Ahmedabad coming to terms a week after bombings

August 2nd, 2008 - 4:53 pm ICT by IANS  

By Rafat Quadri
Ahmedabad, Aug 2 (IANS) It is exactly a week since this city witnessed the bloody serial bombings that left 55 people dead and around 200 injured, many grievously. The city, popularly known as the Manchester of India, and its people are trying to begin life afresh - forgetting the pain of the tragedy that has united everybody. However, the grief and sorrow of the families who have lost their loved ones will not go away easily. It will take ages before they accept the fact that their dear ones have left them forever.

On Friday morning, the city’s Vyas family went through hell. Even as they were observing the ‘besna’ or last rites of Dushyant Vyas, 41, who was killed in a blast at the Civil Hospital, news came of the death of his little son Rohan, who was injured in the same blast.

Rohan, 11, had suffered 75 percent burns and succumbed after a long pain-filled battle. His death was announced before the already mourning group of relatives and friends gathered at the Vyas house.

Dushyant Vyas used to work as a laboratory assistant at the cancer centre of the Civil Hospital. On the ill-fated Saturday, he was passing by the trauma centre of the hospital with his two sons whom he was giving a lesson in cycling.

His other son, Yash, aged 9, is still fighting for life at the hospital.

The entire city has been mourning and talking about the Vyas family’s grief. Newspapers and news channels have been reporting on the state of the children everyday for the past week. But now little Yash is the lone ray of hope for the family.

The bomb blast also snuffed out another promising life - that of a young B.Sc. final year student who was killed while saving others peoples’ lives at the Civil Hospital.

Chandangiri Goswamy never lost a moment to be at the side of those in need, recalls B.K. Jain, his college principal. On Black Saturday, the 20-year-old rushed to the hospital to extend a helping hand to the injured after learning about the bomb blasts in the city, but lost his own life in the powerful blast near the trauma centre.

Goswamy was a popular student of the M.G. Science College where he always took the lead in taking up responsibilities and carrying out assignments for the college, says Jain.

“He was not only a bright student but was a very kind and noble boy who would always play a proactive role in college activities. A couple of days back he had accepted the responsibility of organising a seminar in the college,” he said.

Goswamy’s friends and teachers have publicly mourned his death and raised funds to initiate a trophy in his name. It will be awarded to the winner of a debate competition to be held by the college.

There are more such heartbreaking stories of victims of the blast.

But time is a great healer. The city’s malls and business establishments that were hit hard due to the blasts seem to have regained their spirit and are looking forward to a bright business with the festive season nearing. They have a new undying zeal and spirit, which they call “Amdavad taara jussa ne salaam (Ahmedabad, we salute your spirit)”.

Newspapers and other media are once again full of advertisements of ‘Grand sale’, ‘Mega Sale’, ‘Festive Sale’ with dozens of attractive purchase offers thrown in.

The Hindu festive season is already on and would accelerate with Rakshabandhan approaching (Aug 16) and more festivals to follow. Muslims are also looking forward to practise a peaceful month of fasting during Ramadan, which starts next month.

Meanwhile, the city’s different areas including Paanchkuva, Hariom market, ADC Bank and Gomptipur saw the police accompanied with their dog squad searching every spot whenever there was a bomb scare.

Special prayers were offered by maulanas (priests) in various mosques of Ahmedabad Friday noon for the blast victims and for peace to be restored in the entire state and the country.

Life goes on and nothing can stop the hustle and bustle of this city and its spirit - for which an Urdu couplet is apt:

“Fanoos ban ke jiski hifaazat hua kare,

Voh shamma kya bujhe jise roshan Khuda kare”.

(How can the flame of the lamp extinguish when god himself protects it as its lamp cover).

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