Sheela Seth has not shed a tear since learning of his demise. When someone asked her, "What will you do now?" a blank stare followed. It was probably too soon for her to face the reality.

She hasn't shed a tear since she came to know she lost her husband, the bread-winner of the family, in the Opera House bomb blast on Wednesday evening.

“We are worried now. We have been asking her to cry, but she hasn't cried at all,” Shailendra Seth, her brother-in-law and elder brother of Mukesh Hajarimal Seth, a diamond broker who was killed in the blast, said.

“He generally called up in the evening to tell me what he wanted to eat at night. ‘Cook this tonight,' he used to call and tell me. That evening he did not call. He did not even come to have his lunch that afternoon,” Sheela Mukesh Seth said, asked when she talked to him last. She looked lost. It was evident that she had not come to terms with the fact that her husband was no more.

“He used to come home everyday for lunch except on Saturdays,” nine-year old Mohit corrected his mother. “We have told him that his father is no more. But he probably does not know what it means. We sent him to school. We did not want him to stay home in this environment,” Aruna Mehta, Mohit's aunt, told The Hindu.

The hush-hush talk about her and their only child's future did not seem to upset Sheela. But when someone asked her, “What will you do now?” a blank stare followed. It was probably too soon for her to face the reality.

“He was everyone's favourite. Everyone in the area knew him. He was a very jolly person, always willing to help others,” Jeetendra Seth, Mukesh's brother, said.

“We were six siblings — two sisters and four brothers. But Mukesh was my favourite brother. He was like my son. He was very caring. I always had a soft corner for him,” Aruna, the eldest of the siblings, said.

“I have undergone a bypass surgery. Mukesh used to call me up every week to ask about my health. He was very caring. I have not been able to sleep since the time I heard of his demise. We did not expect such a gruesome death for such a lively person,” Ashok Gandhi, Mukesh's uncle said.

Mukesh's two brothers Jeetendra and Shailendra, wondered at fate.

“Usually, Jeetendra and I linger around the place where the bomb exploded that day. Mukesh never went there. But on that day, I don't know why, he decided to pass through that way. Just five minutes before the blast that day, we all were standing together in another lane and I went away for my work in a close-by building. Within minutes, I heard the blast and rushed out. I frantically tried to call him, but he did not answer the calls. I even cursed him in my heart that he did not understand the urgency of the moment. But then I said to myself, maybe he is helping some victims. Little did I know he himself was the victim,” Shailendra said.

“We both escaped death but we lost our brother,” Jeetendra said.

They said they came to know the sad news only at around 11 p.m. when they rushed to the nearby Harkisandas Hospital. “They did not even have an ambulance. We had to make arrangements for his body to be taken to JJ Hospital for post-mortem,” Indu Jain, Mukesh's sister, said.

Lived near blast site

Mukesh's house is barely 800 metres away from the blast site. “When I saw smoke billowing from near Pancharatna, I tried calling him. I called him up for more than three hours, but he did not answer. All these people kept on telling me that he would be fine, but I felt very scared,” Sheela said.

“We will try to support her. But she will now have to do something to support her son and herself,” Indu said. But after being a housewife for more than 11 years of her life, Sheela hardly looked confident enough to take on the challenge.