Geeta, 23 (Indore)
Returned from Pakistan
In two months, eight sets of parents have come forward claiming that Geeta is their daughter. The speech-and-hearing-impaired 23-year-old who returned from Pakistan amidst much fanfare doesn’t let that affect her at her new — and what is meant to be temporary — home in Indore.
Geeta had strayed into Pakistan onboard the Samjhauta Express that crosses the border at Attari in Punjab. She landed in Karachi, and spent 15 years there before the release of super-hit Bajrangi Bhaijaan, themed on a lost Pakistani girl in India, kindled interest in her case.
One of the things that has helped Geeta settle down at the Deaf Bilingual Academy at Indore is the skein of common culture that joins the two countries. The other is the things, many of them gifts, that she brought with her from Pakistan:
Idols of Krishna, Shiva, Durga
She had been adopted by Bilquees Edhi of the Edhi Foundation in Pakistan. The Hindu friends of Bilquees gave Geeta these idols when they realised she was a Hindu. Along with the idols, she brought along a copper incense stick holder and a bell, and she uses these while praying twice a day.
She did not bring these for herself, she explains using sign language, but for actor Salman Khan, whom she is dying to meet. Many expect the Bajrangi Bhaijan star to come meet her sooner or later. Monica Punjabi Varma of the academy says the dry fruits have started to lose their “quality” but Geeta has not lost her hope of meeting the actor. She does not eat or let others eat the dry fruits.
A make-up kit
Geeta brought along some cases of foundation cream that she skillfully applies on herself as well as teaches other inmates how to use, Varma smiles. “Geeta prefers light make-up and avoids dark lipstick. She is very fashion-conscious and aware of her looks, particularly as she knows she is often on TV.”
She got along many stitched and unstitched dresses. Used to wearing long-sleeve clothes, Geeta avoids sleeveless or short-sleeved ones.
A gold pendant
Bearing her name Geeta, the pendant was made for her by her foster family when she was to leave for India. Along with her gold bracelet and earrings, the pendant is one of her most cherished possessions.