First I think I almost lose my dad in the 26/11 attacks. Terrorists enter my city, through a place I can LITERALLY see from my balcony. and now, I move countries, to a whole new life - to a new happy fun place - and then this?
I woke up to emails from classmates saying one of them had seen a masked gunman on campus so we shouldnt leave home, whoever hasnt left for school already. At first I thought it was a joke - This cant be happening right? RIGHT?
That was followed by some classmates calling and sms'ing to check where I was and to ask me to stay indoors - thats when I realized it isnt. I ran into my roomates room to check where she was and she'd left for school already. In complete panic I called to ask where she was and she was RIGHT ON THE STREET where this Gunman was. She along with 2 other desis who didnt take this seriously and wanted to find out for themselves how a random gunman can wreck havoc I guess. I fail to understand what can be so important that one would put themselves in harms way - I'd have missed an interview appointment wiith the ONLY job available to me in this country if I had to. Im sorry, my life means wayy too much to me to put in the hands of a maniac on the loose. Armed that too. Funny thing is, the odds of me being in the exact SAME spot as this gunman at 9 am in the morning were HIGHER than me being home, asleep. I was stdying late last night and hence had randomly decided to sleep in. Thank god for strange coincidences.
The good news is - (yes, there is some) that the only person injured was the gunman himself - dead rather. The school was quick to respond with emails, sms's, directions cancelling classe etc, a quicker response time with information dissemination than back home in India during 26/11. This guy was a former UT student - being here two months I feel like I love my school so much. Its absorbed me in its culture, its spirit of comraderie and enthusiasm, its working as hard as I am to make my 2 years here the best two years of my life. Why then, would someone whose been here want to destroy the beauty of the campus with voilence on it? Why would one want to exhibit one's own shortcoming's and crazed demented state of mind to afflict on others? If he had to kill himself, why not in the confines of his own house? WHY at my school, at my library?
I feel violated. I watched my school - the place this man was, is literally 5 steps from my Building - and I see it crawling with menacing police officers with guns and yellow tape and it feels violated. I feel like there's no sanctitity to the places I call home and are a part of my life. Like its in anyones hands to trespass these places and spill blood and gore all over it and ruin its innocence. I do not like this state of being, and this state of vulnerability. And there's nothing. Not one thing I can do about it.