Being thankful

Thanksgiving was spent being glued to the computer. Monitoring the #Mumbai twitter stream, tweeting like a maniac and watching NDTV and CNN-IBN online.

It didn’t feel like there was much to be thankful for.

Like so many have said, this felt more personal than any other terror attack. I never spent much time in Bombay before I met R. But Bombay is as much home for him as NY is. He spent a year living and working in the Oberoi Trident and every time we went to India, we went to Bombay. We stayed at the Taj. We stayed at the Oberoi.

The last couple of times we were there it was to contemplate moving to Bombay. I hated the thought of it. I’d just gotten my mind around living in NY and now I had to move to a(nother) dirty, crowded, overwhelming city? No, thank you. I still remember a late night drive from the Oberoi to Oval Maidan to get advice from a friend on how to deal with scary prospect of having to live in Bombay.

Circumstances changed and we never ended up moving to Bombay, but R spent a lot of time there each month. And every time he was there he did a dozen meetings at the Oberoi and the Taj.

Because of the limited time I spent in the city, because of the fact that I’d stayed in the two hotels briefly, because of having eaten at the restaurants, this felt so personal.

But imagine if I had grown up there. Imagine if it was part of my life – woven into the fabric of my being. That’s what it is for a lot of people in Bombay and it is those people and the people who were caught in the nightmare who have the right to feel truly overwhelmed.

When R heard the news, he smsed everyone he knew in Bombay. Almost everyone smsed back. One of our friends did not. So I emailed her just to check in. She emailed back. She’d been a hostage for 11 hours. One line in her email has stayed with me all day and will stay with me for a long time to come – she spent the 11 hours “… waiting to be slaughtered”… But providence in the form of the commandos, or destiny or fate stepped in. She walked out of the Taj alive.

2008 has been an incredibly difficult year personally. One filled with minor and major struggles including a very serious health issue of an immediate family member that we are still dealing with. But this Thanksgiving, there’s actually a lot to be thankful for.

I am thankful my friend is alive and okay.

I am thankful so many were saved in Bombay.

I am thankful R’s trip to Bombay is this week and not last week.

I am thankful that J&G are in my life – adorable and incredible.

I am thankful that we identified the health issue when we did and am hoping and praying the person recovers completely.

I am thankful to have R in my life.

I am thankful for my family and their love.

It is easy to be thankful in a great year. This thanksgiving tested that. But even in the bleakest of times, it is important to me to realize that I am so fortunate. Important to me to pause and appreciate what I have. So even though this post is late, it was something I had to do.

Despite everything going on around us, I hope all of you have a lot to be thankful for as well.

  • Thanks for sharing a heartfelt post. Life is fragile and each Thanksgiving I count my blessings too! Hope your family's health issues are resolved quickly and safely, and best wishes for a great year in 2009.

  • Thanks for sharing a heartfelt post. Life is fragile and each Thanksgiving I count my blessings too! Hope your family's health issues are resolved quickly and safely, and best wishes for a great year in 2009.

  • This is purely out of curiosity, why not use the full real name of the people mentioned?

  • This is purely out of curiosity, why not use the full real name of the people mentioned?

  • Thank you very much, Vishy.

  • I decided to blog eponymously, but that doesn't mean I have the right to use the names of family members. Each individual has the right to privacy and to decide their own comfort levels.

    Instead of asking them each time whether I can use their name in a certain context, I just use an initial or don't even mention a name.

  • Eileen

    Lovely post Shri – I am thinking of you, your friends and family and wishing only good things in 2009!
    Ei

  • Eileen

    Lovely post Shri – I am thinking of you, your friends and family and wishing only good things in 2009!
    Ei