Photo: K K Chowdhary
The blasts in Mumbai since December 2002 were just rehearsals, it seemed, for August 25. Black Monday, 52 people died and more than 150 were injured when explosives concealed in two taxis went off in quick succession at crowded Zaveri Bazaar and outside the famed Gateway of India, both in south Mumbai.
It was the biggest terrorist attack in Mumbai since the 1993 serial blasts, which killed more than 250 people and maimed several hundreds more.
Within a week, the police claimed to have solved the case with the arrest of Syed Mohammad Hanif, 42; his wife Syed Fahmida Mohammad Hanif, 36; and daughter Syed Farheen Mohammad Hanif, 18. On September 12, the police killed another suspect Nasir in an 'encounter.'
There was speculation that the blasts were in retaliation to the Gujarat riots of 2002, which claimed more than 1,000 lives.
Whatever the reason, the terrorists who conducted their diabolic attacks forgot one thing: it is easy to kill people, but impossible to break Mumbai's spirit.
Hours after the act of terror almost everything was normal in the city. People were back on the streets and it was dhandha as usual.
Mumbaikars demonstrated, as they have done on countless occasions, that nothing can break their will to live -- not even all the bullets and bombs in the world.
Text: Salil Kumar
Complete coverage: The Mumbai blasts