As the news of the blast at gate no. 5 of Delhi high court broke, 63-year-old Vipin Kumar’s neighbours waited anxiously for him to return. “We heard that a number of people were dead. When we came to know that he had sustained injuries, it got us worried,” said Kumar’s landlady.
Kumar, who owns a travel agency in Delhi, was in the court for a hearing on a case he had filed against the Delhi Development Authority. He has sustained multiple fractures in his leg and is admitted at the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital.
“We were shocked when we heard about the blast. It was fortunate that my father’s friend had accompanied him to the court. It was he who called my mother and informed her about the incident,” said Vaibhav, Vipin’s son. The relief in his voice was evident. “Not many people have been as lucky as my father. Despite his injuries, we are happy he is safe,” Vaibhav added.
However, atmosphere at Atul Kaushik’s (30) Yusuf Sarai home was more tense. After spending hours amid anxiety, Kaushik’s mother Shyamvati (78) heaved a sigh of relief in the afternoon when she got to know that her son survived with some injuries on his legs. She had lost her husband just three months ago and was not ready for another loss. Kaushik was at the high court in the morning for the hearing of a long pending property related case. But after an hour, her ailing mother got to know that a bomb blast had rocked the court premises.
Kaushik’s wife and elder brother had immediately rushed to the spot. “Throughout the day, I remained clueless whether my son was alive or dead. I just cried and prayed to God. At about 4pm, I got a call from my daughter-in-law and it was then that I heaved a sigh of relief,” Shyamvati said.
Relief was also evident on the face of 14-year-old Lakshay Aggarwal, whose father, Ramesh Aggarwal, was among the injured. Lakshay, a student of Class IX, was alone at home all evening as his grandparents and mother were at the RML Hospital with his father. “I was in school when the blast happened and had no idea that my father was injured. It was only after I returned that I came to know about it,” Lakshay says casually, riding around in a bicycle outside his empty house.
But behind this nonchalant attitude there is also fear. “I am very thankful that my father escaped with minor injuries. I don’t know what we’d have done if something had happened to him,” he says. Lakshay’s mother is a housewife and his father is the only earning member of the joint family.