Dubai: More than a month after the Dubai-Kozhikode Air India Express flight crash on August 7, one of the survivors has begun a new life after his wedding — for which he was travelling to India on that ill-fated flight.
It was a rebirth of sorts for Indian expat Parameswaran Azhakath, his elder brother Ravisankar Azhakath, sister-in-law Tara Sankar and four-year-old niece Ayana Ravisankar when they survived the crash with injuries that required surgeries.
Parameswaran, 28, who underwent treatment for spinal cord injuries, recovered and tied the knot with his fiancée Sisira Vasudevan on September 10, the family said.
The wedding ceremony was held at the groom’s house in the Pattambi area of Palakkad district. It was originally scheduled to be held at the bride’s home in Ollukkara area of Thrissur district in keeping with traditional practice, Ravisankar told Gulf News over the phone from Kerala. He said the family members of Sisira, the bride, travelled to the groom’s house for the wedding.
The wedding was supposed to be held in May as per the families’ original plan. “Both the families decided not to postpone the marriage again,” Ravisankar said.
“Both Tara and I still cannot walk due to the fractures on our legs. We got discharged two weeks ago. But we need the help of a wheel chair to move around. It will take four more weeks before we start using walkers,” he said.
Ayana’s leg is still plastered. “The fracture has almost healed, but the doctors have advised to keep it on for four more weeks.”
COVID-19 safety measures
Parameswaran, a planning engineer with a major Indian construction group, had flown home well ahead of time for the wedding rescheduled for September 10 in order to leave him with enough buffer time for quarantine upon arrival in Kerala.
Ravisankar said the families restricted the total number of attendees at the wedding to 50 and followed COVID-19 safety protocols.
“Everything went well. The wedding was held as per Brahmin traditions. We removed the masks only for the photographs,” Ravishankar said. “Our parents were relieved when we all got discharged from hospital. Now they are happy as the wedding also took place as planned.”
The newly-wed couple has also been counting their blessings.
Parameswaran said he considered himself extremely lucky and blessed.
Though crash memories continue to haunt him, he said he had physically recovered well. “I just have a mild pain while I sit and get up. Otherwise I am okay.”
Another groom was not so lucky
While Parameswaran had a lucky escape along with his brother’s family, another would-be groom on the same ill-fated flight perished in the crash.
Muhammed Riyas V.P, 24, who was flying home for his marriage planned a year ago, died in the crash.
Riyas was supposed to marry his fiancée, with whom he had fallen in love during their college days a couple of years ago. His wedding was supposed to take place some months ago, but it had to be postponed due to the travel restrictions over the COVID-19 pandemic, his uncle Ashraf Ali had told Gulf News earlier.
Riyas, who worked with a pharmacy group in Dubai, had travelled with his brother Nizamudheen V.P, 28, who works in Al Ain. Nizamudheen escaped with injuries.
A total of 21 people, including the pilot and co-pilot, were killed in the crash.