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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tamanna's family rejoices Summer Special

CHENNAI: The second floor of no 10 Gaffur Street in Royapettah, the residence of Syed Ahmed, resounded with happy laughter on Thursday evening after nine days of frantic search and nights of panic and grief. His five-year-old child, Tamanna Ahmed, who went missing at Marina Beach on May 11 was finally rescued on Thursday morning. It was an emotional moment for the entire family as Tamanna was spotted coming up the street in her mother's arms. Her cousins, who could barely contain their excitement came rushing up the stairs to announce to the elders, "Tammu's coming, Tammu's coming!"

As Tamanna reached the porch of her house, still clad in the same green dress that she wore on the day she went missing, she was enveloped into tight hugs by her aunts and uncles. Next it was the turn of her maternal grandmother, Mumtaz Begum who sobbed with relief as she took her grand daughter into her arms. Tamanna laughed delightedly as her paternal grandmother, Fahimunissa swung a bowl of turmeric water and one raw egg in circular motions in front of her grand daughter to ward off the evil eye.

Sweet boxes were broken open as everybody in the family hugged and shouted out "Mubarak!" to each other. When Tamanna's father, Syed Ahmed entered the house, Fahimunissa popped a sweet into his mouth and pulled him into a rib-cracking bear hug as mother and son shared an emotional moment. "I have seven sons," she told TOI, grinning broadly. "And if the brothers had not stayed together and helped in a situation like this, this triumph would not have happened."

"I am just glad she's ok," said Ahmed, the relief obvious in his voice. "After being away for over nine days, we were imagining the worst. But she's fine. Medical check ups reveal nothing untoward. Thank God for that!"

"Believe it or not," he added, "when we met her today in the morning after all these days, the first sentence that she spoke was to ask my wife how her back pain was. I can't believe that she still remembers it after all this."

Hasina sank onto the cushions, exhausted but happy after a harrowing week. Happiest of all was Tamanna's twin brother Rihan, who had missed his sister sorely in the past week.

A round of hugs by all the little cousins and grandmothers and then a hot bath was run for her. Twenty minutes later, Tamanna came out, scrubbed and clean, wearing fresh clothes, a candy in her mouth and a broad smile on her face. "For now, the city police commissioner told us to let her relax completely for the next few days and not question her about what happened during this period. He thinks, as children they might drop in a word or two and we could later gently ask her and find out," said Ahmed quietly, watching his daughter playing with her cousins.

But all grim thoughts were put away this evening as the entire family talked of a feast to celebrate being complete once again.

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