She came, and traffic went

“Bombblast today,” I said to the Delhi taxi driver as we sat in traffic. His placard read Sain, Kanwar.

“Yes. Bombblast. High Court. Today.” This morning, a bomb outside of India’s High Court building killed eleven people, according to the last news report that I saw before boarding a plane in Mumbai. I didn’t know if there had been more attacks–I hadn’t seen any TVs on my way out of the Delhi airport, and my mobile wasn’t working.

“One attack? Or many?”

“One only, sir.”

I had spent the plane from Bombay reading articles and reflections on 9/11. “In four days, Kanwar, is September eleven. Ten years my country attacked.”

“My country attack ten years also. Parliament attack. Terrorist name is Ajmal Kasab. Ajmal Kasab. 2001. Ajmal Kasab. Twenty five soldiers, they die.”

“Your country very strong, Kanwar.”

We sat quietly and still in the gridlock, as Kanwar occasionally rolled down the window to spit or defog the air-conditioned glass.

“Traffic bad for bombblast?” I asked. My Delhi colleague had warned me that it would take some time to get to the hotel, given the road closures following the attack.

“No, bombblast, no. VIP woman coming, traffic stop. Minister Parliament woman, very important. She come that side, and traffic go.”

She came, and traffic went.

Location:Abdul Rahman Marg,New Delhi,India

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