It was a sunny Thursday.
The 10 year old boy was coming from school and was very happy, and why wouldn’t he be. The day was fetching so much of happiness to the young boy after a long time. He finally scored an “A” grade in Maths test, phew mom would not scold him now.
Finally his fight with best friend Kunal was over and on top of that, his daddy was coming back home from hospital. Yes! he is going to get a watch and yaeyy!, his dad would take him to zoo.
The boy entered his house, a small house wherein 12 people could bare fit in. But today, there were roughly 50-60 people. The boy was wondering why there are so many people at house today. May be Mom has called up for a big celebration as dad is coming home. The boy got happy as he was going to get his favourite sweet, Ras Malai (a traditional Indian milk made sweet).
He moved towards the room and was worried at the sight in front of him. There were ladies around his mom and his mom was hitting her hands on the wall, her bangles getting off from her hands in pieces and so her tears from her eyes.
Why would his mom do that? thinking this the boy rushed towards the mom and wanted to stop her from doing so. The boy said to his mom “Mumma, mat karo aise, aapko hath me lag jayegi (English – Mumma, please do not do this, you would hurt yourself). The boy started crying because her mother was getting hurt and he looked at women around his mother with a shock. His heart was asking “how come these women are so insensitive and why are they not stopping mother?” “Why is mother even doing this?”.
His grandfather picked him up in his arms and kissed him in cheeks. The boy got a bit relaxed and told him “Dadaji, aap mumma ko mana karo na. Agar papa ne dekha toh unko kitna bura lagega (English – Grandpa, can you please ask mom to not do this. If Dad sees her injured hands, he would feel very bad). The boy wasn’t able to understand that why his grandfather started crying. He knew that there was only 1 man who could fix everything and that was his father, hence the boy asked his grandfather to check when dad is arriving. The boy said “Dadaji, aap tension mat lo, papa ko bulao. Woh thik kar denge abhi sab kuch (English – Grandpa, please don’t worry. Call up dad, he would fix everything). His grandfather, a 65 years old guy, told him that his father would not return now. The boy got perplexed and he couldn’t understand.
Why would his father not return? Where is he? What is going on?
The boy went inside the room to see his sisters so that he can get an idea from them on this entire situation. But instead he found his uncle (dad’s younger brother). There was something different. Uncle had shaved off his hair. The boy went to his uncle and said “Chachu, yeh kya kara hai. Are apki toh hairstyle itni achi thi. Kya chachu!! (English – Uncle, what have you done with your hair. You had such a good hairstyle). He asked his chachu about his dad’s whereabouts but his uncle wasn’t able to say anything. He was sitting numb as a stone.
The boy was tired and his little brain was confused. Suddenly he saw his father’s sandals outside the gate. Suddenly, a smile flashed on his face and he realised that this all was a surprise. He started running towards the last room, his dad’s room. He was sure that he would be waiting there for him. His father was sleeping. But this was a disturbing sight. His heart and eyes couldn’t understand why there was a white sheet on his dad’s body and what those flowers are for. What is that bald man (the pundit) doing near his father?
Before he could understand anything, four men came and they took his father on their arms to perform the last rite. The last walk! The last march! The last connection between hearts! The last love! The last, the last, the last deed of this mortal word! The last ceremony! The boy started shouting, calling for his dad. The tears rolled down from his cheeks as he feared about his dad. Where are they taking him? His grandfather stopped him and asked his uncle to take care of him. He looked at them with anger and wanted them to let him go so that he could stop those men.
Dad! Dad! He shouted, but they wouldn’t stop. They didn’t stop. The boy was alone. He was crying. He was scared. He started missing his dad!.
That day was a black day in his life! That night never got over! He never went to zoo again!