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Tragedy strikes on day of glory

Chittaranjan, Nov. 22: Today was supposed to be the most memorable day in Poulomi Mitra’s life… until a phone call minutes before she was supposed to receive an award in the President’s presence for academic excellence.

Poulomi was about to enter Burdwan University when her father called up to say her mother was unwell. Suspecting something was amiss, the 24-year-old took a train back to her home in Asansol, 110km away, to see that her mother was no more.

Poulomi’s mother Purnima, 54, was declared dead at the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works’ (CLW) hospital, where she was taken in the car in which she was to travel to Burdwan University to be with her daughter during her moment of glory. Purnima, doctors said, had suffered a heart attack.

Poulomi, who stood first class first in social work, had left home at 8.30am to attend the convocation that began at 12.45pm. She took a train to Burdwan town. Her parents had hired a car to go to the venue and were supposed to leave home a little later.

As Poulomi was about to enter the varsity at 11.30am, she got the call from her father.

“I told her that her mother needed to be hospitalised but there was nothing to worry. I could not tell her that her mother was no more as I wanted her to attend the programme. It was supposed to be the most memorable day of her life,” Poulomi’s father Joy Shankar, a CLW employee, said.

Poulomi said she suspected something was amiss on hearing her father’s voice.

“I rushed back to the station and took the next train to Asansol,” said Poulomi.