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'I'm angry. Really angry'

December 03, 2008 12:59 IST

Aashish Chowdhry. Photograph: Sanjay Sawant

Like the scores of people who lost family and friends to the terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26, actor Aashish Chowdhury is in shock. The actor lost his sister Monica Chhabria and her husband Ajit on that fateful day.

As the city limps back to normal, a grief-stricken Ashish breaks his silence, in this letter:

Yes I am not yet in the frame of mind to talk or deal or replay the destruction of my family and their souls but I would still like to pen down my gratitude to you who stood by, called, SMS'd and comforted me at a time where my whole world collapsed. 

If there is anything that can hold me together now and not let me crumble fully, are the two small innocent lives who in a matter of seconds lost the two people who were their world. Who only waited not understanding why their parents haven't returned from dinner yet. Their innocent hearts looking into our eyes when we finally broke the news. They were searching for some meaning out of this meaningless act of perversion and those are the two lives who are holding me and my family together urging us to be strong... for them.

Kanishq (12) and Ananaya (7), Pokey and Ducky as I lovingly call them, are our little Angels who've lost more than what can ever be even imagined. 

I know, my sister and my jiju, wherever they are will still be worried about Pokey and Ducky. Monica, my only sister who I loved more than myself and Ajit, the Jiju who came in as the perfect match for my Mona. Two pure hearts, two glorious human beings whose lives revolved around their children. Grounding their children on morals, on the right behaviour on being good and kind human beings. And an entire battalion of people cannot match up to what they were as parents. Or take their place ever

But we are going to try... try hard and rebuild their lives. We are going to bring their smiles and the twinkles in their eyes back. Bring back the joy of a really happy beautiful family that the animals, the cowards destroyed.

I stood there helpless and angry while strangers came and snatched away pieces of our hearts. I could do nothing... nothing but just ask one question. Why? Why them?

And the answer was a cruel silence that numbed me.

There is no solace. There is no way on earth anybody can tell any of us to console ourselves. This hurt will stay forever. The gaping wound will never heal and the anger will only stay hidden.

I'm angry. Really angry.

And I feel for all of us. I'm sorry for all of us who suffered. And for all who live with this feeling of instability, insecurity and hatred. But we've gotta get a hold of ourselves.

We've got to be strong and move ahead with a conviction. We're the ones who'll eventually make the desired difference.

In this horrifying game of fate, the one thing we want to tell Monica and jiju is that today their children not only have four extremely loving grandparents, who have always doted over their grandchildren but also a huge family of aunts, uncles and cousins that have so much love to give.

The one thing that I really want them to know is that they will always have a second set of parents within Samita and me. We will be there in everyway we can, along with everyone else in our beautiful family, to look after them, try and raise them the way Monica and Ajit have done all these years and hopefully we will be guided by them from above, to be their second Mum and Dad.

Please don't take my silence and withdrawal of not talking as any form of disrespect. I have still not come to terms with what is real and what is not. Life is drawing a blank and it will be sometime before I can fill the void. I am pouring my heart out in this letter hoping you understand.

Thank you for being there and I really mean it.

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