Mumbai: At a time when the rich tapestry of family ties are slowly disintegrating, here comes a heart-warming and yet a heart-stopping tale of a five-year-old. The little girl ran away from home and undertook a solitary train journey across six railway stations from Mulund to Vidyavihar, just so she could see her grandmother.
Selvia Muttu Thevar, a resident of Indira Nagar, Mulund (W), came back home from her kindergarten on Tuesday afternoon. Aching to meet her granny, she repeatedly requested her mother Laxmi to be taken to her house in Sion for a visit. Laxmi, however, was in no mood to oblige, and scolded little Selvia, telling her to prepare for her tuition class, which was scheduled to start from 3 pm the same day.
Little Miss Sunshine
Disgruntled, Selvia slipped out of her house and turned to her uncle Ganesh Thevar for help. She reached his house in the same chawl, only to find him immersed in his afternoon siesta. Selvia shook him out of his nap and requested Ganesh to accompany her on the trip. Angry at having been woken up, Ganesh slapped her and sent her off.
An enraged Selvia threatened to make the trip by herself, but Ganesh ignored her, sure that it was just the tot's fury speaking. Selvia stomped off and didn't stop till she reached Mulund station.
Negotiating her way to platform number 2 as she had done on many occasions with her mom, she hopped onto a train, happy that she would meet her grandmother at last. Dressed in white, she clutched a thermocol box that was her sole possession as she journeyed far away from home.
Noticing the child travelling all by herself, women in the compartment asked Selvia where her mother was. Little Selvia obligingly complained about her mother's regular chidings to her fellow passengers in Tamil, all of which was lost on the Hindi-speaking women. They handed her over to a female police constable on duty in the coach. By this time, the train was approaching Vidyavihar station, where the constable dismounted and then took Selvia back to the Mulund railway police station.
While Selvia's little adventure unfolded, her parents realised that their daughter was missing, as she hadn't been spotted for over an hour. They were relieved when they received a phone call from the Mulund railway police station. It was only when they spotted Selvia at the station with the cops that it dawned on them that she had run away from home.
"We scold her because she doesn't take interest in her studies," said Laxmi.
Datta Pabale, railway police officer, Kurla, said, "The child could have met with an accident. Children whose parents are not traced are sent to remand homes."