Mangatram Saljia with wife Urmila is here in Rameswaram as a part of celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. They clubbed this trip to coincide with the wedding of his nephew Rajeev at Chennai to be held a week later. His sons Pratap and Gautam would be joining them on the day of the marriage from Udaipur.
They have a flourishing business with marble tiles and it is an ancestral business. Though Mangatram wanted his two sons to join his business, they were keen in pursuing their higher studies; Pratap has just completed his MBA and has been hired by a reputed IT company in marketing field, while Gautam is doing his final year in Engineering. Both are very well brought up. They have taken after their mother in the qualities and the personality and complexion of their father...
After reaching Chennai the couple left for Rameswaram by air till Madurai and from there by road. They both finished their sight seeing in Rameswaram and are about to depart for Madurai to board the plane.
When Mangatram had gone to settle the bills at the hotel, Urmila was busy surfing the TV channels, and she was not able to understand head or tail of what the programme was, so disinterestedly she was browsing. While doing so she saw in a channel some clippings for the Reality Dance programme .All of a sudden her eyes fell on one of the participants and she could not believe her eyes.
The girl in question had the black patches on her cheek near the right ear
exactly the same as her daughter Nandini had when she was born. For a minute she could not believe her eyes and her heart started thumping intensely. And she could hardly breathe; tears were flowing like a dam broken…
She was gasping for breath when Mangatram entered the room, ‘Chalo Urmi, get ready to leave’. He was shocked to see her and he, for a second, thought what went wrong with her. He came close to her to shake her, she jerked with a loud cry. . After pacifying her, he under stood what went wrong with her. He consoled her saying that it might be the regular sudden outburst which she gets quite often.
All thro’ the journey she was praying God to help her get her Nandini back. Nandini was the only girl child born after three generations. The happiness short lived as on the third day of her birth someone kidnapped her from the hospital just before she was to be discharged. The nurse took her saying the doctor wanted to do a check up before handing over her.
She was not the one to take it lightly. Somehow her motherly instinct told her that she was very close to her ‘lost’ daughter. Any other thing could have made her to shoo her thoughts but not in this case. She was sure how the dark patch raised the talk in the hospital at the time of Nandini’s birth. Some were worried that that may hamper her chances of a prospective groom, some the complexities it would create, and some even suggested a minor surgery to hide it .
She found out from the hotel staff the timing of the programme and decided to watch it at Chennai at any cost.
She went thro’ the news paper and after finding out the timing for the telecast, made her dear and near ones sit thro the programme to find out the girl with the’ black patch’!
Everyone was eagerly waiting to see the girl and ‘yes’, she was right. The girl in question was there and if one looked at her closely it was rest assured that she was their daughter. But how to claim her was a big question. They tried to contact the channel people to know more about the programme and the participants.
Finally they could succeed but Urmila was slightly disappointed because the programme was by girls from an orphanage. There is no way they can take the custody of her.
Suddenly, Mangatram remembered a certificate given by the hospital authorities stating that the three day old girl child born to the couple was kidnapped on the date mentioned and search would go on to find her.
Mean while Mangatram used his influence to trace the precious girl child.
Immediately, he rang up his office assistant to track the hospital record quoting the day, date and time to get a copy of the certificate to be faxed to him at Chennai. He has decided not to let this slip from his hands this time. He would leave no stone unturned to retrieve his daughter. He is not bothered about her past; all he wants is his daughter back.
His brother- in- law helped him to undergo the procedure for identification with their family lawyer and a doctor to file a case for claiming Nandini.
In the mean time Pratap and Gautam seem to be happy at the same time not quite sure of a girl at home. As true sons they helped their parents in tracking their sis.
After a lot of bureaucratic procedure, it was confirmed that she is an orphan. It was not that easy as they thought to bring her but their determination and the cooperation of the family members proved that nothing is impossible. A series of tests like DNA, Medical tests to prove her age, tracing her date of arrival, the history of her joining the orphanage etc were conducted to prove that she belonged to the Saljia’ family.
‘Cauvery’ that is how Nandini is known; is not ready to join a new family all of a sudden. She is new to the relationship of parents, brothers and being a good student in a govt. school is reluctant to face disturbance in her studies. It is not an easy job to put her with a crowd of new faces all of a sudden. It was decided by the counsellor that she needs time to first accept the fact that she no more belongs to the orphanage and has a beautiful family to take care of her. For that she should not be taken away from the place hence urmila will stay in Chennai to meet her frequently and spend time with her at the orphanage.
* * * *
After a few months Nandini opened up and spoke her mind to her mother. Urmila poured out her heart from the time of Nandini’s birth and how she took a long time to come to term with her grief!
Later one fine day, Nandini mustering courage asked Urmila, ‘You are so rich and why did you not remove the dark patch from my cheek?
‘You know how much people used to tease me for this patch’.
‘I felt so bad and sometimes they would address me as BP- for Black Patch’.
‘I have even thought of committing suicide’
Urmila hugged her and kissed her on the ‘patch.’
‘My child, I am thankful to God for the black patch,’ because of that only I could get you back’.
‘If I had operated to remove the patch, do you think I could have identified you?’
‘You would have lost a family and I ‘my Nandini’
‘Will you do that now since I have joined’, you asked Nandini with a lot of innocence.
‘Yes, of course’, chorused the father, two brothers.
Nandini covered her face out of shyness and hid behind her ‘mother’. The next day Mangatram threw a big party announcing the arrival of the JEWEL of their family Nandini. She tied the Rakhi around her brothers Pratap’s and Gautam’s wrists and the family went to Udaipur happily with a new member.
It was learnt from the orphanage that the lady who kidnapped had a different intention while doing so. She wanted to extract a huge amount from them but the enquiry conducted at the hospital left her run for her life. She was shocked because she thought the new born was a boy and the second was the black patch. These two forced her to abandon the child in a train and the child was picked up by a passenger and handed over to the Chennai police.
It is better if we do not question God’s creations!