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'We pray to god to bring Mohit back to life'
Sharat Pradhan in Varanasi
March 10, 2006

Mohit died at 4 pm on March 11, a day after the following story was filed.

He can't tell you his name.

His head is wrapped in bandages. His tranquil face is a mess of tubes. Oxygen is being pumped into his lungs, and life-saving fluids into his tiny body.

He is struggling for his life.

Mohit is in coma in the ICU at the Benaras Hindu University hospital in Varanasi.

He had come to the temple town with his family to attend a wedding at the popular Sankat Mochan Temple on Tuesday. Once the marriage festivities were over Mohit and his family were headed to the railway station to catch a train back to their native Bihar. The family thus escaped the blast at the temple a few minutes earlier. But perhaps Fate had something in store for Mohit, because when a bomb ripped through Varanasi Railway Station at around 6.30 pm, little Mohit was thrown to the hard, stone floor and lost consciousness.

"It must be what destiny wished this on us," moans Mohit's sobbing mother Seema Devi.

Mohit's father is a farmer and owns a small piece of land in north Bihar. Seema Devi has not fathomed that her son, who she says is eight, is in a deep coma resulting from the head injury. She asks, "When will my son gain consciousness? It has been three days. 

"We came here all the way from Buxar in Bihar to attend the wedding of my niece Janki at the temple. After completing the rituals we left the temple at about 5 pm and headed straight for the railway station to catch the next available train back home," Seema Devi told .

"We had barely perched ourselves on the steel benches in the waiting area of the station lobby when there was the deafening sound of an explosion. The entire area was filled with dark smoke. Before I realised what had happened, I saw my son lying flat some distance away."

Seema Devi initially presumed Mohit was dead. But she realized that his heart was still beating and hope returned. 

Mohit's younger sister is also being treated for minor injuries at a local district hospital, a few kilometers away. Seema Devi is shuttling between the bedsides of both children.

Dr P Bhattacharya, the physician attending on Mohit, does not appear confident about his chances. "We have yet to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis," says Bhattacharya. "It is a case of trauma with head injury that has sent the boy into coma. We are doing whatever best is possible. But we cannot say whether he will recover fully, partially or not recover at all."

When asked if a CT san or an MRI had been done to establish what was wrong, Bhattacharya says, "Well, the nature of the problem is such that neither a CT scan nor an MRI would be of any help. We have put him on conventional treatment as even surgery is not indicated."

Mohit's maternal uncle Kashi Nath looks up to the team of doctors. "They are like God. All that we can do is to pray to the almighty to bring Mohit back to life."

Photograph: Getty Images/ Prakash Singh

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