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The Blast from the Past: A Survivor Story

Mumbai in the 90s was a hotbed for the criminal underworld. Since the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition, riots broke out in March. Mumbai witnessed a horror filled series of bomb blasts.

Between 1:30 pm to 3:40 pm, the Mumbai city saw a nightmare come to life. After 12 blasts in two hours, Mumbai was shattered and lifeless. Buildings levelled to the ground in seconds. The bustling streets of Mumbai can to an eerie standstill.

Ashok Damodar Dixit, 77, a survivor of the bomb blast at Century Bazaar, recalls

“I used to work in a trading company at Prabhadevi near Century Bazaar, it was about 1:30 in the afternoon when I was returning to work after my lunch time. I was waiting to collect my bill at a restaurant near Century Bazaar, but the cashier delayed giving me the bill, I was furious. Today I am thankful for that delay, because of that delay I am alive. If I would have exited the restaurant, I would have gotten a serious blow from the bomb, which would have highly reduced my chances of staying alive, since I was about 10 feet away from where the bomb was planted.” 

Due to the severity of the situation, the treatment I received at the hospital was either delayed or not given at all. Dr. Khandelwal was a person who helped me immensely. I am truly thankful for his support.

“My daughter had her SSC examination, it was her second paper the day the blasts had taken place. It was a highly stressful situation for her. Even with my family, it was a tremendous shock. My family searched and searched for me while I was at K.E.M. hospital but couldn’t find me. At 6 in the evening, they finally identified me. Among the many dead, I had turned completely black due to the blast residue, my family recalled. For a year and a half, I didn’t get a proper treatment due to the shock my family was in, and also due to the fact that the government didn’t really help in compensating me for my loss.”

“Till date I experience the paining effects of the RDX that blasted 26 years ago. 

Yes, the memories of that day haunt me mentally and physically but that's the reality of the situation, a situation that is inescapable. What happened that fateful day is a nightmare that I wouldn’t like to think about, hence I tend to not share my story.”

by Gargee Ranade

Dated: 10/2019

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