A day after losing family members to a mysterious blast aboard a bus at Anantnag in Kashmir on Saturday,the Rathore family in Vile Parle is devastated,more so since 68-year-old Nirmala Rathore had been particularly excited about her pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi and Amarnath.
Nirmala was among the three women from Mumbai who were killed after an explosion in their tourist bus in South Kashmirs Zuripora village. A resident of Navratna building in Vile Parle (East),she was the eldest member of the Rathore family. She had planned a religious vacation with some of her female relatives and friends from Mumbai and London. Their 15-day trip had included Vaishno Devi and then Amarnath.
This was the first time maasi was going to Amarnath and was very excited, said Kamla Gherawda,a neighbour and relative of the Rathores.
Nirmala had been living in the house next to Gherawdas for the past 20 years. After her husband Jairaj died four years ago,Nirmala had been living alone. While her eldest son Hemant lives in Singapore,her younger son lives in Kandivali with his family. For some time,she had been staying with her Singapore-based grandson who had come to Mumbai to study.
We are a very close-knit family. This was not the first time that my family members were going to Vaishno Devi. We are in a state of shock as we have lost my sisters-in-law as well, said Sandhya,Nirmalas daughter-in-law,who has left with her husband and other family members for Srinagar to claim the bodies.
Asked to identify the other family members,she refused to comment further,saying she was in a state of shock.
While going maasi told me to take my house keys from her house and gave me her house keys she would be needing them after she came back, said Gherawda.
Nirmala was travelling with her relatives Nisha Jethwa and Indu Parmar,who also lost their lives. The injured were identified as Bharti,Neeta Jethwa,Pratima Jethwa,Jayshree Desai and Jaswanti Thakur,all from Mumbai and relatives of Rathore.