Ashish Chaudhary still in shock, but thanks all who stood by him

December 3rd, 2008 - 6:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Bollywood actor Ashish Chaudhary, who lost his sister and brother-in-law in the Mumbai terror attacks, says he has not come to terms with the loss but wants to thank all those who stood by him in his hour of grief.“I am not yet in the frame of mind to talk or deal or replay the destruction of my family and their souls, but I would still thank all those who stood by, called, sent messages and comforted me at a time when my whole world collapsed,” Ashish wrote in an open letter to media.

The actor’s sister Monica Chhabaria and her husband Ajit had gone to the Tiffin restaurant of the Oberoi Trident Hotel, which was among the 10 places the terrorists attacked in Mumbai Nov 26, killing 183 people.

Ashish is not only traumatised because of his inconsolable loss, but angry too.

“I’m angry, really angry. I stood there helpless while a few strangers came and snatched away pieces of my hearts. I could do nothing and asked just one question, why? The answer was a cruel silence that numbed me.”

“There is no solace, there is no way on earth anybody can tell any of us to console ourselves. This hurt will stay forever. The gaping wound will never heal and the anger will only stay hidden,” he said.

Monica was the actor’s only sister and he says that he is able to keep his emotions under control because of the couple’s daughters - Kanishq and Ananaya aged 12 and seven.

“If there is anything that can hold me together now and not let me crumble fully, are the two small innocents who in a matter of seconds lost their parents,” he said.

“The children waited, not understanding why their parents haven’t returned from dinner yet. Those are the two lives that are holding me and my family together, urging us to be strong,” said Ashish.

The horrifying attacks robbed children of the care and love of their parents, but the actor is firm that the kids will not be deprived of anything even after the death of their parents.

“The one thing that I really want Monica and Jiju (brother-in-law) to know is that their children will always have a second set of parents in Samita (Ashish’s wife) and me. We will be there in every way we can to look after them,” said a grief-stricken Ashish.

The actor says he can relate to all those who have suffered along with him but believes that everyone should try and get a hold of themselves and move ahead with conviction.

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