Little did the relatives of Anita Datar, the 41-year-old Indian-American aid worker killed in the Mali hotel massacre, realise that her visit to the family in Pune in March this year would prove to be the last.
"As she left the city (Pune being hometown of her parents who migrated to the US in the sixties) after staying with us along with her eight-year-old son (Rohan) in March this year, she told us she would return to visit us after three years. It was not to be. It proved to be her last visit," Anita's uncle Kishore Datar told reporters.
Both Anita and her son were cheerful and in good spirits during their stay in Pune, he said.
"She was highly qualified, but wore her scholarship lightly and was humble. She loved music," said her aunt Ajnali, who is still trying to come to terms with the shocking news.
Anita, who worked in the field of healthcare and education for an international development firm, was among the 19 victims of terrorist attackers at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali. More than 100 people were taken hostage. The rampage came a week after at least 130 people were killed in Paris by terrorists.
She's the only American known to have died in the attack. A former Peace Corp worker in Senegal, Datar was in Mali on an international development project.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had on Sunday said that the killing of Anita Datar, the lone American citizen who died in the terrorist attack in Mali, should deepen America's resolve to lead the world to meet the threat posed by radical jihadism.