Mumbai: Injuries may have been cured, but the victims of 1993 Bombay bombings have not been able to heal their wounds. 25 years after 12 explosions shook the entire nation, the sufferers and survivors recall the incident and explain how their lives changed forever.
The year 1993 was the first time Mumbai witnessed the phenomenon of serial bomb blasts. The coordinated car bombings took 257 lives and injured over 1,400 people. The families of those who lost life and limb, or saw their homes and shops explode under the impact, are overcome by emotion each time the memories wash over.
Sachin Sarmalkar, now 41, was in Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) the day bombings took place. He suffered severe head injuries following the blast. “I was just 16 years old. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. People just ran helter-skelter while I was unable to gauge the situation. I soon realised some glass pieces had ruptured my head,” said Sachin.
The tragedy struck Sachin so bad that he has, until now, not been near the premises of BSE. “Even if I pass through a nearby lane (of BSE), my head starts spinning and heart thuds with fear. The magnitude of the incident was such that I had left the city for two years and stayed in Shirdi,” he said. Sachin lives in Ghatkopar with his family and has no plan to ever visit the bombing spot in his life. “Whatever happened to us cannot be undone. But now, the government should become so strict and strong that the fear that I persist should be instilled in the minds of those criminals.”
Another victim of Malkani Mahal building opposite Century Bazaar in Worli said she remembers each and every detail of the most dreadful day of her life.
The structure was reduced to ruins after a time bomb placed under a peepal tree exploded. “It makes no difference to me whether the convicts get death punishment or life sentence. Our lives were ruined permanently. The government offered a princely sum of Rs 5,000 and sent us packing,” said Kamala Malkani, who ran a beauty parlour in her second floor apartment. Her sister and two girls who worked at the parlour suffered severe injuries in the blast; another employee who was at the bus stop was killed.
“Now I laugh about it when people ask me how is the feeling because they do not know anything. But there is no way one can forget something like this which changed my life forever. But has anything really changed for better since the attacks?” asked Malkani.