In a bizarre twist of fate, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight steward Sanjid Singh had swapped flights to fly on flight MH17 that crashed with 298 on board in Ukraine last night.
Just 131 days ago, his wife, also a flight stewardess, had swapped out of flight MH370 which then vanished while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
"He was last here about a month ago. He told us recently that he swapped with a colleague for the return Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flight.
"He always called us before he leaves for his trip," Sanjid's broken-hearted father Jijar Singh told The Malaysian Insider in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, this morning.
"Sanjid's wife was meant to fly on MH370 but swapped with another colleague at the last minute," he said between sobs.
The 71-year-old Jijar also said he and his wife were eager to see their only son after his latest flight, having prepared his favourite dishes.
"He was supposed to come here at noon after he returns from Amsterdam this morning. His mother had prepared all his favourite dishes," said the father of two.
Sanjid, 41, was among the 15 crew members who died in the plane crash near the village of Grabovo, in eastern Ukraine. There were 283 passengers, including three infants, on board the plane.
Jijar said his daughter in Italy who is Sanjid's older sister, had informed them of the crash about 4am (Malaysian time) although she had learnt of his death four hours earlier.
"I have undergone two heart bypasses. Our daughter waited until 4am to tell us. She dare not tell us earlier. I am 71 and she (Sanjid's mother) is 73. We are in such a state. My whole body is shivering.
"We are heartbroken because he was our only son. What to do? What has happened, has happened," he said with a trembling voice.
The former Lembaga Letrik Negara (LLN) employee said Sanjid's wife would go to Ukraine to do the necessary.
Sanjid and his family, including their seven-year-old son, live in Kuala Lumpur. – July 18, 2014.