The birth of twin boys, Laksh and Neeshu, in December 2013 had brought “immediate good luck” to their grandfather, Mohan Singh. The 68-year-old former employee of an airline had been battling cancer for over five years, but within weeks of the twins’ birth, doctors told him that the cancer was in remission.
While Singh struggles to cope with the news of his grandsons drowning in a washing machine at their home in Avantika in Rohini on Saturday, he wants his loss to be a lesson for others.
“Who would have thought that a harmless thing like a washing machine could be unsafe? My grandsons brought me luck with their birth. In death, they have taught people to always remain alert, even with the most harmless of appliances,” he told HT on Sunday.
A sense of shock and disbelief prevailed in the locality on Sunday, over 24 hours after the three-year-old boys were found dead inside their semi-automatic washing machine. Neighbours and relatives lined up to the visit the boys’ parents who have been falling unconscious on and off after learning of the “accident”.
Neighbours remembered the boys as “friendly, curious and intelligent”. “There is not one person in the neighbourhood who has not played with the boys. They were intelligent enough to realise who was a friend and who was a stranger. Neither of them would ever accept food from a stranger,” said Devender, the boys’ uncle.
Suresh Jain, a neighbour, said he remembered a recent incident when the boys came out of their home with Rs10 in each of their hands. “I tried to jokingly trick them into parting with their money, but they would not open their fists. We still can’t believe such intelligent boys could have drowned in such a situation,” said Jain.
Their mother, Rakhi, had taken off the boys’ clothes on Saturday afternoon and was preparing them for a bath. She had already filled the washing machine with water to wash clothes, when she realised there was no detergent. She went down to buy it. When she returned, she did not find her children. Fearing that the boys were kidnapped, she called up her relatives and husband, Ravinder, who works in Punjabi Bagh as a manager with Kotak Mahindra. The family launched a search in and around the neighbourhood, as they were sure that the boys were not in the house.
Ravinder took almost 30 minutes to get back home and headed straight to the house. “He took a quick look in the house before heading to his neighbour’s home to check the CCTV footage. Once he was sure that the boys had not walked out, he ran back to his home to take a quick look inside,” said the boys’ uncle, Raj Kumar.
It was while he was casually peeping in the bathroom that he noticed his sons’ legs popping out of the washing machine kept in the bathroom. He pulled them out before rushing them to a hospital where doctors declared them brought dead.
“The children came to this world naked. It is our misfortune that they did not have clothes on them even while leaving this world,” rued their grandfather.