Forty years on, a family unites from three countries

This is a true story of a Grand Reunion of a son, mother and sister separated 40 years ago; the real story of Kisan Upadhyay, Umoti Devi and Maya Devi, reunited at a television show in Assam, India.

They were in three different countries, namely, US, Nepal and India.

When a close friend shared with me the story, I thought of making it known to the rest of the world.

I was connected with Kisan through Facebook, Skype and Gtalk. He tried to find his mother for the past 25 years but with no success.

He contacted Rajen Choudhary, a police officer in Assam and narrated his story to a news channel.

“I was put in a tea stall by my aunt where I washed dishes and served tea as a child. I got sick, was fired from my job, and began to beg on the streets of Kathmandu. Someone admitted me to a hospital as I had an attack of pneumonia,” Kisan said.

Orphanage to US

Three months later, he was taken to an orphanage. He worked hard, obtained a degree and was taken to the US by an American missionary.

“I completed a Computer Engineering degree and was employed at the Duke University as an IT specialist. I married Pam, an American and continued to search for my mother and sister,” he said.

He embarked on success on August 14 last year, when Kisan met Jayanti Devi and Balram Sharma, related to his mother through the news channel.

Two days later, he traced his sister Maya in a remote village at the Bahadur Tea Estate garden in Assam. Married to a cook, she was then a mother of three children.

His next effort was to locate their mother.

Umoti Devi was finally spotted in a remote village, six hours from Kathmandu. Old and weak, she was managing a small shop. She was convinced to come to Kathmandu for the grand reunion on live television.

She told Kisan she had lost her eyesight but was elated to find her son.

“I want to be with you for the rest of my life. Will you come and take me?” she asked on television.

“I did not abandon my children but my husband forced me to do so. He had two other wives and all of them ill-treated me,” she said.

Grand reunion

There were tears of joy as the reunion ended with a solid pledge from Kisan that he would be in Assam soon and that Umoti would also be brought from Kathmandu to Guwahati for live reunion of a mother and son.

Kisan received help from many friends in his search, especially the police officer Choudhary, Deepak Wagle, the News Channel News Live.

Kisan and his wife flew to India to meet his mother and his sister. Since then, he has also located his stepmother, great aunt, three (paternal and maternal) half-brothers.

Vir is an International Writer and a speaker. He writes regularly for Australia, US, Europe, Fiji, magazines and newspapers. Email:

The above is an edited version of the story that appeared in ‘The Jet Newspaper’ of Fiji, reproduced here with the kind permission of its editor Shalendra Prasad.

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