T. Noufal considers himself extremely lucky to be alive and kicking, with his previous job too under his belt now. This comes a day after he was all despair after failing to board a flight back to native Kerala.
Little did the young man know on Friday afternoon that destiny had good things in store for him when he became sad and angry after an emigration official told him at the Dubai airport he will not be able to board the Air India Express flight to Kozhikode due to a pending fine.
The aircraft crashed on landing at the Kozhikode airport on Friday evening, killing 18 persons on board.
"I was sad when I heard the officer say this to me. I did not know what to do; felt very bad. After failing to convince the officer, I returned from the airport and called up a relative to tell him that I was not coming," recalled Noufal, who had lost his job due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For a few hours thereafter, he was rolling in misery and cursing all and sundry for his 'misfortune'.
But later, when he heard the news about the crash and the tragedy, he thanked his stars for being alive.
"I had mixed emotions -- I was both sad and happy. Sad because of the tragedy and happy because I was not on the ill-fated aircraft. I do not know what all thoughts exactly went through my mind at that time," added Noufal.
And in another happy -- or lucky -- turn of events for him, he received a call from his Arab sponsor and later his company regarding his job.
"My sponsor said I can rejoin the job from which I was terminated. Soon after, I got a call from an HR Department official who asked me to rejoin," said Noufal.
Noufal recalled that relatives of two women had asked him to help them till they met their waiting relative at the Kozhikode airport in case he boarded the flight.
"One was an elderly woman. I have been told that she suffered minor injuries and will be discharged from hospital later in the day. Another was a pregnant woman travelling with her young child. I am yet to hear anything about them," the expatriate said with a tinge of sadness.
Asked when he planed to return to his hometown, he said: "Now that I am joining back at my office, I have no plan to visit Kerala at the moment."