Father looked curious among a group of people,
I never really noticed it- because I was more concerned about how he treats me
it was Sunday, and every Sunday we go to the local fish market and buy fish-
he checks pulling the gills of the fish and tells me pointing his finger to the red spot,
and smiles stating this is where you should look while buying a healthy fish.
I am looking elsewhere, to the kids playing football in the open ground, unattended one boy toggling the ball and running towards the goal post.
father shrugs me, veering my attention to the dead fish.
He tells me, don’t be shy touch and feel,
I wondered how I can feel something which is dead,
I still touch it and it is cold
cold like a cube of ice kept in our fridge
father pulls it up and gives it to the fish vendor,
he smiles, and I can see his teeth stained with tobacco,
he looks cunning- and gives a perfunctory smile to me.
I don’t smile back, and gaze at father to take me home so I can play,
I tiptoed from the market, dodging the puddle of mud in the middle of the road.
father pulls out a bidi and smokes it while I look around.
I am used to the smoke passively, sometimes I even like because it is all over our house.
father takes the last drag, I can sense the pull looking at his throat,
and stubs it off on the ground.
the house looks all cheerful in Sunday’s, father brings joy while he is around. ma, on the other hand, does not smile but looks joyful. I can hear the collision of utensils in the kitchen,
something delicious is cooking, all the stray dogs wagging its tail and sit outside our veranda.
Dida sits quietly on the rocking chair and it oscillates
as and when whoever enters the house,
she wears a white-color line between her eyebrows
chanting mantras of Krishna
I sit on her chair whenever it is vacant,
father disappears, after coming home as he did his duty and couldn’t be home anymore,
I take a stroll behind our house, and see him talking languorously with three unidentified men who are carrying coconut which looks like they have got it down,
Avoiding them, I look at the ducks paddling near to the visible pond
I hear mom calling my name which is echoing
I saunter back home