The Indian community in Kenya is trying to come to terms with the devastating fallout of the Nairobi mall attack on September 21, coping with the pain of losing loved ones and lost business opportunities.
The community which bore the brunt of the terror act, lost scores of its members, and saw its businesses suffer heavy losses with the fate of the Westgate shopping mall remaining unknown and establishmens in the vicinity of the mall suffering severe disruption.
Members of the community on Friday and Saturday were busy burying some of their dead kin, with the Ismailia cemetery in Nairobi remaining unusually busy as hundreds gathered to pay last respects to the departed.
"We are still trying to come to terms with the fact that we will never be with you physically" said Manish Mashru, while eulogising his daughter Neha Mashru, a 17-year-old ex-student of Oshwal Academy in Nairobi.
As the sombre mood engulfed her burial at the cemetery, the heartbroken father condemned the terror attack, wondering how anybody could kill an innocent girl like Neha in cold blood.
"We will never forget this sad day and may god ensure that justice is done and that those who plan acts that take hundreds of innocent lives are punished," Shakeel Shabir, member of parliament (MP) for Kisumu east in western Kenya and a Kenyan-Indian, said at the funeral ceremony.
The community, he said, would demonstrate its resilience to the whole world by remaining united and working hard to accelerate the pace of recovery and healing.
"We pray to God for resilience and strength to recover from the agony of losing loved ones and disruption of our businesses," added Shabir, a second time MP representing a predominantly indigenous African constituency.
Nehal Vekariya, a former student at Arya Vedic Secondary School, was also laid to rest Friday with her family eulogising her as a bright pupil and talented student leader.
"We feel the pain of losing you, but we accept god’s will," said her crestfallen father Parba Vekariya.
Similar respects were paid to Sridhar Natarajan, a former employee of a local company Harleys Limited, who friends and relatives described as a kind-hearted and a hard-working person.
“Sridhar was a kind-hearted man with a heart of gold, an inspiring friend and colleague to many," his wife Manjula Sridhar told mourners.
Another young victim, Leo Mehboob Rehmat, a student of Samaj School in Nairobi, was also laid to rest Friday as her family as the entire Kenyan Indian community tried to move on.
Atul Shah, the managing director of Nakumatt supermarkets, east Africa’s largest retail store network, announced that the company would be from Monday reopening its branch located at the nearby Ukay Centre within the vicinity of Westgate.
The company has one of its biggest stores in the ill-fated Westgate mall and the kind of damage it has suffered is not yet known but losses in businesses opportunities are estimated to be in tens of thousands of dollars.
Neither the business owners nor the public has been allowed into mall that hosts more than 80 shops as forensic experts have taken control of it, conducting investigations in an international effort to unravel the identities of the attackers.
The death toll from the terror attack stood at 67, including 61 civilians and six security officers. At least 59 others are still missing.
According to India's external affairs ministry, four Indian nationals were among those killed.
An Indian-origin Briton, Mitul Shah, was also among those killed after he offered himself as a hostage to save a group of children, The Evening Standard reported.
Somali group Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and said that it was in response to Nairobi's October 2011 military intervention against Al Shabaab in Somalia.