On Friday, just a day after his wife died at a local hospital, Shivaji Pardeshi (40), rode his auto-rickshaw back from Alandi to Pune after immersing her ashes. However, tragedy was to strike the family again — while he was on his way back home, a hoarding at Shahi Amar Shaikh Chowk, near Juna Bazaar collapsed, killing him.
His four-year-old son Samarth, 17-year-old daughter Samruddhi, and 55-year-old mother Rukmini Pardeshi were also injured in the incident.
At Ward number 2 of Sassoon General Hospital, Rukmini, who suffered a back injury, barely waited for an hour before leaving against medical advice. The nurse at the ward said that Rukmini was extremely nervous. “She kept repeating that it was only yesterday that her daughter-in-law Preeti was cremated and today another tragedy. She desperately wanted to know about her son,” the nurse said.
While neighbours and relatives took Rukmini and the children home, they were too shocked to inform her that she had lost her son.
“Now how do we tell Rukmini tai that even her son is no more,” said Yuvraj Parikh, vice president of Shiv Sena’s youth wing, the Yuva Sena. He said Shivaji was a diligent volunteer of the organisation.
“Rukmini had severe back pain but she did not care. She wanted to see her 40-year-old son Shivaji,” said Dr Ajay Taware, medical superintendent at Sassoon General hospital.
Shivaji’s wife Preeti had had a rod fitted in her leg and was undergoing an operation to remove it at a local hospital when her blood pressure shot down. Yuvraj Parikh said she was shifted to KEM hospital, where she breathed her last Thursday.
“They were returning from Alandi today and were waiting at the signal at the chowk when the hoarding collapsed,” said Vicky Chavan, Shivaji’s friend.
There was an eerie silence at Shivaji’s home at Nana Peth, as relatives and neighbours kept dropping in to check on Rukmini and the children. Even as the post mortem procedure was underway till late in the evening, Parikh said they would inform Shivaji’s mother an hour before taking his body home.