This article has been submitted by Aashna Dev for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below.
I was sitting on the porch, sipping some hot chai while reading the paper. An every day habit. If there’s ever a city where morning routines are strictly followed, even as if almost forced upon, its Delhi. Delhi is like the maths teacher who hits you with a stick for coming to class 2 minutes late.
I live next to the crowded locality of Chandni Chowk. There was a monotonous buzz about the city that made me feel like the ‘bad boy’ of the class or the ‘Gabbar Singh’ of the city when I moved in. It was a normal Thursday. As I was folding the newspaper, I noticed someone looking. A girl dressed in good clothes, too good to be sitting by the roadside with a suitcase before her stared at me. I then went to her and offered her some hot tea. No one can ever refuse some hot chai on a breezy winter morning.
She seemed well educated. We talked about politics – the most common topic that gets two Indians chatting. She seemed very knowledgable. We shared opinions. I told her mine about the city, and she said she didn’t know much and hence for the better, went along with me. I told her about my daily routine. How I dragged myself to work every day, did my work like a robot. And how with the energy that I had left, dragged myself back home – Somehow managing to do even THAT on time. It was very strange indeed. Telling a stranger about your daily routine. I told her how I would like to roam about after work. Visit the India gate, eat samosas and mostly just feel good. Then I asked her what she was doing on the road and she said that by her doing so, ” Meri maa ki jaan bachaya jayega. ( My mother’s life shall be saved)Mai uske liye kuch bhi karoongi.” ( I will do anything for her) Noticing the black suitcase, I figured she must be selling some items to buy some medicines to save her mother’s life.
I didn’t notice how time flew and after about an hour and a half of talking, I realised that I could not be late for work even by a minute. God, the city is getting into my head. She thanked me for the tea and told me she thought I was a good person and that Allah will bless me. As I crossed the street she shouted, “Apne aap ko man ki shaanti de. Aaj der se ghar vaapas aa ja. India gate ke paas jao.” ” Give your mind some peace and come back home late today. Go visit India gate.” she said.
The day went on. I dragged myself to work. Performed my daily duties but somehow didn’t feel like going home yet. I decided to enjoy myself that evening. I went around the city, doing what I felt like doing and for once felt free. Suddenly I heard a loud sound.” Probably fire crackers” I thought. As I told the auto driver ” Chandni chowk”, his face went pale and he sped away. I grumbled to myself and then decided to walk back home as I was just about a km away.
There are moments in life when you experience a sudden feeling. A feeling that something is not right. For me, that was the moment. It was like a cricket bat fell on my head. Somehow I knew exactly what had happened. I ran. I was greeted by policemen. As I watched bodies being carried, people screaming as they ran out of their houses. The smoke was everywhere. Sirens, red lights, blood and commotion. I went to that spot. The spot where she was sitting that morning. On seeing her, i knew that my vision had come true, my head started spinning and I sat down to breathe it all in.
There she lay. All six pieces of her. What went through her mind when she detonated that bomb, no one knows. I watched as each separate piece just lay there. And as each second passed, each slowly became lifeless. Why did she warn me? Why did she not want me to die? Why did I decide to go where I went that day?
“NEW DELHI : Woman detonates bomb killing 20 and injuring several in one of the worst suicide attacks…..” These lines echoed in my head as I sat on the porch the next morning. Sipping some hot chai while reading the paper…..