Trident to Taj to CST
On Tuesday, 2nd Dec, 08, A call to ALL PROUD INDIANS was made to assemble at the Air India building to write messages for the brave cops and soldiers of our country. Some of us from IIT reached there at the Air India building around 6.30pm. There were lot of people including some of the celebrities who had come to express their gratitude toward the martyr cops.
Most of the people over there were youth, from all the communities. The nariman point and the strip close to the sea was crowded, although not as it used to be. I remembered how I was sitting at the same spot a month back. Fearless, enjoying the sea and chit-chatting with my friends and today, I was serious, not even in a mood to smile.
We went close to the Trident building. There was heavy security and policemen all around. I could see few broken windows of the Trident building and the repairing work going on. I am really amazed by the Trident people that they are planning to restart the complete operations in next two weeks and I could see that happening.
Next we moved to Taj. The taxiwala dropped us near the back side of Taj heritage. Again no entry near the hotel, heavily protected by the police. We went to the front side of Taj and were actually seeing the Taj Heritage building for the first time after 26/11. The area is still protected/covered and hence could not see it closely. Even the Gateway of India is also closed. There were interviews of general public going on by some channel and slowly the outrage of the people was seen blaming all the politicians, moving on to media, to RGV, to name a few. This continued for good 10-15 mins and not many could make out what exactly was the point put up. One of my friend was trying to understand the issue but of no use.
We got the taxi for CST. It was around 8.40pm. It was not usual Mumbai. Hardly any traffic. After the taxi dropped us near Azad maidan, we went via the subway and it was very less crowded. We had some chaat and juices. Then one of my friend went to a shop to check out jeans. I followed him. Others also joined after they finished their food. While my friend was bargaining, others were discussing the situation on the 26th night. Shopkeepers were saying that the terrorist had come close to the subway and all the shopkeepers there were having terrible time. Fortunately for them, the terrorists didn't came down the subway and hence all of them were saved. Things have changed a lot after that. No crowd in the subway and hence not even in the shops. Previously the shopkeepers were forced to close the shop at midnight. Now, there is hardly any customer to keep the shop open. As we were talking, I realized that we were the only customers there. The scene was similar in other shops also. The corridor was so less crowded that I could stand in the center and click the photos. I could wait till I get a good click with no one in front of the camera. Normally, I don't think it would have been possible for me to even stand in the center.
At the entrance, we were welcomed by the metal detectors. I felt the tension seeing the metal detectors. What if it beeps when I pass through? Will I be checked by the armed police? And when I passed through it, yes, it beeped but there was no one to check me or even to listen to the beep. I was saved. But whats the use of these metal detectors installed at the entrance? They are hardly of any use. When ever you cross them, there is invariably a beep. There is no one to check the person who causes the beep. So, whats the use of these metal detectors? Only to show people that there is something like metal detectors which are installed for the safety of the common people.
In general there were lot of security people. Policemen checking the bags and other belongings and in general tension on very face moving around. I too could feel the tension while roaming around in the station. It was not as usual.
We moved on to buy the tickets and the scene was similar. Hardly any rush on the ticket counter. The ticket counter at 9.00pm used to have a long queue. Today only 5-6 people in the queue.
During the time when we were close to these spots, the thought of what if some thing happens NOW was coming again and again to my mind. I saw a small cute girl enjoying chocolate in the subway and this thought caught me again. I was horrified to think what if there is a terror attack NOW. I hope we all come out of this type of thoughts as soon as possible and start enjoying the beauty of Mumbai.