Mrunal Manmay Dash

Tears of happiness rolled down Arati’s cheeks when she saw her husband Jatindra back at home after a decade. It has been 10 years since Jatindra had gone missing. Arati’s perpetual wait was finally over on the eve of Savitri Amavasya (Thursday) when she got back her ‘Satyaban’.

This is a story of sheer determination and an unflinching hope of a modern-day Sabitri (Arati) who never had an iota of doubt that her husband would return home one day.

Jatindra Behera, a native of Chhendipada in Angul, had a happy family until he went missing in 2013 just after the birthday of his daughter. Jatindra was mentally unwell, so his sudden disappearance left the family members worried. A frantic search was launched and a complaint was lodged with the police, but to no avail.

As time passed by, the family and neighbours began to lose their hope, but not Aarati. She never lost her hope and had faith in the presiding deity of the village to which she regularly visited and prayed for her husband’s return. It finally paid off.

Jatindra’s mother Jashoda Behera said, “We searched for him a lot. Urged the police to help too, but my son could not be traced.”

As per reports, after leaving Chhendipada, Jatindra had gone to Madhya Pradesh and worked at a dhaba in Satna. After 10 years, an Odia truck driver met him at the dhaba and persuaded him to return home. Jatindra wrote a letter to his wife and conveyed his whereabouts after which the flicker of hope that was still kept alive by Arati, was reignited and she went on into an overdrive.

She contacted the police and they facilitated Jatindra’s return who arrived at Angul with the help of another truck driver from Uttar Pradesh just a day before Sabitri Amavasya.

“He (Jatindra) sent an SOS himself following which we sought the help of Chhendipada police. A truck driver from Uttar Pradesh helped us a lot,” said an overjoyed Arati trying hard to hold her tears from rolling down her moistened eyes.

Speaking to OTV, Jatindra said, “I am very happy to see my family. My children have grown big. I will never leave them again.”

Arati’s joy knew no bounds as after keeping fast for the last 10 Sabitri Vrats, she could finally observe her 11th Sabitri Puja in the presence of her ‘Satyaban’.

“This is the proof that hope is a good thing and one should never lose it. The Lord has helped her and made her happy. And there cannot be a happier occasion than Sabitri Puja to get back her husband,” said the local Sarpanch.

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