Funeral for plane crash victim held in Toronto

mother_mourns.jpg.size.xxlarge.promoA well-attended funeral service was held yesterday in Toronto for 31 year –old Ravindran Arulandar who died last week in a plane crash.

The pilot of the Cessna aircraft, 25 year-old Logesh Lakshmikanthan will have a funeral in India.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) confirmed the plane went down last Tuesday in Algonquian Provincial Park after running out of fuel.

Arulanander received a diploma in airline ticketing from the International Airlines Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka in 2000, reported the Toronto Sun.

In Canada, Arulanandar held a variety of jobs, including as a part-time court interpreter, translating statements from Tamil to English, and security officer, added a report from the Toronto Star.

 

Plane crash victim remembered as ‘funny entertainer’ who was ‘intrigued’ by the air

Three dozen people gathered on Sunday for the funeral of Ravindran Arulanandar, killed in Tuesday’s plane crash in Algonquin Provincial Park.

Ravindran Arulanandar was, as one cousin put it, “intrigued” by the air.

“It was all about flying, flying, flying,” said Prasanna Radhakrishnan.

Flying would ultimately claim the 31-year-old’s life. Arulanandar, known socially as Ravi, was one of two people killed in Tuesday’s plane crash in a densely forested area of Algonquin Provincial Park.

On Sunday, three dozen people gathered at a Scarborough funeral home to remember a man described as a funny entertainer, who was deeply passionate about music and bodybuilding and who aspired to be a pilot.

Arulanandar was the sole passenger in a Cessna 150 that had taken off from Toronto Buttonville Municipal Airport on Tuesday for a round-trip flight to Quebec. The pilot, Logesh Lakshmikanthan, 25, a close friend of Arulanandar’s, contacted air traffic control around 8:30 p.m., saying he found himself disoriented in the clouds.

The plane came down about an hour later, killing both men. The OPP and Transportation Safety Board confirmed the aircraft ran out of fuel. Lakshmikanthan’s funeral will be held in India.

Close relatives were noticeably composed for much of the two-hour Hindu ceremony. Arulanandar’s mother, Kalyani, sat on the ground with Arulanandar’s brother, Manojkumar, sister Priya and sister-in-law Sarojini, as priest Kumar Satha chanted and burned incense.

Less than a metre away, in an open casket, lay Arulanandar, his body covered in roses and garlands. At his feet, a few of his favourite things: whey protein, representing his exercise habits, and a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses, left by a cousin.

Arulanandar lived at home in North York with his mother. His brother, who has a young son, and sister reside outside of the province, but there was no shortage of cousins in Toronto to keep Arulanandar company.

“We’re all going to miss him. He was part of the gang,” said cousin Shanjeev Sivaraj. “He was always the life of the party.”

“Among us, he was older, but at heart, he was the younger one,” added another cousin, Praveena Radhakrishnan.

Born in Sri Lanka, Arulanandar arrived in Canada in 2003. His cousins said he was a versatile musician who played in several bands. He drew inspiration from Michael Jackson for music, and from Arnold Schwarzenegger for bodybuilding.

Arulanandar held a variety of jobs, including as a part-time court interpreter, translating statements from Tamil to English, and security officer.

He met Lakshmikanthan through mutual friends about two years ago. The 25-year-old wanted to log more hours of flight time, and Arulanandar was always eager to accompany his friend, going up in the sky with him about twice a month.

His last contact with his family was when he sent a photo of the Ottawa airport to a cousin Tuesday evening, just hours before the crash.

At Sunday’s funeral, relatives were quiet as Arulanandar’s mother, brother and sister circled his body several times, sprinkling water, dropping flower petals and holding a candle at his feet, the smoke swirling around the body.

At one point, Manojkumar, clad in all white, gazed intently at a photo near the casket, showing Arulanandar, in sunglasses and a blue T-shirt, with the city in the background. There was a faint sound of weeping as a stoic Kalyani approached the casket with a tissue and carefully wiped away the water trickling down her youngest son’s face.

It was only at the very end that the tears came. As Manojkumar began circling the casket with a cracked coconut, the water pouring down on his late brother, the family knew the service had come to an end and that the casket would soon be closed.

Kalyani wailed, crying out for her son, as numerous relatives huddled in an effort to comfort her. Manojkumar had to be pulled away and brought to the back of the room.

Within minutes, the casket was sealed and the family made their way to the crematorium. All that remained were the flower petals on the floor.

With files from Diana Hall and Katherine DeClerq