On two three occasions i have been at a wrong place at a wrong time, only to be saved by some invisible power above. There were hundreds of innocents who were however not so lucky… three times that much..
The first occasion was in the year 2003, when we were at our native place. On 23 June 2003, we planned to return back to Mumbai as I had to join my duty on 25th. Everything was packed, I had not reserved my seat in the train, as that period was a lean period and the trains were running empty. We all prepared, had our lunch and were awaiting the auto to reach the railway station. Since we did not reserve our tickets we were to sit in an unreserved general compartment, we were told, we would get easy access to seats. Somewhere deep down was not not at ease that day, actually travelling in a long distance train is one of my favorite things to do, i like the window seat and i can travel for hours & days together. And a vagabond like me wont miss an opportunity to travel through the scenic konkan railway track during monsoon. But that day was different, i was not at peace, my heart was drumming and felt like i should not travel that day. Minutes before the auto arrived, i cancelled my plan for the day and decided to postpone my stay by another day.
On 7 O’clock in the evening when i switched on the television to set myself in tune with city life. I was horrified to hear the news that the train and the general compartment in which we were supposed to board had a very fatal accident near Vaibhavwadi and the entire general compartment bogies were damaged leaving very little room for anybody to survive…. Tears started flowing from the eyes of my wife and my mother and we had a new lease of life that day. Some power, some good deeds that i may have done had saved our lives that fateful day.. I still am not able to fathom what prompted me to cancel the journey that day.
The other such experience that we experienced was on 26th November, during those inhumane terrorists struck Mumbai. We, the team of Mai Marathi had been to Yashwantrao Chavan Pratisthan for a meet with Supriya Sule for Self Help Group related event. We finished the meet at around 6.00 pm and my friend proposed that we all go for a movie. That day too, i resisted and said I had to pick my wife on the way to CST and i declined, eventually the plan dropped. By the time i reached home, i heard on TV the firing at CST station at 9.00 pm. Had we been to movie that day, i might have been at the station or in the vicinity at that moment of time. My friend called me in the morning and we heaved a sight of relief, but that sigh was relief included the pain and the suffering those innocent lives had to suffer due to the inefficiency of our system (read related blog entry here). A second lease of life one can say.
Similar incident happened, on 07th July when the Western Railways were attacked by Bomb blasts. I alongwith my wife and my kid, who was than 4 years old, met at CST station, we were totally unaware, as to what was happening. All the crowd was seen running towards CST Station. My wife who works at CST suspected the unusual change in crowd behavior. I brushed it off saying that the crowds must be rushing to catch their trains back home. We began purchasing toys and other items, but most of the shops were closed by then. By the time we reached Hutatma Chowk. A toy seller informed about the train blasts. I shook till my spines that day, not for myself, but the for the security of my kid & wife. We somehow reached our home by 10.00 pm to witness the horrific magnitude of cruelty those evil hearted devils had shred on innocent people. How can a person get so cruel was the first question that popped up my mind. Are your laws and our security apparatus that apt to deal with people of imbalanced aptitude.
Somehow, i had been lucky during these occasions, but a life in a city is like the game of minesweeper, where you really dont know what is installed for you the very next moment. It is akin to sitting on a mine which can go off anytime. Just till such an incident do not happen you reserve the right to breath and live, the life that is not in anyway a dignified way of living.