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I want my mom
It was the celebration of Holi. From the cold, silent and narrow streets and passages appeared white clothes clad people with skull caps on their heads. Seeing them, the people avoided that closed road. They did not want to spoil their mood. Some walking, some singing, some dancing, some riding on horses, some moving on bullock carts and some carrying colours, the entire city of Ghaziabad became one in this merrymaking.

One little baby ran between his father and mother, filled with joy and playfulness.

"Come, baby, come," called his mother, as he left behind, attracted by the balloons, colours, pichkari and toys in the temporary kiosks those lined the lanes and roads.

He rushed towards his parents, his feet dutifully followed to their command, his eyes still roving on the diminishing toys.

As he reached to where they were waiting for him, he could not repress the yearning of his feeling, even though he knew well the familiar, cold gawk of a snub in their looks.

"I want the pichkari," he begged.

His mother came back and bought a red coloured pichkari for him. Cheeku gave a sweet kiss to his mamma. It is a well-known price for every demand. 

His father, softened by the joyous spirit of the festival and, giving him his finger to cling to, said, "Look, baby, what is before you!"

It was a huge mall, yellow lights glittering like the rising sun as it spread across shops and shops of beautifully constructed building. 

A group of foreigners was busy about on their shopping spree, capturing the best price through hard bargain and other shoppers in search of low priced items from the Holi festival sale.

The baby trailed them in the air with his stare, until one of them would stop their steps and relax, and he would try to go behind them with strange looks. However, they would move unconcerned, flickering, surveying different items up into the shops, when the baby had almost touched one of them by his hands. Then his father gave a reproving call: "Come, baby, come, come on with us."

Hearing the call, he ran towards his parents merrily and paced side by side with them for some time, being a child, however, again left behind, fascinated by the little children of the foreigners and shoppers in the mall. They were moving merrily with their family members to enjoy the outing and shopping.

"Come, baby, come!" his parents yelled from the shade of an umbrella where they had seated themselves on the chairs to relax and take tea. He dashed towards them. A shower of multi-colours fell upon the baby as he ran towards the shade made of an umbrella, and, disregarding his parents' call, he began to enjoy the raining colours by his tiny hands. 

But hay! He saw the running of a toy train and ran towards his parents, shouting, and "The train! The train!" 

The raining colours vanished out of his unconcerned tiny hands.

"Come, baby, come!" they screamed to the baby, who had now gone chasing the toy car in another toy showroom, and holding him tightly they took the narrow, zigzag walkway which led to their house through the market.

As they reached near to their colony the baby could see many other footpaths full of known faces, congregating to the eddy of the fair, and felt at once tired but happy and mesmerized by the puzzlement of the world he was enjoying.

Reaching home, his mother opened her laptop. On reading an email, she was flabbergasted. She could not utter a syllable. His mother was a manager in a nationalized bank 'Indian Osea Bank.' She has been transferred by the bank head office to Ludhiana. She has to join the bank in Ludhiana, on the coming Monday.

The atmosphere of the family was changed. Now, little baby Cheeku has to live with his grandparents.  A hushed silence engulfed the house. His mother started preparations to go to Ludhiana to join the new branch.  The child realized that there was something wrong in the house.

Ultimately, the day of partition arrived. On Sunday evening, his parents boarded Chhatisgarh Express from Ghaziabad, to go to Ludhiana.  Little Cheeku cried and cried. His mother also cried with him. Nevertheless, she had to leave. Clutched in the lap of his grandmother, little Cheeku saw the train of his mother lost in the dust.

The system of transfer is a system of breaking families. Children have to live like orphans, far away from their mother or father or from both. It is snatching and killing of their childhood

This transfer also snatched the happiness of litter child. Little Cheeku was silent. He did not enjoy his milk and food. Throughout the night, he kept on looking for the cosy lap of his mother.

Next day, his grandparents took him to the mall to make him happy. 

A toy seller hawked, "Car, cycle, flute, balloon," at the turn of the entry and a throng pushed around his counter at the base of a design of many coloured toys, decorated in papers, bright of silver and gold. The child gazed open-eyed and his heart wished for the car that was his favourite toy.

"I want that car," he slowly murmured in the heart. However, he controlled his passion. His grandparents were equally very sad on the separation with their loving daughter-in-law.

He knew as he begged that his plea would be heeded because his grandparents would see him laughing. But, he remembered his mom. Therefore, without waiting for anything he moved on. 

A flute seller was playing on his flute, hawked, "Flute, the flute of Krishna!" The baby appeared temptingly drawn. He went towards the trolley where the flutes lay exhibited and half mumbled, "I want that flute." But, he very well knew the sad mood of his grandparents and they would not snub to buy him those flutes because they would buy a flute for him happily. But the little baby remembered his mom and without waiting for an answer, he moved on.

