They were meant to have the time of their lives, on a cruise, in the middle of the ocean, celebrating their wedding. Yet, for the newly married couple Meghna and Subodh Mishra, the journey turned out to be one that could have killed them.
Subodh and Meghna Mishra heading for a party aboard the liner
The couple was aboard the ill-fated Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia that slammed into rocks off the island of Giglio, killing eleven and sending scores missing.
According to Meghna, a 26 year-old financial product analyst at Nomura, they were given very mandatory safety instructions -- where to assemble in case of an emergency, how to wear the safety jacket, how to blow a whistle if they were in water and the locations of the life boats -- only on the third day of their cruise, which could prove to be dangerous had the mishap occurred in the first two days.
Every room had layout maps and two life jackets. After the accident, a visibly shattered Meghna says she cannot imagine that the cruise experience she cherished would end in such a tragedy. "I have decided no more vacations on a cruise. I cannot get over the fact that the mishap happened when we were on board. I was sure I would be a victim as I did not know how to swim," says Meghna.
The liner's captain with its officers
The couple married on November 30, and first travelled to Bahrain, before taking a connecting flight to Rome on December 3, the date when they boarded the cruise liner. The couple spent seven days on the cruise, before heading home.
Their entire package cost Rs 2.30 lakh, of which Rs 78,000 was the cost of seven days aboard Concordia. When her husband told her about their honeymoon plans, Meghna had quipped 'what if something like the Titanic happened here'. Subodh, a 26 year-old research analyst with Cirisil had dismissed her fears saying it was a big cruise and wouldn't sink.