Hundreds of people lined the streets to accord a hero’s welcome to US Ambassador to India Richard Rahul Verma, who visited his ancestral home in Jalandhar, after nearly four decades, on Thursday. Residents and relatives showered rose petals, distributed sweets and beat the dhol to mark his return.
Clad in a greyish-blue suit and looking surprised by the huge welcome, Verma (47) made his way through the narrow street, where there was a near stampede when he alighted from his vehicle, before being greeted by Shankuntala Devi, a distant maternal grandmother, his maternal uncle Anil Kumar, a Punjab Police employee and several other relatives and residents.
He spent nearly 20 to 25 minutes in his maternal grand mother Maya Devi’s house which he had last visited as a boy in 1974. He interacted with the present occupants of house. He reportedly told the family that he still had memories of the house from his visit in 1974, when he had spent nearly two months here.
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Richards’ parents — father K D Verma of Apra village in Jalandhar and mother Gayatri Devi of Chayam Mohalla, had migrated to Canada around 50 years ago. Richard was born there but later migrated to US.