The wipers swished rhythmically, leaving arcs of dust on the glass. I wiped a single tear from the corner of my eye, as memories of that day flooded my mind, again. 

The car rocked as I tried to steer clear of the lorry approaching ominously from the opposite side.  I swerved my steering in the nick of time to navigate the hairpin bend. 

“Phew!” I exhaled in relief, smiling at my son.

“Mummaaaa, watch out!” I heard Naman scream.  I looked ahead in horror, as our car hit a rock with such impact, that…

Screeeeech! I slammed the brakes inadvertently, as I tried to forcefully halt the agonizing deluge of memories.

Pulling my Sedan to a side, I closed my eyes for a second, inhaling deeply. The drizzle had ceased.  As I stepped on to the wet pavement, I experienced a sense of accomplishment. The dewy grass was brown still, but emerald fresh offshoots were raising their heads.

After replaying the gory details of the accident compulsively in my mind for months; I had now been able to halt those memories in their tracks.

The fog was lifting, making way for the first rays of the sun. Through the clearing, I saw a familiar face on the other side of the road. Dressed in red shorts with tattered pockets, was a street urchin .I had often seen at him at the traffic signal nearby. 

“Mumma, why doesn’t he go to school?” Naman would often ask me, as the shirtless lad sprayed soapy liquid on the windscreen and cleaned it in vertical strokes. Invariably, the signal would go green, before he finished.

Struggling to see clearly through the partially cleaned glass, I would curse under my breath, “I don’t know.”

Naman would turn around, waving to the kid, as cars hurriedly made their way through the signal. Flipping back in position on his seat; his seatbelt neatly plastered to his chest, he would repeat his question.

I would finally snap out of my ire and yield, “Probably, his parents cannot afford sending him to school.” Naman would nod mutely.

I exhaled forcefully, consciously freezing those memories in their tracks.

The kid was carrying an oversized bucket, full of water, his smiling lips quivering with strain. I walked up to him, lending a helping hand. His smile was infectious. 

“Buh-ket,” I pointed out. He curiously repeated after me. 

Words led to sentences, rhymes and stories. We travelled together from spoken word to the written one. I got him books, pencils, crayons. He came back to the same spot each day, hungry for more.


Seven years since I lost my eight years old son, I still visit the spot each day.

The sense of accomplishment deepens. I can now see Naman in the present, growing taller, wiser, moodier and a lot less cuddly. Yes, I still feel his presence around me, cheering me on, to pursue my passion. I now have a dozen munchkins studying under my wing. I often see him strolling about in the brown grass, caressing the yellow rain lilies, smiling contentedly.

I regret not doing this with him, when I was alive.


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