On Wednesday night, just before boarding the Bangalore-Guwahati Express, Swathi Parachuri called her family and asked them to prepare her favourite food; she would see them the next afternoon after four months.
Hours later, Swathi, 24, was dead. One of the two bombs that went off in the train on Thursday morning was planted under her seat. She was killed instantly.
Last year, she had joined as assistant systems engineer at the prestigious Tata Consultancy Services and in about two months, she was to marry a close friend. On this trip home, she wanted to buy gifts for her family with her first earnings.
Swathi’s friends say she bought a “Tatkal” or last-minute ticket to board the train, which would take her to Vijayawada. There, she would have taken a bus to her hometown Guntur.
Her body was taken to Guntur late last night.
Swathi’s father Rama Rao and mother Kamakshi came to Chennai to take her body. Her younger brother is studying at the IIT-Mumbai.
Reports quoted Swathi’s friends as saying she was not meant to be on this train.
She was believed to have tried to buy a ticket for a direct train from Bangalore to Guntur, but changed her plan.
Swathi had studied electronics and computer science. Her friends said she was “very excited” about her job and her first salary on May 8.
She was described by co-workers as a soft-spoken, friendly person who was passionate about photography.
“Hold on, Pain Ends,” said her last Facebook post, describing ‘hope’ as she was about to get married.