Ravi, Abhishekh and Nasim are waiting outside the college gate. They are waiting for Arun to arrive.
“There he comes, come on fast” said Ravi.
As soon as Arun came close they started singing the birthday song for him.
“So what’s the plan for the birthday party?” questioned Abhishekh.
“Tonight we’ll be going to Leopold café, Nasim, today is your turn to drive. So guys tonight Nasim will not be drinking” replied Arun.
They all started teasing Nasim and then entered the college to attend the lectures.
“Hello is it Rosy?” Sandra asked on the phone.
“Yes ma’am” she replied.
“Rosy me and my husband have to attend a party tonight, we were hoping that you’ll baby sit Andrew tonight at our place?”
“Yes ma’am, don’t worry, just tell me the time and I’ll be at your place. I have your address stored with me.”
“We’ll be leaving by 9 p.m. from our place, so it would be good if you could reach our home by 8.30 as it will give Andrew some time to get settled with you. Rest of the details I’ll let you know when you reach here.”
Sohail was working on the project. He just glanced the time. ‘There’s ample of time left for me to finish this, let me check my mobile and chat with my friends, as if I’ll finish my work early my boss will hand over some new work to me’ thought Sohail.
Arbazz, Sohail’s boss calls him in his cabin.
“I hope you have completed the project Sohail?” asked Arbazz.
Sohail presents his project to his boss, who goes through the work.
“Where’s the market research report Sohail?” questioned Arbazz.
“Oh my God, sir I’ve forgotten to prepare that” replied Sohail.
“Sohail, you know that today is the deadline to submit this project, you should have brought this project earlier itself so we could have checked in time.”
Sohail started to curse himself.
“What do we do now sir?” asked Sohail.
“I’ll see what data’s I have and will forward it to you. We still have time. I’ll inform my boss in the USA that by afternoon time there we’ll submit the project.”
“Thank you sir, I’ll rush and try to finish the work as soon as possible.”
“Sukhi, get up” said Rashmi.
Sukhwinder opened his eyes and checked his mobile.
“It’s just 6.00 p.m. Rash, there’s still time for me to wake up.”
“Riya is having high fever; you’ll have to take her to the pediatrician. I would have taken her but I can’t move much because of my plastered leg.”
“Ok, I’ll take her. What time will the Doctor come, as I’ve to report for work at 9 p.m.?”
“She comes by 7.00 p.m.; it will be better if you reach there by 6.45 p.m. and take the appointment so that you can leave early.”
Sukhwinder starts getting ready.
He reaches the clinic with Riya and finds a few people already there waiting for the Doctor. He takes the appointment token. He looks at the token which read number 5. ‘If the Doctor comes on time and takes 10 minutes on each patient then I can be free by 8 p.m. and can reach for my work on time’ thinks Sukhwinder.
Arbazz passes the data to Sohail who’s getting the figures ready. His colleagues start departing for home.
“Sohail are you coming on time today?” questioned his mom on the phone.
“No mom, I’ll be late today. Please don’t wait for me and you have your dinner on time.”
“When’s the Doctor going to arrive?” questioned an anxious Sukhwinder.
“She had just called up, she’s held up in traffic and she would be here in next 10 minutes” replied the assistant.
Nasim honked in front of Arun’s gate. Abhishekh and Ravi were already seated in his Xylo. As soon as Arun came out of his house he was excited seeing Nasim’s dad’s brand new Xylo.
“How did you managed to get this?” asked Arun.
“Just a little buttering and he allowed me to take this with a promise that I’ll be driving it and will be taking a good care of it” replied Nasim.
The doctor enters her clinic. Also enters a parent carrying his son who had an injury and was bleeding. The Doctor told her assistant to get the stitching materials ready as she’ll be taking this case first.
Rosy calls up Sandra “Ma’am I’m really sorry. There’s an emergency with my mom who’s admitted at the Cama hospital. The Doctor has just called up and they have asked me to shift her to a private hospital.”
“Oh no Rosy, I had made all the plans and now at this last moment I will not be able to find anyone to take care of my child. If you were unsure then you should have told me in the morning itself?”
“No ma’am I really did not know this situation would arise. In fact I needed the money badly for my mom’s treatment.”
“Ok then let me see if I can find someone else” saying this Sandra disconnected the line. She tried to find a replacement but failed to do so.
