Tarishi Jain was scheduled to be at her ancestral home in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad on Sunday. Instead, it was her body which came in a flower-bedecked coffin a day later, not to her native town, but 250 kilometres away to Gurgaon.
The mortal remains of Tarishi, a 19-year-old woman killed by terrorists in Dhaka on Friday, was consigned to the flames amid heart-wrenching scenes as wailing family members bid adieu to the youngster who wanted to be a lawyer.
The large number of mourners included Union ministers, other political leaders and even strangers some of whom were seen wiping away tears.
“They (Tarishi and her father Sanjeev Jain) would have been in Firozabad to meet their family on Sunday. Then she planned to visit her uncle in Ara, Bihar on Monday. But as fate would have it, we have lit her pyre a day later,” said her inconsolable uncle Rajeev Jain.
Tarishi, a student of University of California in Berkeley where she studied Economics, was in Dhaka on a vacation. She had gone out for dinner with two of her friends to the Holey Artisan Bakery which was attacked by a group of terrorists. Tarishi was the only Indian killed in the attack which also left 19 others dead.
Tarishi’s father Sanjeev runs a garments business in Dhaka where the family is based for close to two decades.
Since the body could not be airlifted to her native place due to logistic issues, the family decided to cremate her in Gurgaon where Sanjeev has a flat.
Tarishi’s father, mother Tulika and brother Sanchit accompanied the body from Dhaka to New Delhi in a Jet Airways flight.
Before the pyre was lit by Sanchit at the Shiv Murthi cremation, people paid floral tributes. Announcements were made through loud speakers requesting mourners to leave the grief-stricken parents “to themselves for some time”.
Union minister and local MP Rao Inderjit Singh, MLA Rao Narbir Singh attended the last rites along with another union minister Piyush Goyal. The Congress’s Raj Babbar and Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung were also present.
“We should celebrate every moment in our daughter’s life,” said Goyal who lent a shoulder to the bier on its way to the cremation ground.
Tight security arrangements were made for the ceremony that lasted two hours.
Family members and friends discussed the grit shown by Tarishi while she was stuck in a washroom for four hours on the fateful night.
“Her words ‘I am hiding in the toilet with friends and I think we will be killed one by one’ will echo in our minds forever’,” said a family friend.