“Thank you buddies for making my 20th bday memorable — feeling special,” Bairineni Ritwik Rao had posted on Facebook page on May 2. “#CrazySelfie #AwesomeBday #HBAshish Mantha, May your dreams all come true,’’ Devashish Bose posted for his best friend, Ashish Mantha, whose family has suffered a second blow after having lost his father months ago.
The electronics engineering students lost in the Beas were young men and women who loved fun and adventure, bike races, Justin Timberlake and Manchester United. They rooted for Miami Heat or Lakers, as well as Sunrisers Hyderabad, and loved Paradigm Shift.
Their Facebook accounts, as of now still active, reveal what they believed in and were looking forward to. Ritwik ran an online campaign urging students to vote, Devashish told his friends to drive slow, and Kalluri Sree Harsha wrote: “That feel wen u stand on a sea shore… that wait till the waves touch the tip of our name in the sand!! lovely time at chennai!”
Photos show the second-year team — Ashish Mantha, Bairineni Ritwik, Banothu Rambabu, Devashish Bose, Baswaraj Sandeep, Gonoor Arvind Kumar, Kalluri Sree Harsha, M Siva Prakash Varma, M. Vishnu Vardhan Reddy, Macharla Akhil, Mittapally Akhil, Muppidi Kiran Kumar, Nerudu Jagadish Mudiraj and others — so frequently in groups that it appears they were as inseparable in life as they have been in probable death.
“The last time we spoke with faculty member Murali Kumar, he said all students were excited about the visit. They even visited the power project from where the water was released. They decided to take photos at a scenic spot and were swept away. They were all so young,’’ said their college’s chief administrator P V Rao.
Sandeep Baswaraj’s last post was on the evening of June 4, a few minutes after he boarded the train. He posted a photo and wrote:
“With my BIL at nampally railway station, warm sendoff! — feeling happy.”
The shop had stored over 20 drums of kerosene that fuelled the blaze and it quickly spread through the entire building.