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He was terrified, knew something was terribly wrong: Father of 24-year-old who died while trekking – The Indian Express

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“He had so many plans but fate had other plans,” said Sirajuddin Ahmed, father of 24-year-old Farhan, whose body was found in a forest valley near Lonavala on Tuesday.
Farhan, a mechanical engineer working in a robotics firm in Gurgaon, had gone missing while on a trek to Nagphani near Lonavala on May 20, and his body was retrieved from a valley on Tuesday afternoon after an operation by various emergency response teams, including the National Disaster Relief Force.
On Wednesday, 53-year-old Sirajuddin, who works in the personnel department of a prominent Delhi school, was in transit, bringing his son’s body back to Delhi to bury it after long days of frantic searching.
The family found out that he was in distress after he called a friend in Delhi on May 20 afternoon, saying that he had run out of water and suspected that he had taken a wrong route.
“The friend called up my elder son and informed him, and he immediately contacted Shiv Durga Mitra Mandal, a group of rescuers in Lonavala. We were not able to get through to Farhan’s phone after that. My son also called a friend of Farhan’s in Pune and asked him to reach Lonavala police station. He himself went down to Lonavala the next morning and I followed the next day. We were all searching – us, local people, the rescuers, police – but none of us found anything. On the 23rd, a team of rescuers from INS Shivaji also joined. Even they had no luck on that day. They found him the next day after a manual combing operation, and the NDRF retrieved his body. We found out on Tuesday morning that his body had finally been found,” he said.
For Sirajuddin, the knowledge of his son’s fear in his final hours is acute. “He was terrified when he called his friend, he knew something was terribly wrong… Among his belongings that were found with him was an English book, on the last page of which he had written, ‘Sorry mom, sorry dad, sorry bhaiya, sorry didi’,” he said.
Farhan had joined his job in Gurgaon a little over a year ago, soon after completing his B.Tech from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology. He lived in rented accommodation in Gurgaon while his family lived in Delhi.
“He was well-off financially and a happy-go-lucky boy. He was fond of trekking and had gone to Himachal Pradesh several times… His plan was to leave his job after around 6 months to go for one year of research somewhere like IISC Bangalore, and then go to Germany for his M.Tech,” he said.
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Sukrita BaruahSukrita is a correspondent primarily covering education for The Indian… read more

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