Monday, August 27, 2007

Hyderabad Blasts

Hyderabad is in the news for wrong reasons; the tragedy that followed the twin bomb blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat on Saturday evening, August 25, 2007.

Lumbini Park is located on the banks of Hussain Sagar on the Tank Bund Road which connects Hyderabad to Secunderabad. My office is located very close to the park and I pass the Tank Bund everyday to reach home. I left office by auto on Saturday at around 6.00 pm after the rain stopped. The traffic on Tank Bund Road was chaotic, but due to the heavy rains, there were very few weekend revellers on the Bund which is a popular spot as it overlooks the Hussain Sagar lake. I was eager to reach home soon, as my daughter wanted me to pick a cake for her grandfather who celebrated his 75th Birthday on Saturday. She wanted it to be a surprise. Finally after a tedious ride home, followed by the impromptu party, my husband received a call at 8.00 pm from an acquaintance in Nagpur, inquiring about the bomb blasts. We switched on the television and were shocked to see the gory scenes being aired. The bombs had exploded at 7.30pm and 7.45 pm at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat, respectively. I went numb for a while, wondering,it could have been any one of us. We received umpteen calls from relatives and friends living in other cities to inquire about our safety.

Lumbini Park is a tourist place and only last month we took our outstation guests who were visiting us, to NTR Park, another popular place which is located closely to Lumbini Park. Lumbini Park has a laser show which draws a lot of people especially the tourists. Fortunately, due to heavy rains on Friday and Saturday, the place was not crowded.

Gokul Chat, another very popular eating joint hounded by youngsters was the next target. The maximum number of casualties took place here, and more or less all were youngsters. Gokul chat located on the busy Koti road has close proximity to many educational institutions, to name the well known ones, Osmania Medical College and Women's College. It is also a shopping hub which is crowded all times of the day and evenings are jam packed with not an inch to breathe. My brother Nagaraj always joked about shopping at Koti, saying that we need not put any effort to walk as we automatically get pushed around by the crowd. There is no Hyderabadi, especially the youngsters, who would not have tasted the mirchi bajjis and chat at this eatery. I remember during my college days, my brothers told me about Gokul Chat. But I frequented it less, because my tummy couldn't take the Gokul Chat delicacies lightly.

Hindus, Muslims and Christians have lost their lives. My heart and prayers goes out to the parents and families who lost their loved ones due to the heinous acts of some cowards. But I am proud of the fact that Hyderabad is facing this tragedy with a lot of dignity. There have been no untoward incidents, except for a few foolish people pelting stones at buses and the BJP Bandh on 27th August 2007, Monday. I am unable to comprehend the purpose of observing this bandh by forcibly pulling down the shutters of schools, shops and other establishments. I wish ,the so called "Saviours" could divert their energies and time to genuinely help the victims and their families.

Who are these terrorists? Are they human beings? Do they have a religion? Do they have parents, siblings and children? Who are they?