Tag Archives: innocence

An Excerpt From Abhaya’s Diary…. 15th April 1997

I was really excited that day. It was my brother’s first day at school. Though it was for the very first time, my mother did not help me get ready, instead it was my father who helped me put on my uniform. I like it when my father does something for me. Before that day, I had never experienced my brother sharing a single bite of his food with me. But in order to save time my mother served breakfast on the same plate and without any complain, I offered my egg to him. And without any hesitation he returned ( contrary to his nature) back the egg. My father dropped us to school.
Throughout, I was very excited. I did all my schoolwork far more sincerely than other days. Whenever, I got a little time, I thought about the morning. It filled me with excitement. My mother always taught me to share food with my brother and friends. She always said that * from me that he would learn the pleasure of giving. But that never happened. I thought school could change everything. School is really the ideal place that could change anybody. From the very first day of his school my brother learned a lot. It was fun going to school together. We could always share the food happily. No fighting anymore. I was lost in my thoughts. As a result of which I took the wrong bus for home. I got aware of it just after a while when I saw that I couldn’t see the same roads anymore but  all I could see was water and only water through the window. Our township is situated near a big canal. I realized I was moving towards a different direction, Not towards my home but somewhere else. I called upon the conductor and asked him “where is the bus going?”
He informed me that it was going towards the permanent township.

I was not panicked a bit because that was where my uncle stayed. I knew the way to* his house. At least, I was not lost. I told him where my uncle stayed but he insisted me to take out my identification card and find out my address. I told him where I stayed. The senior students in the bus panicked but I laughed at their stupidity. After all, whole of this place belonged to me, at least I wouldn’t get lost, and my heart filled with joy as I contemplated the water. I had a feeling of unrestrained, unshackled freedom. But yes I did want to get back home. I knew my mother was waiting for me at the lunch table. The conductor checked my card, and found out that I was the daughter of their “Gate Pass Madam”. My mother was quite well-known in the township. It was her responsibility to issue Gate passes to the outsiders. She was working with the “Town Administration”. Oh! It is so hard to spell! Very often, I used ask my mother, what she actually did ?, but never got a satisfactory answer. I only knew that she issued gate passes, sometime discussed the problems of the laborers and workers with my father, and if someone committed theft or robberies then they were first brought to my mother and then handed over to the police. The last thought actually added a bit more to my relief. I knew the conductor  wouldn’t offer me  chocolates and candies and I won’t be taken away to any selfish giant’s cave. After all I am the daughter of their “Gate pass madam”. He said” Wait for a while, we won’t leave you here with any * uncle. The bus will take you back to your mother’s office”.
“She is not in the office right now”, I blurted. “She is at home. This is lunch time. Drop me at my uncle’s house and then I can make a call to her.”

My words were given no importance.

Right then, right there, the gardens and fountains, all the panoramic vistas that my baby eyes could fathom… This particular township was so much better than ours. I just wanted to make a call back home but never wanted to get back so early. This break of routine was really amazing for me. I wanted to see my cousins as well. But the bus driver and conductor were so stubborn.

On my way back home, once again I could see those “water, water everywhere” scenes through the window. They dropped me at the bus stop near my house. I saw my mother and aunt standing there. My mother grabbed me at once. I could make out that she had cried a lot but was now trying to hide her tears in front of me. My aunt was crying aloud. The conductor exclaimed that I was really brave and cooperative. I was taken home. I don’t know what it was, but something strange filled my heart. Somehow I was not able to face my mother’s tear. I had never seen her cry before. At night my favorite food was cooked.Now, I really felt like crying. I wanted to hug my mother and scream but something held me back. I managed to hide my tears but it was really hard. We all sat down together to cherish a “sweet family” dinner. Despite all the bit of adventure I had enjoyed, I could feel that I was glad that at last I was back, “back to home, sweet home”, back to the warmth and safety of my mother’s arms, to the place where I could now enjoy a serene night’s sleep. And I was happy, because I could feel that everyone else was happy, happy because I was back to them, happy because to them, food tasted so much better when I was at the table. I blinked a tear, a drop of my peace and joy and felt it drop on my plate where it glistened like the costliest jewel.