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MH370 Three Years On: “I Miss Coming Back Home To See Him Watching TV”

Maira Elizabeth Nari, daughter of MH370’s head steward, Andrew Nari, talks to us about her life three years after the tragedy.


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MH370 Three Years On: “I Miss Coming Back Home To See Him Watching TV”
Images: Maira Elizabeth Nari and The Sun
Google the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries, and you’ll get a list of places/items/strange occurrences around the world. From the Bermuda Triangle, the Lost World of Atlantis, to the Stonehenge, these unexplainable marvels will definitely pique your curiousity.

However, among all of the world’s greatest mysteries, there’s one particular unsolved incident that we’ll always be intrigued by because it’s very dear to our hearts – the disappearance of flight MH370.

We trail back to that fateful day when Malaysia Airlines MH370 vanished without a trace.

WORLD’S GREATEST MYSTERY

On 8 March 2014, Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, which was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members onboard, departed KLIA at 12.41am. The flight was bound for Beijing and scheduled to land at 6.30am, local time. However, the plane failed to show up.

Image: The Malay Mail Online
Intense search and rescue missions were carried out and investigations on this bizarre case continued day and night. We Malaysians waited anxiously for some good news. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into years but yet, the MH370 mystery still remains unsolved.

There were a lot of details to the case that didn’t add up which fueled our curiousity further. How could two passengers illegally board the plane using another person’s passport? What led to the plane’s radar transponder to be turned off? Are the authorities looking for answers in the wrong places? A million questions raced through our minds as more details and findings piled on.

The quest to find the missing jetliner was put on an indefinite halt after the authorities announced earlier this year that they are suspending the underwater search for MH370.

Last week marked the third anniversary of MH370. Nobody is saying much these days, but the incident remains as a dark history for not only Malaysians, but the whole world.

Some people may have moved on, some may have even forgotten about the incident.

Image: AFP via ABC News
But what about those family members who are still waiting to this day? Three years might seem like a blink of an eye to us, but to them, it’s a long, painful wait.

Rojak Daily spoke to Maira Elizabeth Nari, the daughter of chief steward Andrew Nari who was on board on flight MH370, to find out how she's coping three years since the incident.

Maira’s plight first came to light after she posted a series of heart-breaking tweets about her father via her Twitter account a couple of days after the flight went missing.

Her tweets not only caught the attention of the world, but also caught the attention of the Liverpool Football Club.
 
Maira told us that the three years since her father's disappearance haven't been easy, but they are doing all they can to cope with his loss.

“We’re okay. These three years, the only thing that’s different after the incident is just us trying to live our life without him.

"Although there are still times where we think of him, and just be sad the whole day about it. Then we get over it," she says.

According to Maira, the toughest days will always be birthday celebrations, festive seasons, wedding anniversaries, and of course, the day where everything changed – 8 March, which Maira calls "the worst date ever". 

MOVING ON

Maira is now 21, and she just finished her studies in mass communications and is currently working as a content and engagement executive.

Losing a family member wasn't easy for Maira. The incident has not only left a big impact on her but also changed her as a person.

These days, the littlest things will turn her into a very anxious person.

“Call me crazy, but if one of them tells me they’re sick, I’ll be sad the whole day. I’ll constantly think about them especially my mom. I know she’s getting older but I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to live without her,” she tells us.

Maira celebrating Christmas last year with mother and brother. (Image: Maira Elizabeth Nari)

One good thing that came out of the incident, Maira points out, was that she now values her family more.

“I now focus more on my family than myself. My main priority now is making my mom happy and I hope she’ll have a good life.

"And I always worry about my brother. He was 12 when the incident happened and he was very close to my father.”

HOPING FOR CLOSURE

In January, the search mission to locate MH370 was called off. For months now, there has not been any new information about the case or whether the authorities will re-open the investigation.


Some people may not know how to react to this news, while others were probably upset. 

What about Maira?

