World | India

Runaway Kerala man returns home after 45 years

Sets off celebrations in neighbourhood

  • By Akhel Mathew, Correspondent
  • Published: 14:35 November 1, 2012
  • Gulf News

Thiruvananthapuram: A man who ran away from home as a teenager after his maternal uncle scolded him, returned home this week, setting off celebrations in a family and its neighbourhood near Erumely in Kottayam district in Kerala.

When Abdul Majeed decided to leave home when he was upset by his uncle’s remark, he was 17. On Tuesday, his octogenarian mother Aysha and siblings and their extended families broke into laughter and, then shed some tears of happiness, as Majeed landed in their home at Pazhayathavalam near Erumely, as a 62-year-old. A distinct point of pain was that his father, Abdul Khadar had died years ago, having waited weeks, months and years for the return of his eldest son.

Shortly after Majeed left home, he was spotted by some near Mangalore, and when that word reached his home, his family members went to Mangalore in search of him. Quite like a movie script, Majeed saw the search party but hid from them, and sent a letter home that he had seen them but was unwilling to return home. That was his first and last letter to the family.

Majeed was the eldest of 12 children and his mother regretted that the son who should have been the leader of all his siblings was missing for a heartbreaking four and a half decades. Majeed said he occasionally thought of returning home when his mother’s face came to mind, but resentment over his uncle’s remark continued to hold him back.

Majeed came to Erumely a week ago and returned, leaving word with neighbours that he would be coming this week from his workplace at Chickmangalur in Karnataka. The excited family members had many questions on their mind, including how Majeed would look like, and whether he was married. Majeed said he had never been in the right frame of mind to get married as he shuffled jobs and moved from place to place.

In the 45 years that he was away, he made four visits to his native place, without ever meeting his family members. When he finally came home this week, it was his youngest brother Noushad who received him at the bus stand. Noushad was hardly a year old when Majeed left home.

After the dream-like reunion with his family, Majeed expressed his desire to go back to his workplace at Chickmangalur. It was his present employer who advised Majeed to visit his family. There is one hitch, though: Majeed’s family members are not too sure whether they would allow him to go again.