Few years ago, I was on my way back from shopping at one of the busiest places in Chennai. I was in the middle of the road trying to get to the other side but because of the busy traffic had to wait for more than few minutes there. Shortly afterwards I was joined by a man carrying a huge bag. He smiled at me like he knew me well and since he was no one I knew, I found it a bit worrying. I turned away from him trying to find a space in between the cars and buses so that I could squeeze past. However, as a result of a flyover being built in the adjoining junction, the traffic flow was almost endless. Suddenly this man gave me a very clear smile, looked down at his bag, left it there and ran past the traffic to the other side and disappeared. He had taken a huge risk since one of the passing vehicles could have easily run over him. But he made it, still smiling at me and I was left in the middle with this bag beside me. As is normal these days, I found myself thinking that the bag contained a bomb and that was the reason behind this man’s strange act. But I was caught there. My brain said it was death either way. I took out my phone to call my loved ones to say goodbye to them. A small part of me told the bag was harmless and I would unnecessarily be worrying my friends and family. At that moment I saw a gap in the traffic and ran across to the other side. There was no pedestrian there and so I ran ahead to see if there was any traffic police. This led me to walking for almost a kilometre and by then my fears had somewhat subsided. I don’t know why I did it, but I went back home without reporting this incident. I did not hear any loud bang and maybe this made me think it was not a bomb. But whatever it was, for long after I felt guilty of not reporting this incident. Today London’s tube stations and public places keep reminding people to alert if anything suspicious is found. I would, I think, if I found anything here. Maybe in India as well. If someone had, they would have prevented the bomb blast this morning.
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