Sunday, June 23, 2013


[Plot : Day 1 ] 23.6.2013 Bhopal

"They made me feel your presence every second though they couldn't see you.
 I felt your absence every second even though I could see you"

That phone call brought tears in her already dried up eyes. No one could imagine she would cry again after the way she mourned the loss of her young son, Kunal. She looked at her husband and he knew at once that they had lost somebody close once again.

Their closest friends, Ravi and Shalini Malhotra had been reported dead and missing in the devastating floods which had hit the mountains recently. Dr Sahay's number was the only contact found from their hotel room. Both of them rushed to Delhi. Malhotra's only son, Kabeer, aged 5, was found alone in the hotel room waiting for his parents.

They brought him home. Dr Sahay knew it was a waste trying to contact the family. Shalini and Ravi had lost their parents. The only next of kin was Ravi's brother, who was languishing in prison for murder.

Kabeer did not ask where his parents were. He knew it by the way people had reacted. Malhotra's had rebelled against the families to be with each other to build their life. It was a busy life. They were building it from scratch. Both of them worked 12 hour corporate jobs in the megacity of Grrgaon. Kabeer was raised by maids.

Kabeer did not know what it was like to be around parents, so he did not know what it was like to miss them. What Kabeer knew perfectly was what it was like when his parents were NOT around. When he was in middle of strangers.

He did not cry.

Kabeer knew Sahay's. They were the only ones who visited his house. He was actually relieved to see them. He ran and hugged Mrs Sahay when he saw her. They brought him home in the next flight.

Kabeer entered the Sahay's house. Even as a little kid he could grasp the sharp contrast between his home and this house. This was in perfect order. Perfect. Kabeer stood straight and started walking like a soldier in a perfect line. He just felt he had to walk this way.

He looked around. House was full of pictures of this amazing looking young man. Awards, Shields. This house belonged to this guy in the pic. Not to these two kind souls living here.

They offered Kabeer to sleep with them. He refused. He had never slept with his parents. He was given the guest room for now. Kabeer wanted the room with Winnie the Pooh and a colorful guy called "Che"'s poster on its door.

At night, Kabeer opened the door slightly.

There in the Blue light from a mobile maybe, he saw the guy from the picture sitting.

Kunal was sitting right there in the room.


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