For nearly half a century, Sajid Tungal’s relatives believed he died in a plane crash. Sajid Tungal, who recently turned 70, left his father’s house in Kerala, India, when he was 22 years old. He chose to start a new life in the United Arab Emirates, away from his parents, four sisters, and three brothers. According to The National News, the man settled in Abu Dhabi and became involved in creative activities such as organizing screenings of Malayalam films and performances by Indian singers and dancers.
Sajid accompanied a group of touring artists for ten days in October 1976, and on a flight from Bombay to Madras, he was involved in a plane crash when one of the engines caught fire, and the plane fell and crashed. Rescuers were unable to find any of the 95 passengers and crew members on board alive. Sajid’s family had to accept the fact that he would never return home.
They were unaware that their relative had not died. He moved to Bombay (modern-day Mumbai) in 1982 and has remained there ever since.It was extremely difficult for Sajid to achieve the level of income he had in Abu Dhabi in Bombay. He attempted but failed to conduct business. To survive, the man took any job he could get, even if it was low-paying. Sajid had no intention of returning home or even informing his relatives about himself because he did not want to disappoint them.
“I didn’t call my family because I felt like a failure.” I told everyone that I was going to the Emirates to become wealthy, but this did not happen. Then I tried my luck in Bombay, but I was back at square one. So 45 years have passed,” the Indian says. Sajid’s friend moved him to an evangelical missionary shelter in 2019 after learning that he was alive but ill and living in poverty.
For the past 20 years, its leader, Pastor K. M. Filip, has been reuniting missing people with their families. He attempted to assist the new ward, but he refused to discuss his family for more than two years. According to the pastor, Sajid suffered from a variety of psychological disorders, including depression, which he succumbed to following the plane crash. He suffered from alcoholism and a constant sense of guilt.
This year, the situation has progressed from a standstill. Sajid mentioned relatives in a conversation with the pastor, and the shelter’s social worker, who was in Kerala on business, decided to check the information at the local mosque. Tungal’s family was known to the imam, who escorted the caseworker to their home. The news that Sajid was alive shocked his relatives. His father passed away many years ago, but his mother, who just turned 91, was able to wait for her son.
Soon after, Sajid received a video call and saw his family for the first time in 45 years. It was revealed that Sajid would be taken over by his brother Mohammed Kunju soon. According to the man, neither he nor his siblings have ever forgotten their parents’ firstborn child.
Mohammed flew to Abu Dhabi after the plane crash in the hopes of finding his brother. Passers-by shook their heads when he showed them his picture. Sajid’s father, too, hoped that his son would return. He left a will in which he left the same plots of land to all of his sons, including the “deceased.”