Monday, July 28, 2008

Pall of gloom over Bengaluru

Pall of gloom over Bengaluru

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Bengalureans probably for the first time realised on Friday afternoon what panic means. It was more than evident on their faces as they waited, stuck in jammed roads near the serial blast sites, repeatedly pressing the buttons on their mobile phones to talk to their kin and tell them they were safe.

If this was the sight in places surrounding the blast sites, something strange happened in most other areas in the city.

The main roads which are usually bustling with life and vehicles, were deserted by 7 pm with most city residents preferring to stay indoors. It took just minutes for people who ventured out to travel from one junction to the other.

“I was worried and scared till I reached the school, where my elder daughter studies. The school is situated very close to Richmond Circle, one of the blast sites.

I also wanted to contact my husband, who works in a multinational company but the mobile network stopped functioning. My heart kept pounding till I saw my daughter. I wonder whether something so bad has ever struck our city,” said Suchetana, a resident of RT Nagar.

A section of the city which is awake when the others are fast asleep — the BPO sector and some related IT sectors saw a steep drop in employee attendance.

“Soon after the news about the blast was aired on television channels, we informed our employees that special arrangements were being made for them to reach office but very few turned up. Of course we know how bad the situation is,” said a HR professional from a leading BPO company.

Many foreigners who had come here to attend important meetings, refused to step out of their hotels.

Several parties which were supposed to be held in the city were cancelled. E-mails and messages poured in with information about the chaos and panic.

“I had to just reach my house at any cost, as my parents kept on calling me in the evening and told me to take another road which does not connect to Mysore road where a blast happened. I kept wondering how this was possible as my house is located just next to Mysore road!” said Satisha K.


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