Some dates will forever remain etched in memory.
It was around 6.30 p.m. on September 9, 2001, when the first pictures came in of a burning World Trade Centre tower, followed soon after by the image of an airliner crashing into the second tower. Some two hours later, the first of the towers collapsed and then the second came down. In the frenzy that a newsroom is in during such tumult, the total focus is on reporting the event and related issues.
It was only past midnight, comfortably ensconced in my sofa at home, a stiff drink in hand and watching the rerun on TV did the reality sink in: The world had changed. And how!
A little over a month later, a US-led military coalition swept into Afghanistan, where it still remains. A new expression was coined: Homeland Security. What till then had been FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) in the US transformed into the Department of Homeland Security.
The world quickly played catch-up and expositions focussed on homeland security quickly blossomed along with the sundry DefExpos that had almost become blasé. India, in no way, lagged behind.
Cut to May 13, 2004. The ruling BJP had called general elections a tad early, hoping to cash in on its "India Shining" media blitz. Just the opposite happened. The Congress stormed back to power after eight years in the wilderness and cobbled together an alliance of 335 of the 543 elected members of the Lok Sabha.