‘I cooked food for him, he was unwell’: Delhi man found with dead brother thought he had allergy
Prahlad did not inform his neighbours about his brother’s death as he believed he was ill and was resting. Each day for nine days, he cooked three meals for him, oiled his hair and pressed his feet.Updated: Jul 11, 2017 11:44 IST
Unmindful of the stench, he is crouched next to a single wooden bed inside a stuffy room and is staring at the discoloured mattress that has a body imprint.
He gets up at intervals, runs his hand over the mattress, mutters something and goes back to his position. Beside him lay utensils with unfinished meals.
“I cooked food for him. He did not eat. He was unwell,” Prahlad says. The mattress with an imprint of his brother’s decomposed body is all that is left with him.
Prahlad, said to be ‘mentally unstable’, was found living with the maggot-infested body of his 68-year-old brother, Rajendra Bhatnagar, for nine days at their Rama Garden home in northeast Delhi’s Karawal Nagar on Monday.
Prahlad did not inform his neighbours about his brother’s death as he believed he was ill and was resting. Each day for nine days, he cooked three meals for him, oiled his hair and pressed his feet.
When Rajendra’s body started to decompose, Prahlad thought he had an allergy and that he would recover soon.
The last time Prahlad spoke to his brother was a week ago. “He fell sick and went to a doctor. That doctor gave him a wrong medicine after which his condition started deteriorating. He told me he was feeling dizzy after the medicine. I told him to rest and not go to work. He listened to me,” he says. “I did not want to disturb him so I did not wake him up.”
The death was discovered on Monday when two teachers of a private school where Rajendra worked part time as a Sanskrit teacher went to his home to ask why he was not going to school or taking their calls since June 28. When the teachers asked him about Rajendra, Prahlad said he was sleeping.
It is only when they went to check how he was, they found out about his death.
“There stench was unbearable but we thought that it was because of some blockage in the drain. When we went inside to check, we were shocked. The body had decomposed so badly that Rajendra’s face was unrecognisable,” Amarchand, a neighbour, says. “When I did not see Rajendra for long, I knocked at their door and asked Prahlad about him last week. He did not open the door fully and told me Rajendra has gone to Bikaner,” he says.
Prahlad argues, “No he did not die. He had an allergy because he took a wrong medicine. My only fault is I did not take him to a doctor. But I wrote eight letters to my sisters, asking them to visit us. I told them Rajendra’s condition was deteriorating. Maybe I should have taken him to the doctor myself and not waited for them. I did not let anyone come because I did not want him to get disturbed.”
The two brothers had been living in the house for the past 40 years. While Rajendra was a teacher, Prahlad often stayed indoors. “Rajendra even took tuitions. He went out to get groceries while Prahlad cooked. After their mother’s death they grew even more possessive about each other,” Bhisham Singh, a neighbour said.
“Rajendra was married and had separated from his wife, Prahlad never got married. He always maintained he could not love anyone more than his brother. I wonder what will happen to Prahlad,” he added.
The neighbours asked Prahlad to leave the house and go to Bikaner but he refused to leave the bed where his brother’s body lay till Monday. The police took Rajendra’s body for postmortem but Prahlad was not referred for any counselling. “If Prahlad is willing, we will refer him to a doctor,” DCP northeast, AK Singla, says.
Prahlad is listening to neighbours talk about his brother. He slowly steps back and shuts the door on them. “Go away. I have a lot of work to finish.”