Outside the mortuary of the LNJP Hospital on Sunday evening, sporting a black sweater, Mohammad Haider, 32, was among the many inconsolable family members of people who died in the fire in a building in the Anaj Mandi in central Delhi.
“Bhai chala gaya... Baap re...,” Mr. Haider kept repeating as he cried out about his brother Mohammad Bablu, 20. “There was only four months left for the marriage and he said he will earn something for four months and paint the house, so that it will look good,” Mr. Haider said in between sobs.
“Kya pata tha, paint ke chakkar mei mera bhai duniya chodke chale jayega. Rang dalte, dalte, muje berang karke chale jayega.. Mera bhai.. Kaha dhundo mera bhai ko.. [How would have I known, in the process of painting the house, my brother would leave my world colourless and leave],” said the inconsolable elder brother sitting on a footpath outside the mortuary, as relatives tried to console him.
From a 20-year-old who was to get married in four months to a man whose 25-year-old wife is eight months pregnant and a brother who was to go home with a ‘ lehenga’ for his 15-year-old sister, the deaths have shattered families and left family members inconsolable.
Mr. Haider said they had taken ₹1.5 lakh loan to build the house and his brother had said they will finish the work fast. “He said we will plaster the walls and do painting and then he will get married. Na to plaster huva, na paint huva, bhai mera chodke chala gaya [Neither plastering nor painting happened and my brother left me],” he said .