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Why no one tells Razia the truth

Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | December 04, 2008 16:59 IST

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Lying on bed 15 in the post-operative ward of the intensive care unit on the third floor at the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar hospital in the central Mumbai area of Byculla, Razia Shaikh wonders why her husband Ayub has not come to see her for the last six days.

She has not even got a telephone call from him.

"I don't know what is wrong with him, she says. "He has taken too long to inform me about his well being. He never does that."

Unfortunately, Razia does not know that her husband was one of the 55 victims who fell to the terrorists' bullets at the Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus on November 26.

Razia, Ayub and their 12-year-old son Arif were at the CST that fateful night when the terrorists stormed the station.

"They were firing indiscriminately, " she recalls. "It was a nightmare. I can never forget that night."

A native of Wardha, Maharashtra, and a railway employee, Ayub had come to Mumbai for post-cancer treatment.

Three years ago, he was treated at the Ambedkar hospital for oral cancer. Since then he visited Mumbai every three months for post operative care.

Says Naseem Bano, Razia's sister, "We are worried how we will break the news to her. The doctors have told us not to inform her because she won't be able to take the shock at this moment."

Ayub had confirmed the family's train tickets for Wardha on November 27. He, however, decided to leave Mumbai a day earlier.

That afternoon, the family had prayed at the city's famed Haji Ali shrine before traveling to CST.

"It was bad luck to take that decision," says Bilkis Begum, another relative.

"It was his destiny not to live because that one decision cost him his life," she adds.

"Razia was injured because she covered her son who escaped unhurt. She took a bullet in her hand and fell unconscious. Unfortunately, Arif saw his father getting killed on the spot."

The boy has left for Wardha. Ayub's funeral took place on Thursday, the day he was to have originally left Mumbai.

"Arif was unconsolable," says Bilkis. "We don't know what Razia will go through when she knows Ayub is dead," says Naseem Bano. "She senses something is wrong. We don't know how long we can hide the truth."





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