In just a few more minutes that Thursday evening, she would have got onto a bus heading home, a few stops away. But destiny had other things in store for this God-fearing 20-something engineering student who wants to make her bones as a software designer and programmer.

Vandana then heard the biggest noise her ears ever had, a boom that she will never forget. It was followed by excruciating pain as a piece of metal, shrapnel from the improvised explosive device, pierced her ribcage on the right.

But even through the zing that clung to her ears for about two-three days, she could feel people helping her.

“For a while I thought I was dead,” she told The Hindu as she lay in a room at CARE Hospitals, Banjara Hills, six days after Dilsukhnagar was rocked by the twin blasts.

The hospital’s cardio-thoracic surgeon Kaukuntla Hemanth, who removed the shrapnel from her body, said Vandana had had a lucky escape.

“Fortunately, the shrapnel did not travel inside her body horizontally. If it had, it would have hit her lung,” Dr. Hemanth said.

Vandana is the eldest child of her parents’ Sashidhar, an employee of Bharat Dynamics Ltd, and Manjula, a housewife. She has two younger brothers.

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