Sunday, August 09, 2020

UP: Co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar cremated in Mathura, wife finally told

Agra: After being kept in the dark for a day and a half, Megha could not come to terms with her husband's death when it was finally broken to her. "Who is he?" she asked when the body of 32-year-old co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar, who died in the Air India Express crash at Calicut International Airport, was brought home on Sunday.

On Saturday night, about 200 pilots and ground staff members gathered at the airport to pay their respects when Akhilesh's body was flown in to Delhi from Kochi. He was then taken home to Mathura by road on Sunday.

His wife was unprepared and in disbelief. "This is not Akhilesh. It can't be. Akhilesh is at Nayati (hospital) where we have to go when our child comes," said Megha, over and over. She is pregnant, less than a month from her due date -- the reason Akhilesh's family cited for not telling her sooner.

Akhilesh would have been home for the delivery. He had sought leave from August 21. "The last time we saw him was on a video call for Raksha Bandhan. He was going to be here," said his brother-in-law Vijay. "But not like this."

It was only when his body was being taken away for cremation that Megha was shaken out of her stupor. "What will happen to our child?" she asked her father, KD Sharma, breaking down. He was cremated at Mathura's Moksha Dham in the morning.
09/08/20 Anuja Jaiswal/Times of India

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