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The Evening Wait

About Tapas Das

I am Tapas Das, based in Mumbai - I love the written word and especially if it's a story. Caffeine and inappropriate thoughts - that's my struggle, writing is a vent otherwise I will start punching people! I work with Edifice in Mumbai.

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And one of those evening when the sunset early,

and I look at the watch to see when Baba will come home,

I carefully fold the tabloid and put aside,

and put tea on the stove because its cold outside and

everything looks blurry, even my vision failed me to see beyond the

Jalebi Kirana.

Baba brings jalebi every Saturday, and ma and I eat with utmost curiosity

that’s the only time Baba looks happy,

he may have stains on his fingertips which smell of oil,

he works in an oil company,

his job is to check the oil while they put it on the container,

I once asked baba, I want to visit his workplace

where he has spent thirty-five years of service

but he happily denied, with a humble look.

That day I broke my heart a little too much and it was not necessary,

Unlike every day, mom cooked rice and we sat together saying our prayers

Baba looked happy as he managed a second job because he will buy me a bicycle

I am not surprised he said the same thing last year before Eid,

Mom made kheer, and I ate it without waiting for baba,

it was delicious and wanted more but mom kept it for him.

The long wait for him was arduous, I halfway slept waiting for him.

The next morning, the policeman came at home,

and mom shuddered and went with them

Mom didn’t come home all day,

I kept looking at the road,

but there was no one except the few soldiers running in haste

The tiring wait for parents was long and exhausting

although I was tense, I had hope ma and baba will come by bringing sweets and crackers.

It was 10.30 pm, a policeman came to pick me up,

I smiled, I know Baba told them to bring me there.

It was 10.45pm

I saw Baba and ma sleeping in the police station,

I can see their legs

but they were covered in white clothes

every one of them looking at me with awe

but I didn’t understand.

I was sent to a different house, which was locked.

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