Security, up in smoke!
Calling it a dark Sunday morning wouldn’t be an overstatement. The fire broke out in our residential complex at the darkest hour of night, just before the dawn. A commotion woke me up. When I opened the main door, a cloud of smoke entered catching me unaware. Within a fraction of moments, our ceiling, walls and even our faces gathered thick black layers. Veils of smoke on staircases blocked our exit point and we had to be home-bound for a while, which at that time appeared like eternity.
We learnt later that an unidentified man had torched around 90 two-wheelers and some cars in some housing societies and outside a pizza outlet, all within the stretch of five kms. My old bike was one of the victims. Though a major tragedy was averted and there were no casualties, the extent of damage was huge. Those who were trapped indoors during the arson had breathing problems. No water, electricity and elevator, black layers of smoke all over the building, moving six floors up and down daily, the cleaning work and my god, the lost vehicle…getting life back to normal was going to be a tall order. But all of us, as one extended family, were thankful for the lives and yes, vehicles that were saved.
It is difficult to fathom the purpose of the arsonist. It must not have been a mere act of settling scores against someone or just a ‘psycho’ action. We still have many unanswered questions. How did the arsonist manage to enter? Where was the security guard? And so on. The process will take its own time and the police investigation may throw some light someday. However, the damage done cannot be undone for sure.
After such a frightening episode, the sense of social insecurity is bound to loom large. What about those who were paying EMIs for their vehicles and cannot afford to buy new ones now? Public transport being weak in Pune, vehicle is the lifeline. The arsonist has touched the raw nerve beyond doubt. The skeletons of the bikes remind us of the gory horror story. But people are moving on.
It could be a new-age anti-social element or the widening gap between the haves and have-nots. It’s high time we took corrective measures about such mass destructive mindsets as alarm bells are ringing.
For me, the silver lining is our car is saved. It could have been difficult to digest the shock had anything happened to it. And here is this philosophical learning curve; all possessions are meaningless! More the attachment more the mental agony in case of a loss. I still love our car as I did before, but may be, today we are all a bit detached.
Anything can happen any moment; that is the message. Before going to sleep, there is a subtle fear that the worse could be waiting to happen. We now know better what uncertainty is. Yet, it’s a passing phase. After all, nothing can hide the sun. We just need to wait for the sunrays to break through the dark clouds…