Six Minutes of Terror by Nazia Sayed and Sharmeen Hakim

Six Minutes of Terror by Nazia Sayed and Sharmeen Hakim

Author : Nazia Sayeed & Sharmeen Hakim

Version : Paperback

Genre : Non-fiction, Investigation

Source :

Publisher : Penguin India

Pages : 227

Blurb :

The Mumbai 7/11 train bombings in 2006 were one of the deadliest terror attacks the city had seen after the 1993 blast. The attacks orchestrated by the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (the ISI) were aimed to cripple the city by attacking its lifeline – the local train. A series of seven blasts in a span of only six minutes rocked the city at seven railway stations, killing 189 and injuring over 700. Six Minutes of Terror is the first investigative book that will present a blow by blow account of the events that led to the terrorist attack, profile the people involved in the blasts as well as describe how the plot was unearthed by the police. Superbly researched, with painstaking detail, the book tries to delve into the minds of the home-grown terrorists who created unprecedented havoc and claimed innocent lives ten years after the horrifying attacks.

Review :

I have lived through this six minutes of terror and was keen to read its story.    Though its 10 years since the event,  the pain is still very raw in our hearts.  Specially because,  in Mumbai,  the train is indeed the lifeline of the city.  And attacking the Mumbai local is a direct attack on its people.  Just like the city,  the train is welcoming to all within its folds.  For people like me who spend a significant amount of time on the train,  knows there are entire worlds within these trains.  And on that fateful day,  my husband was in one of the trains and I was on the way to board a train,  when my friend called to inform me about the blasts.  In those days of no Whatsapp,  it was total chaos.  The phone lines were jammed.   It took us the longest three hours to know that my husband is alive.  And on that night,  the screams in his nightmares are enough to understand the situation.

The book traces the perpetrators from the time they decide to strike the city till they are put to the death penalty.  The different sequences are very tightly tied up and keeps the narration going.  The tone is calm, and continues in a matter of fact way.  It details the manpower, intelligence and setbacks of carrying out an investigation of this nature in front of the media glare.  There are so many things we do not know as everything is not reported in the news.  The authors have not sensationalized the stories which would have been easier to fall into.  Yet it is a page turner and makes you shudder at the cold heartedness of the people who planted the bombs.  It shows the vulnerability of the Mumbai trains.  Sadly,  other than CCTVs,  there is not much improvement in the safety aspects.  Still we board the train every day full of hope to reach our destinations.

Each page in the book is brilliant and must be read.  It reinforces our faith in the judicial system and the police.

The publishers should include a map of India and Mumbai to understand the geography of the places mentioned in the book.

The authors,  Nazia Sayed is a crime reporter and Sharmeen Hakim is a legal correspondent with Mumbai Mirror.  The language is crisp and clear and easy to read.  I completed the book within two days. I read most of it commuting on the ubiquitous Mumbai local.


Thanks for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

4 thoughts on “Six Minutes of Terror by Nazia Sayed and Sharmeen Hakim

  1. That was a crisp and interesting review. I can totally relate to the trauma caused by those bombings, after all Mumbai literally thrives on those local trains. Imagine what chaos and pain it must have been! Sounds like an intense read. I’m surely reading it.

    1. Thanks Vinodini. The book is equally crisp and presents the facts in a no-nonsense way. Its a real good one.

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