Wednesday, 12 July 2006

BOMBay!!!

It's been eventful alright! Missed getting wet on the tarmac at Kolkata by a whisker. I took my seat, and the windows blurred :). It's raining these days like I remember the monsoons in my childhood. It used to rain so hard you couldn't see the building across the street! And the wind would blow the sheets of water so they'd be making fairly crazy acute angles to the ground!! Used to be fun just watching :).

A little later, it looked like we'd never make it through the cloud cover at all! It just seemed to last forever! Eventually I could make out we were above a swirling grey sea, I thought it seemed so dark 'cos it was already past sundown! A sudden flash of red from the West proved me wrong. We were merely flying through a little clear pocket, surrounded by thunderclouds. It's not pretty to see the lightning flash and realize you aren't safely (relatively) on the ground... Then this gigantic column reached up from below and met the clouds above and that was that, all grey.

Touchdown at Mumbai was much the same, the Eastern Expressway flitting in and through the veil of low-lying clouds. It was on the tarmac that I realized something was horribly wrong! Cellphones weren't connecting, and those that did left people gasping, with words like 'blasts', 'casualties' and 'disaster' thickening the air with fear! I finally got through to H and heard that 5 to 8 bombs had exploded in First Class compartments of several Western line locals!! The cab driver told me they'd taken place between 6 and 8 pm.

It was a horrible mess at the domestic exit! Too many people waiting to catch the now irregular shuttle bus to the international terminal (in Mumbai you need to transit from the domestic to the international terminal through the city). I figured I'd take a cab, and given the situation I thought 150 was cheap! It was only a km. later when I realized that it was 150 USD I was expected to shell out that I jumped out! Barely any ricks, or cabs for that matter, wanted to go to the international terminal :(. Eventually I found a cabbie who did, without charging me more money than I was carrying. In INR!!

Frantic calls from parents, to friends in the city... Everyone I could get through to was fine, though one had been in a compartment adjascent to one that'd blown up :-S. Needless to say no one was stupid enough to try and come meet me :). Now I have an hour at Changi Intl 'cos my flight to Perth's been delayed. It's just as dark and overcast here as anywhere else, no luck on the "bright 'n sunny" today, it seems.

Feeling: horrified!!
Listening to: The Prodigy - Minefields

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