Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Actor's father, 75, missing after leaving home for walk

An elderly parent going missing could be anyone's nightmare — especially if the parent does not carry a cell phone and does not remember telephone numbers.

Actor Tarun Gopi, 33, has been a nervous wreck since his 75-year-old father Ponnaiah Thevar went missing three days ago. He lodged a complaint with Chennai city police commissioner S George on Monday.

Gopi said his father would usually step out of their house in Maduravoyal at 11am to visit a nearby tea shop and feed the street dogs. On Saturday, he left home at 11am, but didn't return home. None in the neighbourhood has seen him feeding the dogs since Friday. Thevar, a farmer from Kambam Koodalur near Theni had come to stay with Tarun Gopi in 2006. People in the locality knew him as the actor's father.

"He did not have too many friends, except for the ones he met at the tea shop and a nearby cycle stand. He eats out sometimes, but returns home at 5pm sharp," Tarun told TOI. The actor was shooting for the film 'Kanniyum Kalayum Semma Kadhal' in Mamallapuram and returned home at 11pm. Tarun thought his father was sleeping and went to his room. Only in the morning his mother told him about his father missing.

Tarun said he asked people in the locality, including shopkeepers and autorickshaw drivers, but none remembered seeing him. Tarun said his father used to go to the Marina beach, but of late the actor had been discouraging him from going there alone after he slept off inside a bus at Iyyappanthangal.

"He can read and write, and keeps himself updated on current affairs, but I get scared when he wanders alone," Tarun said. "As soon as my mother Annakodi told me about my father not returning, I checked with all my relatives in Puducherry and Theni. Nobody seems to know where he is."

The family is more worried since Thevar was not carrying a phone. "He cannot make a call even if he has a phone. He can only attend a call, and he doesn't remember any telephone number," the actor added.

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