As he walked out of his 11th floor apartment in South Mumbai that night, the 26/11 attack was well underway. Maruti Phad didn’t have a choice, he had been summoned to pick up his boss, a senior bureaucrat, and head to Mantralaya, the state government headquarters. So, seconds after two men with machine guns fired at him as he drove out, he placed his broken, bloodied finger on his head and played dead, knowing all along that his wife and children were watching from their living room window that overlooks the Rang Bhavan lane.
Minutes later, three senior police officers were gunned down metres away from where he lay in his car. He watched in disbelief. From a 11th floor window, his family watched in cold fear. “I didn’t know if I would live, but I called home from my cellphone, whispered that they should switch off the lights and stay indoors.” But he did survive, and was promoted from his job as driver to a clerical post in the state government. The next promotion is not far.
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