On the edge
It was my last assignment for the day. It started raining heavily. I had no choice but to catch the train from Churchgate to reach office in Andheri. The cabs were reluctant to ferry me despite my effort of brandishing my press card on their face. I got the scoop and couldn’t wait to go back to the office. I gotta break the story. It’s an exclusive. The corrupt politicians who are in cahoot with the shady builders in Mumbai would be exposed tomorrow morning.
I was already drenched. After all, I had no choice but to dash my way and running as if to save my life and swirled from Marine Drive towards Bombay Hospital and finally reached Churchgate station. I felt like a homeless dog. The rain showed no mercy on me.
The train finally arrived at 6.50 p.m. I slouched on the last berth in the local compartment. I looked around and carefully opened my bag to check on the documents with the Sarkari stamps. They were intact. I held my backpack close to my chest as if it was a gold vault.
The train slowly ambled away from Churchgate station and flitted past Wankhede Stadium as the crowd struggled to stand on their feet. I could sense trouble. There are few well-built men, looking in my direction with fierce and mocking eyes. Did they get wind of my covert actions? It scared me to death. I finally shrugged it off. It must be some stupid thought or phobia of being trailed. But, then, my sixth sense never failed. I was too tensed. Finally, the train jolted at the crowded Andheri station and I jostled my way out, running like a mad man.
A shadow lurked behind. I could feel it. It was killing me inside. The moment I reached office, the handset beeped. It was my girlfriend, Ganga. .‘I found out. You are dead.’ I had time to send her back a message, ‘What do you mean?’ She replied, ‘Baby, surprise. Tomorrow morning, you will know.’
I dashed into the office kitchen and quickly brewed coffee. I lit a cigarette despite promising myself that I will not smoke during the night. I need to exude relief after risking my life for this story.
Switched on my laptop and signed to my Gmail account, I started typing in a haste and scrolled on the documents with my black jet pen. Tomorrow, Mumbai will wake up to the biggest jolt and scandal in its history. Stocks will be down and the most respected politicians will be exposed.
I saved the story on my Dell laptop. Bang! I hear a loud explosion and almost shrieked. The lights suddenly went off and the newsroom goes blank. It’s dark everywhere. I received an SMS, ‘Mumbai attacked and put under siege by terrorists. Three bombs exploded in South Mumbai. I suddenly see dark everywhere. The lights are back. My legs suddenly become numb and weak. I feel an acute pain in my chest which feels like mothball of fire wrecking havoc inside my body.
I cannot comprehend what was happening to me. I was hanging and clutching to the pump on the edge of the 15 storeyed building. I could hear sirens and honking. I could faintly see the busy road movement with people walking, cars and buses zigzagging their way. How I reached there?! I felt dizzy. I closed my eyes. Everything suddenly goes dark.
This post is written as part of #UBC Day 4 and linked to Blog Chatter.