KOCHI: A deathly silence engulfed Parakkal house at Angamaly here on Monday. The death of sisters Mary Mathai and Rosy Mathai and their sister-in-law Mary George in a road accident at Angamaly earlier in the day brought back cruel memories of similar unexpected tragedies that victimised the family.
“We feel the family is cursed with a vicious fate,” said P V Jose, a neighbour. He has reasons to believe so. Of the six children of couple Kunhipaulo and Annam Paulo, two died in separate accidents several years ago. Now, two more lost their lives to road accidents. The death of George, the fourth child, was the first in the family. George fell from a quarry around 20 years back. Five years later, his brother Jose, a tractor driver, died when a vehicle hit him while crossing the road.
“George was deaf by birth and his untimely death shocked the family. Later, Jose, the youngest, also died. Now, their sisters Mary and Rosy and George’s wife Mary have become the latest victims,” said P V Jose. Mary Mathai had been the eldest child, followed by Rosy, Omana, George, Veronica and Jose. “The trio was on its way to the church (St George Catholic Basilica) to attend the holy mass on Monday, which also coincides with the death anniversary of their mother, Annam Paulo. It is an annual routine for them. We never thought things will take such a turn,” said Jinto Parakkal, a relative.
Though he was the first relative to reach the accident spot, he had no clue about the victims until he saw the ID card of Mary Mathai. “My neighbour Naiju informed me about the accident. He didn’t know the victims. When I reached the spot, the bodies were under the bus and were unidentifiable. We realised who the victims were only after seeing Mary’s Aadhaar card,” he said.
Speeding led to mishap
Police said speeding by the bus led to the accident. “Though there was a minor mistake on the autorickshaw driver’s part while crossing the road, the severity of the mishap escalated due to reckless driving of the bus. The bus had overtaken three other buses before it rammed into the vehicle,” said an officer with Angamaly police station.
What can we do but accept it as fate, says son
Kochi: Jiju Mathai, son of Mary Mathai, is yet to recover from the shock of losing his beloved ones. “All of us were together on Sunday night at our ‘tharavad’. My mother and others were planning to pay homage at the tombs and attend Holy Mass. Since we were busy with preparing for the feast in our nearby church, we didn’t go with them in the morning. I learned about their deaths around 8am. Everyone was shocked. What can we do but accept it as fate,” said Jiju.
He said his mother, a Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act worker, had made several plans after attending the Mass. “She was planning to complete the mustering process of welfare pension and had said she would join her daily job later. She had taken all the papers, along with her ID cards, which helped people in identifying her after the accident,” he said.