When the heart returns, after 44 years

  • By Hindu
  • | Sunday | 14th January, 2018

Longing for homeIn Nagaland, with the help of a Tamil-speaking family, Gunasekaran got a job in a hotel. I cannot forgive myself for not being here, especially for my mother,” said Gunasekaran, barely able to hold back tears. The 58-year old man had left home 44 years ago, settling down in Nagaland, 3,000 km away from a life of poverty in Vyasarpadi. When Gunasekaran Naidu decided to come back to his family, he was surprised to find that they were delighted to see him. Later, he worked as a mason, and worked his way up to become a sub-contractor.


When Gunasekaran Naidu decided to come back to his family, he was surprised to find that they were delighted to see him. The 58-year old man had left home 44 years ago, settling down in Nagaland, 3,000 km away from a life of poverty in Vyasarpadi.

On Friday, it was an emotional reunion for him with those who remained in his family.

“We were eight siblings, but only five remain. My parents died a few years ago too. I cannot forgive myself for not being here, especially for my mother,” said Gunasekaran, barely able to hold back tears.

He used to live with his rather large family in a one room shanty in Shastri Nagar, Vyasarpadi. His father was a watchman, and mother, a homemaker who would go to Kasimedu to sell fish. He was the second of the eight siblings. Gunasekaran recalls that those were hard times, and the children did odd jobs.

“We were extremely poor and I was very angry that our condition never became better. So I decided to leave, find a job and send home money,” he said. But things turned out differently.

One night, as his family members slept, he ran to the Chennai Central, and got into the first train that arrived. It was headed to Kolkata. On arrival there, he felt helpless, since he spoke only Tamil. “I went to a temple and begged for food. Later, I got on another train that was going to Allahabad. For a month I travelled to five cities before reaching Nagaland, my current home,” he said.

Longing for home

In Nagaland, with the help of a Tamil-speaking family, Gunasekaran got a job in a hotel. Later, he worked as a mason, and worked his way up to become a sub-contractor. His family was still on his mind, though. He sent word to them from Dimapur through people going to Tamil Nadu, but they were untraceable. “I got involved in my work. I now realise that was selfish,” he said. He married a local woman and had children.

Decades passed, and there was no interaction with family. Recently, he decided to return, and look for them. “The area has developed so much, that I found it hard to locate my house,” he said.

B. Rajagopal, his elder brother, couldn’t stop hugging him. “I thought we had lost him forever. Now that he is back, I will not let him go,” he said. “I will come back soon with my wife and children,” said a smiling Gunasekaran. Stay updated with all the Chennai Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

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