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When A Child Goes Missing...


The UK media has been flooded with images and news reports of four-year old Madeline McCann, who disappeared from the Algarve, Portugal, more than three weeks ago. She was holidaying in Portugal along with her parents and twin younger siblings. On May 3, 2007, she disappeared from the family's holiday apartment at the Pria de Luz, even as her parents dined at a restaurant right opposite. They had checked in on her barely thirty minutes back.

She hasn't been seen ever since.

This is every parent's worst nightmare come to life; being a mum of a toddler myself, I cannot even begin to imagine what the poor McCanns must be going through every single second. Not a day goes by without them seeking some form of sustenance in the form of prayers and visits to sacred churches, to pray for the safe return of their daughter.

They have vowed to find their missing child at all costs. Public funds have been set up to aid in the search and celebrities like J K Rowling and Simon Cowell, amongst others, have contributed to this. The McCanns are hoping the toddler's distinct right eye, where the iris bleeds into the pupil, would prove to be a valuable tool in the search.

Here's hoping the child is returned safe and sound to her parents' soon.

Meanwhile, I came across this poignant blog, set up by friends of a desi in US who has gone missing. This is no helpless toddler; this is a man grown, who went hiking and hasn't been heard of since. But, he is still is parents' child and I am sure they are just as desperate for news of Kiran's whereabouts as the McCanns are of Madeline.

When people go missing, it somehow feels worse than death. At least with death, you get to say goodbye, you grieve for your loss and you try to pick the pieces. When a loved one goes missing, how does one bear it? There is no news of what has happened, a constant state of 'are they well? how/where/in what condition are they?' that goes through the family and friends' minds non-stop.

I once read this novel of Mary Higgins Clark, where a child is abducted and sold to a couple who cannot have children. The childless couple bring her as their own and she lacks nothing. She doesn't know she isn't biologically theirs till she is almost thirty and that too, by sheer accident. Meanwhile, her birth family goes through sheer hell - her mother's mission in life is tracing her lost daughter and she neglects her husband and older son; the parents get divorced and the brother grows up somehow, with the ghost of his missing sister constantly there. I remember reading it and thinking 'how ghastly'. The mum in me shuddered at the turmoil her family lives through.

I now hope and pray for the well being of these children, and the hundreds of missing loved ones the world over. I hope the parents' search is over soon and the children find their way back home, safe and sound.

Edited to add: I am really saddened to note that Kiran's lost his life in a freak accident while trekking in the Yosemite with friends. According to news reports, he slipped and fell into the whitewater. His body was found Tuesday, May 29, ten days after he went missing. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Madeline McCann is still missing.

Posted by DesiGirl 9:10 pm  

3 Comments:

  1. Amrita said...
    i hadnt heard about that other kid. damn, i hope both of them get back home safe although neither seems very likely :(
    Born a Libran said...
    i hope they find both kids soon...ur post showed me how much I am out of sync with the rest of the world - hadnt heard of both the kids...
    Any idea how one is born with such a distinctive eye pattern?
    Lavanya said...
    Ams:
    You were right on one count. Hope the girl comes home safe. Makes me want to grab onto P lot harder.

    born a libran:
    No idea, mate. Let's hope it proves to be an useful tracjing tool.

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