Brussels terror attack survivor Nidhi Chaphekar shares her story

Nidhi Chaphekar was one of more than 300 people injured in the attacks in Brussels in March. A stewardess of Jet Airways, hers became one of the most iconic images of the incident, slumped on a seat, shaken up.

In an interview with CNN IBN Nidhi Chaphekar says she could not recognise herself when she saw a photo of herself sitting on a chair, her clothes torn, hair caked with soot and blood streaking down her face.

She sustained severe burn injuries and fractures following twin blasts, was hospitalised for a long period at Brussels and two months ago returned to Mumbai.

“The ceiling had fallen. But when I realised what was happening, when I heard the boom and smoke I wanted to go and help but my colleague stopped me and then there was chaos. Then there was another explosion and I was thrown away and I fainted.”

The memories of the day, the sounds of the chaos and the shocking imagery hasn’t left her since March 22nd. Remembering the graphic details Chaphekar said in the interview “that a voice inside her told her to get up and move away to safety.”

I told myself I have to survive. I saw people with torn limbs and severe injuries. I told myself I have to get up and go. I saw chunks of flesh all over and I wanted to move but a piece of metal had pierced my leg.

Chaphekar believes the attack has made her rethink elementary questions about life. Who did this? Are they even human beings? Man is his worst enemy. I believe rather than provoking each other, turn the person’s thinking around. Revenge cannot be the answer. Teach the person love. Human beings should be messiahs of kindness. People have to be taught to love.