Rukhsana Shaikh has no time to mourn.
Shaikh, 31, lost her husband, Abdul Wahid Shaikh, when a temporary elevator he and five other construction labourers were using came crashing down at La Sonarisa building at Matunga on Sunday morning.
The other victims have been identified as Suresh Wadekar, 50, Sunil Nizar, 45, Modi Gupta, 30 and 50-year-old Rajaram Sakpal, the operator of the elevator.
Shaikh, a resident of Motilal Nehru Nagar in Bandra (East), narrated the events of what started like any other day.
“Abdul left for work at around 9am. I called him after an hour to ask him when he would return home but he did answer the phone,” she said.
“When the call was finally received, it was policeman at the other end asking me to rush to the Sion hospital because Abdul had met with an accident.”
Circumstances do not allow Shaikh to grieve for too long. She will soon need to look for a job although she has always been a homemaker.
Thirty-five-year-old Abdul was the sole earning member, who provided for Shaikh and the couple’s six daughters.
“I am devastated. But I will have to take control of things very soon because I have six daughters to look after. The youngest is just one-and-a-half years old,” she said, struggling to stay composed. “My husband was working on a contract basis. It was his first day at work as a painter at this site.”
Two of her daughters, Heena, 16, and Sana, 14 are studying in municipal schools close to home. The couple wanted to educate Afsana, 13, and Tayabba, 9, too but did not have the money.
“We are living in a rented house and barely managed a hand-to-mouth existence with my husband’s income. How will I feed my children?” she asked.
The couple has two more daughters. Usma is three and Zoya is 18 months old.
Riasuddin Hussain, a relative, said: “We are worried about Rukhsana. She has a lot of responsibility on her shoulders now with Abdul passing away.”