Mumbai, the unique Indian city known for its style and industry, is back on its feet barely two days after a pair of car bombs—one at the Gateway of India and the other at a crowded jewelry market—killed 51 people and injured 156 others on Monday, MSNBC reports.
The speed with which the city’s 16 million residents have shrugged off the bombings has reinforced Mumbai’s vibrant spirit. The city, which sprawls over seven islands, is unlike any other in India. Power failures are few, taxi drivers are polite and honest, and commuter trains run on time, carrying six million people everyday.
The city—formerly known as Bombay—is home to a rainbow of migrants from across the country. They speak different languages but communicate with each other in a patois made famous by ”Bollywood,” the world’s biggest film industry, employing upward of 100,000 people.
In Zaveri Bazaar, Mumbai’s biggest diamond and gold jewelry market, some $2.6 million worth of jewels are traded daily among the hundreds of harshly lit shops lining its warren of narrow alleys.
It was here that one of the bombs, stashed in the trunk of a taxi, exploded.
Gold ornaments at Ramesh Punwani’s 150-year-old shop, Roopchand Moolchand Jewelers, were thrown into the street by the blast.
Punwani reportedly said he and his staff tossed the jewels back into the shop, slammed down the shutters ”and ran for our lives.” They were back on Wednesday, cleaning up the shattered display window.
The Indian government has blamed pro-Pakistan Muslim militants from the divided Kashmir province. Mumbai police chief Ranjit Sharma reportedly said Wednesday that theory was backed up by evidence suggesting that RDX, a potent bomb-making ingredient favored by Kashmiri guerrillas, was used in the two bombs.
”Forensic reports are awaited but we suspect that a small quantity of RDX is responsible for creating this damage,” Sharma told The Associated Press.
Most people in Mumbai believe the blasts were meant to deepen the religious divide between India’s majority Hindus and minority Muslims. If that’s true, Punwani said, the terrorists failed.
”Eighty percent of my clients are Muslim and they too feel what happened was a crime against humanity,” Punwani, a Hindu, reportedly said.
Immediately after the bombings, up to 3,000 people thronged outside the city’s hospitals to donate blood. In Zaveri Bazaar, Muslims and Hindus helped each other, pulling bloody victims from the smoking wreckage of cars and shops.
While some feared a backlash against Muslims, the streets remained calm after the blasts.Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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