October 30, I still remember that unfateful Thursday of 2008 vividly when in the spurt of a few moments everything changed.
The college had just opened after the Diwali holidays and not many people were present in the class.
Along with a friend, I went to watch a movie at the now decrepit Meghdoot Cinema Hall at Paltan Bazar area of Guwahati.
The movie was ironically called Heroes.
We had finished 3/4th of the movie when my friend got a call from his father.
After answering the call, he said we will have to leave immediately.
I remember telling him, “15 minutes ase bey aru, film tu toh xex koribo dey (just 15 minutes left…..let me finish the film)?”
Then, he said that there have been serial blasts in the city and soon curfew will be imposed.
As we came out, we saw people running helter-skelter.
Till then, we didn’t have any idea about the magnitude of the incident.
It was later when we heard and read about the severity of the horror inflicted upon Guwahati that day.
Some of my friends who were in Ganeshguri and Kachari that day had to go through the agony of seeing scattered human flesh, severed limbs and charred corpses.
Assam has had a violent past. In the decades preceding 2008, the state had seen many acts of terror, from both sides of the spectrum.
But it had never witnessed something like the serial bombings on October 30, 2008, which ripped apart prime locations of the city.
Areas like Pan Bazar, Fancy Bazar and Ganeshguri in Guwahati along with Barpeta Road, Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar were badly hit.
While the city moved on, time stood still for the hapless families who lost their loved ones on that black Thursday.
It took them over a decade to get justice, when finally when Ranjan Daimary and nine of his associates were convicted for the blast and sentenced for life.
October 30 is a reminder of the pain and horror human can inflict on fellow humans.
It is also a reminder of the great courage and character that my beloved city Guwahati showed that day, which gives me hope amidst despair.