His mother was throbbing her chest heavily. Her voiced cracked while conversed on phone. After the first call she dialed his father’s number, then someone and then someone else and he could feel her voice very dampened. He didn’t understand anything but realized there was something to worry. He tried to prod his mother to tell what happened but all in vain. Maybe a six year old is not supposed to know that.
In half an hours time his father reached back at home. He had never seen him so early from office other than for his birthdays. By the time his mother had wrapped herself in some old Sari of hers. There were no traits of make ups on her face this time and he wondered how the hell in such a less time she got ready to go out. He don’t remember even one instance where his father hadn’t had waited for his mother to get ready for an outing.
“What about me. I am also coming.” He tried to get in with their plan. His mother looked at him helplessly; her eyes read and teary and her nose leaking a bit. The kerchief she used was almost wet and she started to use the tip of her saree too.
“No you are not coming. Play with your grandfather and grandmother”, his father quipped. Following that, came a pat of grandmother which irritated him. He loves to be with his old grandfather who got his white mustache polished everyday, every minute: but not today. He wanted to be with his mother. But what a six year old child can do. ‘This world is that of elders’ he thought.
After some five hours they came back. He asked where they had gone. Mom didn’t say much. She went to the bathroom. Her face was swelled upon. Again, this is the first time that his mother didn’t plant a kiss after coming back from an outing. He felt bad for his cheeks. He looked up to his father. He was there talking to the elders in a very hushed voice. He remembers his father doing talks in a hushed voice whenever he wanted to give any surprise to anyone; and always it flopped big time. A smile creaked for a second and he got a feeling there is some surprise in store.
“What happened, Papa?” He went near to his father and tried to stand on his feet. He always loves doing that. His father got long legs and it is always a fun to stand on his feet cuddling his legs. He could feel his father’s long fingers passing through his silky hair. He looked up his father’s face.
“My Superman”, his father started, “your sister Priya went for a trip. She didn’t even tell anyone of us. We don’t know why she went but now you won’t have her around you to play with. She won’t be there to play ‘hide and seek’ or ‘snake ladder’ and sing rhymes to you.
She was his best sister, his maternal aunt’s daughter. Long hair, wide smile, soft cheeks, magical fingers, lengthy skirts, golden nose ring, red bangles on her both hands; he used to love her presence. She used to make him sleep in peace at nights whenever she was here. But those things won’t be there anymore. That is what his father says to him. “But why?” he asked again and again. “She might be angry with us or may be she don’t love us.” By saying that, his father got up and headed to the bedroom.
He sat there only. Where would have she gone? With whom she might have gone? Why she hadn't told anyone before going? When is she going to return back? Or where should we go to meet her again?