The places where moments reside

03:02 : My untold story

So it was my honeymoon and I was enjoying the marital bliss with Naina before the world turned to hell. It was our second day in Goa, her destination after she had a taste of heavenly landscape in Andaman & Nicobar, the place I had chosen. Two honeymoon destinations in a marriage, you can say that the army people are bit crazy. Nothing matters more when you marry your girlfriend. I had met her, years back after college in a wedding and she looked stunning. Right through my college days I wanted to tell her that I love her but now when I got the chance, I didn’t let go. What followed was a period of proposing, romance and finally marriage. Here I was on my honeymoon and finally in Goa, her choice.

It was late in the night when we had slept talking to each other. The power had been out for more than an hour, the generators didn’t seem to work, none of the ones installed for power backup in hotels. Candlelight dinners are good, honeymoon passion in total dark even great but after an extent if the power doesn’t come back on, you freak out. I am used to no power being majority of times with my tank and crew but now I have Naina to think of and she can get really restless in long power outages. None of the so-called electronic gadgets seem to work, the cellphones went dead, the electronic watches were stuck at 03:02 hours. Looked like somebody had pressed the pause button in real life. Dressing up I went to check up at the reception and found some other guests too there wondering what was going on? Even the hotel staff was clueless. The telephones were dead, neither of the machines seem to work. There was visible panic in the air and the same with the other hotels too. What more could you do? We had our return tickets after 3 days, till then it was Goa. I went back to my room and saw Naina pacing the room worried. Telling her the situation, she tried to sleep embracing me like a teddy bear while I was awake worried.

In the morning, there was more panic as the tourists began to worry about their return. Some of them even had a round of the airport and came back with the news that the same situation was there too, nobody had a clue when things would start working. Till then everybody was stranded. As evening descended shit began to get serious as lodgers from other hotels who had run out of supply began rushing in , causing a further supply and room problem in our hotel. The management didn`t knew what to do with the situation getting tensed. Before it could get any worse we moved out to a small unknown hotel way back which I had reconed the previous day, away from prying eyes. It was deserted and it seemed that the owner had left off in a hurry leaving everything behind. It was away from the main road and thus hidden from public eyes. None of the transport was working so we left on foot trudging the luggage behind. 

The airport was still some 30 km away and I was not willing to take any chances in this situation with no means of transport available. Real life had now turned into a survival contest where everything I had learned during my training days in the exercises was coming to the fore. Although newly married, Naina`s composure to remain calm in this situation surprised me. Something really big had happened to get this sort of a blackout. The whole world was going nuts. One day I noticed some looters ransacking a hotel some distance away and some screams which went quiet later on. Me and Naina spent some 10 days in that "forgotten" hotel till one day when I was heading to the main road to see any activity, what resembled a bus seem to be coming from the direction of the airport. We could be stranded here forever if we didn’t do anything. I hid and watched it come near. The driver seemed to be wearing a Naval dress. When I was sure, I waved the bus and it stopped. I went inside the bus to see some 80+ people there (including women and children, army people, police, air force personnel probably all survivors or stranded people.) They were heading towards Mumbai after one of them intercepted a radio transmission about some people in Mumbai who were holding fort against some heavily armed insurgents and called themselves "The Azad Hind Fauj." The location was in Mumbai and a man named Aditya seemed to be in charge.  I asked them to wait and went into the hotel and asked Naina to put the maximum items in the backpacks we were carrying and discard the rest of the luggage. She got everything sorted in 10 minutes and said, “Let’s go”.

I was just overwhelmed by her demeanour and kissed her. In the bus it looked like I was the senior most person out there . The bus was an old piece, well into its final days of service so it was breaking down quite often, it took us another 2 days to reach Mumbai while avoiding possible ambush routes with looters, rioteers. Along the way we had picked up some weapons too . We heard some gunshots from a petrol pump and I ordered the bus to stop. To our right a huge tricolour bathed in white light. Maybe civilization but first it was important to see what was going on. I took some of the army comrades along and we each got hold of a weapon we were carrying in the bus. I saw two men hunkered behind a pillar from gunfire while being ambushed by a group of a dozen or more people in black fatigues with jeeps. I ordered the comrades to take ambush positions while I turned the safety off on my MP5, targeted through the iron sight and pressed the trigger . The bullets left the muzzle as the first person`s head was blown to pieces…..The fight had started……

Want more ?? 
Read 03:02 by Maink Dhar available at amazon :
and various bookstores.

Price- 192 /- online. 

Publisher- Westland books

Trivia- This story piece which you are reading is a fictional account of what happened in the book. Its my side of the story which is not there in the book. 

Like Major Shwetabh Mehra, many characters in 03:02 are named for or inspired by real people in Mainak Dhar`s life. The Major is based on me..

Every copy of the book sold across all formats contributes to the armed forces as a portion of the sale proceeds of every book is donated to the NATIONAL DEFENCE FUND. The current edition does not feature this disclaimer but the subsequent ones would. (Its there in the description at Amazon though)

I transferred the whole amount of the cost of the copy which was sent to me by Mainak himself. ( My way of pitching in, why should I be left behind).

So every copy read contributes… Happy reading..

03:02 : My untold story 03:02 : My untold story Reviewed by Shwetabh on 5:42:00 PM Rating: 5


  1. That's a very different kind of review. I liked how you've portrayed your story in sync with that of the book... :-)

  2. Interesting... though I'd want to know what the author thinks of this method of reviewing.

    Arvind Passey

  3. Interesting... though I'd want to know what the author thinks of this method of reviewing.

    Arvind Passey

  4. I like this method too. But it cannot be called a review , but a preview may be.

  5. I like this method too. But it cannot be called a review , but a preview may be.