While her father rushed to Mumbai after hearing about the attack, Nirmala's fiance Shankar Narayanan waited anxiously in Chennai.
"I heard about Nirmala being shot in the morning. When I spoke to her, she said it was nothing major. She said she had been given three stitches on her head and she was okay. I couldn't imagine how serious it was. I told her to come to Chennai and consult a doctor here," he says.
27-11-08: Reaching Chennai
When Shankar met Nirmala at the airport, he was relieved. The first thing he did was touch her softly.
"I don't know whether she knew it was me! She was quiet for a long time. She started talking to me only after we reached the hospital," he recalls.
Nirmala admits that her ordeal has brought them closer. "It has strengthened our relationship. He was there for me all the time, and that was enough for me," she says.
She did not comprehend the seriousness of her injury till she saw the CT scan. "When I saw the scan, I realised that the injury was pretty serious. The splinter had struck the frontal lobe on the right side of my brain and reached the left side. It almost touched the brain, two cms beneath the scalp. I had to be courageous."
The couple decided to get married before Nirmala underwent surgery. She had to take broad spectrum antibiotics every 12 hours till she was admitted for surgery after the wedding.
"I did not want to give into the incident," says Nirmala. "I did not want to go to the wedding without hair. I didn't want my wedding to be postponed under any circumstances."
Image: Nirmala and her husband Shankar Narayanan.
Also see: On the trail of the terror boat