Mumbai bandh: Colaba doctor recounts her narrow escape from angry mob

Updated: Jan 04, 2018, 20:35 IST | Hemal Ashar

Colaba doctor covered in glass recounts her ordeal of how she escaped a mob

The rock thrown inside the doctor's car
The rock thrown inside the doctor's car

Death came flying through the window of Dr Rachna L's car, missing her by inches as Mumbai boiled, after clashes erupted in Pune on Monday.

Traffic woes
The Colaba doctor said, "It seemed like just another day when I left for my work in Kurla on Tuesday morning. By afternoon, all of us heard something about problems in Pune having made their way to Mumbai. I decided to leave my work by 3 pm, an hour earlier than usual. "I took the SCLR, and the first indication of trouble started when it took my driver 2.5 hours to reach the Freeway instead of the usual 20 minutes."

She saw a crowd of "at least 100 people" just before you enter the tunnel going into South Mumbai. "They were waving blue flags... I also heard the wail of ambulance sirens and saw somebody being loaded into one. Then, a person was told to get out from the car ahead of ours; I think he was roughed up by the mob. We, thankfully, were waved through after people saw the doctor sticker on my car."

The nightmare begins
Her relief, however, was shortlived. "We came out of the tunnel and on to a stretch where there were hutments on both sides. Suddenly, we heard two loud noises. My car was dented by a flying object. Then, a rock flew from somewhere and came into my car from the front, glass was everywhere. Even the side windows were shattered. The block hit my driver's leg, it would have hit me too, but his leg had stopped it.

"He did not lose control of the car and drove right through. We kept going... I was covered in glass." Recalling her heart racing wildly when she saw the mob from earlier, she said, "I realised what a mob can do, the fear it can strike. "We reached Colaba in this state. I had to remove my shoes and was helped out of the car by my son. It was then that I could comprehend fully what had happened and what a narrow escape I had." "I am totally shaken. Maximum City, your halo has dimmed considerably for me," she signed off.

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