I am a person who had never ruminated about the death or its ramifications. May be was always busy in living like a typical Indian middle class in which you are so busy to live that you become oblivious of trepidation of death. But the event which haunted me on 26/11/2008 has changed really my perceptions towards the life and the country, not full-fledged "Rang de Basanti" type but at least up to some extent.
I reached CST Station exactly when firing was going on
I had booked ticket of RJ Nagar Express on that fateful day as I had attend the funeral of my Grandfather. I left office early and caught a local train for CST around 9.I reached the CST station at 10 and was waiting to get a seat in the waiting room. The biggest worry of Indian state which is its rising population worked in my favor and I couldn't get a seat in the waiting room. I decided to move towards the platform no 18 where my train was suppose to come. Suddenly I saw commotion of people running for the exits, in the same direction of me, clamoring "Bhago"-"Bhago".Some of them were talking about the gunshots being fired. But these days since we are accustomed of listening hoax calls(now blasts) almost every week, I decided to confirm the news by calling my room mate Sajjad, but probably at that time television channels were showing the news of gun firing between two rival groups at Colaba.
I saw two persons who had got bullet injuries.
I decided to sit on one of the benches on the platform, but saw again another batch of persons running. There were women, children among them. Two of them among them had got bullet injuries as well. Without making any delay I also ran, ran like a hell. One white woman probably pregnant was limping, getting helped by her husband who was already carrying a heavy weight bag. Once the idea "Athithi Devo Bhavah" influenced my heart to offer a help to them, but the brain felt otherwise , i.e. to save own life more important.
When some intellectuals claim about the "Mumbai Spirit" which talks about getting normal as soon as possible (Although I feel that most of the persons are forced to do so for their bread and butter), I really wonder what they have to say about these foreigners who travel India for "fun" despite being one of the top 20 dangerous places on the earth. So all of us were running to save our lives suddenly we found a betel tree and tried to take shelter there. But the population factor acted here negatively, creating a fodder for the terrorists. I thought not to take any chance and vaulted over the platform boundary to reach in a flat which was owned by a family having some political back ground. Now a good twist in the tale escaped from clutches of one of the terrorists but...Landed in another predicament. In this dreadful scenario, I was contrived to listen the discussion which was going among them. The theme of the discussion was: "The attack is managed by parties in opposition to defame the government."
There was lots of blood all around in the waiting room.
The next 3 hours were ominous and full of rumours.At around 2 AM I along with one of my friend (he has come along with me) decided to go to the waiting room to enquire the status of the train. But again a horrendous scene was waiting for us. The entire floor of the waiting room was filled with human blood and semblance of the dragging of the bodies, looking like a painter had awfully dragged his brush on a colored canvas. There were some labors probably from North India desperately looking for their relatives. They were even scared of asking the whereabouts of the injured ones, from the police.I had never seen this face of Indian democracy so closely before.
I boarded in the train, tried to sleep, but those frail faces were haunting me. I tried to find the meaning of J.N.Nehru's speech which we were contrived to remember in our schools.
"Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially."
"We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her children may dwell."
2 weeks ago