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She began from scratch to fulfil her husband's dream

She began from scratch to fulfil her husband's dream

Author: Nitasha Natu
Publication: The Times of India
Date: July 14, 2008

Till July 11, 2006, Yogita Waghela believed that she and her h u s b a n d Ashok had ove rc o m e all hardships. The couple and their two school-going children had moved from a chawl to a posh highrise in Dahisar after Ashok's chartered accountancy firm expanded. But after Ashok's sudden death in the 7/11 train blasts, Yogita realised that she would have to start all over again, literally from scratch.

"I had never taken up a job before and knew nothing about Mumbai roads since I hailed from Jalgaon. But after my husband's death, my children and ailing in-laws were completely dependent on me. We had taken loans for our Dahisar apartment and my brother-in-law's new house, and installments had to be paid. So, I did the most painful thing-wound up Ashok's business and sold off the office,'' Yogita told TOI on her husband's second death anniversary.

Ashok was returning home after meeting his client, builder Durlabhji Soni from Walkeshwar, when he was killed in the serial blasts at Khar two years ago. Incidentally, Soni who was like a father figure to Ashok, also passed away on the same date this year.

"For the first few months after my husband's death, I was so numb with shock that I couldn't step out of my house. Then I realised that I couldn't give up for the sake of my kids,'' Yogita said.

After toying with the idea of starting a creche, she eventually took up an AMFI certified course on mutual fund investments and another on life insurance to start her own consultancy. "Most times, I have to work from home as there is housework to do and I have to help my children with their studies,'' she says.

Her son, Kewal, is in Std X while her daughter, Shradha, is in Std VI. "The two were very close to their father and for a few months after his death, their scores at school dipped. But they have matured tremendously in the last two years. Not once have they asked why was it that their father was affected in the blast. Kewal is now studying to be a chartered accountant, just like Ashok,'' she said, with tears in her eyes.

There are times when Yogita feels lonely and disheartened, and going out for work irks her. "I then meet some of my close friends and talk to them for hours. It's therapeutic,'' she says. Yogita's in-laws say she is like a daughter to them. "Not for one moment can we forget Ashok. Our sole aim for living now is to be with Yogita and our grandchildren,'' they said.

- nitasha.natu@timesgroup.com

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