As I write this, I’m receiving reports of the numerous killed in the blasts. I express sympathy for them from the bottom of my heart, as I could have been one of them.
Today morning, I had plans to go to office early as UAT was still going on. This entire week I was reaching ahead of time, because I was taking the bottom-line for the UAT. Except for yesterday, I have been successful in coming early, despite my fondness to stay up late. Fortunately, I overslept. Missing my train, I reached at 9:30 in Liverpool Street. It was sealed off. Since this has happened a couple of times before, for incidents like fire outbreaks, I was not very perturbed. But people were talking about a certain “explosion”. However, in the haste of trying to reach office, I choose to ignore such “minor distractions”.
Now, what normally people would do to reach my office in Barbican would be walk for 15 minutes or catch a bus. Whenever I choose to walk I would fumble with my directions and barely manage to reach. This time, I tempted fate and tried to “figure out” the right direction. I literally strayed my way towards Tower Hill (those who know the way will be rolling on the floor laughing) and retraced my way back. I crossed several affected “areas” like Aldgate station and kept wondering what all the cops and choppers were doing. At several places the yellow vested police told me to return as the road was closed. It seemed so strange. I was in a sea of men and women in formals, rushing towards their office. Perhaps, that’s why there were not many onlookers, as it would have been in India. The weather, as if on cue, was dark, gloomy and damp since morning. Reaching Liverpool, I tried afresh and managed to reach Barbican.
First thing I did was let everyone who were still travelling to return home. Then I called home and all near and dear to tell them that I’m safe. Now we are practically glued to news websites and the news is now slowly trickling in. The death toll at last count was 40. It seems there will be no office tomorrow. We know it is a terrorist attack, but the cause is not known. London won Olympics bid yesterday and there are lot of protests regarding G8. Al-Queda has claimed the responsibility. But even if that’s so, they haven’t given any reason. I hope things will come back to normalcy soon.
[Images courtesy: BBC and Sky News websites]