THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Such was the strength of their friendship, that after a brief expatriate life in the barren lands in Behla, near Muscat, they flew together to their native place.
When the ambulances carrying the mortal remains of Anil Kumar, Vishnu, Prasad and Johnson crossed the Vellaikadavu bridge to the lush green village of Achath on Thursday, the crowd that had gathered by the roadside had in their memories sepia-toned images of four friends who developed their camaraderie in the native place and later cemented it by working in a construction firm near Behla, Oman.
Vishnu, who was the first among the four friends to go abroad, had relocated to Oman almost five years back. He was so concerned of the pathetic financial conditions of his friends that he decided to take them with him. He first took with him his cousin Anil Kumar and arranged a job for him.
Later, it was the chance of Prasad to cross the sea. The last one among the friends to fly abroad was Johnson, who had a tough time after returning from Saudi Arabia three years ago.
The four, who were active members of ‘Achath Brothers’, a local club, thus managed to extend their network of friendship in the desert land also.
The relatives and friends, withered down by the accidental demise, still could not believe that they had lost their friends. Many still relish the times they had shared with the four during the festival celebrations in the nearby Thampurankavu temple, when they were working in the place as masons. Anil Kumar and Johnson had actively participated in the ‘Utsavom’ ten days before the mishap.
Anil Kumar had come with a visa for Johnson, on behalf of Vishnu. The two had left for Oman three days after the festival.
”The friendship of the four was something special. They carried with them the special affinity till the last minute. Vishnu, who took all of them with him, was driving the vehicle which met with the accident,” Gireeshan, cousin of Vishnu, said.