I wish I hadn't given him the chance to fly: Ananth

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Melbourne, Sep 1: The parents of Akash Ananth, the 24-year-old Indian who died in a mid-air crash last week, are now regretting that they gave in to his demands to learn to fly.

Anantha Padmanabha and his wife, Asha, who live in Bangalore, are stunned and bewildered at the death of their only son. When Akash first asked his father if he could go to Melbourne where his cousin Dilip lives, Padmanabha had said no as they could not afford it. Then he relented, borrowing 13,000 dollars. Akash promised to repay him. "My boy wanted to achieve something with his life. And this is what he achieved," said Padmanabha.

"I gave him the chance to go. I wish I hadn't. One day he'd asked me for an i-Pod and I said no. I wish I had said no to this too. He was a nice, affectionate boy. I had a lovely time with him," The Age quoted him, as saying.

Padmanabha said he was 'proud' of Akash for crashing his plane away from nearby Cheltenham East Primary School, thereby saving many lives. "He is a hero for me," he said.

A middle-class family living on the small salary, Padmanabha earns as a marketing vice-president of a local firm, the couple has never travelled outside India and is scrambling to get to Australia, including getting a passport for Asha, to bring their son's body home.

In India, relatives and friends are still streaming into the small house where Akash grew up.

ANI

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