New York: Sight and Sound – III

The tragedy of World Trade Center struck most of us in one way or another, even in India. On receiving a call on the mobile phone from Rochester, USA, from our younger son Baqar, me and my wife rushed to Kakatiya hotel as there was a total electricity power failure in Hyderabad on that fateful day; the hotel had stand by generators. We watched the repeated visuals on the television showing the planes crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Due to their impact, the fire and the smoke that engulfed the building sent shivers down our body, even at this distance. We heaved a sigh of relief when Baqar informed us that Jafar our elder son was in New Jersey on a business trip. Jafar’s office was located in one of the twin towers! After nearly 20 years of this horrific and tragic incident I along with Jafar, visited the World Trade Center and am sharing the pictures and videos.

The names on the pond wall are of those who lost their lives. May their souls rest in peace.
A visual treat to the eyes and imaginative architectural marvel is the Occulus, next to the World Trade Center.
Designed by Santiago Calatrava, the 335-foot-long skylight was designed to allow the “Way of Light” to pass through the main hub of the transit hall at 10:28 a.m.—the moment that the North Tower of the WTC collapsed on September 11, 2001. Symbolizing the light that continues to shine through after the darkness of the tragedy, the Oculus opening allows light to fill the massive space as a memorial to the attacks on the twin towers. As the placard at the Oculus explains,
On 9/11 each year, weather permitting, the skylight of the Oculus will be opened to allow the sun to fill this entire space. Envisioned by Santiago Calatrava to symbolize a dove released  a child’s hand, the Oculus is situated at an angle in contrast to neighboring buildings and even the entire grid of the city, thereby allowing the light to shine directly overhead and for the sun to move across its axis exactly on September 11th each year.

Muddai laakh bura chahe tho kya hota hai

Wahi hota hai jo manzoore Khuda hota hai

(“even if people speak ill of you and wish for bad things to happen to you, only that will happen which the God has in store for you”.)

For more pictures by Jafar Shameem, please log on to


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