The three knocks on the door that echoed in his head for weeks have stopped. Six-year-old Yash rarely speaks of the “bad man” dressed in black these days and is looking forward to a trip to his grandmother's house instead. One month after terrorists killed his brother in cold blood, the healing process has begun.
The Vaghela home lies in the lane adjoining Cama & Albless hospital. On the night of November 26, as terrorists wreaked havoc, terrified residents locked their doors and almost all the lights in the lane went out. Save those in GT hospital sweeper Thakur Budha Vaghela’s house. Thakur, preoccupied with pacifying his terrified son, had not got around to turning off the lights or latching his door.
The terrorists knocked on his brother Bhavesh's door thrice before entering Thakur’s house. They strode in, hurled abuses at Thakur and shot him in the stomach in front of his son. They aimed a bullet in the boy’s direction as well. Fortunately, they missed.
Like Yash, Thakur's wife Karuna is slowly coming to terms with her loss. But, says, Bhavesh, “It is difficult for her to put her memories behind her when she is in the same house that her husband was murdered in.”
He complains that constant visits from the media and government officials have left them with little time or space for their grief even though he has put Yash off limits for the media. “How can we move on when we have to constantly relive the nightmare?” he asks. I feel a pang of guilt, and consider explaining the media’s position to Bhavesh. But give up the idea, given his current state of mind. Now is not the moment.