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62 days of despair end in joy for Goyal family

Seema Goyal, wife of the hijacked MT Stolt Valor's captain Prabhat Kumar Goyal, finally got the news she was despartely waiting for 61 days at 9:23 am when a fleet management official broke the news about the release of the ship.

india Updated: Nov 19, 2008 19:15 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times

Relief, happiness, ecstasy, tears of joy and rejuvenation. These were some of the emotions witnessed at house number 24/4/4 Guru Tegh Bahadur Road in Dehradun on Sunday morning as news of MT Stolt Valor's release poured in.

The moment of truth came at 9:23 am when Seema Goyal, wife of the hijacked ship's captain Prabhat Kumar Goyal picked up the mobile phone nonchalantly to Captain Anshul Rajvanshi's call from the fleet management at Mumbai.

Good morning, he said over the phone. "What's good in the morning since the past 61 days, just say morning to me," Seema said with utter frusturation.

"Shall I tell you what's good," he said as Seema thought that he would again parrot that phrase that everything was going in the positive direction.

The ship has been released! He said the magical words, which she had been longing to hear since September 15. Yes the moment had come at long last after 62 days of prayers and trial by fire.

Tears rolled down Seema's eyes as she let out a relieved exclamation prompting father in law RK Goyal, mother in law Kamlesh, youger daughter Ayushi and son Shivansh to listen to the good news. Her voice was so choked with emotions that she was not able to convey what she wanted to say. Her other daughter, Trishi, students of class XI at Marshall's School was at school for some dance preparations and could not share the moment.

As the family members closed in to listen, he 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 next to inform that the released ship was on its way to Mumbai where it would reach in 3-4 days.

As news of the release spread, friends, relatives and well wishers began to reach the Goyal house. Many had been coming here in days of despair but now the happy turn in the situation made them rush into the compound to greet the family members. Relatives hugged the family members and cried with joy. Sweets were distributed among the visitors.

Recalling the travails after the hijacking, Seema said that it has been the most testing time of her life. "I was broken to the core with the nonchalant attitude of the shipping ministry and the higher ups, but I knew that I had to go on even in this gloom."

Captain Prabhat's father RK Goyal says, "I always knew that this happy moment would come one day, but just didn't know the timing." Prabhat's mother Kamlesh says that she knew that a mother's mamta was supreme in this world. God has a special bond with me and I knew that he would never let me down and uphold the value of mamta. .

Young Ayushi says that she would now thank the students of her school who have always stood by her side. Some of my friends used to cry with me when I used to remember my father.

First Published: Nov 16, 2008 21:42 IST