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'I ran inside the hospital to save my life'

December 15, 2008
None of the other patients in this clinic are 26/11 survivors, making Shrivardhankar a hero and a celebrity in the eyes of fellow patients. They sit around his bed and chat, while his wife sits proudly, albeit a bit nervously, by his side.

The encounter and subsequent operations have left him exhausted, but Shrivardhankar wants to share his experiences with the media. Though he finds it painful, the 56-year-old state government employee soldiers on with his narrative, because he thinks it should be heard.

"I have been working for the past two months at Mantralaya (the administrative headquarters of the Maharashtra government) on the voter registration drive for the upcoming elections," he says.

On the night of November 26, he was on his way to the Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus to catch a train home. He took the shortcut, a narrow lane past the Cama Hospital and the Times of India building, but turned back when a panicky crowd talked of the station being attacked, and bullets rang out overhead.

"I heard the gunshots and ran inside the hospital in order to save my life. I figured I would be safe in there. But there was a dead ward boy, all covered in blood, right at the doorway," he remembers.

Image: Harishchandra Shrivardhankar with his wife.

Also read: Exclusive Interview with Rakesh Maria, the lead investigator into the Mumbai attacks
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