Bilquis had flight phobia.
For her phobia, she never agreed to step onto a plane even to fly to her two sons who live in Canada.
But finally, in her late fifties, the retired teacher made a brave choice and agreed to travel to Nepal by plane.
The trip was planned after Bilquis and her husband made plans with their university friends, another retired couple, to celebrate their retirement.
It was her first and last flight indeed, said Bilquis's brother Alamgir Malek, principal of Varendra College in Rajshahi, yesterday.
Begum Hurun Nahar Bilquis Banu took self-retirement from Lalpur College in Natore a few years ago. Her husband Md Hasan Imam retired as a joint secretary from the land ministry three years back. Earlier, he had served as the deputy commissioner of Shariatpur.
Their travel partners were Md Nazrul Islam, who retired a year ago as general manager of Bangladesh Development Bank, previously known as Shilpa Bank, and his wife Akhtara Begum, a teacher of Rajshahi Women's Government College, who retired six months ago.
Both the couples knew each other since their university days when they all studied economics in Rajshahi University.
Bilquis lived with her husband in their Seroil house in Rajshahi city. The other couple lived in the city's Upashar area while their two daughters live in the capital.
Both the couples left Rajshahi on last Wednesday and boarded a US-Bangla plane at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Monday. They were scheduled to return home on March 20.
“But, they will never return now,” said Akhtara's nephew Torikul Islam, a staff in Rajshahi City Corporation.
The US-Bangla Airlines Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft, carrying 67 passengers and four crew members, crash-landed at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu at 2:18pm on Monday, killing 51 people on board.
Government sources confirmed to their families that all the four persons were killed in the plane crash.
One member from each of the families went to Nepal yesterday to identify their bodies.
Emrana Kabir Hashi, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology, is among the survivors who are now receiving treatment in Nepal.
Hashi's husband, Rokibul Hasan, a software engineer at Cefalo Bangladesh Ltd, of Chowhali upazila of Sirajganj, died in the crash.