Most Thrilling Moments - During
construction of Newark Airport Redevelopment Program, as an engineer
supervising the construction, walking higher up on the steel beams and
on the roof of large umbrellas was very exciting, which most of the
American Indian Community perform fearlessly, and being from the Indian
American community was a matter enjoyed by many colleagues and
During the July 4, 1976 Bicentennial Celebration, watching the Tall
Ships parade up the Hudson River from the 73rd Floor with my family was
really a spectacle which I fondly remember, culminating with a memorable
dinner at the Windows on the World Restaurant on the 108th Floor.
As a project administrator in the World Trade Department, escorting many
foreign dignitaries and visitors to the Observation Deck on the roof of
2 WTC often was thrilling. Once I got the opportunity to ride in a
window-washing trolley on the outside of one of the towers -- a time of
fear and thrills I never would have felt anywhere else, but during my
tenure at the Port Authority.
Most Horrific Moments Ė During the February 26, 1993 bombing in
the basement parking area on February 26, 1993, around 12:25 PM, I had
just come out of the elevator into the lobby area of One WTC. I heard
the thundering boom, which a colleague with me initially was thought to
be the bursting of a transformer on the lower (6th floor) basement
level. I saw people, some with bloody noses, running to get out the
building surrounded with smoke and dust. I tried to help people of the
doors on the West Side Highway. Firefighters came on the scene in a
matter of minutes and asked us to evacuate the area.
Out on the west side with the stranded and shocked crowd, I observed
debris falling from above. People still inside were breaking windows,
having heard on the radio that they should let the authorities know that
they were still trapped in the building. Panic spread in the crowd that
the building might come down any moment. Everyone, including me, ran
away to the west side of the highway. We waited there for some time with
no specific information. Finally, I decided to take the subway to Penn
Station to get home, though normally I rode to work in a carpool every
day. While waiting for the train, I decided to call home from a pay
phone, to tell my wife who might have seen the news on the TV, that I
was safe and on my way home via train, and when she could pick me up at
the train station in New Brunswick. To my surprise, she mentioned that I
didnít have to call to relieve her fear, because she had seen me running
on TV -- a person with grey hair, wearing a blue blazer, while crossing
the West Side Highway. She thought if I could run, I must be safe.
During those days I used to run the NYC Marathon, which I ran every
year, starting in 1985.
I spend 28 years at the Port Authority, and they were the hallmark of my
life. I enjoyed every moment with my colleagues, some of whom became
friends for life. I remember my time there as the happiest of my life.