We were busy with our preparations, the festive mood was so on. There was hustle and bustle all around. Some were doing mundane chores, some were specialists, some were chirping in pearls of laughter while some were making faces for no apparent reason. In short “A Family” was there in its raw elements. 

But someone is missing from the scene. I was searching frantically who was the missing face in the group. And every time my eyes leave a face and move to the next face my heart sank bit by bit. At the end of the exercise I zeroed in who was missing – My Kids!

Where are they? They left with you, isn’t it?” Shock stricken me, I asked my husband who was as cool as cucumber and said “I don’t know, must be around” as he was unaware of the truth.

His words stirred up fear in me. Before he could react, I ran alone, barefooted in search of my kids. Raided the entire city only to be left high and dry in depression. As I drew my feet towards home I saw my kids standing at a nearby shop surrounded by people. They were about to drag my son and my daughter was witnessing all this and was crying helplessly.  And suddenly that mob was interrupted by a meek mother.

Please stop, don’t hurt him. He is my son. What has he done?“. A booming voice from the crowd “he was trying to steal food from the shop“.

No it is not possible, he must be hungry, he is nonverbal, can’t express himself. Have some compassion people” I was no meeker as I embraced my kids and enveloped them in my arms. I was up there ready to take on anyone who would and could possibly hurt my kids just as a swan who could get aggressive if she senses any danger around her nest.

And in the next moment, I was drenched in perspiration and got up only to find I was on my bed.  It was a dream, rather a very bad dream. I double-checked the room next to ours, kids were in blissful slumber. It did pacify me but a raked in the question “What after and without me?