TWENTY-year-old Krishna’s last conversation with his father, Ravi Subramanian, was around 2.30 pm on Tuesday. The father and son exchanged updates on how their day progressed till then, although Ravi had left his Navi Mumbai residence for the afternoon shift at the airport only around 11.45 am. That was the last time Krishna saw his father in person.
Twelve hours later, his mother, Sujata, received a call from Air India asking the family to come to the domestic terminal of the Mumbai airport. “He has met with an accident,” was all the family knew until they reached Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport around midnight when they were told Ravi Subramanian was no more.
Ravi (54), a superintendent chief engineer with Air India, diedon Wednesday when he was sucked into the engine of an aircraft that was readying to taxi out. The mishap occurred as the outbound Mumbai-Hyderabad flight AI 619 began its pushback around 8.46 pm. The engineer’s body parts were brought to the RN Cooper hospital in two cloth bundles around 3.30 am for a postmortem. The cause of death was stated as ‘unnatural’, something the doctors called an understatement. “The body was severely mutilated,” said a medical officer on duty, so much so that the postmortem lasted less than 30 minutes.
Around noon on Thursday, Ravi’s body was handed to his family. The final rites were conducted in Sector 8 of Sanpada in Navi Mumbai, where the family has been residing since Krishna’s birth.
Around 2.50 pm, the body was brought to his residence in a make-shift white coffin. Shortly thereafter, Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani came to offer his condolences and left nearly 40 minutes later. Ravi’s colleagues described him as “hard working” and “always in good conduct”. He was originally from Chennai, where his parents still live, but shifted to Mumbai for work. He had been working with Air India, his first and last job, for over 22 years.
“He was always ready to come forward for social and work-related issues. Just last week during our bus journey to work, we had an intense conversation during which he said there should be ambulances and doctors readily available in case something unfortunate happens on the tarmac. And now, this happened to him,” said the colleague.
“She is still in a state of shock. We all are unable to grasp what has happened,” said Sriram, Ravi’s brother-in-law, about Sujata. Krishna, a third year student at Ramrao Adik Institute of Technology, is currently pursuing an engineering degree and Ravi’s friends said that made him proud as he was following his father’s footsteps. “Personally he created a bond that was so strong that everyone will remember him. Sometimes when I wouldn’t speak to him for weeks, I would miss him and ask him to come down for a walk. I don’t know what to feel now,” said a friend who lives in the opposite building and knew Ravi for the last 15 years.
Ravi was taken to a crematorium about five minutes away from his residence on Thursday evening.