Mumbai massacre leaves Bollywood stars numbed, outraged

December 2nd, 2008 - 1:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Bipasha BasuMumbai, Dec 2 (IANS) There is a sense of shock, dismay and outrage among members of the film fraternity following the bloody terror strikes in Mumbai, India’s entertainment and commercial capital. Though most of the stars have returned to work, they are not at ease as images of the massacre continue to haunt them.Film shooting was sporadic Saturday, the day the terrorists who had held the city to ransom for almost 61 hours were flushed out. Bipasha Basu shot for a song with Ahmed Khan and Leena Bajaj shot with Amitabh Bachchan for “Teen Patti”. Otherwise, all was quiet on the shooting front.

US-based Indian filmmaker Mira Nair, who paid a tribute to the city with “Salaam Bombay”, is unable to talk about it.

“I’ve no words at this moment. I pray for equanimity to prevail and that we don’t give in to hysteria,” Nair told IANS.

Mira has stayed at the devastated Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, one of the three buildings the terrorists had seized, on her frequent visits to Mumbai.

The attacks in Mumbai saw armed gunmen targetting 10 locations across the city, including two five-star hotels. The strikes that lasted three nights and two days, claimed at least 183 lives and left 239 injured.

Naseeruddin Shah echoed Mira’s sentiments and said: “What’s the point in spouting clich├ęs? Let’s leave that to the politicians. My reaction of outrage and helplessness is no different from that of any sane person.”

Sushmita Sen, too, is wounded by the attack on Mumbai.

“The last couple of days have left me deeply hurt and angered. What’s happening to our administration? We now see a basic disregard for human life. I’ve been praying constantly for all our children’s future,” said Sushmita.

Preity Zinta, who returned from Dubai to a shell-shocked Mumbai, still can’t believe what happened.

“I was stranded at the Dubai airport on Wednesday night. Innocent women and children being killed. What sense does it make? I’ve spent so many evenings at the Taj. I remember their hospitable staff with much warmth. Will the Taj ever be the same again?

“My brother and his family came from the US to ring in my mother’s birthday on Sunday. They couldn’t have chosen a worst time to come to Mumbai. But it’s good to have family with me at such a time,” Preity said.

She knew all the warm and hospitable staffers of the Taj and can’t believe some of them are gone.

“Will the hotel ever be the same again? Even when it’s re-opened, would we feel comfortable with the heavy security personnel and the memories of the violence?” Preity wondered.

A majority of the Bollywood stars were in no mood to resume work, although the city seemed ready to bounce back.

Said Suniel Shetty: “The city is in a state of shock. I’m getting to know gradually that I’ve lost friends in the attack whom I’ve known for years. This time it’s not like other times. My family and I live quite close to both the Taj and Oberoi (Trident Hotel). We saw smoke and fire billowing out of these places where we’ve spent so many evenings.”

Suniel shot on Thursday for Priyadarshan’s “De Dana Dan”, but stayed home on Friday.

Harman Baweja cancelled his shooting because he says he felt “angered and disillusioned”.

Sonu Sood cancelled his shooting in Hyderbad and said: “I’ve been under too much stress in the last four days. I guess I’ll start shooting the day after.”

Vatsal Seth and Celina Jaitley chose to stay away from shooting to attend the funeral of their friend Ashish Chowdhary’s sister Saturday. Ashish’s mother and his sister’s mother-in-law were inconsolably shattered. There were 10 bodies to be cremated along with Ashish’s sister’s and brother-in-law’s.

Will their lives ever be the same again?

Lilette Dubey, who lives right next to the Taj, said Mumbai resembled a war zone in the three days. She left Mumbai Friday to be with her family in Delhi.

Bollywood is in no mood to forgive, forget and move on.

The latest SMS doing the rounds in Bollywood reads: “Let’s start something. A non-cooperation movement. Something that can tell the politicians we aren’t taking this lying down. That we want our safety. Let this movement be started by the corporates. A nameless, leaderless movement. Let’s show them how many of us are angry, tired and frustrated. Let’s all come together at the Gateway Of India Wednesday. Let’s ask for what’s our birthright. To live fearlessly.”

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