The Carnival

” Where do you want to go next?”
” The merry go round please?” 

” Okay ” She smiled. 

The smile I remember from our last visit to the annual Diwali carnival in nearby village. Though a small carnival, it held a great amount of happiness, people from everywhere visited to watch the giant wheel spin and get lost in the timelessness of cotton candies and street performers. 
I was visiting my mom after a long duration of 14 years of education in the capital. For a man returning to hometown after 14 years, the smell of haystacks, the vivid greenery of cane fields and the bumps in the roads, brings a wave of nostalgia.
“Are you ready yet?”

” Wait! I’m coming!” I combed frantically and hopped on the bullock cart. 

” You seem happy.”

” Yeah, I don’t want to miss this carnival. I heard from Nawaz it’s amazing. He said it has a giant wheel! The one I saw in the movie” I said pointing up in the sky.

” But you are too young to ride in it.” 

“Maaaaa…!!” I shrieked.

” I will give you a ride in the smaller one.” She pulled me closer and hugged me. 

“Hmmm..” I was still excited to visit a carnival. 
“Here we are.”She said pointing towards the mob.

“Yay!” 

The crowd was immense. I saw people clapping for the joker, I joined in and saw a man with a big smile on his face dressed in bright yellow and had rainbow colored hairdo. I was awestruck by the sound of knives being thrown at a board by a person wearing blindfolds and the performers walking on a rope. I was filled with enthusiasm. I remember pulling my mom’s saree dragging her to stalls and rides. 

“Hello young master, care to ride in the luxurious cars?”

“Yes, Maa?” I saw my mom nodding.

“Please mister” I held my arms out while he picked me up and placed me in the seat of the toy car. The cars began moving in a circular motion. I was enthralled and I noticed my mom clapping and smile at me every time I completed the circle. 

It was the last of my best memory of her. 
 “Wait here, I’ll get you something to eat.”

” Okay.” I saw my mother walking away to the cotton candy corner right beside the merry-go-round. 

I spotted my mother frozen as if she was struck by lightning and a man approaching her. The same man I saw at merry-go-round. I noticed small talks saw my mother’s hand tighten and then I saw the man turning to me, smiling.

It all happened in 10 minutes. My mom walked towards me and gave me the candy and took my hand. 
We were home shortly. Although my mother didn’t speak much, she kept caressing me.

“How was the carnival little master?” Kaka asked.

” It was fun. Maa had fun too.” I looked at mom and she smiled. I was used to the riches of my household so I didn’t have to do anything at all. We had dinner and everything ended on a peaceful rune. 
I went to bed and slept almost instantly. 

Late at night I felt my mom kissing my forehead and footsteps departing. I thought of it as a dream

  until..

 I woke up next morning to the commotion outside. . .

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