Mangalore Plane Crash: 4-yr-old Yet to Understand her Parents' Loss

Mangalore: 4-yr-old  Yet to Understand her Parents' Loss

MANGALORE, Jun 23 (Times of India): For four-year-old Viola, the magnitude of her loss is yet to sink in. Call it providence, she actually is unaware that she lost both her parents, Naveen (36) and Sarita Fernandes (24), in the May 22 Air India Boeing 737-800 crash at Bajpe airport.

Naveen was returning home for a change of visa as he had got a new job at the Dubai Port. Sarita accompanied her husband to spend a few days with the child, who was with her in-laws.

For Viola, the only child of couple who had married five years back, her grandparents, Leena and James Fernandes, were more than "abba" (grandpa) and "mai" (grandma).

They had looked after her right from the time she was three months old as Sarita had to leave for her job in Dubai. "But on that day (May 22), Viola was waiting to shower flower petals on her parents when they arrived," said Grace Moras, Naveen's cousin.

Leena and James cannot talk much about the son they lost. Tears well up their eyes whenever they think of Naveen and Sarita.

"The only solace is that we see both of them in Viola. She has her mother's face and father's hair," said Naveen's parents. "James seems to have aged suddenly. He is not his confident earlier self," notes Leena. The couple have found solace and courage to cope with the loss through their family and friends.

"Ask Viola about her parents, she's unclear of what she has lost. Once she says that her parents died in the crash (not actually knowing what death means) and sometimes she says they are in Dubai," says Grace.

Viola is attending school (nursery) along with her cousins. She was admitted to another school, but after the loss, the family thought it would be better if she went to the school attended by her cousins.

Naveen was working in the logistics department of a hypermarket at Dubai. Sarita was at the front office section in the same hypermarket. Naveen has a sister Philomena, and two brothers, Stephen working in Dubai, and Melwyn, who is undergoing priesthood training in Chennai.

Naveen had visited his parents in December last, like he used to every year. The last visit was special as he met Melwyn, whom he had not met in nine years.

"On the day he left Dubai, he was giving us minute-by-minute updates till he boarded the aircraft. He had also told Roshan (Sarita's brother) to be at the airport well in time so that they could come home early," recalls his mother. The family had the monthly Mass on Monday, to pray for the departed souls.

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Title : Mangalore Plane Crash: 4-yr-old Yet to Understand her Parents' Loss


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