THT 10 YEARS AGO : Gloom envelops victims’ kin

Banke/Dang, July 2, 2009

Two days after the tragedy struck — 12 Nepalis were killed when a UAEowned vessel, Damas Victory, capsized and quickly sank in the Persian Gulf off Doha, Qatar — the victims’ grieving kin are trying to come to terms with the loss. “My husband had told me recently that he would return home after 18 months. He has now left this world for good,” moaned Apsar, wife of Awas Ahmed Sai, a resident of Katkuiya-1 of Banke, which is located close to the Nepal-India border.

Recounting the last conversation with her husband, Apsar, 25, said that the dutiful husband had asked her to take good care of the family during his absence.

They came to know of the tragedy only this morning after a neighbour called up to convey the heart-breaking news. The victim’s mother, Islama, is in a state of shock. He was the eldest of his two sons.

In fact, she had borrowed Rs 2.4 lakh to send him to Qatar for the family’s prosperity.

Even as the tragedy sinks in, his kin are now racking their brains how to repay the huge sum. Sai had been to Qatar before as well. Having worked there for three years, he decided to come back to his loving family for an extended home stay. However, lack of viable job opportunities — the Sais own five cottahs — prompted him to try his luck in the gasrich state again around two years ago.

The family is now anxiously waiting for his mortal remains. Neither the government nor the local administration has informed them about his last ride to the ancestral village.

Family, friends bid adieu to Khyati

Kathmandu, July 2, 2009

The Shresthas today consigned their only child Khyati’s mutilated mortal remains to flames at Pashupati Aryaghat. The 18-year-old’s promising career was snuffed out by her abductor despite being paid the ransom. Her father Gopal Bahadur Shrestha recounted her beloved daughter’s aspirations — to take to the skies as a pilot — as tears welled up in his swollen eyes. “Her long cherished desire remained unfulfilled. It’s an irreparable loss,” he said. He performed the heart-breaking task of lighting her funeral pyre. While, her mother, Radha, sobbing uncontrollably, was in no position to interact with the mourners. Emotional support, however, was at hand in huge numbers. Hundreds of people, including her classmates, acquaintances, relatives and public, flocked on the banks of the Bagmati for her last rites.

Gopal reminisced her as an amiable, composed and caring teenager, who was focused on her goal since her formative years. An impression seconded by her friends and peers. “She never took anything for granted. We had made plans to visit Nagarkot after the practical exams. The fun trip will never happen now,” said Samprada Ghimire, one of her classmates. Khyati had an uncanny knack for choreography.