It is a regular Wednesday evening, workday was as usual,the rocking motion of the bus quite usual, the weather usual .6 people start their journey back home.Their middle-class lives did not permit them to have a private means of transport.Over the years some of them really didn't mind it.
Bijoy,an enterprising young man, a misfit with his sitting -on-the-rock-smoking friends,had packed his bags on his uncles confidence in him,and came to the dream city to make it big.His job in a startup was not a high paying one,and as the bus neared the railway station he thought "beggars are not choosers".
Harnam hated the fact that his father wanted him to take over the Tyre dealership.He wanted to sing.Sing to the world and hypnotize,mesmerize them with his golden voice.Tomorrow would be his big day afterall he was shortlisted earlier today for the next round of auditions in a reality show on TV. Maybe this was it.One more round and he would be on live shows...he slipped into a make believe world as the train approached the final destination.
Aalia was rather reluctant to wear the hijab,not that her parents insisted,but thought it would be more appropriate in the society they lived in.She was secretly doubling up as a junior artiste to break free from the endless middle-class mentality.She needed that one break alongside a top heroine,maybe as her sister if she was lucky.Her rickshaw jerked to stop and so did her thoughts about tomorrow.Ronald was waiting just at the right spot.A struggling assistant director, quiet boy from the same colony as Aaliya,they’d bumped into each other in a studio a few weeks back...Since then,they shared their dreams, pains & fantasies of how they’d make it out of their hell hole into the big world of glitz and glamour.They'd found hope.
Anahita had just broken off with her boyfriend & the first thing that came to her mind was Vodka Martini..her faithful old companion,who stood by her always.The ambience of the bar added to her nostalgia. As she remembered the previous 3 occasions.But her real dream was to be high up in the skies.Being an Air hostess would mean an end to her boring mundane regular life.
Tahir had joined a progressive political party earlier in the day.Representing the minority in true spirit,not war mongering, no unnecessary drama, no bias.He had found a mentor and was happy he could now contribute to the country he had benefited from all these years.He was walking past a popular bar,barely able hide his grin and excitement about his new found sense of direction.He couldn't wait to reach home and share it with his father,who had sacrificed his leg in the line of duty for his country.And then it happened.
Bijoy looked up at the big round clock - 9.33PM, the fast local would arrive in about 3 mins.The wait seemed long and tiring as he realised he would be exactly at the same location in less than 15 hours.Feeling thirsty he went to a nearby juice stall.The train was rolling to a slow stop,as Harnam alighted from the running train.The station was packed and crowd ready to barge in like a tidal wave.On his way out he bumped into a man drinking juice nearby.It spilled on to him, surprisingly both did not react.They looked into each other’s eyes,something quite inexplicable connected them.They were about to find out.
Chivalry was expensive for Ronald.But he payed the rickshaw fare for Aaliya inspite of her protests.They headed to platform 1.The train taking them back to their hell –hole had but a 2 hour of peace in between.It was their dream –run. Aaliya said “let us check our fortune today.”The one rupee coin went in the clunky weight reading machine,and out came a ticket which read 57kgs to her delight.Below it- the future prediction – This is your time.Live every moment,tomorrow will bring a new perspective.Aaliya crossed her fingers and gave a small tug at Ronalds hand showing him the ticket.
Anahita still felt low even after a couple of drinks.She decided to go back home..but just as she was about to get up the bartender offered his regular customer one on the house..She thought one more drink and I’ll go back home,sleep it off, and tomorrow will be a new day. This will not be so difficult.Hang in there.! Little did she know what a few minutes could do to her future. Finishing her drink she started to walk out of the door,she saw a young man walking with a strange look in his eyes,talking to himself.Their eyes met,and her heart skipped a beat immediately...Anahita was transfixed at Tahir as the moonlight fell on his face.Something told her he is the man.This is it.
Just then two men,who were waiting in the dark watching, alighted from the parked taxi.Tahir turned his head to see guns in their hands,his instinct made him jump in front of Anahita to push her away.They opened fire.The explosion of bullets into her beautiful starry eyes preceded her fall to the ground.Tahir’s blood spurted on Anahita’s forehead when another bullet pierced his temple.
Aaliya and Ronald heard gunshots and people started panicking.It was chaos.Her heart beating fast ,mind confused, made it difficult to decide which way to go.Ronald screamed at her to shake her up from her stupor."Run"he said pointing towards the waiting train compartment.The bullets chased them from behind.Aaliya collapsed near a juice stall before reaching the safety of the compartment.Bijoy was shot in the back, Harnam’s body was punctured, he lay there still,did not react at the sight of blood and a dead woman in his arms..Ronald fell down seeing the big clock strike 9.36PM.
On 26/11 B. H. A. R. A.T. had died.