Plane, not Barbie, was this air hostess's first toy

Plane, not Barbie, was this air hostess's first toy

Barely a fortnight after she celebrated her 24th birthday, Tejal perished in the real version of her favourite toy that gave her dream the wings -- an aeroplane.

"She would never play with Barbie dolls. Her first toy was an aeroplane and we both used to play with it," says Ankita Pokhre, a cousin of Tejal, who died in the tragic air crash near Mangalore this morning.

She had joined Air India four months ago and was flying the Dubai-Mangalore IX-892 flight ever since.

Tejal's father Anil was informed about his daughter's death by Air India this morning. "He decided not to not break the news to Tejal's mother Bharti and brother Gaurav and snapped the cable connection before rushing to the Mumbai airport," Ankita told PTI.
Several close relatives and neighbours discreetly guarded their house at Dombivili in neighbouring Thane district turning away the media.

Ankita, who too is undergoing training to become an airhostess, remembers Tejal as a hard-working and jovial girl who nurtured the dream of becoming an airhostess since childhood.

After completing her degree in commerce, Tejal did a course with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and joined Air India this February.
Tejal's friend Pradnya S remembers her as someone who was very passionate about her job.

"Everytime we spoke, she went on and on about her job and her on-flight experiences. The last time we met was on May five when we celebrated Tejal's 24th birthday. I can't believe she is no longer with us," Pradnya said.

Sujata Surveshi. File Photo. PTISujata’s kin in disbelief
Meanwhile, the family members of Sujata Surveshi, a senior crew member with Air India, who also died in the tragic air crash near Mangalore on Saturday morning, still cannot believe that she is no more.

“I can’t believe that she left us. We were told that she is no more. Unless and until we see her body, we will not believe anybody’s version,” said Kamal Surveshi, cousin brother of Sujata.

Kamal, who heard about the the crash when he was in Karjat in neighbouring Raigad district, rushed to the airport to inquire if Sujata was flying in the same flight which met with an accident. “Unfortunately, she was flying in the same flight,” he said. She had been working as crew member for over three years, Kamal said.

Sujata, a resident of suburban Versova, is survived by three brothers, mother and father. Her two brothers and father had flown to Mangalore soon after the incident, he said.

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