A journey of a lifetime

Caralise Mascarenhas and family

With youngsters getting stuck away from home during the recent lockdowns, some parents decided to go pick up their children themselves.

Among those who went the extra mile were Caralise Mascarenhas’ parents. Mascarenhas was in Mumbai when the lockdown happened. “I was with family, but I wanted to get home to my parents. In fact, I booked a flight and it turned out to be the day of the first Janta Curfew, so my flight got cancelled. I was stuck. I had no idea when I would go home,” she recalls. In May, when road travel was allowed, her dad decided to drive to Mumbai to pick her up. “Obviously I did not want that. It was too risk,” she says. Instead they decided that she would come to the border and her parents would pick her up from there.

“I was trying to get my brother to come alone but they were adamant that they would come,” she says. After a lot of running around applying for permits, getting doctors’ certificates and finding a taxi, everything was ready.

“I travelled with a friend. Miraculously we didn’t get stopped much by cops,” she says.

The hard part came when they reached the Goa border. “My parents had already reached the border. They had brought two cars just in case we were not allowed to interact with them,” she says. “Once we finished our paperwork and were assigned to a residency we were made to sit in the car. As my parents started to walk towards me the cops stopped them and told me I would not be able to meet them at all. My parents kept the key in the car itself and left.”

In the car, her mother had packed a meal, blankets, soaps, etc, for the stay at the residency. “We were stuck at the border for three hours after which we were taken to the hospital, tested and again stuck for two hours. When we finally left the hospital and since the cops had to assist us, we were made to drive till Bicholim to drop another traveller to his residency after which they assisted us to Old Goa. So, the food really saved us,” she says. And the blankets too came in handy at the residency in Old Goa. “The risks my parents took to get me home safe is only a glimpse of what they would do for me and my brothers. I am so blessed to have the most wonderful parents.”

Musician Jarryd Rodrigues also found himself stuck alone in Mumbai when the lockdown happened. Although he didn’t mind being indoors in the beginning, after a couple of months, being alone, got to him. “I was happy to be getting all this time to practice my music but a big part of me also wanted to be home, especially during this crisis. My parents also realised this,” he says. Rodrigues’ dad thus decided to drive to Mumbai and get him.

“I was initially against it as he wasn’t just putting himself at risk of getting the virus, but also it was going to be very tiring for him to come all the way down alone to Mumbai and then drive back. But being the adamant yet selfless and loving person that he is, he’d already made up his mind,” he says.

Fortunately, he says, the journey was smooth. “This is all thanks to mama who took care of all the formalities, and also our food and sanitary needs so that we didn’t have to stop anywhere. Mothers are truly the head of the house!” he says.

“I’m so glad and grateful to them for going out of their way to get me back home and to safety,” he says, while sending a message to his parents: “What you’ve done for me has assured me that love has no limits.”