Updated: Jun 8, 2020
Finally the day has come. The dream of living as a family. I can't wait for the big day, or the night, no, it's gonna be early morning. My dad is going to take us with him. We can be a family. Lots of things to do together. These were few of the thoughts that were bubbling in my head. I was ten years old. My mom was praising me on how I persuaded my dad not to run away during the parole and now it's paying off. I couldn't have been happier. I was on cloud nine. Everything was packed and I was unable to go to sleep. I had to be awake. I have to see him in front of our broken home which is waiting for his arrival to rebuild itself. The street light illuminated a little of our house where I was standing, looking at the sky through the broken wall. The sky was empty and I couldn't find the moon. But the sky was bright, very bright.
"I hope I will be able to see more stars there", I thought to myself. I was imagining how others will look at us and how proud I can walk in front of my friends with my dad. They will be intimidated and they will be jealous. I couldn't wait to see the look on their faces, so I imagined and played the scenario again and again in my head till the last drop of my energy was drained. My mom was pampering me to go to sleep, but I couldn't. I was full of life like never before. I still remember how I was singing a song that roughly translates like this.
Oh banyan tree! Oh peepal tree!
I am going away from this place
Oh neem tree! Oh tamarind tree!
I am going to live with my sweet sweet dad
That's a song from a movie. I was singing these verses over and over until my mom told me that it might give a hint to the others that we are leaving which could be dangerous to my dad. I stopped singing right away. I convinced myself to go and sleep because mom told me that a good sleep means that I can be awake throughout the journey with my dad. What else did I want then? I went to sleep right away.
My mom loves my dad so much that she will do anything for him and she was doing everything for him. She abandoned her own family for him. She didn't sleep that night to make sure that everything was alright. She believed that from now on dad will take on the responsibility of the home and she can be a normal housewife like everybody else. She will have a husband who will take care of the family financially and mentally. I imagined all sorts of things that I will do with my dad like walking with him, eating with him, playing with him, dancing and singing for him, watching cricket, playing cards, sleeping together under a fan, and so on. I was overwhelmed knowing that I am going to get everything I wanted within a few moments. It appeared as if time stopped moving and I couldn't wait any longer. Finally somehow I dozed off.
I don't remember how I woke up. Mom was looking tensed. I was scary. Every time I see my mom like this, it means something terrible has happened because mostly she made sure that I never get to know any problems or complications that we might have to face. So, if she is serious in front of me that means the magnitude of the problem is very high. My baby sister was crying and my mom was trying to calm her down. My sister was nearly one year old.
I asked mom if dad has come. She said yes and now he went to meet his brothers. I was furious. I got angry at her for not waking me up when he came. Mom told me that he will be back soon and we can leave. It was around 1 am. Everything was quiet. Then dad came. He was accompanied by two men. One of them is a butcher and the other one is a prison escapee. I remembered him. He had visited us once before. He came to our house to get a gun. He also taught me how to use grids to draw a fox, well he took more than an hour just to draw the head.
We loaded the car with the luggage. I had two mouth organs with me which I bought for one rupee each. One was for me and the other was for my dad. I wanted to use it as horn while going in the car. I wanted to sit in the front with my dad, but he told me to sit behind so that the two of his friends can sit with him. Also, mom wouldn't be comfortable sitting near other men, which of course I didn't understand then but I obeyed my dad. The car was moving and everything was still silent. The silence was so loud and it was suffocating me. I could see my mom controlling her anger. Little did I know that a great event was going to unfold in front of me.
.........To be continued