If only she had decided against a swim in the sea on Sunday, Shraddha Pujari would be celebrating her 18th birthday next month.
Pujari along with her four colleagues — including Satish Bandhare (22) — working for Midas Events, a promotion company at Andheri, had gone to Virar for the promotion of a soft drink. They had lunch and then went to the Arnala beach for a swim when the tragedy occurred.
Pujari’s body was recovered on Sunday itself but Bandhare went missing. The others in the group were rescued.
After rescue work of more that 12 hours, the fire brigade officers recovered Bandhare’s body on Monday.
“Bandhare’s body had been swept away at the beach near the Arnala Court Road. In the morning, a fisherman spotted the body and informed the fire brigade officials,” said Police Sub-Inspector, Suresh Manore.
The residents of Andheri’s PMGP Colony where Pujari’s lived are mourning.
A Commerce student from Kandivli’s Nirmala Niketan College, Pujari had just got admission in Class 12 and she was popular in the neighbourhood.
“She loved going to college. Shraddha had dozens of friends who would often come home to see her. Today, they came to pay condolences,” the victim’s mother, Saroj (47), broke down and said.
“Nobody will call me buddhi or ‘dude’. Who will make me laugh?” she added.
Pujari has two elder sisters Kamna (23) and Yukta (24). Her father passed away in 2007.
She had taken up a summer job in the event management firm. Kamna last met Shraddha two days before she died. “She was complaining that I did not visit often. I wish she would appear at the door now and greet me like always.”
Pujari also used to give tuitions to primary schoolchildren. Neighbours remembered her as a promising young girl with a ready smile.
They said: “She was everyone’s ladli and added colour to the colony. It is sad that she left us so suddenly.”
Pujari’s friend, who survived the incident, had told the family that locals and guards at the beach did not help them citing that it was a Sunday. When asked whether they would approach the police to enquire about the same, Yukta trailed off, “Ab woh toh chali gayi. Unse jhagda karke kya fayda? (She is no more. Of what use will fighting with the authorities be?)”