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Bhavye Suneja had asked us to get ready for a party in Delhi: Friends of Indian pilot killed in Lion Air flight crash

A close-knit group of five to six, Bhavye and Garima's friends were eagerly waiting for their arrival next week.

Written by Liu Chuen Chen | New Delhi |
Updated: October 30, 2018 9:26:20 pm
Garima Tripathi wore a saree for her husband, Bhavye Suneja, for the first time on Karva Chauth this year. (Facebook) Garima Sethi had worn a saree for her husband, Bhavye Suneja, for the first time on Karva Chauth this year. (Facebook)

After seeing her draped in a saree for the first time on Karva Chauth just two days ago, little did Garima Sethi’s friends know that fate had something else in store for her. The Lion Air flight that crashed in Indonesia on Monday morning with 188 people on board was piloted by Garima’s husband, 31-year-old Captain Bhavye Suneja.

“It was just two days ago that Garima shared her excitement to wear a saree for her husband for the first time. It was Karva Chauth. How could this (news) be true?” says Manvi Dua, a former colleague, and friend at The Indian Express, while staring at a photograph of the couple on her phone, struggling to hold back her tears in her Delhi office. Garima worked in the accounts department of The Indian Express before moving to Jakarta.

The couple had an arranged marriage in 2016. (Facebook) The couple had an arranged marriage in 2016. (Facebook)

Shaken by the tragic news, Manvi adds, “He (Bhavye) had asked me to get ready for a party. He was supposed to come to Delhi on November 5. This is absolutely unbelievable.” Bhavye finished his schooling from Ahlcon Public School, Mayur Vihar. His family lives in Delhi’s Mayur Vihar and they will be flying to Jakarta tonight.

A close-knit group of five to six, Bhavye and Garima’s friends were eagerly waiting for their arrival next week. Besides that, the group was all set for their mandatory bi-annual trip together, which they took each time the couple visited India.

Sharing how the duo gave everyone major couple goals, another friend Navin Banswal says, “Their’s was an arranged marriage, but did not appear to be one. Going by the kind of love and respect they had for one another and the level of understanding they shared, it would be difficult for anyone to believe that their’s wasn’t a love marriage.”

Read | Lion Air was rated seven stars, upgraded to top safety tier in June

“He had told me to get ready for a party for his homecoming. We were all anxiously waiting for his arrival on Diwali and to complete our biannual trip,” says Manvi. “The couple was already planning a trip to Maneshwar in Uttarakhand upon their arrival to India,” adds Rohit Singh, another friend at the Express.

Manvi, who considered Bhavye as her brother, says she was also waiting to celebrate Bhai Dooj with him next week. “He loved motichoor ke laddoo from Haldirams. He had a younger sister and also treated me like one,” she adds.

The pilot’s friends knew his passion for driving. “He had an immense love for driving. He would always ensure that he was the man behind the wheels and wouldn’t allow anyone to take over the vehicle,” says Rohit, showing photographs of their trip together to Pushkar in Rajasthan.

“Although Garima and I have been friends for years, my relationship with her husband was equally strong. Last year, he had gifted me with a drum set on my birthday. He was a gem,” he adds.

Bhavye’s Linkedin profile states he had been working at Lion Air since March 2011. He got his pilot licence from Bel Air International in 2009.

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