Kerala on Saturday witnessed a 71-year man, believed to be dead in a flight crash 45 years ago, reuniting with his family comprising a 91-year-old mother.
Sajjad Thangal, a native of Kollam in Kerala, was believed to be dead by his family in a 1976 flight crash that claimed 95 lives, including that of popular actress Rani Chandra.
Sajjad fled to the Gulf in the early 1970s at the age of 19 in search of jobs and later he was involved in arranging cultural events there. As part of it, a programme of Rani Chandra was organised in 1976. On the way back from UAE to Chennai via Mumbai, the flight crashed.
Sajjad, who was supposed to accompany them, had to replace him with another person from Mumbai due to some last-minute inconvenience. Hence the narrow escape from the crash and fears of facing probe caused severe mental trauma and depression in him.
With no whereabouts of Sajjad, his family members had believed that he was also killed in the plane crash.
Over these years Sajjad was eking out a living by involving in casual jobs. But as he became weak, some of his friends took him to Seal Ashram in Mumbai about four years back.
Recently some representatives of the Ashram who came down to Kollam enquired about Sajjad's family as he wished to meet his family.
For Sajjad's family of 91-year-old mother Fathima Beevi and siblings, it was really unbelievable to hear that Sajjad was still alive. His siblings went to Mumbai and met him a few days back.
On Saturday they brought Sajjad to Kollam and the local people gave a warm reception to him. Sajjad and his mother became emotional on meeting after 45 years. "Every thing happens as per God's plans," they said.