Even as they attended to patients with devotional songs playing in the background, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar also took time out to fine-tune arrangements for a prayer meeting to be held in their daughter's memory on Sunday evening at Chinmaya Mission, Lodhi Road.
How difficult has it been to cope with the loss of Aarushi?
Rajesh (R): We live as lifeless beings. Those who killed my daughter have robbed us of our life forever. My little daughter will never come…. I ask myself “why did they not kill us too? Why did this horrible tragedy visit us, why did fate choose her?” I get no answers.
Nupur (N): I feel Aarushi talks to me all the time. I hear her voice saying “Mom don’t cry. Mom do this or that. Mom be brave.…” I sometimes expect to see her, touch her. She was very dear to both of us, though I was her best friend. She would call me ten times a day. We would spend the weekends out, at restaurant Bamboo Shoots or the movie theatre at Spice Mall. She would tell us what clothes we should wear, where we should eat.
What remains to be done for Aarushi?
R: Even if the accused were to be hanged, that would still not compensate for what they did to us. We live now only to ensure justice for Aarushi, to see that her killer/s get punished as soon as possible.
N: There are scientific evidence against the alleged killer/s, but no material evidence, so would the law let them live freely?
What has helped in moving on?
R: Religion, in a way, has given us the succour. Aarushi was a believer in Sai Baba, so were we. He is now the link between us. We believe Sai Baba is taking care of her and of us. In mid-August last year, we resumed work at our clinics. Work has been a distraction….
N: Our patients began enquiring about when can they see us a few weeks after Rajesh returned from Dasna Jail on July 13 last year. We do our work and go home.
Any regrets in hindsight?
R: We trusted the wrong people. People like Krishna, who worked with us and were fed by us, betrayed us.
N: Shifting to Noida was a mistake. We left Azad Apartments in Hauz Khas when Aarushi was only a few months old, when we returned here she was not with us. We gave her a room because she insisted on having one, as her friends had it too. If only she had slept with us that night…
What had Aarushi wanted to be in life?
R: She wanted to be a ‘baby’s doctor’, a pediatrician as she loved kids.
N: A DPS student, Aarushi wore a blue Scholar's Blazer at school. She was waiting to crack the board exams.
‘No earning member left in my family’
The family of Hemraj Banjade, domestic help at Rajesh Talwar’s house, is now struggling for survival. They lost the family’s sole earning member in Hemraj. His wife Khumkala spoke to Peeyush Khandelwal over the phone from Nepal.
How has your husband's death affected the family?
We were shattered. We have suffered a huge financial setback. There is no earning member left in the family. We have no land for farming and had depended on my husband's earnings. My right hand is paralysed. We sold our utensils for money. We even sold our buffalo for Rs 10,000. Now, we have nothing left with us.
What about your son and mother-in-law?
Pranjal is 11 years old and doesn’t know that his father is dead. I was hoping that he would support the family after my husband, but he has asthma and pneumonia. I don’t have any money left to send him to school. My mother-in-law has tuberculosis. She keeps looking at his photographs and I see her dying each day.
Do you think Krishna, Raj Kumar or Vijay Mandal killed your husband?
I don’t know about them and don't think they killed him.
Did you get any help from the Talwar family, where your husband was serving?
I have never seen them and never got a call from them for help. I don't want their help even if they offer now.