He wanted to be a football player. But nine-year-old Santosh Kumar’s dreams and his life were snuffed out at the Mehrauli bomb blast on September 27.
Since the local school he went to did not have any sports facilities, Santosh made it a point to go to the nearby Chattarpur Mandir playground, where they trained football players.
“Santosh loved playing football. He had two footballs at home and the moment he returned from school, he would run to an open area and start practicing,” said Pooja Kumari, 12.
Pooja is Kumar’s elder sister and was his closest confidant.
“He also bought a carom board and pestered us to play with him. If I was busy with household work and refused, he would play by himself,” said Pooja.
Santosh skipped his tuition on the fateful Saturday and had gone to buy eggs for his uncle to the market.
“This time of the day everyone goes for tuitions. I too was at a tuition class when my teacher’s cousin informed us of the blast. All of us rushed home,” said Pooja.
She was shocked when neighbours told her that her brother was dead. “I could not believe it till I saw his body a day later. We had our fights but we had the best time too,” said Pooja.
Satosh’s neighbour and friend Mohammad Nisar is also recovering from the shock.
“We both went to school together. He was in Class V B and I am in V A. But we played and studied together in the tuition class,” said Nisar.
It will take a long time before friends and family get over Santosh’s demise. While his mother is still in a state of shock, father Mahesh Mahanto is taking care of the family.
“All his (Santosh’s) teachers had come today. People have been dropping in since Saturday. But it will be a long time before life becomes normal again,” said Mahanto.