He stood upon the remnants of the house, reminiscing about the childhood he spent between those walls; about the games he had invented, with the only almirah of the house being his friend; about those days his mother ran behind to feed him the last morsel of rice; and then about those days he stood behind his mother waiting for his share of roti while she made them; and about the days he cried out of hunger and went to sleep with an empty stomach. He looked at the broken walls, and more memories came rushing back to him. He recollected that day when, along with his father, he whitewashed the house; and that day when they decided to give their home a new look and so, shifted around their furniture; and also those evenings when he complained to his father about the leakages on the roof. His father’s voice still rang in his ears. He remembered the exact words uttered by him (his father) on that last day they communicated.
He turned towards the last pieces of the almirah strewn across the floor. He thought of his little toys stored in the last compartment. From having a car and a train and bullock cart, to having a car with 3 wheels and bullocks without the cart. His mind brought back the image of his mother opening the money box and dropping some coins. The clinking of the coins against the steel bottom of the box was one of his favourite sounds. He still recollected those days he’d shyly ask his mother for a rupee to buy toffees or a jelly. His mother never denied.
His mind played more games. Looking at the broken bricks on the floor, his mind evoked memories of those pleasant nights he snuggled between his parents and his father recited stories from his childhood. The reverberation of his mother’s lullaby still filled his ears.
No leaky roof and no peeling wall could ever permeate the bond of love that he shared with them. However, his young soul could not process the deteriorating life of this house and the members in it. Until the earthquake uprooted his life, killing his parents and his house.
One year since that incident, the trauma had still not left him. His mind was aversive of accepting the reality. Each time he looked at the house, he expected it to come alive once again. But reality crashed hopes. Reality broke him.