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One long, dark Diwali night for victims' families

Bindu Shajan Perappadan

Non-stop prayers outside ICU wards in hospitals across the Capital

NEW DELHI: It was a dark, quiet and very tense Diwali night for the families of the Delhi serial blast victims camping outside various hospitals across the city.

While the relatives of most victims choose to do a hurried puja, many fervent prayers continued to be said as they waited in the hospital corridors hoping to hear some good news four days after the blasts that shook the Capital on Saturday.

"My sister who along with her family was doing some last-minute shopping at Sarojini Nagar was one of the victims. Her husband died in the blast.

While she is in the Intensive Care Unit with 75 per cent burns, her children with 40-45 per cent burns are in the ward. With my sister struggling for her life, Diwali this year was celebrated with only prayers being said.

It is our appeal to everyone to pray for the victims of this senseless killing,'' said Seema, who has been sitting outside the ICU of Safdurjung Hospital for the past four days hoping that her sister would pull through and start showing signs of recovery.

Battling for life in the Burns Ward No. 22 also is 10-year-old Priyanka, who was out shopping for Diwali with her father, younger sister and mother in the Sarojini Nagar market on Saturday evening.

Her father and little sister died in the blast and her mother's condition is stated to be critical.

Priyanka isn't, however, aware of the deaths in the family and only nods vacantly when asked about how she is feeling.

"We are very worried about how to break the news to her. She is only a child and has been through a very traumatic incident. She is in shock and too weak to understand the gravity of what she has been through,'' said her uncle who has been taking care of Priyanka refusing even to move from her side.

"She sometime turns her head and looks around for me and I don't want to let her think that she is alone,'' he said.

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