Except for heightened police presence in the area, Friday was like any other day

Hurried goodbyes, travellers shopping for last-minute essentials, the loud calls of taxi drivers and the toil of porters hoisting heavy luggage on their shoulders. Chennai Central was replete with its usual fixtures, and if it were not for the white police vehicles dotting the premises, it would have been impossible to deduce that bomb blasts had rocked the station, just a day ago.

G. Saravanan of HMS Prepaid Taxi had a brave face on. “We were out here as usual when the blasts happened and we stepped in and helped out with the movement of vehicles, and ambulances,” he said.

Karthiga, who has worked for 33 years in the PCO booths near the platforms, said that it was with a certain level of apprehension that she greeted every customer. “Every time somebody sets their luggage on the floor to make a phone call, I get worried. But with so many police officers nearby, I know I can get any issues quickly addressed,” she said. Other shopkeepers inside the station did not seem too worried about the situation. Shiva at Higginbothams said, “Yesterday, none of us working here heard anything and it was only when people started running around that we figured it out. Now, on Friday, everything is pretty much back to normal.”

Passengers, too, seemed comfortable with the idea of travelling, although many of them agreed about the need to be cautious about people leaving luggage near their seat.

Mahalakshmi, who was travelling to Coimbatore on Friday, said, “I have been getting calls from relatives asking if I really want to travel, but we reserved our seats a while ago and my son starts his exams tomorrow. We made a decision to come to the station and then, if all seemed safe, travel. So far, the situation looks completely normal.”

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