After losing her ten-month-old grandson at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) on October 4 last year, Ranjana Mahat has been relentlessly looking for the child, making rounds of railway stations every day in hope of finding him again. The pious woman has also visited numerous pilgrimage sites across the country to pray to the powers that be to reunite her with her grandson.
The infant, christened Sagar, was stolen from CST when Mahat was about to board a train to Uttar Pradesh. “I went to Tirupati Balaji, Haridwar, twice to Shirdi, Vaishno Devi and have been making rounds of most of the local train stations. I have not been to my home in Vasai since the day I lost my grandson, whom we had christened Sagar. My babu used to stay with me since the day his father Anil left him with me. Sagar was around 10 months when he was stolen. By now he must be 15-months-old,” said Mahat.
Mahat, a vendor who sold utensils in exchange of clothes, has stopped working since that day. “I used to sell old clothes which I got in exchange of utensils in Chor Bazaar, but since the day I lost my Babu, I have stopped business. A woman who was wearing a red saree stole him. Since that day I keep checking faces of women wearing red sarees and carrying a baby,” said Mahat.
Mahat wanders from station to station all day, and spends nights on local stations as well. As soon as she wakes in the morning, she goes to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and enquires with the police about her grandson. Mahat is 60 years old, and cannot see clearly at night. On that fateful day in October, Mahat had left her Vasai home after a row with her daughter, intending to catch a train to Uttar Pradesh on her way to Nepal, where her husband lives.
“I was going to Uttar Pradesh and then to Nepal. When I was waiting at the station that night, a woman wearing a red saree stole the baby. Before I could catch her, she managed to flee. The police did not help me catch her, and they are still trying to avoid me,” said Mahat. “My mother has not returned home and she has been blaming herself for losing my baby,” said Anil, Mahat’s son.