They said they'd be back soon...

Life snuffed out early

Mohammad Sohail (18), one of the victims, had left his home around 5.30 pm, promising to return “in a short while”. So was Ravi Shankar (19). Syed Rizwan Pasha (20), the third victim, too could not tell his family much except for a promise of early return.

The three, along with Aslam, were killed when Yaseen, who was driving the car, attempted to overtake another vehicle and hit a Canter van near Mailapuram Gate in Hoskote.
Sohail’s father Mohammad Saleem, a private bus driver, was in Chennai when one of the passersby at the accident spot called him around 9 pm. At first, Saleem could not realise anything.

But once he did, the world had changed. Sohail, his only son, had dropped out of school two years ago. Saleem immediately rushed to Bangalore and could not sleep for a moment since then.

The emotions in his eyes are unmistakable. “Most of the time, I would be out of town on account of my job. It was difficult for me to monitor Sohail’s whereabouts. Alas, my son left us on the false promise of return,” Saleem told Deccan Herald.

Sohail worked as a welder and hanged out with his friends whenever he could. His family never objected.

Remorseful

Syed Waseem Pasha, elder brother of Rizwan, is even more remorseful. The last time Waseem spoke to his younger brother was on Monday, the day of Eid-al-Adha. Working regularly on night shifts means Waseem could hardly meet Rizwan.

“I miss him a lot. I used to wake him up and beat him when he was asleep. Just for fun... He never minded it,” Waseem said.

Apart from Waseem, Rizwan had two more brothers, Imran and Irfan. His parents Syed Aslam Pasha and Naseemunnisa were not in a position to talk about the tragic death of their son.

While Pasha, who runs an automobile shop, got the news a few hours into the accident, Naseemunnisa was kept in the dark about Rizwan’s death. Waseem says his mother would have collapsed had they broken the news to her.

Still, she fainted when she was merely told that Rizwan met with a “minor accident”.
Sohail and Rizwan were buried at Quddoos Sahib Burial Ground on Miller’s Road after Friday prayers.

Ravi Shankar’s mother Janaki and grandmother Nagamma wept inconsolably, as his body was being readied for funeral outside their residence in Kanaka Nagar, R T Nagar, on Friday evening.

The family hails from Pulivendular in YSR Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. Ravi’s father Sekar had died about 10 years ago. The family moved to Bangalore about six years ago. Although Janaki is also employed, Ravi, a barber, was the family’s main breadwinner. And he’s dead.

Battling for life

Aslam, the fourth victim, was a resident of Govindapura. He was also buried on Friday. Yaseen, the man who had taken the boys along in his Maruti Swift to visit a dargah in Kolar district, is battling for life at Manipal Hospital.

His family desperately awaits his recovery. So do the families of the four victims they have many unanswered questions.

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