BANGALORE: Geethalakshmi’s mother Kasturi wishes she could stop the clock to when she spoke to her nine-year-old daugther the last on Monday evening.
“She told me she was heading for home the next day and that she was looking forward to going to school after the holidays”, says Kasturi, her voice choking. She swallows and through her tears, whispers, “She was supposed to come home to us.”
The last call that Geetha made to her parents was around 4.30 pm, less than four hours before she slipped and fell into the storm water drain.
The next call from Bangalore was answered by her husband Shankar. He was expecting to hear his daughter’s voice but was shell-shocked when his father T K Murthy broke the news to him. The family immediately set out from their home town Virudachalam in Cuddalore and arrived in Bangalore at 7 am on Tuesday.
Geetha’s parents were reluctant to send Geetha to Bangalore. Geethalakshmi visited Bangalore at least once a year during the summer vacations, but this time, she wanted to spend Dasara here as well.
“She was so adamant about coming here that on September 27, she fought and refused to eat the whole day unless she was allowed to go,” Murthy recalls.
His eyes well up as he recalls, “I told them I would get her and that was when her parents agreed to send her here. I went to Cuddalore and brought her the next day,” he said.
After spending nearly 10 days in the city, Geethalakshmi was to return home on Tuesday or Wednesday. “All her belongings were packed. We were only worried that there may be trouble on Tuesday on the way to Tamil Nadu. In that case, we were planning to leave on Thursday,” Murthy said.
But none of it was to be.
While Kasturi sits alone in the shade of a shop beside the storm water drain, her in-laws sit on the opposite side of the drain, desperately hoping that Geetha will be found.