The gloomy clouds cover the whole sky. A thunder sound and the droplets began to pour down. Keshav enters the house with his clothes wet. His mother throws a cloth at him. He started rubbing it on his hair. His father sits on the creaky wooden cots. His eyes sunken deep, body so thin as if a wind might carry him away.
Keshav hands the money to his mother. The way his father used to hand it. Madhav lowers his eyes in shame. It was his responsibility to support his family. The villagers didn't allow Madhav to work anymore, after the false accusation of theft on him.
His sister wails as the thunder sound grows large. Keshav picks her baby sister up. He swings her in arms. He sings a lullaby for her, she cackled up listening to her brother's sweet melodious voice.
The rain lashed down on the rooftops. The muddy floor in the house began to feel sticky under the feet. Keshav comes back after sweeping the streets in the morning. Her mother sits outside the house as she cries her heart out.
Keshav comforted her baby sister as her mother sits in one corner, holding up her tears. Keshav feels someone had snatched the rooftops from the house. His father was dead. The word dead was difficult to roll between his tongue.
Keshav works hard as the day pass. Little did he realizes, it was his mother who needed care. One afternoon her mother says, "Let's move to another village."
"Why?" he asks. "I am not finding my peace. I can feel your father screams lingering in the house. The day when...he was beaten......" her mother broke down.
Her mother didn't wait for the sun to come up. She had already packed the clothes. The sky was tar-black and the large clouds spread their legs. Puddles began plinking as the rainfall became heavier. Luckily, they found a bullock cart. In the absence of light, the man allowed them to sit.
A man with a big wide glasses was already sitting there. Keshav sits in his mother's laps as it had a place for two people only. He checks his sister's cloth, it was not wet.
"Where are you going now in such harsh weather?" the man asks adjusting the glass on his fat face.
"To my sister's house. She is in labor," her mother lies. The man didn't question further out of shame.
"Ma(mother) where you want to go?" the man sitting on the bullock asks. It was only Keshav and her mother in the cart. Her mother didn't even know where will they go?
"To the bus stop," her mother says. After a few minutes, they arrive at the bus stop. Keshav's sister began to whimper. A wooden cloth bag falls in his legs as he came down from the cart. Keshav picked it up.
The bullock cart flew away as her mother pays the fair. Keshav's sister howled in hungry.
"Ma she is hungry," Keshav says.
Her mother takes her in arms. The bus conductor announces "The last bus to Kapoli is leaving. Hurry up."
Keshav sits on the window seats. Her mother fell Keshav's pants bloat up.
"What is it?" her mother asks.
Keshav removes the cloth bag. The weigh of the bag was too much for his small hand. Her mother opens it up. Keshav has never seen her mother dark eyes with so much light in them. He sees a golden reflection in her eyes.
"Where did you find it?" her mother asks, yanking Keshav through elbows.
"In the bullock cart, it was of the man I think," Keshav says, "What is in it?"
"Nothing for you, we will be having a good life from now on. I promise you, my child," her mother says.
A new day, the sun feels foreign to them. The clouds were staring at their feet. Birds were talking about them. The leaves alert the people of their arrivals, as the wind breeze.
Keshav's feet were trying hard to adjust the new road. He was busy mapping the road. He didn't see a woman coming in the same direction.
"Where are your eyes, young man?" the woman says sweeping the dirt from her saree.
Keshav's mother shields her son. "I am so sorry sister, we are new here," her mother says, the woman glare at them. It was a new face.
"We are in need of a house. We had money, here, take it." Keshav's eyes grow wide seeing the gold in her mother's hand.
The woman snatched the coin, she analyzes it for few seconds. "Hmm....., seems rich," the woman muttered under her breath.
The woman takes them to the village head house. "Saheb, a lady is in need of a house," the woman says bowing in front of him.
"What brings you into our village?" the Mukhya (village head) asks.
"We want a change in our life," Keshav's mother answers. "A fresh start," the words roll out from her mouth.
"Saheb they had gold coins with them," the woman says.
Mukhya clears his throat and takes some time. He can take some coins for letting her stay. What harm could a widow woman with two children do? She must be from a rich family to have gold coins.
He raises his hands giving them the approval to stay with them.
The weigh of the cloth bag was half now. They have a roof above their heads.
Three years later:-
Keshav's walks along the road with his new friend. Their waves of laughter echoes in the rice field. Keshav removes his school uniform as her mother serves him lunch.
The plate consists of soft wheat roti, with spinach vegetables. She pours the ghee on top of it. Keshav smiles seeing it. He loves ghee.
"Today the school teacher taught us in the ground," Keshav says as he takes a big bite. "He says, nature is the best classroom."
Keshav's eyes glow up talking about school. He can talk all day about school. Keshav's sister facepalms his eyes.
"Oh, I forgot about the monster," Keshav says as he pulls her sister.
He tickles her until she couldn't breathe. The house was filled with laughter and smiling faces.
"I want to tell you something, mother," Keshav says as her mother makes them a bed.
"What is it?" her mother says.
"The brilliant students in our school, get the opportunity to study in the city," Keshav says, "I am also getting a chance to enroll in a city school."
Her mother's heart breaks into two. She couldn't imagine a day without looking at her children's face in the morning. How will she manages when Keshav will be away?
"Will you leave us then?" her sister says.
"No, never, I will go there, study hard and then come back here," Keshav explains.