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Cambridge doc searches for long-lost Esther akka
A rheumatologist from Kerala, settled in Cambridge, England, has launched a hunt on social media for her long-lost caretaker from Tamil Nadu, 20 years after they last met.
Both first met in Salem when Sherly Paul was studying there. She had visited Tamil Nadu twice, in 2005 and 2012, looking for her caretaker Esther Magai, but could not locate her.
“Esther had left Kottayam in 2000 to meet her husband in Chennai, after which I lost contact with her,” said Dr Sherly Paul, over the phone from England. She had put out a detailed account of her efforts to trace Esther Akka on her Facebook page.
It was in the late nineties, when Sherly was studying in a college in Salem, that she came in contact with Esther Mangai. Esther was Sherly’s neighbour who was into making and selling of thattai (a snack) for a living. Esther’s husband was working in a hotel. She had a 10-year-old son, Sujith, who was then studying in Class 5 at CSI School, Tirunelveli.
“She also had a daughter, Shubha, who died of Malaria,” recalled the doctor. “I still remember her bringing me water, walking several miles, during a summer when I was down with fever. At that time, all my friends had gone home. She used to speak and laugh loudly,” said Sherly.
“After marriage, when I was back with a child at my parents’ house, she came to take care of me. She was with me for three months. That is when she left for Madras to be with her husband after she received a call at our house. She never had a mobile phone. We used to keep in contact with her through a tailor who was our neighbour in Salem. He too seems to have lost track of her,” said Sherly.
Sherly is now trying to locate Sujith, who could be around 30, and hopes to reach his mother through him.