Sunday, October 30, 2011

At Work

Akshay wouldn't have believed it if it hadn't been confirmed by his mother. She was not someone who ever lied. She had a miscarriage five years before he was born. In other words, he lost an elder brother just because he wasn't born.

When he asked her what his brother's name would have been, she said there couldn't be any would-have-beens in this case. It didn't simply make any sense to name an unborn child. But when Akshay wanted to know how his unnamed, unborn brother would have looked like, his mother just answered that he was just a piece of flesh, unformed. Oh no - unnamed, unborn, was getting on his nerves.

Akshay thought his mother was hiding something, because she refused to answer any more questions on the subject. He couldn't wipe away the doubt - how could she know that it was a 'he' if it was just an unformed piece of flesh?

It was difficult to forget the fact that there had been an unseen, unsensed presence of a brother in his life till now. And he is already eight years old. Why did everyone hide this information from him? Did they think that it was a trivial piece of information? It was not so for him. He had the right to know every detail about himself. And he thought that the existence of his brother, whether he was born or not, had a lot of influence on what he was. He was not the kind to long for things that never existed. He never felt alone, despite the fact that he was the only child of his parents. He never even considered the possibility of having a brother, not even in his dreams. But now, things were different.

Akshay couldn't contain himself, and it was not easy to be left alone when he was in such a mood. His mother was busy in the kitchen, oblivious to his raising heartbeats. In order to find a way out of his misery, he walked to the backyard of the house. It was already getting dark, and he was not supposed to go there. His house sat precariously on a hillock, and the steep decline at the backyard led to a valley that looked beautiful in daytime. But in the night, it was not safe to go there, because there was a chance to slip on the overgrown grass and fall downwards. Akshay was careful despite his troubled state of mind, and he just sat on a rounded rock and stared to the darkness that wriggled to the valley. To his surprise, there were a lot of fireflies there, doing a wild dance in the air. He loved it so much that he even forgot about his brother for a moment. But then, thoughts about him came back in full force.
It's a pity that his brother never even tried to talk with him, Akshay thought. How could he ignore a little brother like that! Anyway, now that he got to know about this brother ... well, he needs to call his brother by a name. Akshay thought hard for a long time, and finally a name dawned on him. Akash. Yes, that sounds really good and it rhymes with his own name as well.

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