Sedated against pain - and news of mother’s death

May 15th, 2008 - 9:12 pm ICT by admin  

By Kavita Bajeli-Datt
Jaipur, May 15 (IANS) Two days after terrorists struck in the heart of the city - and her life - four-year-old Suhana Khan was Thursday in a sedated world of pain and bewilderment. Still waiting to meet her mother who she believed was being treated in another hospital room. “We have not yet told her. She is so small,” said a grim Razakh Khan, Suhana’s grandfather, who lost three daughters in Tuesday evening’s serial blasts that killed 61 people and injured 216.

In one fell sweep, he saw virtually his entire family wiped out. Suhana’s mother Sumara, 26, and her two sisters, Asma, 16, and Annie, 12. Khan, who runs a handicrafts and gem shop in Jaipur’s Oberoi Hotel, said he could not visit Suhana Wednesday as he had to bury his three daughters.

Suhana, a kindergarten student at Mumbai’s St Peters School in Mumbai who had come to visit her grandparents in Jaipur for the summer, had had chocolate and some milk since Wednesday, the traumatised grandfather told IANS.

Doctors at the Sawai Man Singh neurosurgery ward are planning to operate on her to remove the pellets embedded in several parts of her body. Suhana, who is being kept under sedation, also has a right hip dislocation and cuts and bruises on her face.

The little girl, who captured the heart of the nation Thursday with her story, had gone to the Johri Bazar in the walled city area with her mother and two teenaged aunts for shopping on Tuesday.

The explosions took place just when they had stopped to grab something to eat near the National Handloom Centre.

Suhana is not the only one being kept in the dark about what happened to her mother. The family is also yet to muster up courage to inform her six-year-old brother Ibrahim that Sumera is dead.

“He keeps on crying and asking for her. We have told him that she is coming,” said Razakh Khan.

While Razakh Khan fields questions, Suhana’s father Mustapha Khan, who flew in from Mumbai Wednesday night, can barely manage a few words. Looking constantly at the floor, he just says he wants to take his daughter back home.

Suhana’s uncle Farukh Khan says they are completely terrorised.

“Jaipur has always been a peaceful city. This blast has completely ruined us. In one sweep, it has taken away three members of our family,” he said.

“Suhana is such a brave girl. She has not asked for her mother as much as she believes that her mother is being treated at the hospital and we don’t want to add to her tension,” he added.

But tomorrow will come, and Suhana will grow up to realise the enormous price that terrorism has extracted from her.

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