Blog Series continued from Episode 1 :
(Quick rewind of Episode 1 – We witnessed 3 passengers (Anaida, Akanksha and Anand) discussed a terror threat article in a share cab. Post which they get dropped at their respective destinations. The next passenger notices a bag in the back seat of the cab and questions the cab driver.)
I immediately parked the car on the side.
“Please give me the bag, let me check with the previous riders.”
I suddenly remembered that while Anand was getting dropped, he took a minute and was speaking on the phone. It sounded as if he was expecting a friend but that friend was not arriving. So he requested Anaida “Hey, so I was supposed to handover this bag to my friend but she is going to Inorbit mall instead of coming here. Since you are also going there, could you handover this bag to her?”
“Hope there is no explosive in this bag?” teases Akanksha. She seemed to be the cautious one from the beginning. While Anaida was the naive and compassionate one.
“She is just kidding” says Anaida. “Sure, give us the bag. We will handover. Tell us how your friend looks. Ask her to wait near the Starbucks store.
“Ok done. Thanks a lot. I owe you one the next time we meet.” Says Anand
I think Anaida and Akanksha must have forgotten this bag because they got busy talking as usual. Let me call them and find out.
At the same time my mobile starts ringing. “Hello?”
“Hi, we forgot a bag in your cab”. The voice sounded familiar. “Oh yes maam, I was just about to call you. Let me return the bag to you in 2 minutes. Please wait at the entry so that I will just enter, drop the bag and get out immediately”
I requested my passenger his cooperation to return the bag. He readily agreed. So I make a U turn and return to Inorbit Mall.
As requested, Anaida was waiting at the entry. I drive to the left, make a stop, handover the bag and turn the car around to get out of the building. There is traffic on the exit gate. So I had to move ahead slowly to get out.
“Looks like an accident outside, exactly near the out gate.” said a fellow driver to my left. He was trying to get out too.
Through my rear view mirror, I was able to watch Anaida and Akanksha enter the mall. Exactly 20 seconds later the mall entry alarm goes off. There is panic everywhere all of a sudden. The male guards are rushing towards the female frisking counter. And before anyone realizes anything there is a mild explosion.
The glasses shattered for a 100 m radius. It was a mild explosive however the damage caused was severe.
I see Anaida running out of the mall entry along with a few others. She looks visibly shocked and maybe partially deaf.
I get out of my cab and run towards her. She is screaming “Akanksha, Akanksha”
Immediately an ambulance is heard in the distance. The mall had an ambulance on stand-by. While I was trying to console Anaida, I could see that atleast 3 other people were severely injured near the entry point. Akanksha was unconscious on the ground.
Anaida was saying “Oh God, this was all my fault. Akanksha was right from the start. I was being a fool.”
I try to console Anaida. “Don’t worry about that, lets first try and save Akanksha now.”
The mall staff and the ambulance staff help out the 4 people, but unfortunately there was only one ambulance. Anaida wanted to go with Akanksha but she cannot go because there is no room for her in the Ambulance.
I offered Anaida a ride to the hospital. By then, the traffic cleared up to some extent near the out gate.
While driving to the hospital, I get a call on my mobile and the voice sounded familiar, “Did the two women survive the blast?”
To be continued…