Srinivasa Shreyas Ranganath's father refused to meet me, and that was understandable. To this elderly employee of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, I was just another nosy reporter hounding down a story, and seeking my trophy — a byline. His 26-year-old son, on deputation with Marsh and McLennan in New York's World Trade Center, was among four Wipro employees and hundreds of others killed when terrorists flew hijacked airliners into the Twin Towers. One year later, I had tracked him down to request an interview.
"For you it's just a story," he said acidly over the phone. Until he pointed that out, I must confess it was. Just the previous evening I was in Puttur in southwestern Karnataka to meet the family of his son's colleague Hemant Puttur, another victim of the terrorist attacks. Now, here I was in Bangalore hoping to make my trip worthwhile. I felt like a jerk.
"Just a story."
The truth in Ranganath's words tore into me like shrapnel. Shamed, I flinched. Then I steadied my voice,Read More »from 9/11, 26/11… they are only stories