A Clueless Reunion
Do all reunions have an emotional flair? I think not. I think most people are confused about the profuseness of emotions. In such moments, our sparse reasons will prove incapable of answering a multitude of emotionally charged questions. “Should I contain it?” “ What am I to do with this surge in me?” “What is wrong with me?” “This can’t be me” “Am I being watched?” “Will my mask fall off? … and a myriad of other questions! We witnessed a triumphant reunion recently. Here is where I saw a real reunion. This is that story… A reunion of a girl with her grandfather!
A phone call came in from the CWC (Child Welfare Committee). They informed us that a pregnant teenager is in their custody. Ursu was found at the Railway Station crying and wailing aloud. She was crying for her Grandfather. Among the maddening crowd of Lucknow Railway station, she had lost her grandfather. They were changing platforms to catch a train to their home in Bihar. During this transition, she landed on the wrong platform. She cried aloud, but her grandfather was long lost. She had no idea where her grandfather was and was worried that he would have entered the wrong train. However, he had boarded the right train assuming that his smart granddaughter would whisk onto the train.Only a little later did he realise that Ursu was lost. Ursu could have boarded another train, but she feared her grandfather would not have boarded the train at all. She screamed for her grandfather, without noticing the thick crowd gathering around her. This is where the Police took notice. The police thought she was abandoned by her family. When they learned that she is pregnant, they decided best to handover her to the CWC.
Ursu is a 15-year-old girl from a very interior village in Bihar. She worked as a labourer at a brick kiln in Lucknow, and was returning back to Bihar. Her grandfather accompanied her to Lucknow but was too weak to work. She was the breadwinner for the family. At Ursu’s birth, her mother passed away. Ursu is crippled on one foot, and so her father deserted her and went his own way. The kind grandfather took the baby girl in and brought her up as his own daughter. They were too poor for Ursu to go to any school and so she grew up with her grandfather, working in the fields and taking care of errands at home, at a very tender age. When Ursu’s grandfather fell sick, she took the mantle of taking care of her grandfather, working at different places. A man there in Bihar hired her to this brick kiln so that she could earn better. She could not leave her grandfather alone in Bihar. So she took him along and he lived with her in the labourer’s tented camp.
While working at the brick kiln, Ursu fell in love with another labourer in the camp. He promised to marry her.
The particular incident happened when Ursu was two months pregnant. While the railway officials were concerned, they did not know how to handle the case. The girl was eventually brought to Mekhi’s Home. When Ursu was brought to the home, she was bitterly broken. She was crying without end. She had no idea as to what was really happening. She thought she was being kept in some place. Luckily, she knew the phone number of one of her aunts. We had her talk to her aunt and through her, she came to know that her grandfather is safe at home. She could not talk to her grandfather since he didn’t own a phone and was quite far away. Further, she heard that he was seriously sick. Ursu panicked because she knew that there was no one who would take care of her grandfather.
Ursu would not trust us in the beginning. She thought she was trapped in someplace from where she could never leave. We had to continually talk to her and calm her down. She would not stop crying and she was scared. Ursu tried to jump over the walls thrice. We had to pay close attention. Two weeks passed before we got any word from her grandfather. Finally, we requested the CWC if we could take her back to her hometown in Bihar. The journey would be long and it will take a full day to her hometown. We were supposed to take complete responsibility for the girl. By this time Ursu grew comfortable with us and she understood that we care for her. She was calm and she was sure that she’s in safe hands. She also learned the value of the little life who was growing in her womb.
So the decided day had come. Three of our servitors were ready to take the young girl to Bihar. However, while they drove a little away from Lucknow. They received a call from some unknown number. It was Ursu’s grandfather who was calling from a borrowed phone. He had reached Lucknow Railway station. In fact he had reached Lucknow the previous night and he slept at the Railway station. He had decided to call us in the morning! Well, the servitors were astounded and they went straight to the railway station. There Ursu was reunited with her grandfather. He stepped into the hotel where Ursu was waiting and here was the confused reunion occurred. Ursu was confused about what to do. Both of them were so happy to see each other. But as I said, they were so clueless of their overwhelming emotions.
Ursu is now with her grandfather. She called us once informing that she is safe. We are yet to receive the news about her. She is determined to take care of the child. She doesn’t need a safe haven now. She is a strong and determined girl.