Khakra

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Bombay dispatch: Luck of the draw

Luck played a part in saving my younger bro from the Bombay bombs that killed 190 people. A lot of tragedy came with the blasts, which was targeted and followed a pattern. Certainly the hand of a big militant group.

My younger brother, from New York, is in Bombay right now on a 3-month internship for a venture capital firm.

What follows is a dispatch from him about yesterday's events, initial reactions and Bombay's FM radio, which preferred to broadcast junk Bollywood songs instead of reporting this massive event.

--

8 blasts rocked the city this evening. I'm OK.

For some fortunate impulsive reason, I decided to drive to work this morning.

Around the time of the blasts, the cellular networks got jammed and the Internet went down. A colleague's dad managed to get through to his cell and relayed the shocking news that a bomb had gone off in the local trains.

We took it lightly and figured that it'll get cleared up in no time. Within minutes we heard about the other blasts. I had the car, so packed in the car with whoever was left at office and left.

We had no clue how bad the situation really was. Bombay's radio FM was completely clueless, still playing songs of the 'chunari chunari' [Bollywood] kind. We kept scanning the stations for some news, but none of these mirchi masale-daar FM stations felt that news was worth any air-time.

The traffic was completely insane. What normally is a 45-minute drive, took close to 3-1/2 hours. Cars were bumper-to-bumper from Andheri to Worli [Bombay suburbs, 15-20 miles apart]. The streets were packed with people, trying to figure out how to get home. This was peak rush hour, when Mumbai gets off work.

[Bombay's mapped like a V. Andheri falls in V's upper part, where bro works, close to the blasts' location. Worli is lower, where bro and a lot of Bombay-ites stay.]

Only when I got home and switched on the news did I realize how bad the situation really is. The blasts went off at stations that i cross twice every day, six times a week. The blasts went off at around the same time that I would be on the train going home. [Bro usually travels in one of the 'First Class' compartments of a train, in which the bombs went off.]

Had I not driven to work, I could've been in one of those first-class bogeys ..

10 Comments:

Anonymous downunder said...

I heard this news today. I was wondering how your family and friends were, I hope all is ok.

4:56 AM  
Blogger venus said...

I share your pain... It is such a horrible thing that has happened to Mumbai. My brother was fortunate that he was not in Mumbai yesterday.

The people responsible for this blasts must be put to death sentence, in public.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous downunder said...

The death sentence, in public?! Thats a little outrageous! In delivering the death sentence, arn't you essentially condeming another person to the very fate your against?

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Hiren said...

One can only hope that the madness does not recur, what else?

9:20 AM  
Blogger Khakra said...

downunder -- out of millions of possibilities and people in Bombay -- a person I know very well lost someone close. Their grief is uncontainable. You are correct -- treat it with sense -- but how is sanity possible when you lose somebody close who is innocent? How would you feel?

11:00 AM  
Blogger Id it is said...

Isn't it ironical that for something we cherish and protect so dearly, when it comes to the final act it becomes 'luck of the draw'.
I hope you and yours in Bombay are all safe.

1:22 PM  
Blogger God said...

Needless to say, I was not looking out for you. I dont look out for no one. Its just luck.

5:13 AM  
Anonymous brimful said...

So glad your brother is okay, and was able to send you his account of the tragedy. And so sorry to hear one of your acquaintances lost someone.

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Moi said...

Glad to hear your family is ok... I hoped everyone was safe. Am still waiting to hear from friends out there, hoping they weren't on the trains.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Khakra said...

hoping everyone you know there is safe moi

11:15 AM  

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