Manjula, mother of Flight Lieutenant K. Praveen, who died in a chopper crash in Dehradun on Monday, had kept the ground floor of her two-storeyed house in TVS Nagar here ready for her son to occupy soon after his marriage, which she had planned. But, that was not to be.
On Monday, the news of Praveen’s death left Ms. Manjula shattered. Neither her neighbours nor colleagues could console Manjula, who works as a Superintendent in Southern Railway here. Praveen was her only hope and she had brought him up with all care and love.
On Tuesday evening, she remained glued to the television set when flash news about the crash of a chopper involved in a rescue mission started appearing. “I prayed that it should not be my son. I dialled his mobile number at least 30 times. But it remained unreachable,” the sobbing mother told her colleagues at her residence on Wednesday.
By then, her two sisters and other family members tried to reach him over mobile. When one of her sisters said that she got an ‘engaged tone’ from Praveen’s mobile, the mother was relieved. At 8.30 p.m., when she got an outstation call, she thought it was Praveen calling. But, the voice at the other end was not her son’s, but of an IAF official. “It is bad news ….”