Mumtaz was rudely shaken at the reaction of Sameer, who was not known to be so angry and uncharitable earlier. She never imagined him to be so mean and selfish. Even in her wild dreams!
“My home is not a shelter for destitutes. Throw the fellow out at once!” - She was dumb-founded as Sameer flared up.
“The old man appears to be suffering from the alzhiemer’s and strayed away from his home. I brought him home on humanitarian grounds. I could not inform you as you were out of station. He will go away once I find his people,” She tried to explain- rather, pleaded.
Sameer was unrelenting. “This is my home, and my writ shall prevail!” he said bluntly. “Send the bugger away, whatever”.
‘My home!’... Really?!- Mumtaz wondered. ‘Do I not have any say, if not a right, on it? When would he realize that I was his better-half, and life-partner??’ she mused.
A week ago Mumtaz had found an aged man moving aimlessly in the street, and appearing to be lost. He was around 75, fair and frail, and well-dressed. Something told her that he was not normal. When asked, he was unable to tell his name even. He seemed to be suffering from the alzheimer’s disease. He was father-like, and she could not leave him there unconcerned. She brought him home. Even with her persistent questioning, she was unable to extract his details. He would seem to be lost in his own world. She had placed advertisements with his photograph in the local newspapers and on the TV. No one responded till date.
Sameer returned only the previous night from his tour. This was the reaction when Mumtaz briefed him about the old man.
“I am again leaving for Mumbai this evening for a couple of days. I don’t want to see the fellow here when I return - lest, you too shall have to leave along with him!” Sameer warned her and left for office.
Mumtaz was quite stunned… They were married for 2 years now. Sameer was working in a private airlines, and Mumtaz, in a Corporate office as HR Manager. They were both young and yet to have kids. They were quote well-off and could easily take care of an unfortunate old man for a few days. Mumtaz was greatly upset at the insensitive and unseemly attitude of Sameer. It was but male-chauvinism, she thought. She was unable to digest.
After brooding over it, she resolved not to abandon the old man, come what may, and was prepared to face the consequences - including leaving home, if need be.
The sudden visit of Mumtaz’s best friend, Lathika, lifted her moods. Lathika was working in the local UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) Centre. Mumtaz told her friend about her predicament.
Initially, Lathika looked astonished, and then brooded seriously over the problem.
She suddenly got up and said, “Okay, Mumtaz! Come with me. Bring the old man along”.
Lathika took them to an *Aadhaar Enrolment Centre. Even as Mumtaz watched in awe, she personally supervised enrolment of the old man, recording of his iris, etc. She had suddenly let out an amusing cry startling Mumtaz.
The next few moments were ecstatic. The man was found to be already enrolled for Aadhaar earlier! His particulars along with his photograph appeared on the screen.
His name was Hiren Chatterjee, and he belonged to Kolkatta.
The next few hours were very exciting. Hiren’s people were contacted through police.
His son, a businessman, arrived by next flight along with his wife. He said they were on a visit to the city a few days ago, and that his father who was suffering from alzhiemer’s was found to be missing. He lodged a complaint with the police after his search proved futile and left. Somehow the police missed Mumtaz’s advertisements. Hiren’s people thanked Mumtaz profusely and took him away.
She felt immensely happy. The elderly man could be united with his family, at last. And surprisingly, what the police could not do - the Aadhaar Identity did...!!
“Wonderful!” exclaimed Mumtaz. “Really I did not know that the Aadhaar could also unite the lost persons with their families!”
She congratulated Lathika for her thoughtful act, and expressed her gratitude for saving her marriage!
(Aadhaar is a unique identity introduced by the Indian Government for its citizens)