Monday
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And Delhi carries on

Every generation has its own nightmares to deal with, from wars to riots. Terrorism mars the childhood of the young Delhiites of today, says Sadia Dehlvi.

art and culture Updated: Oct 06, 2008 14:37 IST
Sadia Dehlvi

Delhi bleeds and so does my heart. I like to think of myself as a confident, brave, prepared to face anything sort of a person, but the recent terror attacks have left me completely shaken. I would be lying if I don’t confess that one thinks twice before heading to markets.

Not wanting to instil fear in my son, I find myself making excuses for not going to his favourite fast food eateries. When Arman leaves for school, I read the

ayat al kursi

; the

Verse of the Throne

from the


and blow it over him. Since childhood one has heard elders swear by it as a recipe for protection but only recently have I started using the prayer formula regularly. A friend rightly remarked, “God’s equity has certainly gone up in present times”.

I feel sad for kids whose childhood is marred with fear and violent images but then they have to live their own destinies for each generation has its share of painful experiences. Our parents lived through the horrors of partition and we through the wars that India engaged in. I remember being at boarding school in Simla during the 65 war and wondering if I would live to return to Delhi and see my parents again.

When the sirens went off, we would be picked up from our little beds by the senior students and carried to the trunk room in the basement. It would be horribly dark and scary and we sat there by candlelight along with the nuns invoking the spirit of Lord Jesus.

At least we were able to identify the enemy. Then there were the awful anti Sikh riots in Delhi in 84 and I can never forget the sight of military tanks right in front of my house on Sardar Patel Marg. Sadly, the enemy like now is faceless and from within our own people.

Delhi’s tumultuous history has been witness to worse disasters. It is a city where slaves have becomes kings and kings have become slaves. Paying the price for being the political nerve, the capital city have been subjected to mass massacres, plunders and revolts through the centuries. Yet, for every one act of treachery, there are dozens of stories that relate the


courage, compassion and survival. Citizens have gone out of their way to risk their own lives and protect friends, neighbours and strangers.



, I have tremendous faith in my city and its people. Centuries of a shared history and culture cannot be fractured by the few who attempt to create fear and divisions between citizens. Once again my Delhi showed its mettle,


remained peaceful and calm through the terrible terror tragedies. The spirit of Delhi lives on and once again we shall overcome.