Two weeks after seeing his house on fire, fourteen-year-old Amir Dar is still struggling to sleep at night.
Hundreds of people, including Amir, had taken refuge in the Nigeen Government Higher Secondary School after fleeing a fire that burnt more than 30 residential buildings and some boats in the Dhobi Ghat locality on December 30. Amir's two-storey concrete house was one of those gutted.
Narrating his tale, Amir said, "At around 2am, I heard some people crying outside my house. I thought someone had died, but when I came out, I saw my mother wailing as our house was on fire."
"The fire was so destructive, that we could not save even my mother's head scarf. In spite of many efforts, I lost all my belongings, including books, clothes and schoolbag," he said.
"Those 10 minutes decided our fate and turned our lives upside down. The fire left us homeless in harsh winter," he added.
The fire victims have still not been able to accept the reality of their predicament.
"The fire has completely devastated our lives, and has left given us horrible memories," said Shaheena, one of the residents.
"We are currently living in a single room without kitchen and bathroom, and trying to manage everything from preparing food to falling asleep," said Mehraj-u-din, another victim.
"As winter gets more severe, it is becoming unbearable for the families to stay in the school building," he added.
Indifferent to the horrors of the fire, children could be seen playing in the school lawn.