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Fiji Time: 6:21 AM on Sunday 20 April

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Grandma's love for fishing turns into nightmare

Nanise Loanakadavu
Friday, July 05, 2013

Vijendra Prasad begged his 68-year-old mother-in-law on Wednesday morning not to be part of the fishing trip because of her health condition and the unfavourable weather condition.

But Sarla Devi's love for fishing turned into a nightmare for the family when she did not return alive on the same day.

Ms Devi accompanied two other people on an early morning fishing trip when the boat they were travelling in capsized in the Vunivadra waters outside Nadawa.

The mother of five usually fished at the Nabukalou Creek and along the Suva seawall.

However, her plan changed when she received a phone call from 53-year-old Montatau Akanisi on Wednesday morning asking her if she wanted to join her.

She last spoke to her 17-year-old granddaughter Rani Kumar on that same morning asking her to arrange for a date for the family prayer meeting to take place.

When The Fiji Times team visited the family home at a settlement in Laqere, the family had gathered around the family's corrugated iron home while Ms Devi's husband Chandar Bali, 75, was standing at the corner of the house weeping.

One of his son's Gyan Bali said despite being frustrated, the memories of his mother was all he had.

"First we were told that the boat has capsized and my mother was alive. We asked to pick her bag from Babasiga in Nepani," Mr Bali said.

However, he said their hopes were shattered when Ms Akanisi's husband Mohammed Hussain informed him that his mother did not make it.

"She loved fishing. That was one of her hobby but I was half-an-hour late to stop her from going to this fishing trip. I could have stopped her if I was there on time."

A post-mortem examination will be carried out today. The family is preparing for Ms Devi's funeral tomorrow.