Till July 13, 2011, Sahadev Bhuwad, Dharmendra Jadiya and Namdeo Ghulap were not aware of each other’s existence.
A year later, Jadiya and Ghulap, both in their mid 30s, refer to the 56-yr-old Bhuwad as mama (maternal uncle).
Their bond might have been born of pain and tragedy, but today it is a source of comfort and strength.
All three men were injured in the Opera House blast and were admitted at the same hospital, and that is how they came to know each other.
Says Ghulap, who has lost both legs, “These people would check on me. It made me feel better.”
Rajaram Bane, 33, Uttam Jadhav, 28, and Raju Yadav, 41, who were injured in the Zaveri Bazaar blast, have a similar tale to tell.
They too met at the hospital, and are now best friends. “It is difficult for people who haven’t gone through this trauma to understand how we suffered,” says Bane.The trio meets almost everyday at Yadav’s snack shop in Zaveri Bazaar. Both Yadav and Jadhav need surgeries to remove shards from their bodies.
“We are trying to save money for the surgeries. We discuss our treatment, but we prefer not to talk about that day,” said Jadhav. As for Bhuwad, that fateful day, he lost one of his legs, but a year on, not only has he gained two good friends, he has also got himself a birthday.
Bhuwad, who grew up in a village in Raigad, never had a birth certificate and consequently no birthday to celebrate.
“Since he never celebrates his birthday, we will celebrate his ‘rebirth’ on July 13 every year. My mother will make kheer to celebrate the occasion,” said his son Tushar.
A year on, HT visits the three blast sites, where 27 were killed and 127 injured
Time of blast: 6:54 pm
Khau gali wears deserted look
The hustle and bustle that one associates with this bazaar remains unchanged, but its famous ‘khau galli’ — with its food stalls and roadside vendors — is a place transformed. Hawkers and roadside food stalls have been asked to leave the area. Parking has been banned. Associations that control the gold business in the area have ensured that the area is under the cover of 38 CCTVs. The Mumbai Jewellers’ Association in Zaveri Bazar has appointed four persons to monitor the CCTVs 24 hours. “Security of the area has always been our responsibility as no authority has ever taken any step in that direction. The major change is that ‘khau galli’ today is empty,” said Kumar Jain, vice president of the association.
Time of blast: 6:55 pm
Biz houses still don’t feel secure
There has been considerable change in the area around Opera House since July 13 last year. Vehicles now can’t be parked in the by-lanes that approach the Panchratna building, Prasad Chambers and Shreeji Chambers — from where a majority of the business houses operate. The area has also been provided a cover with 76 CCTV cameras. However, some businessmen from the locality still do not feel secure.
Kaushik Navadiya, a diamond trader, said: “There are three approach lanes which lead to these buildings, but there is no facility to scan who is entering the area. The CCTV cameras do not provide foolproof security. The mere presence of policemen at the association chowk does not assure us anything.”
Time of blast: 7:06 pm
‘The day taught us a lesson’
At Dadar, locals seem to have forgotten about the explosion on July 13 last year, except the injured and those who were in close proximity to the blast site.
Sadashiv Kamble, 38, a cobbler, remembers the day clearly. “Glass pieces from a damaged car had pierced my body. Since then I have been undergoing treatment at the KEM hospital in Parel, and I am yet to receive the Rs. 50,000 compensation that was announced.” Kiran Dayale, 58, who runs a footwear stall near the blast site, vividly remembers the fateful day too. “The bomb was placed on top of a bus stop, which ensured the casualty was comparatively less. But the day has taught us lessons about being responsible and alert, especially those who escaped death,” he said.