Indian doctor's sacrifice for Lanka
On the day the tsunami hit India and Sri Lanka, Surgeon Lt Com Gopalaswamy Parthasarathy based in Kochi, got two calls.
The first was a frantic one from his home in Chennai saying that his grandmother was missing and that his house was under water.
The second was from his superiors asking him to rush to Sri Lanka as part of the Indian Navy's rescue and relief team.
Placing public service above filial duty, the young officer unhesitatingly boarded the naval vessel sailing for Colombo that very day.
Arriving in Sri Lanka in less than 24 hours, Lt Com Parthasarathy toiled night and day to save and treat hundreds of Sri Lankan men, women and children in the middle of an unprecedented deluge, never once showing any sign of his personal anguish.
His mother was eventually traced and the family in Chennai began to put its life together again.
But it is only now, after the worst is over in Sri Lanka, that Lt Com Parthasarathy has sought permission to go home.
He is to leave for Kochi en route to his battered home in Chennai on Thursday.