The telephonic conversation was later aired on television news channels and shared on social media.
New Delhi: Their heart-wrenching last telephonic conversation left many in tears.
With moist eyes, 33-year-old Monu Aggarwal said on Monday that the call by his childhood friend Musharraf Ali before he choked to death in the Anaj Mandi blaze was recorded “by chance”.
The telephonic conversation was later aired on television news channels and shared on social media. As he gave up on life surrounded by toxic smoke, Ali had asked Aggarwal to take care of his family — his elderly mother, wife and two children aged below eight — after his death.
On Monday, Aggarwal accompanied Ali’s mother to Delhi to claim his body.
Asked if he intentionally recorded the phone call, Aggarwal said, “It happened by chance. I believe my finger touched the recording button while I flipped open the phone cover.”
“I only got to know about it through a notification after the call ended,” Aggarwal said.
Hailing from Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district, Ali and Aggarwal weathered good and bad times together. “Our houses are in the same lane. We would talk for hours, discuss everything under the sun. We stood by each other through thick and thin,” he said.
“Musharraf was more than my brother. Religion never came between us. On Id, his family would host me. On Diwali, I would do the same,” he recalled.
“His children are my children now. I did not get married because of personal reasons. Maybe god kept me unmarried because he knew these children would need me,” he said, adding that he lost his father when he was just eight years old and knows the pain of children who do not have a father. But he wondered how cruel can fate be.
“I have a small business. I do not wish for riches. I pray to god to give me enough to feed the two families. I will adjust anyhow. I will do all that I can till my last breath,” Aggarwal, who runs a small cookware store in Bijnor’s Nagina area.