Tawakkal Sweets, a sweet shop near Bhendi Bazaar, is said to be one of the renowned sweet shops. However, on Thursday morning, it proved to be a rather blessed on too. The sweets are usually made at a shop on the ground floor of Arsiwala building that collapsed around 8:30 am on Thursday morning, leaving about 22 dead, around 16 injured and many people missing in the shambles.
“I have ten workers working in that shop. Mithais (sweets) are made there and are sold here. It was truly Allah’s grace that, today morning, all of them came here just before the collapse to discuss something,” said Shabbir, the owner of the sweet shop.
While it was a sheer fortune for these ten people, however, for a lot of neighbours, the event was very sad and unfortunate – to even witness it.
“I will never be able to forget the sound I heard today morning,” encounters Ameena Sheikh, a woman who witnessed the collapse. Her husband, Sheikh was born in the building that is diagonally opposite to the Arsiwala building.
“Though our family never knew anyone in that building, the shuddering sound and the cries are still ringing in my ears,” Ameena added. A residential building, Arsiwala is situated on Pakmodia Street near Mumbai’s renowned Bhendi Bazaar area.
The building, known to have been more than eighty years old, and the collapse left the onlookers utterly shocked. “I can’t really fathom what happened. I was sitting with my cup of tea when we heard a thud. When we rushed to our balcony, we see that the whole building had collapsed. I can still hear people calling for help. What happened is beyond unfortunate,” she added.
“Those who escaped the collapse and others from the locality have been temporarily shifted to a mehfil,” Ameena added.
Surprisingly, out of the two wings that the building had, one collapsed while the other wing wasn’t even affected. The people from the other wing were displaced to Batliwala Imamwada, which is in the same locality.
When My Medical Mantra went to Imamwada, to talk to the displaced, most of the victims said that the incident can never be erased from their memory. Sufi Sayeed, one of the displaced said, “My family actually woke up to the thud of the collapse. Currently, we have been told to stay here. But for how long will this displacement be, is still unknown to us.”