A man stood holding a stick with red, blue, yellow, green and purple balloons tied and flying from it. The baby was naturally drawn towards the multi-coloured brightness of their shiny colours and he was overflowed with an irresistible craving to seize them all. However, he well knew his mom was away. He did not want to disturb his grandparents. Therefore, he moved away farther.

A monkey-player sitting dancing with a damroo to a monkey that danced and jumped in the open space of the mall, its head lifted in a stylish manner like the neck of a king, the music entered into its undetectable ears like the soft hymn of an invisible temple. The child went towards the monkey-player. But, knowing his grandparents' predicament, he preferred to remain silent. He refused him to hear such coarse music as the monkey-player played, he moved farther.

There was a big crowd at the clock tower of the city. Men, women and children, dancing in a revolving action, yelping and yelling with woozy amusement. The child gazed at them fixedly and then he retreated and said: "I don't want to go to the clock tower, please, grandfather, grandmother." There was no response. He turned to look at his grandparents. I want to go back home.

They were surprised at his changed behaviour. He turned to look on both sides. They were not ready to take him back home. He looked behind. There was no sign of going back.

At last, the baby could not control himself.  A bursting, fierce cry ascended inside his arid gullet and with an unexpected jolt of his body he ran towards his house where he stood, weeping loudly, "Mother, Father."  Tears spanned down from his eyes, burning and furious; his red face was trembling an urge to meet his parents. 

Fear-stricken, upset, he tried to leave them and he started running hither and tighter, one side first, and then to the other, in all directions, knowing not where to go.

"Mother, Father," he screamed.

His new clothes became dirty and his red cap came down. 

Having run from side to side aimlessly looking for his parents, in a fit for a short distance, he could not understand what to do, his screaming concealed into sobs.

At little distances on the pavement, he could see, through his teary eyes, people talking about the transfer of his mom.

He tried to look intently among the people laughing, talking loudly and senselessly about others, a typically Indian mentality, especially among the lower class people, But his father and mother were not there among those street roadies.

He forced his grandparents again, to take him near a place of worship, where he was petrified to see the huge crowd. Devotees occupied every little inch of space.  He ran his eyes through their bodies, his suppressed sobs persisting, fearing the devotees: "Mother, Father!"

Close to the mosque, however, the crowd became very large: men bumping each other, rude men, with flashing beard, brutal eyes and sturdy bodies. The sobbing baby fought to drive his eyes between their bodies and feet but his ageing, weak grandfather was pushed knocked back and forth by their atrocious movements. They might have been crushed underfoot, had his grandfather not yelped at the maximum pitch of his voice. He too cried "Mamma, Papa!"

The helpless grandfather in the swelling crowd took him out of the crowd. The baby was still sobbing. With great difficulty, clutching the child in his arms, he cursed the authorities," Why his mom was transferred? They are responsible for killing his childhood." The old man murmured to himself, as he came out of the crowd, protecting his grandson. The child wept inconsolably than ever now and only sobbing, "I want my mother, I want my father!"

The grandparent tried to calm him by taking him to the park. "Will you enjoy swinging?  He softly asked as he draws near the swing. The baby's throat burst into a hundred piercing sobs and he only screamed, "Where is my mamma and where my papa is?"

The grandfather went towards an amusement park where all typed of games were played. In an open space, children were enjoying the ride on the toy train and toy cars. "Look at those beautiful train and cars, baby!" he pleaded. But the child shut his eyes and cried his double-pitched voice: "Where is my papa and where is my mom?"

The grandfather took him to a toyshop, thinking the dazzling colours of the toys would amuse the child's attention and calm him. ."Would you like bright-coloured toys?" he believably asked. The child turned his face from the playing toys and just sobbed, "Take me to my papa and take me to my mamma!"

Tired and exhausted the old men thinking to please his gloomy mood by the taste of sweets, and he will also take a cup of tea and relax there. He took him to a corner table of the shop. "What sweets would you take, my dear baby?" he asked. The child closed his eyes in the sweet shop and sobbed bitterly, "I want my mother, I want my father!"

The old grandparents, still trying to please the child, took him to the gate of the railway station to console about the arrival of his father and mother.

"Look! Can you see thousands of people coming, child! Soon your papa and mamma would also come." The child turned his face and opened his eyed widely in the hope of seeing his father and mother.

There was a big crowd at the railway station. All types of men, women and children, coming and was going, some of them were carrying loads on their heads. The child gazed at the cried fixedly, in the hope, finding his father and mother. All of a sudden the child cried "My mamma-papa!" His mother dashed, clearing the crowd, 'My son!"

Swati took Cheeku in her lap. Cheeku clung about her mother. Swati kissed, kissed and kissed him. Her tears once again refreshed Cheeku, dropping like rain after a long drought. 

The child played and frolicking in the lap of her mother in the old innocent ways.  

Higher authorities were kind enough and the transfer of Swati was cancelled.

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