Karachi Misses You, Geeta. Come to Visit Some Day

It has been a week since Geeta moved into her new home in Indore.

The speech and hearing impaired young woman, who inadvertently crossed into Pakistan as a child and lived in Karachi for around 10 years, had flown to Delhi on the morning of October 26 and left the next day for Indore, where she now lives at the Mukh Badir Sangathan.

I accompanied Geeta on her journey across the border and witnessed live her dream. It was a homecoming she had long yearned for, one she had prayed for day in, day out, at a small temple that travelled back to India with her in a shiny blue tin trunk.

As Geeta boarded PK 272 to New Delhi, along with Bilquis Edhi, who raised her as her own, and four other members of her extended foster family, she looked back at Karachi and waved goodbye, misty eyed. With the anticipation, there was anxiety - she was leaving behind the city she had called home for the last decade and soon would be parted from the only family she had known in that time.

Glistening in the early morning sun, a gold chain with her name in a running font sat pretty around Geeta's neck; it was a gift from her "Raakhi" brother Faisal Edhi. She clutched a large bouquet almost as tall as her, in her right hand and a purple bag brimming with gifts in her left.

Geeta, dressed in a red and white salwar kameez, evidently wasn't her exuberant self. Her eyes said it all and beside her, I kept reminding her to smile.

At 5 am that morning, Geeta had been given an overwhelming send off by hundreds at Edhi Center in Tower and was now heading into the unknown. Her best friends Razia and Rubab, who she had grown up with, came to the airport to bid her farewell - it was a tearful parting.

As the crew walked through the cabin for a final check prior to take off, Geeta looked one last time out of the window at the city to which she may now never return. And as the first flight she had ever boarded rose into the skies and inclined steeply, she clutched Mrs. Edhi's hand, tight.

For Geeta, life as she knew it had changed forever.

As she pecked at her in-flight vegetarian meal and flipped through the day's papers she spotted her photographs. Geeta's return to India was a big headline for the day, for the week maybe. But what worried those of us who know her personally was the likelihood of her life being lost in translation once more when news cameras found the next big story.

Her story has been compared to the Salman Khan blockbuster Bajrangi Bhaijan and we hoped that she would get a happy ending the way Munni, the young girl in the film did.

In times as strained as these, I hope Geeta gets to visit Karachi again someday, even if only briefly. I hope the Edhi family takes up the offer of the Indian authorities and avails those promised visas to travel across the border at least once a year to meet Geeta.

Born in India, bred in Pakistan and now on a quest to reunite with the family to which she was born, Geeta is undoubtedly a daughter of the subcontinent - for whom, for once, both India and Pakistan batted on the same side.

Geeta, till we meet again, stay well, stay happy and stay blessed. Here's hoping one day I get a chance to join you for the lunch of turai ki subzi and chapati that you have promised to cook for me.

You would laugh if I told you my aunt's driver is most upset with me for returning from India without you and is threatening a sit-in outside my house if I don't manage to bring you back, somehow. He said to me in his heavily Pushto accented Urdu over the phone, today - "baji, woh humaray mulk ki beti hai".

Karachi misses you - lots of love!

(Yusra is NDTV's Pakistan correspondent doing her bit for better cross border ties one story at a time.)

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