I remember the day when I tiptoed to the terrace which I was not allowed to go, I heard a moaning voice, as I approached near, a guy standing with a girl, they were aghast and left right after seeing me. They did not even look at each other they escaped I am Raghav. My friend and I often play outside the building as its raining today and my friend is sick so I choose to check the terrace.
Well, it was fun, I am thinking of doing it once again, how many new secrets lies in the terrace and why aren’t allowed to enter. Schools closed due to the pandemic, and many other public places especially gardens and malls papa tells me its the most dangerous virus alive and has the potential to destroy the planet. I giggle at the thought that I don’t have to study anymore, and our principal Mr. Murthy will not allow opening the school.
I have given strict instruction to wear a mask all the time except when I am home since I am home from the last two months now the rules are loosening on me. The city stopped working it seems and now people don’t quarrel any more. There are no traffic lights- mom don’t rush papa keep looking at this screen all the time. And the house is quiet, there is an eerie of silence all over but somewhere I am enjoying this process, I study once a day, I am surprised mom don’t reprimand me.
Sometimes I sense, ma and pa don’t talk to each other, like before they used to have a conversation or an argument about me or anything. It is a banal routine for them and like a robot from the comic book they function. My friend, the other day mentioned the virus is more inside the adults than the world, I smirked by the thought.
As each day is passing, I notice pa began smoking, the curl of the smoke comes from his room, ma denied my claim but I know how a smoke looks like. I am not allowed to pry on him, because he is not himself anymore. He saunters at night in the corridor smoking cigarette- he gazes outside,
he stopped watching sports but had fracas over a call, he stomps his barefoot on the floor heads back to work. F from the time he stopped going to work he is grumpy and mom says I should come in front of him. Ma looks gloomy and busied herself with household chores and with errands- I have noticed she stopped looking at herself in the mirror but her phone keeps beeping.
One fine morning my parents got a call, they looked perturbed and stopped doing their work,
they sat close to the phone, murmuring something – I was watching the television the whole day they say contemplating and praying.
Pa’s phone rang at night, after a short conversation, ma sobbed and pa sat there unmoving.
Ma hugged me and said pa’s parents hospitalized and not keeping well. The next morning papa left early, he carried a suitcase so I assume he went to meet my grandparents after he left- ma gawked at the door for some time and resumed.
Whenever I called ma she averted my gaze
This happened twice, I realized she couldn’t stop crying her face was moist.
Mne week passed and asked ma about pa’s whereabouts. He will come soon and she would change the topic. It has been a month he did not return. I refrain from asking, she looked woebegone.
One day ma told me pa got infected while doing the procedure of the funeral, and he is in the hospital in Banglore, while giving the news she couldn’t hold herself and began sobbing holding me close. Papa died after a week, and ma and me alone have to deal with this. We keep getting calls and few relatives who came home and it seems like a funeral dirge to which mom never feels consoled. In fact, she does not sleep and I can hear her cry half of the night.
Sometimes when I see the kids who play on the streets, how they are coping, are their parents immune to the virus, or it is me who is unfortunate.
Ma took father's job in a bank, and after 6 years, now since everything is over. If it all looks stupid now, the vaccine costs 500 rs and that’s all- you are getting cured in a week
Did my father lose his life for the cost of Rs 500, a few things I don’t much remember but ma tells me that it was a different time