Kanpur: Neha Singh has a dazed look on her face as she tries to comfort her 5-year-old son Yash on her hospital bed. As she turns her face towards us, the nature of her injuries - relics of Sunday morning's deadly train crash near Kanpur that claimed nearly 150 lives - becomes apparent.
A four inch black stitch line runs along the right side of her scalp where her hair has been shaved off by nurses. There is also a brown bruise below her right eye.
Neha and Yash were travelling to Patna with her father and younger sister Neelu Singh for Neelu's engagement when tragedy struck. Her aunt and uncle who have come to see her in hospital after the accident however haven't told her the truth yet, too afraid that she may not recover.
"We have not told her that her sister and father did not make it and were cremated last night. She will not be able to bear it," Bina Singh, Neha's aunt tells us in a hushed tone.
Ashok Singh, her uncle, standing near the door of the ward however can barely hold back his tears. "They were going for a wedding, a happy occasion when this happened. I don't know what to tell her. I don't know what we will do. I only make 2000 rupees as a school employee," he tells us.
In the same ward, Meera Chandel can't wait to get out of her hospital bed to go and see her children. She and her family had been travelling in the same S1 coach as Neha's. While she and her husband both fractured their leg in the accident. Both her children are in the Intensive Care Unit or ICU.
In an adjoining room, Kumari Vijayanti Mala is counting her blessings. As she helps her uncle who has fractured his leg, sit up in bed, she breaks out in a smile when we ask her about her infant laid out on an old saree on the floor.
"The accident happened in a flash, after which I discovered that I had fallen to the bottom of the coach from my top berth. Simi, my 6-month-old baby daughter was lying next to me when a woman fell on me. I had to put all my effort to make sure that she did not crush my baby. We were stuck like this for half an hour before help arrived," said Mala.
"My daughter was born after a lot of effort and complications. I would be crushed if something happened to her. it's as if God once again tested my love for her," she adds.