It was 9.23 a.m when the phone rang at the Goyal house. Seema Goyal, wife of the hijacked ship's captain Prabhat Kumar Goyal, answered the phone. It was Captain Kishore Rajvanshi from the fleet management at Mumbai.
“Good morning”, he said. “What's good in the morning since the past 61 days, just say morning to me”, Seema said. “Shall I tell you what's good", he said. “The ship has been released,” he said the magical words.
Tears rolled down Seema's eyes as she conveyed the news to her father- in-law R.K. Goyal, mother-in-law Kamlesh and her children.
As the family members closed in to listen, Captain Kishore Rajvanshi told them that the ship had been released two hours ago and was on its way to Mumbai under escort. Nautical advisor to the government of India captain MM Sagi also rang her up to inform her that the ship would reach Mumbai 3-4 days.
The Krishnas are euphoric. Their month long stay in Navi Mumbai hoping, praying and working for the release of their son Ullas Krishna (22) has finally paid off. The husband-wife duo waits for the arrival of their son, the second officer on the ship. Ullas, who has been sailing for the past four years.
Similarly, the Burondkar family has been praying for the return of their eldest son for the past two months. Naveed Burondkar (21), a cadet officer on the ship was the youngest officer on board and was on his first trip.
"We missed him so much as it was his first trip and was away for a such a long time, specially during Eid. Now, we are glad he is returning home," said Murad Mohamed Burondkar, Naveed's father.
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Seema Singh, the young wife of Captain Santosh Kumar, one of the crewmembers of Stolt Valor, just could not express her feelings.
She is now preparing to celebrate her third marriage anniversary on November 23. “We received a call from the Mumbai office of the Company informing us that the ship has been freed."
"Initially I could not believe my ears. It seems like I have got a new life," said Seema, who is pregnant.
Sharing Santosh's experiences, Seema said he (Santosh) complained of mental torture by the pirates. “They did not allow phone calls. There was also shortage of food," she said.