February 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India
Stony silence at Chawla’s household
New Delhi, February 1
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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