By Money Sharma
Jan 27, 7:45 am: As decided, we met (with Mitesh coming almost half an hour late) and started our travel to Mahalaxmi Racecourse in Mumbai through local train. Since it was an off day, the train had enough room for us to get occupied and make a space at the door of the train and enjoy the ride hanging at the door. The travel time was best utilized by both of us discussing about the images, camera, experiences and shooting encounters as usual.
12:15 pm: The place where we had stopped at this point, was almost a kilometer and half from where the Sea Link Road ends (towards Worli). As we were gossiping at this stoppage during the shoot, we suddenly realized that some smoke was billowing from the other end of the road. Initially, we thought that maybe this could be a stunt being performed by one of the participants which is causing the smoke. But soon after we saw the vehicles queuing up on the road and smoke getting more intense, we realized that this is something unintentional. As the vehicles had already started lining up, we (Mitesh, Raju and I) jumped out of the gypsy and started running as fast as we could, towards the smoke. I was shouting and asking people to give space to move and requesting them to keep the door of their cars closed as it was obstructing the narrow passage between the cars making us difficult to run.
The scene had changed. The public cheering up for the cars, was now witnessing a different story. The excitement of seeing the speedy cars was overshadowed by the fire accident. It was challenging as well as risky for me also to shoot the event because anything could have happened which could result in the harm to human life. The driver Bhavesh Thakkar and another fellow passenger had already got down safe as soon as they realized that the smoke is coming out from the car.
With no further delay, Mitesh and I took a cab and reached our respective offices (PTI and Fotocorp are in fort in the same vicinity) to file the story. I started transferring, selecting and editing the images and it was duly filed for Corbis Images and Fotocorp within few minutes after I reached the office. It would have been almost an hour that I started getting calls from various people including a few leading publications who wanted to use my images and I was happy to provide them with the content.
Jan 28: This morning, my images had appeared at the prime spots in a lot of print and online publications Nationally, and Internationally. But still, I strongly believe that the car was one of the participants in the Super car show but since it was legitimately clarified by the organizers that it was not from the convoy, I never mentioned it officially.
Here is an exclusive slideshow from the accident -