“Where is My Aashu?,” 60-Yr-Old Woman Asks After Amritsar Accident
“Maine jalebi di khaane ko, vo chod ke chala gaya. Abhi bhi vahaan padhi hain uski jalebi. (I gave him a jalebi to eat but he left it behind. It is still lying there),” Vidya, the 60-year-old aunt of a 22-year-old boy called Aashu told The Quint.
Struggling to walk along the length of the railway track in Amritsar’s Joda Phatak, Vidya revisits the site where she thinks her nephew might have died. In a horrific accident, a local DMU train ran over scores of people, killing at least 60.
Vidya hopes Aashu is alright, staying the night at a friends place or safe somewhere else. “But he came here only to see the effigy burn, he said he was coming here,” she says with despair in her eyes, looking around in the hope that he emerges from somewhere and proves her worst fears wrong.
“They should have stopped the train or gone slowly. So many people were on the tracks watching the Ravana burn. I don’t want anything else but my child to come back. What will I do if he doesn’t?,” she asks while being helped by her friend and relative, Rajkumari.
Her family members have been constantly searching for Aashu since the accident on the evening of 19 October. She says her daughter can’t stop crying
“We have been to all the hospitals, given photos of him everywhere. My sons, daughter-in-law, nephew came home at 4 in the morning after looking for him everywhere,” she said.
While the family was visiting hospitals they were shown several dead bodies, but were unable to recognise Aashu among them. “People are not recognizable, some people look small and others big. There is not one hospital that my son has not visited,” she said. The train going over them often cut their bodies apart making it hard to recognize.
Repeatedly murmuring “Kahaan hain mera Aashu,” she walks on without any signs of giving up till she finds out what happened to her nephew.
“I want nothing else but for my child to be found,” she repeats.
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