KOLKATA/HOOGHLY: When five-year-old Suryashish Kar had bid his grandmother Swapna goodbye last Wednesday, the latter had mumbled a silent prayer hoping he would returned safe and sound from the vacation in Sikkim. Though his parents Sandip and Soma were there to look after him, she was worried he’d catch a cold. Little did she know that he would be the only one she needn’t have worried about. Suryashish was the only one who survived an accident that killed Sandip, Soma and three of their relatives.
“My son and daughter-in-law were to return home on Wednesday. They will return as scheduled — only in coffins,” said Sandip’s aunt Alo De.
The vehicle in which Sandip, Soma and Suryashish were travelling along with Snehashish Bose, his wife Kakoli and son Subhrajit had plunged 400 feet into a gorge while travelling to Gangtok from Tsomgo Lake. All, except Suryashish, had died in the crash.
“Sandip’s father Ashis and another relative left for Sikkim immediately after hearing the news. They will return by road early on Wednesday with Suryashish and the bodies,” De said, wondering if the child even realized what had happened to his parents.
Sandip, an accountant, had married Soma a decade ago. Every summer, the couple would go on holiday, usually to Puri. This was the first time the couple went to the hills. They were so thrilled about being on the mountains. Destiny, it seems, had other plans,” De said.
Locals, who rescued Suryashish and pulled out the bodies from the wreck, said the child was in his mother’s lap — unconscious, but miraculously alive. Two other passengers were seriously injured and were rushed to a hospital.
The accident even found a mention in chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s speech at a public meeting in Hooghly on Tuesday. She expressed condolence and instructed the local MLA, Becharam Manna, to ensure a smooth return of the bodies to Kolkata and Hooghly.
“I have spoken with the tourism department of Sikkim government and all formalities have been done to ensure return of the bodies soon,” Manna said.