Lost And Found
Lost And Found11 mins 376 11 mins 376
This incident happened a long time ago. I distinctly remember that I was ten years old at that time, and I had gone to visit my father in Chicago. Apparently, he went there for some training for a year, as far as I know. My mother and I boarded the long, exhausting flight to Chicago and I was more than excited to see my father after such a long time. The flight was eighteen hours long, but I did not feel as exhausted and tired as compared to my mother. At last, we reached Chicago and we were on our way out of the airport. My father was living in a rented apartment, and it took quite some time to find the address he sent on my mother’s phone.
Finally, we found the apartment and stood before a brownish-black, decent looking door, where on the other side would be my lovely father. Knock, knock, knock, “open the door, Kumar! We’ve come all the way from India to see you!”, my mother told him. My dad opened the door, and first of all said, “hello, it’s so good to see you both after a long time! I felt like it was almost a year!”, he said tersely carrying me in his arms. “It has been a year daddy”, I told him. He then hugged me and my mother, and then the three of us shared a moment. “I have a surprise for you”, my father told me handing me the cutest little teddy bear I had ever seen. I loved the teddy bear and just kept cuddling the cutie.
We then went inside the small house, slept the entire day and woke up in the morning. We were so tired, that my father had a tough time cajoling us out of bed. We were going sight-seeing that day on a cruise! “How wonderful it would be to be on a ship on the water!”, I thought. It had been my first ever cruise and I was excited. After the cruise, we went to a fancy restaurant for lunch and I ate nearly two full burgers! I was wondering what we would do tomorrow, and so I asked my dad. “Tomorrow we leave Chicago, honey suckle”, he told me. But I wasn’t quite in the mood to leave the wonderful place. I had hopes of going to New York as well. But no chance of that now. We went back to the apartment, slept for a while as my father told us to do so (as the flight would again tire us out), then ate dinner and slept sound. The next morning, my father woke me up at 5 o’clock, and got me dressed up to go to the airport. I carried a backpack (in it was the small cute teddy, some biscuits, my passport, and my iPad), and we soon rushed off to catch our 8 o’clock flight. Luckily, there was less traffic and we made it to the airport on time.
We finished our baggage check-in and went to the immigration. This was where it all started. There was a small girl in the next column, who looked just like me; her hair, her dress, even her backpack! We looked just like twins! And just when we finished immigration, my twin grabbed my hand, and swapped places with me! My parents were taking the wrong child! I was crestfallen and desperately wanted to go back to my parents, but the girl’s parents held my hand so tightly that my fingers felt numb. The airport was crowded and noisy and no one heard my cries. I did not know what to do now.
I had no clue where the girl’s parents were taking me. But I wondered quite some time - “why did she swap places with me?”. I had no clue and was baffled. Surely something was up. I then went to the security check with my fake parents. “Give me your passport!”, the mother demanded of me. I got so frightened by her scream, I nearly started crying taking out the passport. She didn’t seem to bother if I was even her child or not! The security lady looked aghast at my passport. “How can this be possible? How can your daughter’s passport be Indian, and yours be British? But my fake mother did not care and gave the lady a pretty good excuse (I assumed it was good as the security lady let us through). She handed me my passport back and then we were on our way to the plane. We then boarded the flight to England, and I was so anxious about my parents. Did they realise that we had swapped? Did they know they were having the wrong child? I still did not have an answer. I was seated in the window seat and I calculated the time; it was seven hours from Chicago to London.
The entire flight I was contemplating a plan to get away from my fake parents. In the middle of the flight however, I heard my fake mother telling my fake father, “which orphanage dear? Kelly’s or Smith’s? “What were they talking about? What orphanage?”, I wondered. I then speculated a smart theory, which I assumed was the only plausible explanation for all this turmoil. The parents were sending the girl to an orphanage. But she did not want to go there. She then saw me in the immigration line and got her chance. She swapped places with me so that she wouldn’t have to go to the orphanage. Yes, I was sure of it. I suddenly pitied the girl. How can a parent send their child like that to an orphanage? They probably did not love her at all. How sad she would feel!
I then took sympathy off my mind, and put into it a clever plan. Just as the flight was nearing its destination, I told my fake mother that I needed to use the restroom. She let me use the restroom but asked me why I carried my bag. I told her I had tissues in it, in case the bathroom toilet was not clean. Before she asked me a question I rushed not to the restroom, but to the farthest exit which would open once the plane landed. I would then quickly run out and would never have to face my fake parents again. This was my plan so far. “Attention everyone, please fasten your seat belts. The flight is about to land”, came the announcement. An air hostess was just about to come to me, but fortunately, someone was calling her. The flight landed and as soon as the exit opened I ran out.
