The Iftaar menu at the Mohammed household was never complete without Asghar’s favourite butter chicken, and halwa. But having lost his youngest son, Asghar, in the Opera House blast last month, the aroma of the delicacies is missing from Faiz Mohammed’s Masjid home.
“It’s a dark Eid for us,” said the sixty-year-old Faiz.
Asghar’s wife, Salma, who was widowed within two months of her marriage, has slipped into a shell. “She barely talks. Most of the time, I see her crying softly in a corner,” added Faiz.
While Salma refuses to interact with anybody, the family is trying hard to help her get over the biggest tragedy of her life. The memory of her husband’s body with a dismembered head still manages to shudder the 22-year-old. “Sometimes she does not sleep at all and when she does, she wakes up startled,” said Asghar’s brother-in-law, Mohamed Sufian.
For Asghar’s parents, the sight of the young girl sitting with listless eyes is difficult to bear.
The family received a compensation of Rs7 lakh from the government soon after the blasts. But whether that would be enough to replace to sole breadwinner is a question that keeps the family up at night. The elder son, Altaf, has a low-paying job.
“The entire burden of the family was shouldered by Asghar, who worked as an agent in the diamond trade. How long can we live off this money,” added Faiz who works as a volunteer with a charitable trust.
Many politicians visited the family on the day of the blast and promised help. Did any good come out of it? “It was all farce,” Faiz said.
Sufian, said: “It’s strange how a few seconds can change your entire life.”
“Faiz would frequently visit Opera House for business-related work. No one could have ever imagined that would be his last trip,” added Sufian.