As father departed this world, a daughter opened her eyes, utterly unaware of his demise.
When bidding farewell, a month before, Athira would never have dreamt of seeing her husband’s corpse the next time.
Nithin Chandran, a 28-year-old Keralite expatriate passed away due to cardiac arrest at Dubai on 8 June, a day before his wife gave birth to their first child. Coordinator of the Blood Donors Kerala- UAE Chapter and active member of INCAS (Indian Cultural and Arts Society), he was upfront in calling for emergency actions in regards to repatriation of pregnant women to their homelands from UAE amidst the COvid-19 situation when the lockdown was implemented in India. He and his wife were actively voicing for both the central and state government to take responsibility of the repatriation and after many attempts, they sorted to filing a petition in Supreme Court asking for the same, even as India adamantly refused to ease the lockdown to bring back the expatriates in the Middle East.
His wife was able to board the first flight under the Vande Bharat mission, which was started by India amidst the Covid to bring back stranded and vulnerable expatriates back to the country. Nithin was also given an opportunity to travel along with his wife, which he deliberately rejected. His reasoning was someone more deserving should be given the ticket.
His intention of staying back was also to facilitate the ailing people and the safety of the most vulnerable. His friends remember how even after his job hours, Nithin was found to be driving around the city distributing food packages for those affected by the pandemic. He also organized Blood Donation Drives in UAE. Even before the night of his demise, he had the list for the next blood donors drive ready. A compassionate man, Nithin is remembered for his active initiation in any social activities.
Battling with a weak heart, he never stopped his volunteering. Even as COVID-19 put people at distances, his hands were feeding the needy. Actively engaging in many social service activities in UAE his death is unbearable to many. His friends found it both hard to accept the fact and were in shock at his demise. His compassion towards fellow beings cost him a ticket to see his newborn child, for he passed away in his sleep, unaware of his child’s birth. The cause for death was reported as a massive heart attack. His body was then airlifted from Dubai to Kochi and then by road to Kozhikode.
The news of his demise was only informed to his wife after her delivery. She was apprehensive of him not responding back to her calls and only an hour before his body reached the MIMS Hospital Kozhikode, was Athira informed. Utterly shocked and depressed she wished to see him one last time. It was a heart-wrenching moment for Athira and her family as well as all those who witnessed it. Even the media reporters found it hard to talk of the incident as words stuttered at the sight of Athira approaching Nithin’s body. Amidst the pandemic, a proper and necessary protocol was followed at the hospital.
The body was then taken to Perambra, to his house where his family was given a chance to bid farewell before the funeral rituals were to take place.