On his last visit home, Aditya Mehta (23) had gifted his mother a CD of devotional songs of Ganesha: the Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations in Pune, where he studied electronical engineering, had profoundly moved the young man.
Aditya's neighbours at pocket A3 of Rohini's sector 8 describe him as religious, well mannered and solicitous.
“Whenever he came back from Pune he always greeted us with a smile. He was very close to his family and unlike most youngsters, he was really simple in his behaviour and dressing sense,” said a neighbour.
On Wednesday Aditya succumbed to his injuries at Pune's Jehangir Hospital, becoming the 11th victim of the German Bakery bomb blast.
“The Mehtas are such good people. Aditya's mother visits the temple everyday and is also very charitable towards the needy,” said a bewildered neighbour.
“How can this happen to them?”
In Pune, Aditya's mother was in a state of shock and refused to move from Jehangir Hospital when her son's body was shifted to Sassoon hospital for the post-mortem. Aditya's friends from his engineering college, Bharti Vidyapeeth, shuffled in silence between hospitals.
“There were at least 50 students offering help at any given time,” said Mangesh Mukhedkar, a family friend of the Mehtas, in Pune. “Aditya was so popular.”
Back home, his peers at the colony describe the loss as tremendous.
“He was one of the brightest kids in our colony. All the kids in the colony looked up to him,” said a neighbour barely able to contain her tears.
Aditya and his friends were frequent visitors of German Bakery.
On Saturday, February 13, Aditya had gone to German Bakery with a friend and was sitting at the central table of the restaurant, when the bomb exploded. Both of Aditya's legs had to be amputated because of excessive bleeding.
Aditya's father Jay rakash Mehta, who had managed to control himself after his son's death was announced, collapsed when his body was put in an ambulance, which headed for the airport.
“He had got good job somewhere. We will go his room to collect some his memories and will never come back to Pune,” said Jayprakash, who is a share broker in Delhi.