In the violence of a microsecond that it took for Bomb No. 1 to explode at Ghaffar Market in Central Delhi, Sohan Devi lost seven members of her family.
Among the dead: Fifty-year-old Hari Chand (Sohan Devi’s husband), 22-year-old son Ashok, daughter Saroj (25), distant cousin Ganga Prasad aka Billoo (40) and Prasad’s nephew Raju (25).
Pooja, Sohan Devi’s other cousin Rama’s daughter was also killed, while Rama himself and his son Santosh were injured in the attack.
Devi’s clan member Mira’s two-year-old son Kishen also died in the tragedy.
Sohan Devi is from a nomadic community in Rajasthan that made Gali No. 42 in Karol Bagh’s Beadonpura area near Ghaffar Market its home several years ago.
Like her, all across Delhi, families struggled to deal with the tragedies spawned by Saturday’s deadly 31 minutes. Many thronged hospitals, others struggled to deal with their personal tragedies at home.
As Sohan Devi sat numb with grief, her brother Pappu Pawar seethed in anger. “We have been facing a hard time since last (Saturday) evening.”
“Only the Gaffar Market Association has provided us fruits and biscuits. No one else came forward to help,” he said.
In another tenement in Gali No. 42, three-year-old Arti lay on a cot, along with her elder brother Vijay. Both were unconscious.
The siblings had gone to purchase balloons along with their mother, Usha and grandfather Billoo, when the low-intensity bomb placed in an auto rickshaw went off in Ghaffar Market.
Usha is pregnant. She too was injured in the blast. She has not been told that Billoo is dead.
Most of those dead or injured in Gali No. 82 include people who earned not more than Rs 90 a day. They are poor and their collective loss means life has to start anew at Gali No. 42.
Terror strikes the poor and the innocent worst. But they know the art survival best… Gali No. 42 is no exception.