Aaron had secured 82 p.c. marks in SSLC and 80 p.c. marks in I PUC

The fact that this chartered accountant in-the-making will not be seen again in flesh and blood became very real for a motley crowd of over 500 people, when the 16-year-old, Aaron Joel Fernandes, was laid to rest at the Jeppu Cemetery here on Thursday. He lost his life in the Saturday's air crash here.

A student of St. Aloysius College, whom his friends remember to be a very hard working and studious, frequently flew to Dubai as his parents Fredrick J. Fernandes and Nirmala Fernandes are settled there along with his younger brother Aiden (6). Many of his friends, who put flowers and loose earth over his mortal remains after the rituals, were in disbelief that they will not see him again.

Not all his friends who remember him as a shy person knew that Aaron was a member of a group known as Youth Catholic Students (YCS). He was a key-member of the group's cricket team. “He was a good batsman and a bowler,” recalled Suman, who met Aaron at a church. In the last two years the two became good friends.

The commerce student, who aspired to become a chartered accountant, was known for his academic excellence. He had scored 80 per cent in the PUC 1, and his score in SSLC was 82 per cent.

According to Rohan D'Souza, his cousin, who works for a private stock brokerage agency, Aaron stayed behind to be with his aunt Juliet Fernandes and grand mother Alice Fernandes. “He took good care of them. Unlike the boys of his age, Aaron was a very responsible child. This should not have happened to him.”

Mr. D'Souza recalled that Aaron's body was first identified by the rosary he wore. But, the police insisted on a DNA testing as another family too staked claim for it. The test results came on Wednesday and the body was handed over to the family.

What six-year-old Aiden did after most family members and friends of the deceased moved a little away from the place, where cemetery workers began pouring mud over the remains of Aaron, was touching. The boy came back and sought to take a close look.

Apparently unaware of the tragedy that had befallen his family, the child spent a few moments there.

One of his cousins pulled him away and asked him to say “by Aaron.”

The boy waved his hands towards the place where his brother was being buried and meekly uttered the words and left.

A couple of minutes later, when a photo journalist asked the boy to hold a framed photograph his brother, he violently pushed it away.

His feelings were beyond perception. Eye-witnesses said, he had asked his mother a few moments before as to what was happening in the cemetery.

The mother, who was in tears, could hardly give him a reply. “He is too small to understand,” said Mr. D'Souza.

More In: Mangalore