Sandra informed her husband Robert about it.
“Let’s skip the function Sandra. As it is I had a hectic day and there’s no one to look after Andrew. We cannot take him along as you know how difficult it is to manage him. We’ll just make a good excuse to Mark.”
The Doctor started taking the patient’s one by one. Sukhwinder knew he’s going to get late. So he called up his boss.
“Sir my daughter is unwell and I’m at the doctor’s clinic. I’ll be late so called to inform you.”
“Don’t worry Sukhi; the other chefs will manage it till you get here.”
Sukhi was a little relieved now.
Nasim was little late on applying the brakes at a signal near Chowpatty and his car dashed into a taxi. The taxi driver came out of the taxi and started quarreling with them. He demanded 2000 rupees from them for the damage whereas all the friends told him that it was a minor dent and 500 would be enough for it. The quarrel continued and there was traffic now behind their cars. A traffic policeman came and asked them to get their vehicles at the police chowki.
9.35 p.m. 26th November 2008
Nasim and his friends were trying to settle the matter with the taxi driver when all of a sudden the police got a message on their wireless about an terrorist attack at Leopold cafe. 2 terrorists with automatic weapons had attacked innocent and unarmed people there. Nasim and his friends are shocked to hear this so are the policemen and the taxi driver.
Sukhwinder gets free from the doctor’s clinic and rushes home to get ready for his work.
The news starts breaking about the attack at Leopold cafe. The police are put on high alert.
Nasim’s dad calls up “where are you? We just saw the breaking news and were tensed for you.”
“We are all fine dad. Actually we met with a small accident and we could not reach there. We are at the police station and the matter has been resolved now. We’ll leave now and will rush home. I’m sorry dad about a small dent in your new car.”
“Son, as long as you all are fine that does not matters. Yes you’ll come back and tell your friends to call up their homes as their parents will also be worried.”
Arbazz checked on Sohail who was busy working. “Did you order your dinner?”
“Yes sir, I think it will be here in the next 10 minutes.”
“Ok, I’m leaving now, if you need any help then call me.”
“Surely sir.” Saying this Sohail again got engrossed in his work.
As Sukhwinder was getting out from the train at Churchgate station, Rashmi called up “where have you reached?”
“I’m just about to reach the Hotel. Why are you sounding so worried?”
“I just saw the breaking news, some terrorists have entered Oberoi Hotel. You please don’t go there, you come back immediately.”
“Are you serious Rashmi, oh my God all my friends, God please save them.”
“Yes I’m very serious, you please come back I’m very scared for you.”
Sukhwinder could judge from her voice that she was really very worried. He took the next train back home.
Sohail’s phone rings. “Where were you, why were you not answering my calls?” asked his mom worriedly.
“Mom I was in the washroom. Just came and saw the phone ringing. Don’t worry I had my dinner and in an hour will be able to complete my work too then will be back home.”
“Thank God you are fine. Didn’t you see the news, some terrorists have attacked CST station, I was worried for your safety.”
“Mom I’m fine, I’ll call you in some time, my boss has just gone that side, let me check if he’s safe” saying this he disconnected the line.
Sohail calls up Arbazz “Sir, where are you, have you heard the news?”
“I’m fine Sohail, I was about to go to CST station to board my train for Kurla when one of my friends called me and asked me to meet him at Santacruz and then we could go to Kurla together. So I took a train from Churchgate. Here in the train I heard people saying about the attack.”
“I’m so glad sir that you are safe.”
“You take care Sohail and it would be safe for you to stay at the office itself today. You go back tomorrow morning and take an off tomorrow” saying this he disconnected the phone.
“Look Sandra, there’s a terrorist attack at Taj Hotel. Mark’s party was being held there, I hope they all are safe.”
“Oh my God, they have taken hostages too, I pray that all are safe there.”
They both just look at each other.
Next day Sandra calls up Rosy “I’m sorry I was little harsh on you yesterday. If you need any monetary help for your mother’s treatment then please don’t hesitate.”
“Thank you ma’am for the gesture. I saw that yesterday some terrorists had entered Cama hospital and there was a panic among patients. I’m glad that my mom was shifted in this hospital.”
“Yes Rosy, whatever happens, it happens for a reason” saying this she disconnects the phone.