Where were you when Kennedy died is a game the previous generation liked to play. Ours might ask a different question.
On that day - that night, here - I was in my room here, in Hyderabad. I had returned home, temporarily as I thought but permanently as it turned out. There was no electricity. I was reading by the light of a candle. My year-and-some old son was somewhere, perhaps with is father in another room.
The atmosphere was fraught. There's no other word for it. Earlier that day, we realised that there was no saving the marriage. But he was here, where the parents were, and there was no way to say what needed to be said while keeping those who were not involved with the marriage out of it for the moment. And there was the kid. That was also, though I didn't know it then, the beginning of my father's downward spiral.
That night, I was reading The Blind Assassin. I remember this clearly, and I remember crying silently so no one would notice. I don't remember the passage and frankly, it doesn't matter.
This was my watershed and it had nothing to do with what was happening on the other side of the world. The phone rang and someone told us what had happened. Naturally, there was no way of watching it right then.
The next morning, unusually for us, we turned the TV on as soon as there was electricity. The destruction was spectacular and it so exactly expressed my sense of doom. This is what it looks like when the world comes crashing down around you. Now I knew.