In an unusual incident, a man from Uttarakhand’s Ranikhet area of Almora district who was assumed dead by family members returned home recently. The senior citizen, aged 72, has been identified as Madho Singh Mehra. He went missing some 24 years ago after a small argument within the family. He was, at the time, 48-years-old.
But his relatives are not letting him enter the home unless a ‘naamkaran’ (naming ceremony) is conducted by the local family priest.
After waiting for nearly 10 long years, the family assumed Mehra dead and performed his last rites.
That was two decades ago. But, Mehra was, to their surprise, found in an emaciated state in a field last week. Mehra was too weak to recall how he reached his village, but the villagers said they carried him back in a palanquin.
As Mehra’s final rites were conducted by the family, a naming ceremony has been recommended by the priest so that he can be welcomed inside the home again. For the time being, a small tent has been raised in the courtyard in which Mehra can stay.
For the past 10 years, Mehra’s wife Jeewanti led the life of a widow. His children have grown; his son (who works in Delhi) and daughter are both married.
Speaking of his uncle’s return, Mehra’s 38-year-old nephew Ram Singh Mehra said that when he did not return, the family took refuge of ancestral deity and assumed him dead.
“I was a child when our uncle (Tau) Madho Singh Mehra went missing and our family looked for him and waited for 10-year in the hope of his return. When he didn’t return, our family took the refuge of our ancestral deity and asked our priest, who also acts as an oracle, about it. He declared him dead," Ram Singh told Hindustan Times.