Now I was perplexed. I had so far been successful with my plan, but what next? How on earth would I reach my parents, who were probably on the flight to India? I had no clue. I then went through the lines and made my way out of the airport. I then went and sat on a bench, just outside the airport and opened my bag to take my teddy out. It seemed to me the only thing which would make me happy at that moment. But when I held my teddy, I noticed something quite strange on its bow-tie - a cylinder with a red, flickering button on top. Beep, beep, beep “This is the GPS indicator. Please activate location by tapping button twice”, the cylinder read. Relief hit my mind. If I set the location, my parents would be able to locate me! They must be having a GPS tracker or something. As per the instructions, I tapped the red button twice and set the location to “London”. Meanwhile at the airport.......” Oh, where is she! Where is she, Kumar?! We’re in India and we have NO clue where she is! mom told my dad. “I don’t know but what are we supposed to do with this, this child?”, he replied.
“Wait a minute, oh yes I’m a genius, I’ve got an idea! Good thing I went to the dollar store”, he said grinning. “Oh, what is your idea?”, mom asked again. For this dad replied, “I bought a GPS tracker and a GPS indicator. The tracker I have it with me, and the indicator is on the teddy bear I gifted her”. My mother was relieved. She further asked how it worked, and dad explained it all to her.” It seems she’s found out about it because she’s set the location to someplace. But the tracker is so tiny I can’t read it at all”, dad said. Mom took the tracker from dad and read the location, it was “London” she told him. When they reached London, it would tell them exactly where she was. Not wasting a further second, dad and mom rushed back to the ticket counter (with the other child of course, for they hoped to return her back to her real parents). After long lines and security, they made their way into the long, nine-hour flight.
“How did they get swapped in the first place?”, my mother wondered. The poor girl sitting next to her felt quite guilty for separating parent and child. Mom felt she was hungry, and gave her a bar of chocolate to eat and some orange juice. The girl happily ate it. At last, after nine hours, they reached London and exited the flight. The girl came along with them. After everything was over at the airport, they came out and dad used the GPS tracker. “It shows that she’s somewhere on Parker Avenue. It’s best we take a taxi over there”, dad told mom. They went towards a yellow coloured taxi and knocked on the window. “No ride now! I’m tired”, the haughty driver shouted. They then went towards many taxis but their drivers told the same.
It was a free day, meaning no ride. “what bad luck”, mom thought. At last, they decided to walk to Parker Avenue which was four kilometres away. It was far, but they had no choice. They kept following the GPS tracker to Parker avenue. At this time, I was near an old pizza shop, which recently became a cafe, one month ago. I looked side to side in a hope that I would see my parents. I knew they were using the GPS tracker to find me. But if today was a taxi free day, would that mean they had to walk four kilometres! That was too far away. I decided to help them and moved to a location two kilometres away, closer to the airport - Mark street. “She’s not in Parker Avenue anymore! She’s now in Mark street- only two kilometres away!”, dad said. They had so far traveled half a kilometre, so only one and a half kilometres remaining. I had reached Mark street by then (I was pretty fast and good at walking through traffic) and again looked around to find my parents. They had also reached Mark street now. I kept looking around, and stopped when I saw a pink shawl and leather jacket. It was my parents! They found me with the help of the GPS tracker! I went towards them and they ran towards me. I hugged them like I had not been with them forever, and the three of us shared a moment. We were reunited at last!
Through the small gap between my parents however, I saw my twin. She had both a guilty and sad look on her face. Now she had no one to look after her. I pitied her. It was so unfair for any parent to do that to their child! It was beyond unfair, it was cruel and mean! I then asked my parents if we could take her home to India, and look after her. “Of course!”, they both said together. “Well you know what that means, don’t you kiddo?”, my mom asked. “It means you have a new twin sister!”. We both looked at each other and hugged. Mom was right. Everything between us was the exact same - our looks, our ages, our birthdays etc. But I still did not know one thing - my sister's name! “Mia”, she replied exultantly. I could see happiness trickling down her eyebrows. We all then went to the airport and boarded the flight once again. It had been my third flight, and I was fatigued.
I longed to go home, show my room to Mia, introduce her to school- so many things like I said. After the interminable flight, we reached Mumbai. We finished our work at the airport and then got into a Ola cab to go home. Mia peered out of the window. “Everything looks so different compared to London”, she told me. I told her that I would teach her all Indian customs bit by bit every day. Sooner or later, Mia got quite used to India and its beautiful customs. She enjoyed the amazing food and loved going to school with me. Two years, which seemed only like two minutes passed away and we became twelve years old. My mom, dad, Mia and I have always been happy and will always continue to be a happy life long.