I was in the classroom in St Xavier's College, Thumba, Thiruvananthapuram, where I was doing my undergrad course in Chemistry. Around 11 am or so, a group of Kerala Students Union members came into the class to tell the professor that classes need to be suspended, as Mrs Gandhi has been shot at. There was hushed silence as we eagerly sought more details of what had happened.
There were not many details. The students themselves had got to know about it from someone in the State Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram. Those were the days when terrorists managed to break through the security and strike at prominent personalities. And then, it was just four months after the sensational Operation Bluestar when Mrs Gandhi ordered Indian Army into the Golden Temple in Amritsar to flush out the militants.
Classes were suspended and we all streamed out discussing among ourselves what may actuallly have happened. Then, someone broke the startling news that her own security guards had opened fire at her. That was unbelievable, too shocking to be true.
Our effort was to get a transistor and tune in to BBC. There were two classmates who stayed in hostel, within the college premises. One of them, not sure if it was Stephen or Thomas, got a radio, to the staff room. I was the radio buff, so they handed it over to me to tune in to BBC.