Tuesday night proved lucky for 12-year-old Luvkush and his cousin Rahul. Their decision to spend the night at their friend's house saved them from a major tragedy that claimed the lives of five of their relatives.
"We don't know whether we should thank the almighty for keeping us alive or blame him for taking away our family," said Luvkush, who studies in class 5 at an MCD-run school.
While Luvkush lost his father and elder brother in the tragedy, Rahul lost those whom he called family after his parents sent him to Delhi from his native village last year.
Thirteen out of sixteen members of three families, all related to each other, were in the house when a cylinder explosion triggered by a spark in an electric switch caused it to collapse.
Luvkush's mother Sheela, who survived the tragedy, said, "Not only I have lost my husband Supan Singh but also my son who was the sole bread earner for my entire family. Today, I regret my decision and the day when I forced my husband to shift to Delhi for want of a better future."
The families stayed in the rented house since April 2010 on a monthly rent of Rs 1,200 for each room.