‘I feel we were meant to be alive’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘I feel we were meant to be alive’

Thirty-two-year-old Mansi Jadhav cannot believe what happened in those few seconds on Saturday. All she knows is that she escaped a close shave with death.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2010 01:01 IST

Thirty-two-year-old Mansi Jadhav cannot believe what happened in those few seconds on Saturday. All she knows is that she escaped a close shave with death.

A dentist by profession, Jadhav was shutting down her clinic for the day at 6.45 pm, preparing to go to the German Bakery on the ground floor of her building at Vaswani Nagar for her daily dose of a strong coffee shot. But just then, she heard a huge blast; her window pane had shattered and glass shrapnel injured her leg.

“ In the same state I just ran down and all I saw was people shouting, blood everywhere—a lot of chaos. I ran up to get medicated cotton and water for first aid. All I knew is that I was a doctor and people needed help,” said Jadhav, a wife of an industrialist.

Jadhav owns a 850 square feet area apartment for the past 4 years — converted into a dental clinic and a fish foot spa attached to it.

“Luckily all my patients had left by then and I could quickly act,” she said. The incident was a close call for her daughter Jija (6) too, who had just had cake at the bakery 20-minutes before the blast. “But just after that my friend came and took her to a nearby club. Looking back I feel she was godsend and we were meant to be alive,” says Jadhav.

School misses its brightest

On Monday a pall of gloom descended at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan school in Salt Lake where Ankik Dhar, his sister Anindi Dhar and Shilpa Goenka had studied a couple of years ago before they moved to Pune. Former students of the school, many of them Anindi’s classmates, turned up at the school to pay last respects to the three, who died in the Pune blast.

“We have lost three dear students of the school and we will observe one minute of silence in memory of them,” said Dr. Anindita Chatterjee, Principal of Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan School. “She was an all rounder — be it academics, sports or extracurricular activities she was always the topper,” said Patrali Sarkar, who was Anindi’s class teacher.

Shilpa’s uncle Mahendra Saraogi said the explosive-laden bag had burst right under the table where the three were sitting. A pall of gloom shrouded Salt Lake’s BB block, where the Dhar siblings lived. Their younger brother Aishik has been sent to a relative’s place as their parents have rushed to Pune.

It turned out to be his last ride

For 28-year-old rikshaw driver Shankar Nathu Pansare, Saturday’s trip from camp to Swargate turned out to be the last journey of his life. And the trip left his partially handicapped father, totally handicapped.

“Shankar was on his last passenger trip and after that he told us to be at home as it was weekend and family wanted to enjoy. But then…it indeed turned out to be his last trip as we heard news of his passing in the blast,” said Shankar’s cousin Vikas.

Forty-eight hours after the blast, the atmosphere at Shankar’s family in Dhanakawai area of suburban Pune was inconsolable. The news of the passing away of the only bread-winner of the family, left his 59-year-old paralysed father Nathu Pansare totally handicapped.

Father of a five-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter, Shankar had shifted to Dhanakawadi to earn a living.

On the day of the blast, Shankar was taking a passenger to Koregaon when he was asked him to stop for a minute just in front of German Bakery.

“As Shankar stopped his rikshaw just close to the bakery due to traffic congestion, the blast occurred. After some time we saw his rikshaw on flashes on television. We got to know later that it was Shankar’s rickshaw and Shankar was dead with severe burns,” said Shankar’s friend Vishnu.