Shake Up

The platform at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Jason Motlagh).

While the posts on this blog tend to be happy and carefree, they’re still designed to make you think and look at the world with new eyes. Today’s post takes a darker turn as I want to share with you an incredible piece in journalism which explores last November’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. A year later, multimedia journalist Jason Motlagh recreates step by step, person by person, story by story the 60 hours of terror that took place for the Virginia Quarterly Review. In my current studies we’re constantly analyzing and deconstructing (and most often criticizing) the current media system, so it’s incredibly refreshing seeing a piece like this created with such intricacy, detail, and most importantly, a human connection. It pulls at you, makes you cringe, be angry, while at the same time making the unimaginable eerily imaginable. It’s notedly a long piece – 4-5,000 words – but the fact that it’s broken down over a series of 4 posts makes it easier to approach. The subject matter gets heavy, so reading it in installments only feels appropriate, while making it more accessible and aiding in digestion. Click for the editor’s note, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 (I also recommend reading the commentary and growing conversation in the comments section at the end of each piece). I promise it’s worth every word, so please spread the word.

Fongen Fernandes in the upper level of the Re-Fresh snack bar (Jason Motlagh).

I also find this piece an amazing read knowing the author. Jason and I first met on the crew team in our days at UVA. Even back in the day his work was inspiring for the Cav Daily. He’s one of those people that you meet in life and know he’s going to have great success in life. Finally, he was also one of the people I met in college who really made me start to look at travel in a new way – as an experience rather than as a tourist. I will never forget his attitude to travel, stating that he always seeks to go some place new, but Paris is the one place he can always go back to. Clearly, it still rings true for me today. . . Enjoy the piece!

Farhang Jehani, co-owner of Leopold Café, on the restaurant’s upper level (Jason Motlagh).

{images via VQR}


  • wow — that piece was informative and thorough, down to the last detail. Living in the US during this time, of course we only got a tiny slice of what was really going on in Mumbai at this time — the article opened my eyes. Nice feature.

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