“Welcome, master.” Kaka smiled and hugged me.
“I’m home, kaka. ” I smiled.
As I breathed in those walls, those rooms, I knew how beautiful homecoming is. Underrated but beautiful.
” Here’s your room, just as you left it. ” Kaka left me with my happy memories, going to school, stepping into teenage, first kiss, first draft and many more.
I stepped into the room and suddenly the air tighten, as if the room shrank. I knew why. There was an old picture of my mother holding the 5 year old me in her arms, smiling at the camera, at the moment.
I had regained my appetite and headed towards the kitchen, found Kaki preparing my favorite. She kissed my forehead and asked me to wait. I had my lunch, the same taste, I chuckled at how teary I was.
I stepped into my father’s room and found the late lord of this land, still prevailed in each wall. The room was filled with daunting memories of my childhood, from getting beaten for bad results to the morning after carnival night…
“Baba?” I called out to him hearing loud thuds in his room. As I walk past several male members of our community outraged by something.
” Go back to your room.” He thundered.
” Baba what happened? Where’s Maa?” My voice starting to sound shrill.
“We are finding the answer to same question!” His eyes fierce.
” Little master, come with me.” Kaka picked me up and took me to my room.
“I don’t understand Kaka, I need to see maa.” I was teary eyed and was trying to fathom what baba just said.
“She is not home right now. She’ll be home soon.” I saw Kaki hiding beneath the veils.
“When?” Kaka didn’t answer. It was too soon to realize what had suddenly happened to my family.
“Soon…” He hugged me tightly.
For the next whole week search for my mother became the primary objective of our village. Baba even asked help of neighbouring villages.
I missed my mom and all I could hold onto was my Baba, sometimes I thought I was his anchor as well.
“Why would a lady abandon her own family? Her 6 year old son?” I heard women speak.
That’s when I learnt the word Abandon. I didn’t know what it meant, but I thought the meaning was a long time away…
A long time..
I returned for one specific reason.
Kaka had news on my mom. My mother who abandoned her family.
“Kaka, did you find maa?” I hadn’t spoken the word maa in a long time, it felt like a lifetime.
“This came in the mail a week ago.”
“To my son,
Meet me at The Carnival, near merry-go-round a week from now. “
I held that letter and my heartbeat paced as if I had seen a ghost.
“Today. You have to go today.” Kaka cupped my hands.
I headed straight to the carnival….