Hope floats for parents of one child, as another one’s prepare for last rites


New Delhi : Raj Lukkad sat on the sidewalk of the AIIMS Trauma Centre where his 11-year old injured son – a victim of the Mehrauli explosion that killed two persons and injured 18 Saturday – is admitted. His eyes swollen and maintaining a stoic silence, Lukkad looks away each time someone asks about his son.

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“His father is very shocked. Never in his life had he punished Vikas, 11, for anything…Vikas is the youngest in the family and the most pampered. But look what fate had done to him,” his mother Kailash wept.

A day after the blast in the congested Mehrauli Serai market in south Delhi, the atmosphere at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Trauma Centre, where most of the injured were admitted, hovers between hope and despair.

Incidentally, the blast, apparently from a crude bomb, came exactly two weeks after the coordinated bombings in the capital Sep 13 that killed 24 people and injured over a 100.

The youngest of the five siblings, Vikas, a class 4 student, is his parents’ only son. According to his parents, his sisters are still in a state of shock.

“Yesterday he left home in the afternoon saying that he had to buy some notebooks for school. After some time we heard the blast…we ran out looking for him but were stopped by the police.

“We returned, fearing the worst. In the evening the police came to our home and told us that Vikas was admitted in the hospital,” Kailash told IANS.

“He is on saline now but didn’t look scared when we met him. He was talking to us in sign language,” she added.

According to M.C. Sharma, doctor at the Trauma Centre, Vikas has gall bladder perforations but was out of danger.

“There has been no loss of limb among those admitted here in the blast. Six patients are critical – four among them have brain injury and are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Eight are stable and one is ready to go home,” Sharma told IANS.

“However, we are not discharging those who have shown signs of recovery because we want to keep them under observation for at least 48 hours,” he added.

If Vikas’s parents have their hope renewed with the doctor’s positive words, a little distance away, in the mortuary, Bumbum Kumar waits to take his 12-year-old brother’s body home.

“They said that they will give us Santosh’s body in one hour,” Kumar, who is a rickshaw puller and who was widely interviewed by TV channels after the explosion, said.

“I had asked him to go to the market to get a crate of eggs. How was I to know that fate would take him away from us? In all his innocence he tried to help those men who he thought dropped off the packet containing the bomb and this is what happened to him,” he rued.

“My father had come yesterday but today they are at home preparing for the last rites. My mother is not even aware of what is happening…she is numb with pain,” Kumar said with moist eyes.