“Sir, have you seen this person. Is he here?” she kept asking nurses and doctors holding a picture of a man in his thirties. No one could help her.
Rani Devi from Ghaziabad, with a three-year-old son and mother, kept hopping from hospital to hospital looking for her husband Mukesh who did not return home since his trip to Gaffar Market on Saturday evening. “How can he vanish?” she asked the doctor-on-duty at the Casualty of Lady Hardinge Medical College Hospital.
Over the past three days, many have been going through hospitals’ lists of injured and dead over and over again looking for the names of their loved ones.
Hemlata, 25, from Harkesh Nagar, Okhla, has been camping at RML since Sunday with her daughters Neha (6) and Reshma (7). Her husband, 29-year-old Deepak, too, has been missing. “I read the lists of injured repeatedly hoping to find his name. I glanced through the lists of the dead and cried in joy to find his name missing there,” she said.
Amir Ahmed was elated to find his missing nephew Farukh’s (19) name on RML Hospital’s list of injured on Sunday. But as fate would have it, Farukh turned out to be a namesake.
Farukh from Noida had gone to Gaffar Market to meet his former employer and had called Ahmed from there. That was the last time.
None of them know when to actually give up on their search.
“A voice inside me says he is not going to come back but I don’t want to lose hope. If he is not dead or injured, then he will definitely come back. It’s our daughter’s birthday next week for which he had gone to a shop at Gaffar Market,” Rani Devi said before going to Jessa Ram Hospital to resume her hunt.
At RML Hospital, Hemlata kept her two daughters close to her and walked into the chief medical officer’s office. Again. Amir Ahmed returned to his place under the tree for some rest.
They don’t know whether to mourn and move on or to wait for a fresh list on the notice board.