The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mumbai finds its heart of gold

Mumbai, Aug. 28: Amid the ruins, the reaffirmation of faith. From the ravages of Monday’s twin blasts that shook and bled Mumbai has emerged a story of touching honesty that restores one’s faith in humanity.

The tale of Satish Raikar and Kanaiya Kakad, who returned a bag full of gold ornaments to Hukum Singh Raghav as he lay seriously injured on his hospital bed, is moving enough to bring a lump to the throat of many a cynic.

“This is as uncommon as Mars getting so close to Earth that we can see its craters,’’ says Sonal Singh, a nurse at GT Hospital, where Raghav has been admitted.

“It happens once in 60,000 years, isn’t that what the television said'’’

Raikar, 37, a goldsmith at Zaveri Bazaar, and his friend Kakad, 33, spotted a bag containing ornaments as people scrambled all over the place immediately after the taxi containing RDX in its boot exploded.

There were dead bodies all around, blood was splattered on the streets and smoke bellowed out of the taxi and buildings nearby. Everybody around was either injured or too scared to notice the bag.

When Raikar went up to a policeman to hand over the bag, he recoiled thinking it might contain a bomb. “The police officer refused to take it and insisted that we throw it away as it could contain a bomb,’’ Raikar recalls.

It fell to Raikar to find out what the bag contained and reach it to its owner.

“We were helping out the victims and getting them to GT Hospital when we found the bag lying unattended,’’ Raikar says. “After the police refused to take it, I knew I had to do something about it.’’

On discovering the bag contained gold jewellery, Raikar took it to Kakad, who runs a shop in the Kachwala building at Zaveri Bazaar. Kakad, who knows shops in the area inside out, immediately realised where the jewellery came from.

“The gold items had the initials ‘BJM’ embossed on them and I knew they were bought from a shop called Bhagyamani,’’ Kakad said.

Raikar and Kakad then contacted the shop owner, who said the ornaments had been bought by Raghav, a businessman, who was taking it to his hometown, Kota, in Rajasthan for resale.

“It was easy after that,’’ said Kakad.

“We called up his (Raghav’s) family in Kota and were told that he had been admitted to GT Hospital. We rushed to the hospital and traced him. He was bleeding and had serious head injuries. At first, he didn’t believe what we were saying — he kind of looked dazed but soon realised we were not pulling a fast one on him.’’

Raghav, who is much better after three days in hospital, says he forgot his injuries when he saw the men with his gold.

“What was my reaction' Here I was, having survived the blast and these two men come to return me a bag full of gold which no one had seen them picking up,’’ Raghav said. “I have never had more faith in god or, for that matter, in humanity.’’

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