Sunday, November 30, 2008

On a train to the terror-struck city

As the terror plot was unfolding at the Taj, Oberoi and Nariman House, I was on my way to Mumbai from Gujarat. I first heard about the 'hostage like' situation and indiscriminate firing on the streets of Mumbai at around 11.00 pm from my sister here in Andheri.

Few people in the compartment had information about the crisis situation, but did not revel as they were not sure. I confirmed the reports after talking to my colleague in Mumbai. People started judging the situation and some decided to discontinue their journey at Surat station. Many did not board the train.

There was an uneasy calm in the compartment. People had questions. Questions about the train reaching home safely, about the situation at Borivali and Dadar stations. I along with other passenger was searching the ticket checker to know whether the train would reach Mumbai or not? Tension rose further as one of the passengers came up with information saying that there is firing at Borivali station, suddenly there was silence.

After few minutes passengers again started discussing another failure of the government machinery to prevent terror attacks. Everyone was praying for the safety of their family members and that the terrorists are killed at the earliest. No passenger was heard blaming any particular community or religion. But felt the need for a stricter anti-terror law. Suddenly discussion turned to how the political drama and mud slinging by the political parties would make headlines once the operation is over.

Now it was 2.30 am and I was trying to sleep, but few passengers standing at the doors were still discussing Mumbai being attacked once again. Finally, I fell asleep and at 3.30 am woke up as Borivali was approaching. Many passengers got down at Borivali station instead of going to Dadar terminus and preferred to travel by rickshaw and local trains but continued with their discussion.

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