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Last Updated: Friday, 14 July 2006, 09:45 GMT 10:45 UK
Mumbai family mourns for only son
Rifat Jawaid
BBC News, Mumbai

Madhusudan Mohan Dhavekar will never forget his 65th birthday. It was the day his only son died.

Twenty-four-year-old Manish Dhavekar was one of nearly 180 train commuters who fell victim to Tuesday's bombings in Mumbai.

The mother and father of Mumbai bomb victim Manish Dhavekar
Manish's parents are devastated by their son's death

Speaking to the BBC, his grieving parents said their son had phoned Madhusudan minutes before boarding the ill-fated train.

"He asked me not to cut the cake until he reached home. He enquired if we needed anything for the birthday celebrations.

"I told him not to worry about buying anything and to return home as soon as possible," says Madhusudan, unable to control his tears.

Devoted son

Manish worked in a garment showroom in Mumbai but had also begun studying to become a share broker at Mumbai Stock Exchange.

Manish's tragic death has left his mother, Madhvi Dhavekar, utterly devastated.

She says it was after years of prayers and visits to various temples across the country that "God blessed us with Manish".

I was walking past the dead bodies in the morgue when I saw a hand with a familiar bracelet
Sachin, friend who identified Manish's body

"We only had one son. My husband retired last year, and my boy took the responsibility of running the family. He would work late hours to ensure we were happy," she said.

"Last month, I scolded him for exhausting himself with too much work. But he wouldn't listen.

"He would often say: 'Mom and Dad, I want to give you the world of happiness and for that I need to earn loads of money.'"

Harrowing task

Manish's friends, who identified his dead body at one of the city's morgues, said he was frustrated with his poverty-stricken life.

His one-time classmate Sachin said that it was only by chance that he spotted Manish's dead body.

"I was in Sion Hospital looking for the survivors from our area. I was walking past the dead bodies in the morgue when I saw a hand with a familiar bracelet," he said.

A grieving relative of a Mumbai bomb victim is consoled
The bombings have caused anguish for hundreds of Indian families

"My heart began to pound and I prayed to bhagwan (God) that my worst fears may never come true.

"I then looked at the other hand and it didn't take long for me to recognise the ring on one of the fingers. It was Manish's favourite ring."

Sachin and his other friends decided not to break the news of Manish's death to his parents until Thursday morning, fearing they may not be able to withstand the trauma of their only son's death.

Manish's uncle was travelling in the same train as his nephew.

He survived and is receiving treatment for his injuries in one of the city's hospitals.

The mourning family told the BBC that they had not yet informed the uncle about his nephew's death.


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