BENGALURU: At an age when acquaintances can be found on social media with just the names, a woman had to wait until she was 31 years old to meet her close family members, including her mother and brother.
Jyothi met her family for the first time last week after a saga involving many failed searches by both parties. Jyothi’s parents had been staying in Mumbai in 1986. After her birth, Jyothi stayed with her aunt, uncle and grandmother in Bengaluru. Owing to financial constraints, Jyothi and her parents couldn’t visit each other. But they kept in touch for a few years via letters.
Within a short period of time, Jyothi’s uncle stopped working at the factory where the letters were sent while Jyothi’s parents also moved from Mumbai to Gujarat. Coupled with a bit of miscommunication, this led to both parties not having each other’s addresses. They did try to find each other but in vain.
In 2005, Jyothi married Suresh Kumar, who also made efforts to trace his in-laws. “I would hear her pine for her parents and older sister, whom she had last seen when she was just a few months old. I tried my best to find them too through my friends in Mumbai using old photographs, but couldn’t,” he said.
The breakthrough came when Jyothi’s younger brother visited Bengaluru for work in December and was told by his mother to find Jyothi.
After searching in the city for a few days, and almost on the verge of giving up to return to Mumbai, he ran into Jyothi’s former neighbour in Peenya, who finally put him in touch with Jyothi.
“When my brother called me, I felt both joy and sadness. It is sad that we can’t speak to each other as we don’t speak any common language, but I’m ecstatic that I have finally found my family,” she said.
In a cruel twist of fate, Jyothi couldn’t meet her dad as he died five months ago.
On Jyothi’s birthday on February 1, her husband Suresh organised a celebration and called all of her family members. Jyothi’s mother Radha Naidu said, “I can’t believe I found her. Although I had given up hope, I would still pray to God for a miracle.”