Hyderabad: Friends say it is not only in the Facebook selfies and other pictures that Devasish Basu is looking cheerful and full of life. He was like that in real life, cheerful, lively, generous, and that is why, they say, everyone was asking: how is it possible, he made us smile and laugh, how can he be no more?
Devasish who was among the 24 engineering students washed away after the dam gates were unexpectedly opened on the Beas river in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. Devasish's father is proud of his son for saving others.
At the church in Abids where the last tributes were being paid, one account after another revealed what he had meant to his friends and family.
"He always made everyone smile. He changed my life and my friend's life. I can never forget him," a close friend said and added, "He would never let anyone feel alone lonely. He was like that. Thank you Devasish for everything!''
Devasish had posted on Facebook, "No matter what comes, we stand together as one" and "Friends Forever".
True to his words, he went in and saved at least three friends before being swallowed by the waters.
Robin Bose, Devasish's father, says he and his wife are very proud of their son. "For the goodwill that God gave him to reach out to others. We are proud of our son."
Even as the family tried to keep their poise and dignity, it was but natural that the farewell brought out tears. The mother couldn't let go of her Chintu, who never wanted to see tears in her eyes. But the tears came, and along with that, the resolve to fight for justice.
The father thanked everyone who had helped in the rescue operations but he was unwilling to spare the college management. "The college will not be spared. All 24 of us will form a club and approach the High Court for redressal. The college misguided us. They can take students on a fun tour but they cannot lie to us. How can three faculty members take care of 60 students? The bus stopped at an unauthorised and unscheduled place. College is solely responsible. Dam authorities did not take our children on tour. The college did."
Prathik, a childhood friend of Devasish, recalls how they had been friends for over seven years and how Devasish was always there for him. "He was my 3 am friend".