Indian Sajid Thungal, 70, believed to have been killed in an air disaster decades ago, was actually hiding from his family for 45 years because it was considered a failure, informs the portal LadBible. Now, he is going back to his hometown of Kottayam (Kerala state) to meet his relatives, who had already given up hope of finding him.
In 1974, the man went to work in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where he began organizing events for Indian singers and dancers. Two years later, when he was flying to the Indian city of Chennai with a group of artists, his plane suffered a plane crash after one of its engines caught fire.
All 95 people on board that Indian Airlines flight were believed to have lost their lives. However, Thungal survived but did not contact his family because he felt guilty for his life. In 1982 he moved to Bombay, where he has lived ever since. “I thought I had to make a fortune first. When I was unsuccessful in the Persian Gulf, I decided that I would try my luck in Bombay, and then I would get in touch with everyone. But here it didn’t work either. And so 45 years passed, “he said.
Two years ago, he ended up in a homeless shelter. The pastor who runs the establishment started looking for his relatives and sent a request to a mosque in Kottayam to check if his family still lived in the city. The imam knew the family and was surprised that the man was alive. Sajid’s father had long since died, but his mother was still alive, now 91 years old.
The man has already contacted his relatives through a video call, but, overwhelmed by emotion, he could barely speak. “I want to go home. If the people here hadn’t taken care of me, I would have died without reuniting with my family,” he confessed. His brother, Mohammed Kunju, plans to travel to Bombay to pick him up and take him home. According to Kunju, the family never forgot Sajid and even went to Abu Dhabi to look for it. “Now that he’s finally coming home, we’re not going to lose sight of him,” he said.