Kuala Lumpur: One year after the mysterious MH370 plane accident, the grieving family of an Indian-origin Malaysian IT professional is yet to perform the last rites for him as they find it hard to accept that they would never see their only son again.
Each time former estate worker G Subramaniam sees a plane, the 61-year-old father is choked with emotion because it brings back memories of Puspanathan who was among the 239 passengers on board MH370 on March 8 last year.
Since news of the missing aircraft made headlines a year ago, life has not been quite the same for Subramaniam and his wife A Amurathnam, who still find it hard to accept that they would never see their only son again.
With the mystery of the Beijing-bound MH370 remaining unsolved and no wreckage of the Boeing 777-200 aircraft or bodies found, the family has not performed any final rites for Puspanathan, an IT graduate and marketing manager at Petronas.
Subramaniam has not been sleeping well, has lost weight due to poor appetite and become reclusive. An avid Tamil movie fan, he has stopped going to the cinemas.
Amurathnam, also 61, refuses to hang up Puspanathan's portrait on the wall of their house in Banting.
Adding to the couple's heartache is how some neighbours have been treating them following the tragedy.
"One family in my neighbourhood who used to visit me regularly before the tragedy has stopped talking to us because they feel my family has been cursed and they fear the ill luck will befall on them," he was quoted as saying by the Star.Com.
"My biggest challenge however is trying to answer my two grandchildren because they keep asking when their father will return from work after they see other classmates being picked up by their fathers from the nursery," Subramaniam said.
Puspanathan's wife K Sridevi, 30, and their two young sons are also waiting for his return.
Subramaniam said he was the third generation in his family to work as an estate worker in Carey Island but moved to the mainland to provide his son a better education.
"I'm sad because my dream to see my son become a corporate leader has been dashed but my hope remains strong."
"Over the past seven months, the Welfare Department has been giving me RM300 (Rs 5,100) monthly. Sometimes I work part-time as a security guard when there is an opportunity to earn some extra money.
"I pray daily to the images of my departed parents and God and they have given me strength and hope," he said.
A report into missing flight MH370 today said the battery on its underwater locator beacon had expired a year before, but found no problems relating to the crew or aircraft to shed light on the cause of the disappearance last year. There were five Indian nationals among the 239 people on board.