My life at home is insular by choice: I have no landline, no internet connection, and no TV. I do not listen to the radio at home. It is my bubble, my sanctuary and I like it that way.
Today, I arrived at my office and found an email from Saj (who recently moved to England.) It said "I'm fine, I wasn't on the tube. Please don't worry." I hit the news sites, and I was just flattened.
I know it seems so obvious, but sometimes the cruelty, the callousness and the heartlessness with which people can treat each other destroys me. I called home to make sure that our family was accounted for. (Like all Indians everywhere, I have family in the U.K. - two uncles and their respective families, one on each side.)
I did a gut-check and realised I couldn't go to class. I went to the night class instead. When I got off the metro, there were cops on either side of the platform slowly and purposefully striding up the edges in battle gear. There was one in front of me, and from the way he was walking, I thought he was carrying a backpack in front of him. No, it was a gigantic rifle.
My sadness turned to anger: do the rifles make us any safer? If you "saw a terrorist" right now, could you shoot him without injuring all of us? Newsflash: terrorists, at least these terrorists, aren't afraid to die. The only people you are scaring are people like ME. I think this is all a big show for the general public, look - we're doing stuff.
But, I think that I was just jumping from one big emotion to another. It's much easier to be angry than to be sad and feel like you are wearing your heart on the outside. It will take a few days to feel "sorted", and to stop having that knot of panic right under my sternum that I had when I could see the Pentagon burning from the pike.
What can I do? I think that I can realise how lucky I am, and appreciate my friends and family. I think that I can cry a little. I think that I can have faith, and keep people in my thoughts. I think that, if I believe the affirmations tape I keep in the car, I can radiate love to the world and believe that I can help to heal it.