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The Building Fell

In Mumbai
July 27, 2017
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MUMBAI: “Building padli, papa; baaki loka aat adakle aahet; malaa maar laaglaa aahe, pan mi theek aahe aataa, malaa baaher kaadhla lokaanne” (The building fell, papa; others are trapped inside; I have injured myself, but I am safe now, I have been pulled out by rescuers) were the first few words Varsha Sakpal told her father Pandurang, 48, a vegetable vendor, over the phone, soon after being pulled out of the debris.

The 20-year-old, who was made to undergo a series of X-rays, a CT scan as well as an ultrasound at Rajawadi hospital, had a lucky escape, as all her reports came out normal.

Having recently cleared her TYBcom, Varsha had three months ago taken up the job of a clerk at Shitap Hospital, located in the ill-fated Siddhi Sai building.

Pandurang thanked god and said, “It is my daughter’s good fortune that she was saved. We were already disturbed because of the surgery my six-day-old grandchild underwent at Wadia hospital, and today, this incident.”

A bad morning

Like everyday, Varsha had started work at 9.30 am yesterday, taking up her seat in the first-floor office. The hospital on the ground floor was undergoing renovation. Its proprietor Sunil Shitap, a local Shiv Sena leader, had come to the office and left for a meeting soon after.

Varsha said, “Sir (Shitap) told us before leaving that if we were getting disturbed by the work, we should tell the workers to keep it down.”

“Sir was making the rooms more spacious and setting up a pathology laboratory by taking up some portion of the first-floor office,” she added.