I have been itching to write this post since Monday morning, but I just havent had the time to sit and write it. This past Monday wasn’t like all other Mondays. In fact when I woke up in the morning, I could somehow feel it was going to be different. May be anticipation of the coming holidays made me feel that way or something else, I dont know. So I left my house a little later than usual in the morning and was thinking if I should take the bus or the train. Since I was traveling to Chembur that day, I didn’t really want to change two trains and get there. I thought since it is almost a holiday, I might as well take the bus to Kurla and then hop onto the train.
I waited at the bus stop for like 20 mins and every minute while I waited there, I felt like “I should have taken the train, may be I will catch the 8:20 AM local, if I leave now.” Finally the bus arrived and luckily it wasn’t so crowded. I got a seat and was thinking the wait was worth it. As anticipated, there wasn’t much traffic on the WE highway and I was at Bail Bazaar on Andheri-Kurla Road around 9:30-9:35am. Then the bus came to a standstill. Since I had traveled on this road before, I knew the traffic gets really bad here. After 5-10 mins the bus was still not moving, the traffic from the opposite direction had also stopped, as in there were no vehicles going. Also in the mean time, a steady stream of people were heading in just one direction emphasizing that something was going on ahead. I decided to sit in the bus and wait out whatever was going on, but then I saw people who were standing ahead running helter-skelter. I was like this does not look good. I decided to step down from the bus, in case the mob turns angry and decides to break the bus.
I started walking in direction where all action was taking place. On reaching there, I saw a double decker BEST bus standing in the middle of the road, it looked empty to me. There was a police van standing near it and a lot of cops standing around the bus. Behind the cops, there were people, who had formed a circle. I tried to go on the other side of the circle, but the people and then the cops wont allow me to. I asked some folks as to what was going on, they couldn’t provide me with a clear answer. Just then I heard a couple of shots being fired. I thought it was must be some Diwali cracker, but I saw people running and definitely realized it was a shot. I decided to get away from there, since I didn’t want to get crushed in a stampede which could have occurred. I moved into a small lane and started asking for directions to get to Kurla. After walking for about 45 mins and asking at least half dozen people + 2 cops for directions, I finally reached the Kurla station only to realize that the trains were running 20-25 mins late. Kurla station was a sea of humanity. I decided to skip the first train that arrived and boarded the next one with some ease. After about 3 hours since I had left home, I managed to reach office.
For what happened at the Double Decker bus click here.