I got to read this astonishing piece in Times of India this morning. A 24 years old doctor, Mahesh Patil, was taking his mother to see her sister when their bike skid & fell on a potholed patch of road. His mother, was riding pillion with him suffered injuries to head & died on the way to the hospital.
It is reported that the police booked the young doctor for negligence instead of filling a case against the road contractors for shoddy work they’ve carried out.
This article reflects how the police operate here in India. Yes, I’m generalizing them on the base of one incident. But its not the first time for sure that police have harassed the victim instead of punishing the culprits.
In this particular case, I can imagine the boy’s horror!
Now to look back & think about it sends chills running down my spine….
It was yesterday, that my father & I along with the carpenter had been checking out some sun-mica & laminates at Dadar. We spent almost an hour & half checking out the variety of sun-mica, laminates, etc. in the various plywood shops along the stretch of SK Bole Rd. Finally, we stepped in Shah & Sons opposite Antonio D’silva High School. After much browsing, we finally selected the required material & I got the sun-mica sheets loaded in my car trunk. I parted ways with Dad & headed towards Portuguese Church (500 Mtrs away), where the site is located; while Dad headed towards Shivaji Park Gymkhana.
I had reached the site & met my electrical contractor to discuss the further course of work. It had been just fifteen minutes since I left plywood shop, when we heard a loud sound. My electrical contractor was sure it was something, but I rubbished off the claim saying it must have been a tyre burst of a BEST bus.
We had also noticed that the all the cell phone networks were having problems connecting calls. It wasn’t until I received the phone call from Dad, that I felt the frozen with a feeling I still can’t explain.
On the evening of 13th July, 2011, Mumbai experienced 3 serial bomb blasts within a gap of 10 minutes from each other. Another one of the serial bomb blasts that the citizens of this city dreaded.
What followed later was frantic phone calls from family, friends & relatives; rumours, panic & absolute chaos. By this time, I was still numb from the fact that I could’ve been there with my father had I been delayed for a mere fifteen minutes. I still wanted to make sure where exactly it had taken place & wanted to check if any help was needed. Not exactly a wise choice as I would be later herded away just like other bystanders.
Frankly speaking, I did not know if it was wise to head home or just wait for a while & head home late. I decided to go late.
On reaching home, I noticed my parents glued to the TV. My Dad looked at me & said, “Go, Pray to God & thank him”. I felt thanking him would be a bit too selfish & definitely unfair to those who suffered. I prayed nevertheless. I came back into the living room to watch the news. Dad noticed the dark grey Maruti Suzuki Esteem that been blown to smithereens, being shown on TV. What he told me next, was going to be hair-raising…
"I saw this car there. You were gonna park your car just in front of it. But God knows what was running through your mind, that you went a bit ahead to park it".
Its been just over 24 hours since what has happened. I’m left with multiple feelings: Shock, Depression, Anger, Despair.