From Mendhar to Delhi and from there to Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh Mehmood was in a world that he never knew! He could not have when this voyage in ceans of fury began!
‘In Sixteen years long journey of 18 years Mehmood must have met many characters speaking to him, that is natural but the young man perhaps knew nothing as to what they were saying but probablythose, words piled up in huge drifts within him. Mountains of phrases and sentences and connected ideas. Clever expressions, jokes and love songs. Each day was a struggle as life moved eon with each day bringing a forgettable adventure. He knew where he belonged to but never knew who to tell the same about. Even if he would have told no one would have cared as no one is interested in this materialistic world. It has to be someone of your own, could be your countryside mate who would raise his hand for you to ensure you get to where you belonged to. In Mehmood’s case the same happened’!
-‘He perhaps would not have ever been found had his mouth piece not come out with a language that someone knew when he interacted with him and thus started the social media interactions which went viral and the mentally retarded lost man (at the time he lost his way he was a young boy in mid twenties) was traced and he thus found his way back home in Mendhar’!
–‘ Mehmood is from Mendhar and was a victim of two impairments. The first was that his foot had gone blown off in a mine explosion when he was a boy and the second was that he was mentally feeble and as per his mother he was not at all stable as most of the times, his actions were incoherent but still he was a good boy. She added, ‘we had lost all hope of finding him but now we thank the almighty that he has been found and is back amongst us’. That was the destiny part of it but had the social media content and interaction not lit up the case of Mehmood he too would have been forgotten among many kids who lose their way, never to be found again. Mehmood definitely was lucky in this regard’!
‘ The man who found him posted the information in form of content from Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, that added the value and it spread with positivity as it was shared in many groups, it spread with positivity, it created a steady stream, it reached UT Jammu and Kashmir, the same created an impact in Mendhar and the man was tracked. This was yet another example of technology coming to rescue when everything else had failed and the hope of finding the lost young man had been given up by his family in the rapidity of fast moving times’!
-‘Another thing I want to tell you, your last name may not be Mehmood but I can guarantee someone is keeping up with you in case you have got lost. The Internet has made the world small but yes the content, posted is king but excellence is his queen.! In this case of this lost and found story it definitely was. Social media actually helps you to increase your level of thinking? It for sure did it in this case. The man must have reached home for good but one day in future he wiil definitely look back and recall all the time he spent in places where he had been and will ask the other family members as to how he was found? The answer would be the via mode of social media. It looks strange but it is true!
-‘ He may not remember as to what happened after he left Mendhar, but the journey started when the Indian Army sent him for treatment to New Delhi with a hope that he may get treated first for his blown up foot and secondly for the mental retardation. Perhaps they have thought that latter retarded his excellence. But from there he lost his way and now is back but one must give some credit to his courage to get over those 18 bitter years while moving about on streets, railway stations and bus stands with no one knowing him. But still he survived to find his way home. But it was all because of one good human being to whom he talked. The language, the dialect and the accent ensured that it was time to get back home for the lost boy from Mendhar!
I will tell you a story about a small boy who had got lost but he was not a mentally retarded child. He could speak well and that could make out as he seemed to be from a decent household. He could have gotten into the wrong hands but he was lucky that an army officer found him. The officer still recounts as to what the child said to him when he met him for the first time and pulled his trousers on a railway platform as if trying to say something and this is what he said, ‘from the time I was really little maybe just a few months old words were like sweet, liquid gifts, and I drank them like lemonade. I could almost taste them. They made my jumbled thoughts and feelings have substance. My parents have always blanketed me with conversation. They chattered and babbled. They verbalized and vocalized. My father sang to me. My mother whispered her strength into my ear. Every word my parents spoke to me or about me I absorbed and kept and remembered. All of them are still deep within me. The officer tried his best to trace his parents and gave advertisements in newspapers wherever he was posted to but never ever was able to locate them. The boy grew up with him and today is a doctor in Hamburg Germany where the officer finally settled after retirement. The officer has three kids, two daughters and the third is the boy he found the brother of two sisters who too are doctors. A happy joint family. Mehmood was not so lucky but was fortunate enough to get back home! Life is full of strange sequences and in the first fifty years of life he had already seen plenty of them happening with him!
-‘Mehmood back home must be saying, I have no idea how I untangled the complicated process of words and thought, but it happened quickly and naturally. By the time I was two, all my memories had words, and all my words had meanings. Perhaps he would not even remember the words he spoke to the people whom he met or what they told him in these haunting 18 years of life! But for sure they are only in his head. He perhaps does remember the place where he was born and grew up to see the fierce volatility of those years in Mendhar when he grew up only to get lost! Things have changed now and so has Mehmood!
I. His story in brief:
‘It is said that what your body looks like has nothing to do with how well your brain works! In the case of Mehmood the problem was with his brain, otherwise physically he was fine.’
It was 18 years ago when a mentally and handicapped (due to mine explosion) Mehmood from Basoni area of Mendhar was taken for treatment to a hospital (sponsored by the Indian Army) in Delhi. It was thought at that time that his disability could be cured. The gesture was great but he could not be cured. Perhaps not knowing what to do, one day perhaps he walked out of the hospital without informing anyone and went missing. Despite their best attempts the boy could not be traced. He could not have been and was lost in the sea of humanity where no one has time for any one. Days got converted into weeks, then to months and finally to years and there was no information about the boy and neither could anyone trace him. Everyone had given up on him till one day a man walked up to him in Bulandshahr and began conversing with him. It was in the preliminary conversation that the man realized that the man he was conversing with had the accent and tone of the language spoken by the people in Rajouri and Poonch Districts. The man took Mehmood along with him and kept him in his apartment. It was the Pahari lingo that started the giant wheel of tracing Mehmood’s roots and finally it was social media that did the trick as the man uploaded the information and the content on social media. The rest is history now as Mehmood is back home. This is what I call the game of freak coincidences that life plays with mankind!
Humanity is the most powerful tool, my young friends. It can connect us to memories. It can influence our mood and our responses to problems we might face. For sure this was2 one of the greatest examples of that. Maybe Mehmood was not so different from everyone else after all. It was like life gave me a puzzle, but he did not have the box with the picture on it. So he did not know what the final thing was supposed to look like. He was not even sure if he had all the pieces. But there was a piece that fitted in perfectly. The man, perhaps a representative of God was there in conversation with him and then truckloads of human beings joined the crusade to get him back home on social media. And it worked out perfectly, the puzzle of life for Mehmood had been sorted and solved. The man who traced his roots perhaps talked to him as if he knew that the lost man was just like any other student, not a kid in a wheelchair though mentally unstable. The day on which his journey back to Mendher began, the morning started out like broken glass, but the day he returned to Basoni, his house, it had turned into a crystal! Many are not lucky but perhaps Mehmood was!