Sunday, February 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Stony silence at Chawla’s household
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
A stony silence engulfed the 295 G P Andelkar Block, Asiad Village, here in South Delhi, the home of Mr B.L. Chawla, elder brother of space astronaut Kalpana Chawla.

Family sources said Mr Chawla first came to know of his sister’s tragic accident only through television and was alone at home during the time when his wife (Kalpana’s sister-in-law) called up from the USA to give the shocking news sometime later.

Mr Chawla, a businessman by profession, was awaiting the return of his parents later this month after Kalpana’s space mission.

Kalpana’s parents, along with her two sisters and sister-in-law (Mr B.L. Chawla’s wife), had left for the USA on January 16 to witness the launch of their daughther’s flight to the orbit from the NASA centre.

As a steady stream of visitors continued to offer their condolences, Mr Chawla himself is learnt to be maintaining a stoic silence devoid of much reaction.

“He is controlling his emotions as of now. But he is not speaking much”, a family source said.

So much so that Mr Chawla was not in a position to receive a call from the Prime Minister’s Office. “He is not in a position to speak”, a family friend said while urging the waiting newspersons to leave the family alone for the moment.


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