| Residents at P&M Mall on Monday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
The scar can wait. Not cars. Life must go on.
As another week unfolded to a bright new morning, residents — traumatised because of the Sunday serial blasts in the heart of the city — had no choice but to hit the road. Most of them are yet to overcome the bruises of the first-of-its-kind blasts in the city but schools, colleges, offices and even malls and cinemas were open.
“I am a little scared after the incident. I could not think about such negligence in security arrangement. On my part, I have become more alert. If anywhere in the city I find any suspicious thing, I have decided that I would first inform the police about it,” said physician Diwakar Tejaswi.
Artist Shyam Sharma, the former principal of College of Arts and Crafts, echoed Tejaswi: “I was quite tensed on Sunday and thought I couldn’t muster courage to move outside. However, on Monday I had to step out because I could not postpone my work Dar ka mahaul ban gaya hai kal ke incident ke baad (It’s an ambience of fear).”
Soma Chakraborty, a folk dance teacher at Bharatiya Nritya Kala Mandir, said she was also scared about her children’s safety. “The blast-scarred rally was the topic of discussion everywhere. I was telling my brother to take care of their children because they study in St Xavier’s School, right in front of Gandhi Maidan. I was also scared for my daughters Srishti and Drishti because they go to St Joseph’s Convent High School and they have to take the road along Gandhi Maidan,” she added.
Bindu Pandey, a homemaker of Annadpuri, said she had warned her husband who travels regularly on train to look after suspicious things during his journey. “I have given the similar advice to my children as well. We cannot stop them from going outside but if they become a little careful, they can avert these kind of incidents,” she said.
Some organisations also postponed their scheduled programmes. Sunita Prakash, a school club member of Notre Dame Academy, said: “Due to unavoidable circumstances, we postponed the get-together and directory release programme of our club.”
“On Sunday, I could hear deafening sound of blasts because my makeshift stall is close to Gandhi Maidan. I am also scared after Sunday blasts but I decided not to move. People are nowhere safe in this city,” claimed Chotu, a chat seller on Fraser Road.