78-year-old Ramachandran Nair and his wife Ambujakshi living in Kerala’s Pattambi received a court summons last week; in the name of their son Muraleedharan (Murali), in this article which appeared in the news minute originally.
Instead of being unhappy that their son was involved in a legal tangle, the elderly couple were ecstatic.
They had last seen Murali in 1999, their son who was twenty-years-old then had cut off all ties with the family.
The court summons was the first clue in years and the couple decided to track down their son.
Nair was working in Andhra Pradesh University’s mess till 1999 and as he came back to Kerala post retirement, he managed to get a job for his son in the university. But a war of words split the family, with the son never coming back home.
Armed with the court summons, relatives of the couple went to the Ernakulam magistrate court. Court officials directed them to the Ernakulam North police station that had registered the case. “I was told that Murali was working in a restaurant near the station. He has been involved in a skirmish and was brought to the station. When the police asked him for permanent address, he gave his parents’ address,” said Manikandan, the relative who had gone in search of Murali.
Murali is now 37 years old; it’s been 17 years since he saw his parents and sibling. Though they were living just 130 kms away, he had been sceptical of reaching out to his parents.
When Manikandan connected him on phone to his parents, it was an emotional moment for the entire family.
“I returned to Ernakulam after quitting my job. I was scared father would punish me and yell at me. I worked as hostel staff for eight years, later joined as a waiter in a restaurant,” Murali told The News Minute.
Nair said he was pained to hear that his son was toiling away, earning just Rs 50 as daily wages.
“We are financially stable, we own land and do agriculture. Still my son lived in poverty for 17 years,” Nair said.
Nair cannot believe that for all these years Murali was living so close to him. “When he went incommunicado, we searched a lot for him. I am old now and have always been scared that I would die without meeting him,” Nair told TNM.