Tamil Nadu

Travelling alone in flight, T.N. man returns to grieve his wife’s death

He arrives from Singapore via Kolkata, where others deboarded

On Friday night, when the flight from Singapore landed at Chennai airport, immigration, health and Airports Authority of India (AAI) may have geared up to handle over a hundred passengers.

At quarter to 10, only one passenger, 49-year-old K. Koothan, quietly walked out of the aerobridge.

His flight, which departed from Singapore to Chennai via Kolkata, had over 100 Indian nationals but after the stopover in Kolkata, everyone but Mr. Koothan deboarded.

He travelled alone back home, grieving and coming to terms with the death of his beloved wife, 35-year-old Vasuki, who passed away due to a heart attack a few days ago.

“The emptiness seemed more pronounced than ever. But I have to pick myself up for my three children who have lost their mother. That was my sole thought during the entire flight,” said Mr. Koothan, who has been working as a mason in Singapore for nearly two decades now.

He would save money and travel only once a year to see his wife and children. This time, too, he planned to make a trip soon after the lockdown. But fate had other plans.

“I couldn’t make it to the funeral. But after that, some of my friends there helped me and I somehow managed to get a ticket to come home,” he said.

After landing, he is now in quarantine at a government facility in Melakottiyur. He has told his children that as soon as he tests negative, he would rush home to see them.

“There is a faint hope lingering and that’s because of my children. I have to take care of them. It is something everyone should now think of — to keep themselves and their family safe. Family takes precedence over everything else,” said Mr. Koothan, who has decided to not go back to Singapore.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 9:39:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/travelling-alone-in-flight-tn-man-returns-to-grieve-his-wifes-death/article31936440.ece

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