Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Lost Kid

There is this kid probably 5 years old. Bright eyes, chubby cheeks, smiling face. Wearing clean white shirt, nicely ironed brown half pants, shiny black shoes with the shoe laces beautifully tied as flower petals. Small white and brown striped tie around his neck. Carrying a heavy rectangle shaped school bag, with the two click-clack buttons to open the bag. Inside the bag is his empty lunch box, homework notebooks on one side and books on the other side, nicely arranged. Holding a red colored small water bottle with red strips. Swinging the bottle, he walks. Lost in his own world, smiling and amused at everything he sees on the road, unaware of the cobwebs of the world. He is returning from his school to his home. The sincere most kid one can think of. Finishes his homework on time, eats when his mom thinks he would be hungry, he does not know what is hunger. This is the same street he walks back home from school every day but he still looks at everything with same amusement. Walking through the same narrow streets, soiled road, filled with people, everyone thrice his size, he navigates through legs of strangers. Food and vegetable vendors on both side of the street, shouting as much as their lungs can support to attract possible customers. There are red apples, shiny and reflecting sun’s ray. Another vendor selling guava, the smell attracts him. On the other side of the road is the samosa vendor, taking out hot samosas out of the kadahi, hot oil dripping from it. His small smiley face looks at everything with big eyes. He is smiling and walking, thinking of nothing. Probably he doesn’t know yet that people believe there should be a reason to be happy. He is always happy.

He bumps into a stranger and fells down. His chain of thoughts breaks. He looks up and sees a complete stranger giving a stern look back at him. He rises quickly and run away from the scary stranger. He looks around, the street does not seem familiar to him. He gets confused, runs to the next intersection on street. No, this also does not look familiar. He runs to the next intersection, the water bottle swinging from his shoulder, hitting him on both sides of his waist but he does not feel the pain. The next street is also not familiar. He stands in the middle of the road and starts thinking where he might have taken wrong turn. But he could not figure it out. He decides to run back in the direction he came back from, in hope of backtracking his path. He is a smart kid. The street is still crowded, the vendors are still shouting, oil dripping samosas are still there. But he sees nothing, he smells nothing. All he can hear is gibberish noises. He feels like every eye is watching him. He runs faster. But the street seems to be not going anywhere as if he has been running but he is not moving forward, as if someone is holding him back. He starts panting. He stops running and stand in middle of the street and looks around. All eyes seem to be looking at him. He gets scared. He cannot let people know that he is lost. What if they stole him and take him away from his family? The thought of family moistens his eyes. He looks around for any familiar face, but sees none. He tries to keep calm but he finds it hard. He runs one last time. In a random direction. People around him staring him more now. He runs faster. He is on verge of letting his tears loose. But he cannot let them know he is lost. He feels pain in his chest. He is sweating and really tired. 

He stops running. He looks around one last time to see any familiar face. But there is none. He thinks is he lost? He has never been this scared in his life. He feels weird pain in his belly. He doesn’t understand what it is. He is confused. He prays god to send someone from his family to find him. With all hope he can muster, he looks around once more but sees no one but unfamiliar crowd. He is still trying to hide from people that he is lost but the cloud of tears forms in his eyes. Images of everyone in his family flashes in front of his eyes. He feels restless looking at his mother’s face. He mumbles maa. But all the images vanish. He gets the thought that he will never see those faces again. The thought makes something between his chest pound heavily. He cannot breathe. He opens his mouth to gasp air. It doesn’t help. 

He is lost, he accepts it. He is never going to see his family again. He looks up no more. He loses his last hope. He stands still, motionless, his mind blank, he loses all the emotions at once but sadness. It’s pure sadness. But he still does not cry. He cannot let people around him know he is lost. But he is disheartened. He is never going back home. 

Suddenly he hears a sweet voice calling his name. Everything around him stands still. There is no sound but the one which called his name. He looks up and he sees her. She has no clue that he is lost but one look at his face and she understands everything. Her heart feels his pain and unconsciously she comes on her knees on the soil road, spreading her arm and calling his name again. He just runs. He does not know the feeling. He does not know anything. There is no one around but her. And he just runs into her arms. He let himself loose and cries. Tears trickling from his big eyes moistening his chubby red cheeks. He says nothing nor he feels like saying anything because he knows that she understood everything. He just cries tears of happiness.