'Crackers, loud noises scare us even now'
The sounds of crackers and other loud noises still scare the Vasu family. As the infamous date 26/11 draws near, the nightmarish recollections of the fateful night haunt 77-year-old Labshankar J Vasu gripping him with fear.
Labshankar, a resident of Colaba Court, the residential complex behind Nariman house, which was targetted by terrorists, managed to evacuate about 42 residents, most of them senior citizens from their homes in the adjoining buildings and sheltered them in his 2 BHK apartment for nearly a whole day, before they were assisted to safety by the army.
"The entire ground floor was cordoned off by the NSG and people were stuck in the building. There were wheel-chair bound senior citizens who couldn't move out so with the help of my son and daughter-in-law, I got them over at my place," said Vasu.
Recalling the night when the carnage began, he said the terrorists were shooting indiscriminately at people or wherever there was any movement. "When they threw a grenade nearly all windows and glass doors came down shattering in the adjoining buildings. The police themselves were scared to enter the area," he said.
Nearly for two hours, Vasu was assisting residents to vacate the building premises, which were vulnerable to attack. "There were Hindus, Muslims and Christians at my place, and we shared our meals together as long as we were stuck there," Vasu said. It was only by Saturday morning they were guided to safety by the NSG and Shiv Sena leader Vijay Surve, who he says guarded them.
Having lived in Colaba since the past 32 years, Vasu said he had never felt this scared before. "The government though has done nothing to provide protection. If another attack happens, our safety will be in God's hand," he said.