“What matters is not to add years to your life but to add life to your years.” This was once said by famous French surgeon and noble price winner Alexis Carrel. But on some occasions, it is just impossible to add life to your years. Sometimes life becomes a burden and the number of years only indicate the capacity of a human being to carry that. Thus, this principle of Alexis might not hold true for most of the persons in the world. If not all then at least for a Mumbaikar who was the victim of the Mumbai train blasts.

On 11th July, 2006, a series of seven bomb blasts took place in the span of 11 minutes on the Suburban Railway in the nation’s financial capital. These blasts were carried by terrorist groups, the name of which is still not clear. In this incident, 209 people lost their lives and over 700 were injured. There were very few whose lives were saved and rediscovered after the incident. Among some of these fortunate people is Liladhar Sharma.

Liladhar Sharma who is an assistant Secretary at the oriental Bank of commerce Employee’s union (Maharashtra) never thought that such a fateful day will come in his life which will take away all his hopes and spirits.

On 11th July, 56 year old Lilahar left his office which is at Kalbadevi at around 5.15 P.M. to catch the 6.00 P.M. Virar train from the Marine lines station. As usual, he took the first class. Since the train was overcrowded and there was no seat, he decided to stand at the gate of the compartment. Everything was normal until a horrifying sound changed his life completely.

As soon as the train passed Dadar, there was a loud noise and then everything became silent until Liladhar regained his conscious. When he managed to open his eyes after half an hour, all what he saw was an empty track and dead bodies strewn here and there. He tried to stand but soon realized that there were dead bodies on his back and he was amidst the pool of blood. He finally managed to call people who were standing on one side of the station. His whole back was burnt and he was in extreme pain. That was the last time when he remembered the things around as after that he saw his morning sun in the ICU only after two days.

His doctors told him that he was the only person in the whole compartment who was alive. If he would have been even an hour late then his chances of survival would have been less. Railway granted Rs. 1,75,000 as compensation and even the government gave Rs. 50,000. Monetarily, he faced no problems but suffered from severe health hazards.

After 22 days, he was discharged but was bed- stricken for 3 months. Initially he was not able to hear from his left ear. He consulted the doctor and after the treatment, the problem was solved partially as still the ear could hear only faint sounds and the problem persists till now.

During all these three months, only one thing kept him bothering that how he came out alive from that dreadful situation where all his fellow travelers were dead. He did not know how to react to this situation. He was indecisive as to be happy or not when almost 200 people were dead.

He got back to his job and routine life after three months but his life never returned to the normal track after that. He felt as if with that horrifying sound his life lost all its melody and charm. Although he was reborn after that dreadful incident but this time he carried the shackles of past pain and suffering. As a result, he developed a kind of indifference towards life. He lost his confidence and the desire to live.

From now on, he decided to live and smile only for his family who too were shattered after this incident. No matter he was leading the ‘so called’ normal life now but suffered from many problems like health problems, sleeping disorder to an extent where he is forced to take sleeping pills to forget his pain and sleep forcefully.

Liladhar says, “The only good thing that such a heinous terrorist attack did was to make people like me mentally prepared for any such dreadful incident and subsequent death. Now people like us do not fear death but we fear life which seems to be uncertain and full of pain and suffering”

This incident changed life of Liladhar and many others completely. Now when ever he is alone or when he heard of the 26/11, that scene and situation locked in his memories haunted him all the more. Every time when he travels in a train, he is filled with fear and distrust. He looks at every person suspiciously as to whether the person was a terrorist or not.

This is just an example of one Liladhar, there are many more people like him who have lost hope in life, and they live just for the sake of living. It is not India which is prone to these heinous terror attacks; instead it is a global phenomenon. The story of Liladhar is not his alone but of many people of the world. Even countries like America, London, Indonesia etc. suffer with the same problem. Terrorism has now become a global phenomenon and all the nations, no matter how much powerful are on the gun point of the terrorists.

In such a scenario, we as the citizens of the global world should really need to think about how to combat terrorism rather than fighting amongst ourselves. Our over- involvement in the internal petty caste- class issues, unwanted political demonstrations etc., have given the terrorist the indication that we are a vulnerable world. So we need to think about terrorism seriously or else it will be too late and we will be a world full of people like Liladhar who have lost hope in life and their country which is a shame to life and the world.

Today we need to generate life in the lives of people like Liladhar who live but with fear and pain. They smile but only to make others smile. They seldom hope that something good will happen. They feel that life is a burden for them and curse God for keeping them alive. No doubt there life is re- discovered but their soul is dead. They live but just for the sake of living.

Avani Jain

Image Source: [http://www.flickr.com/photos/manny_nair/188196688/sizes/m/]