‘What if his voice was like him as well?’ I thought, as I kept looking at the driver of the car I was sitting in. We never owned a car, and I hardly ever got much chances to sit in one and that too on the front seat, but still my eyes were focused on the driver. After all, he looked exactly like Amitabh Bachchan to me. He even sported that very French beard of his, maybe just to look more like him, except this man in front of me was thin and his voice too indifferent to sound like Amitabh’s.
Still, being an eight year old, I knew no much differences and enjoyed him more than my car ride. Also as his was the only familiar face among the other people in the car. I knew none of them. So what was I doing there? They promised me they will take me to my mother.
For the past few months, my mother was living at my grandmother’s house, she was a little sick and somebody told me that they had better doctors in her village than our city. These people were taking me to visit her. The car stopped at the entrance gate of a building and we entered inside. I could finally see my uncle standing there, glad to have a much more familiar face. “Have we reached?” I asked to one of the strangers in the car. “Yes, we have.” I got the reply.
I found it weird. It was not even few minutes back when I entered in the car, and every time I went to my grandmother’s house with my mother, it always took as more than 3 good hours. “Where are we?” I asked again, but it was time for everyone to get out of the car and proceed. There was no reply.
Few minutes later, I stood in a corner of a hospital room, looking at the bald head of my mother. “You look funny.” I would say to her at times when she was at home, few months back. And I wanted to remind her the same that day as well. She looked funny and different, but the relatives standing around her were not even letting me have a clear look of her. I hated that.
“See, he is here to meet you.” My aunt pushed a few of them away so my mother could finally look at me.
“Why is he here? Why did you bring him here?” She said in an angry tone, enough for me to not take any further step towards her. “He is not my son. Take him away.” I just stood there staring at her blankly, sad and afraid.
“Why is she saying that?” I asked my aunt, who took me aside, out of my mother’s sight, but didn’t reply a word.
For minutes I stood there, hating every other person who got to stand so close to my mother. I wanted to be there as well, more over lying next to her, for it had been months since that happened last.
“I have to do the dressing. Everyone proceed out.” The nurse entered in, taking me a far from even the having sight of my mother.
“Why are you sending him out again and again?” My mother cried out as I walked towards the door of her room. “Let him stay here with me.”
“He is just standing outside, he will be right back in.” My aunt told her as the door closed.
“Why are so many people at our house?” I asked my aunt the next day, looking at a more number of relatives covering from the entrance to the street of my house.
“Mom got well, they are bringing her home.” My aunt replied back, and soon asked me to be a good boy, move upstairs and watch the TV. “These people are here to meet her.”
A lot of them came home that day, my mother as well, in an ambulance. The people cried around her as she slept in the drawing room. “They are crying because she is finally good and home.” My aunt replied when I asked about that, but she didn’t try to convince me to get upstairs again. I had never seen an atmosphere like that before, but it was quiet obvious to know what was happening. I could see them all cry, my uncles, my aunts, my cousins, and my father in a corner. Still, I found myself laughing back at my little brother as we both sat below the water tap before our heads were shaved, even when I knew our mother was no more at the grandmother’s house getting cured.
The ashes from the pyre, I put a fire that day, hurt my eye. There were tears rolling down my face because of them, but harder than anyone else standing there.