Kersi Adajania is in lot of pain, by his own admission. However, the beaming Adajania couldn’t be happier. Last week, he returned home after serving his one-year sentence in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case. At 82, he is the oldest among all convicts to be released.
“For the past two months, I have been taking painkillers,” says Adajania, talking about his bent hip bone. Son Viraf says an operation that Adajania underwent at a government hospital following a fall in the toilet while serving his term complicated his condition. “He had undergone a hip surgery some years ago and the doctors had fitted screws to his bone. His bone cracked again while he was undergoing the surgery at the government hospital,” he says.
Doctors have advised Adajania complete bed rest now.
Neither holds any rancour though. “They (the authorities) have been very helpful,” says Adajania. Viraf calls some of the other co-convicts “gentlemen” for looking after his father. “Those who were supposed to help, vanished. Those who weren’t, helped us tirelessly,” says a teary-eyed Viraf, who now runs his father’s steel fabrication business.
Adajania was convicted for destruction of guns illegally procured by actor Sanjay Dutt, at his workshop. Some accused known to Adajania had brought the AK-56 rifle and the .9 mm pistol from the actor to him, seeking his help. After the Supreme Court reduced his two-year jail term to one year in March 2013, Adajania had surrendered in May 2013.
Viraf, who regularly visited his father in Nashik Central Prison, has a record of all the dates of his visits. The family’s two decades of struggle and despair are finally over, he says, though his father “feels bad our family has gone through so much”. “He was the only one who did not retract from his confession and went ahead with the punishment he was awarded,” Viraf adds.
Lying in his room in their 800 sq ft flat in Marine Lines, Adajania says reading newspapers was what kept him occupied in prison as the pain left him unable to move.
Viraf believes it were the letters. “He received a letter from a 90-year-old Parsi woman who had read about his surrender. Similar letters asked him not to lose hope. Probably that kept my father going,” Viraf says.