Hope is still alive for three families
Chintan's father had come to Pune along with his wife after learning that he had gone missing.
The advertising professional had completed his schooling from Vadodara and had got an engineering degree from Vadodara-based Parul Institute of Engineering before moving to Pune to obtain a degree in media communication from Symbiosis Institute.
Even after Chintan's body was found, the hopes of Asad Qureshi ó Sahil's father ó are still alive. He was praying as he waited in his private vehicle as the police and NDRF conducted search operations in Neera river. "I have been accompanying the search teams. Though there's no news of the remaining three, we hope they are fine," he said.
"Had I come down for Diwali, he would not have gone for the trip. I should have,'' said Qureshi, a businessman and a retired state transport manager from Ujjain. He said his wife Seema, a school teacher, is not yet aware of the details of the case. "My younger brother and brother-in-law are with me. Had Sahil told me about the trip, I would have stopped him,'' he said.
He had last spoken to Sahil on October 31 and told him that he and his wife planned to visit him for Diwali. "But when he said he had some plans, we dropped the idea," said Qureshi.
After completing his engineering, Sahil had come to Pune to do an MBA in advertising. "A topper, he wanted to pursue a career in advertising and after completing his course at Symbiosis College, he got a campus selection. He was so good at his job that he got an increment in a year's time,'' he added.
Sahil's parents had visited his house in Pimple Saudagar and were satisfied that he was staying with his colleagues, and his college friends from Ujjain were also staying in and around Pune.
One of his closest friends said Sahil was a quiet and focused person, who was the "teacher" in their group. "We used to turn to him with our queries. Our close-knit group of 11 friends, who passed out from a private engineering college in Ujjain, met regularly. Had we known about the trip, we would have asked him not to travel at night,'' he said, adding that Sahil was a topper in college. "He was witty and suited for advertising.''
Ironically, the Facebook profile of Sahil mentions him attending the Bacardi NH 7 with Pranav and Chintan, stating "Happiness level: over 9000".