The Borivali-based Kolekar family — three of the five Indians on board the Malaysia Airlines plane feared to have crashed — had no plans for this journey. But Vinod Kolekar (59), his wife Chetana (55) and son Swanand (23) decided to make the trip as many belongings of their recently married elder son had to be sent to Beijing. “Samved’s (elder son) wife went to Beijing about a week back. Until then they had little plans of making the trip. But must have decided an impromptu holiday,” said a neighbour at Sukh Sagar housing society where the family had been staying for the past three decades.Read: NGO activist’s family shattered in Chennai
The long stay also explained the strong bond the family had built in the neighbourhood. “We still believe that the family is safe because the wreakage has not been found,” said Sharad Sarang a neighbour.Read: Efforts on to find missing Malaysian aircraft, oil slicks spotted in sea
The neighbours also fear the repercussions of the tragic incident on Chetana’s elderly parents who had been calling them frantically since the time the news flashed on television. “Please do not publish photographs of their locked house. They have aging relatives who might not be able to take the blow,” said Satish Gadgil, secretary of the apartment.The mood inside the three-storey building was particularly quiet because of Swanand, the youngest member of the family. “Last week he had come to me to take tips for completing a motorised barbecue made by him,” added Sarang talking about the fresh engineering graduate.
His childhood friends kept updating the neighbours on news about the mishap. Read: Vietnam mounts search for Malaysian airliner carrying 239