In yet another bizarre tale of its kind, a man who went missing years ago has returned to his village to find his wife has re-married thinking he was dead. She now wants to go back to him. Husband no. 2 has no objection.
But Purshottam Kushwaha, who strayed into Pakistan in 2003 and was jailed there, is yet to make up his mind after finding his wife Sheela Bai married to his cousin Ajab in Dongra Prayu village in Madhya Pradesh.
Ashok Nagar district collector Mukesh Gupta said Purshottam, who used to remain mentally upset, left his village for a nearby village three years ago but boarded the wrong train and ended up in far away Jammu instead.
At Jammu, the police mistook him for a Pakistani, thrashed him, and then let him go.
"In confusion, he crossed the border and Pakistani authorities arrested him," Gupta added.
When all attempts to trace the man proved futile and it was presumed that he was dead, Sheela Bai, with the consent of all family members, married her husband's cousin Ajab in 2005 - two years after Purshottam went missing.
She now has one girl child each from both husbands.
While Sheela Bai was living happily with the second husband, she received a letter written by Purshottam from a jail in Lahore in December 2004, upsetting her world.
Eventually, he was released in the last week of December 2006 and brought to his family by the police Wednesday from the Sikh holy city of Amritsar.
Seeing him back, Sheela wants to live with him.
Ajab, though "crestfallen" over the development, has no objection if she goes back to her first husband.
"I have no objection if Sheela decides to live with Purshottam. I don't have any problem in continuing my relationship with her either," Ajab informs.
However, Purshottam still has to take a decision on the matter.
Sheela Bai's saga is reminiscent of the Gudia story. Her first husband Arif, an Indian soldier, went missing in September 1999, after the India-Pakistan Kargil war.
Presuming him to be dead, she married again and was pregnant when he returned home.
Gudia returned to Arif following elders' advice but her joy was shortlived and she died during childbirth a year later.