On November 24, I was waiting for my train to arrive at Mahim station. It must have been around 8 pm. A lady sitting next to me had a bag at her feet. The train pulled into the platform and she got in, while I decided to wait for the next train to arrive. A minute later I realized that the bag which seemed to have been hers, was still sitting there.
Maybe it was somebody else’s, I thought to myself. Ten minutes later, the people who I speculated to have been the owners of that bag had disappeared. I still confirmed with the people around before going to the Station Master’s office, whether they were its rightful owners. But just as I thought, none of them were.
I narrated the situation to the Station Master and he said someone had already informed him about the same only two minutes before I had. He also said, he had made an announcement – something I didn’t believe to be true. But I was glad someone considered it their responsibility to inform the concerned authority. Five minutes later I heard an announcement asking the On-Duty GRP to report to the Station Master’s Office.
I left three trains on purpose only wait and watch what happens. Call me paranoid, but I didn’t dare stand anywhere near the bag and nor should’ve anyone else. Just then another lady walked towards the seat near the bag, picked it up, placed it on another side and made herself comfortable next to it. Out of curiosity, I walked up to her asking if it was hers, but she turns out, it wasn’t. Why would anyone touch anything that’s susupiciously lying around and see nothing wrong about doing so?
A minute later I saw a GRP walk towards us. Surprisingly, he had no idea about the bag and we told him all about it. Ten more people gathered around, as if to see some sort of a street performance. The GRP didn’t even ask people to move away. What’s worse, he picked it up with his bare hands and opened it too! To my horror, people buried their faces in it.
Is that how ignorant we are? To that level? Although there was only food and clothes in it, but what if there was actually an explosive in it? What then? Leave aside our ignorance; what about the fact that we aren’t even prepared for such a situation and that we don’t even bother? God forbid, but if such a situation was to take place again, will we be able to abort it or for that matter, counter it?
Today is November 26th. It’s been seven years since the terror attacks on Mumbai and we are exactly where we were at that time.