Neelam closed his diary and got ready to pack his bag. Neelam was a shy boy. But some sea changes happened when he was transferred to a boarding school, in Hyderabad. When Neelam was young, he used to be very arrogant and he talked curtly with his elders. Neelam used to indulge in bad activities, too. Moreover, he used to steal. Later, when his parents came to know all of that, they realised that only discipline could cure his problem. Neelam’s life changed when he was admitted into a hostel in Hyderabad. In two years, Neelam did learn a lot. He had changed.
Neelam soon arrived in Assam. His eyes welled up when he saw his parents, but he tried to hide his face. But the more he controlled his tears, the more he choke. With a smile, he ran towards his parents and hugged them tight... tight enough so that they could not see his drenched face; tight enough so that he could never leave them again.
Neelam reached his home. The monsoon rains had made the earth smell heavenly. As he was enjoying the ambience, Ma called, “Lunch is ready.”
It was 11 p.m. Neelam was getting ready for bed. Just then, someone knocked at the door. It was his mother. She was hiding something behind her back. “What’s behind your back?” he asked.
It was a framed family photo that was taken in 2009.
Neelam showed no reaction. His mother looked at him, trying to figure out the problem behind the blank face. Then, Neelam burst into tears. With a sorrowful voice, he said, “I missed you. I missed Deuta. Life in the hostel is so gloomy. I used to think about you everyday. I am sorry that I spoke rudely to you and argued about everything. I should have never done that. Ma, I am really very sorry. I will never break your heart again. Never.”
After a few seconds of silence, Neelam broke down again. This time, he didn’t control his tears.
Ma stood there in silence, staring at his face. She hugged him and said in a low tone, “It’s alright, dear. You are a good boy and I know you will make us happy.” “It’s late. You should better sleep now,” Ma said eventually.
“Yeah. Alright. Good night.”
“And don’t cry so much.”
“Because I am a boy?”
“No. Because it doesn’t look good on you.”
Ma gave him a good night kiss. He smiled back and went to sleep.
Ma stood there until he fell asleep andhid the photo frame in his bag.