Realising their pain, man returns to his parents after 21 years

Yunus Saleem (right) with his father Moosa Pattassery.

Yunus Saleem (right) with his father Moosa Pattassery.  

‘My daughter proved it to me how painful it would be to miss a child’

When Yunus Saleem missed his nine-year-old daughter for about half an hour after she returned from school in Jalandhar, Punjab, for the first time he realised the angst and pain of a parent.

It triggered in him a feeling of guilt that he had run away from his parents in Kerala 21 years ago.

On Wednesday, his parents living at Edayoor near Valanchery were in tears from excitement and happiness. They got back their son who had gone missing more than two decades ago. Giving one of the biggest surprises of their lives, Mr. Yunus returned to his parents after having been prodded by the missing of his daughter Muskan.

Their house at Edayoor turned abuzz with relatives, friends and neighbours pouring in to meet the ‘boy’ who had disappeared 21 years ago. His parents, Moosa and Nafeesa, had abandoned their search after several years. “There isn’t any door left that I did not knock in search of my son. But I had hopes deep inside me. Alhamdu Lillah (Thank God), he has returned to us,” said Mr. Moosa.

Mr. Yunus said guilt had haunted him throughout. “I didn’t have the courage to face my parents, until my daughter proved it to me how painful it would be to miss a child,” he said.

He even remembers the date he abandoned his home in 1999. With ₹11 in his pocket, he had left for Mangaluru. He worked briefly at Kannur and Kasaragod before boarding a train to Jammu and Kashmir. After two years in Srinagar, Mr. Yunus landed in Goa and became a magician there. For 10 years, he was in Goa.

He married beautician Sanu at Chandigarh and settled at Jalandhar, Punjab. Now, he manages own business by supplying fruit in different parts of Punjab.

When he returned in search of his parents, Mr. Yunus could not locate his old house at Pulluvampadi near Edappal. Seeing his desperation, a shop owner came to his help and got him in touch with his younger brother Siddeek, who was in the Gulf.

Mr. Yunus said he never used Malayalam after leaving home.

“I never met Malayalis.” But he has not forgotten his mother tongue. His eyes welled up each time his parents and sisters brushed him with their loving touch. “I love them. I won’t desert them again.”

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 1:00:44 PM |

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