Friday, May 22, 2009


He was your average 5-year-old boy, turning the walls of his home into one giant canvas, much to his mother's displeasure. He drew what other 5-year-old boys drew: Techy stuff mostly... Dams and Power stations, Pylons and cables. One of his mother's cousins once remarked that the stairway wall had the whole Laxapana Complex sketched on it.

Among these carefree drawings, one curious sketch stood out. In the back wall near the fuse-box, hidden from view almost. A long straight road led to a tall building... a burning building. A side-road led to another building, which wasn't in flames. Seeing his parents puzzled looks, the boy explains, pointing at the building on the side-road: "That's where mama works!" with a look of innocent relief on his little face.


He remembers that sound... deafening, metallic, very very scary. Louder than the loudest thunder. The teacher was getting a bit nervous... "Madam, sounded like a train collision..." she tells the other teacher. They both stare out the window, at the railway tracks and the greenish Indian ocean. All they see is black smoke, menacing black smoke, rising from the distant Fort.

And just like that, school was over! Although school looked more like it was having the concert, because everyone's parents were there!! His parents put him into the back seat of their car, and till they got to Park road, his mother was constantly on the cellphone. "I can't get to him, the lines are all jammed..." she said to his father, lying the phone down. What a wierd combination of words? "Jam in the lines"? He chuckeled at the insanity, yet he chuckeled silently, to himself, a mental chuckle. There was something very very worrying about his mother's tone...

The first thing they do when they get home is switch on the TV. A dazed looking news presenter keeps mentioning a lorry and a bank. A fire leaps out the windows of a tall building. A couple of firefighters on a lift pull a man out a window. There's utter chaos, bodies, glass shards everywhere, people lying on the ground, bleeding like water fountains. The boy can't get the images out of his head. He wakes up suddenly that night, the burnt corpses won't go out of his head. He walks up to his parents bed, and cuddles up between his mother and father. No creepy corpse can get to him in his mother's warm arms.......