“I didn’t really feel anything after they announced it. Sorry to say, but I became heartless after what happened," she says.

"It’s very tiring to go through the same thing over, and over again. The only thing I care about now, is whether he’s dead or alive. I pray that God will always protect him and if he’s gone, may he rest in peace eternally.”

When asked about the conspiracy rumours surrounding MH370, she tells us that she didn’t believe it any of it. However, she admits that something was definitely amiss with the case.

“MH370 was HUGE, there were a lot of seats, bags, lifejackets, but none of them were seen floating let alone found. As for the flaperon? Something’s fishy about it but I can’t really seem to put my finger on it.”

REMEMBERING ANDREW NARI

Image: Maira Elizabeth Nari
Unless you're a family member, a close friend or a colleague, you may not know what Andrew is like as a person. The only thing we know is that he’s an avid Liverpool fan.

So, what was the chief steward like?

Andrew Nari poses with Datuk Lee Chong Wei(Image: The Star)
“He was quiet, but if he knows you personally and can ‘ngam’ with you, he’ll be very talkative. Although he’s a very reserved person, when he’s angry, he gets strict. And he’s very protective of me, maybe because I’m his only daughter. He’s also the best person to give advice on life and work.”

When we asked her what she misses the most about her father, she replied: "Everything.

"His look, his smile, his laugh, his smell, his voice, his cooking, his advice, him lecturing me, his presence, just everything. I miss coming back home to see him watching TV.”

REACHING OUT TO THE FAMILY MEMBERS OF MH370 VICTIMS
 

Going through testing times like these - especially an incident that's so high profile - will one way or another take a toll on someone.

Maira understands that, which is why she stresses the importance of “always being there for each other”, especially to those who have lost loved ones in the MH370 incident.

“Whether we know each other or not, I want us all to be there for one another. We’re a family now. After all, the three long years, it is still not easy. We have our days where it’ll be the saddest day, days where we just want to be left alone, and days we feel like the most pathetic person on Earth.

"I wish us all a good and healthy life. May we always be strong for ourselves, for our family and for us all together.”

Image: EPA
Before we ended the interview, Maira penned a short, heartfelt message for everyone out who was affected by the tragedy; from the victims’ families, to the Malaysians and everyone around the world who supported her and her family all these years.

“Whatever happened to us, it was unexpected. When it happened, some of us wasn’t even born yet, was a baby, was in school or college, was working, was about to retire, etc. The incident was a big shock and an eye-opening experience not only for me but to everyone else as well.”

“And because of that, we learned a lot. We learned to appreciate, to not take things or people for granted, we learned to put our family first no matter what. We learned it through one of the hardest ways.”

“Honestly, I feel sad and jealous whenever I see a complete family, especially if I see a father and daughter going out together. It really makes me miss my dad so much. Going to the airport can be a struggle for me too because it reminds me of him a lot. I’d often see bald airline crew members or strangers that resembles him.”

“I’m sharing this because I feel for those who went through the unexpected event like us. There are some people out there who tell us we’re pathetic and we should move on, but honestly, when it happens to you, you will never say or think the same again. Always enjoy your time with your loved ones. Because you’ll never know if today is your or their last day.”

“If I could turn back time, I would. There are a lot of things that I want my dad to know, and say something that I’ve never told him before. I don’t want others to go through the same thing as we did. I’d rather want to know that my parents died because of some sickness instead of dying in an accident or tragedy like a plane crash or even worse – murder. It's too painful for me.”

“I want to thank everyone who prayed for us, who’s always there for us, who cares for us, who cried together with us, and those who were kind and gave us support even when we’re strangers. Thank you so very much! I can, or we can never repay for everything that you guys have done for us," Maira tells us as she ends the interview.

Image: www.news.cn
Maira’s account on how she’s coping three years after the incident should be an inspiration for all of us.

This brave and strong young lady proved that no matter how bad it gets in life, you just have to do one thing – move along.

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