GUWAHATI : In a gut-wrenching tragedy, a man, who was reunited with his family after a gap of over three decades, passed away suddenly just as his kin and the neighbourhood were celebrating the return of long-lost Haren Nath alias Nokua.
Nokua’s reunion with his family on Thursday lasted barely 24 hours, before death snatched him away. He suffered a cardiac arrest soon after taking a bath in the morning.
Hailing from Chaparmukh in central Asam’s Nagaon district,Nokua had left home in a fit of rage in the summer of 1980 after quarrelling with his wife Mongla Devi.
There was no news about him all these years forcing Mongla Devi to accept widowhood. Their two sons Dhaneswar and Dharmeswar, who were aged two and five years then, had also lost all hope. Then the miraculous reunion happened.
The news about Nakua’s reunion with his family spread like wildfire. Some chose to keep their shops shut while others stayed away from work to be part of the grand reunion that was planned.
Some people had noticed an old man, ragged and with bulging eyes, lying by the roadside near Chaparmukh on Thursday.
When asked, the man said he wanted to go home but that he did not have any money with him.
“He said he wanted to go to his village Gospara. Instantly, I recalled about my friend Dharmeswar’s father Nokua, who had been missing for a long time. Immediately, I informed the family,” said Ashok, an autorickshaw driver by profession.
After a while, Nokua was taken to his house, which was already crowded. When his sons, who are daily wage earners, reached home, they broke down. Subsequently, the reunion was planned.
“I was busy preparing rice when my daughter-in-law told me about his return. I couldn’t believe what I had heard. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh,” said Mongla Devi. “I was very angry with him. So, I asked him as to why he stayed away from us for so long. I also asked about my fault. He said it (the fault) ,” she said.
Before dying, Nokua told the family that he was living in Kohima ever since leaving home.