I can't claim to be able to imagine what is going through the minds of the parents and relatives of both crew and passengers.
When he wanted to take up flying, after completing his SPM, I was neutral. Sort of. I wasn't pestering him to do it, but neither was I trying to stop him. I was leaving it entirely up to him. After all, it is his career and it has to last a lifetime, so he better choose it himself.
The risk of flying did not enter into my mind at all.
I know of someone who had hid the application form to a flying school from his son; his son had wanted to take up flying then. She was worried about the risk obviously and would prefer not to go through the agony some parents and family members are now experiencing with the loss of MH370 this morning. I can't blame her for doing that, to be honest, though I did not even come close to doing that.
In the early days, I used to wake up with him and prepare his coffee in the wee hours of the morning. In the early days, I used to monitor his flight progress on Flight Radar24.
And I used to spend hours at times at the mosque while he was flying as a trainee pilot. I would also monitor the schedules when he would land and take off as that would be the time I would intensify my prayers.
Nowadays, he leaves home by 4.30 am for his flight, while his parents are in deep slumber. On different occasions, he would only return home after midnight, after everybody has gone to sleep. I did not bother asking him of his flight schedules anymore.
While I would still pray for his safety five times a day without fail, I am resigned to the fact that his job involves certain risks. Pasrah and Redho would be the better terms to describe it. Easier said than done, I have to admit, but I am left with little choice.
He knew our doas and prayers would follow him wherever he goes. It is all in God's hand. I can't go all day, and all week worrying, I guess. It does not make sense.
I have told him, if fate have it that he would be involved in incident of this nature - God forbids, I would want him to leave as a hero and for me to be proud of him.
In the meantime, our prayers for the crew and passengers of MH370.
(However, I have to record it here that I found that rescue mission is too slow and not forthcoming. The plane was declared missing only at 0743, five hours after contact was lost. Too much time was lost by then. Where are our armies and fighter planes? Where are our SMART team? Our plane gone missing at 0240 in the morning and the first press conference at 11 am? The minister started barking at 3 pm? How pathetic our government can be? At this time and age, we must not only be doing something, but must be seen doing something, Speculation is rife due to lack of information.)