It was 7 in the morning when Little Krisha jumped out of her bed and raced down the hallway in excitement. The day of her birthday had finally come and she would finally become 6 years old. She jumped up and down in excitement and barged into the kitchen. A bright smile etched onto her face on seeing her mother bake her favourite chocolate cake for her birthday. It was a 3-year-old custom in their house, where Krisha’s mother Priya baked a cake for her early in the morning, and as soon as Krisha would wake up, she would help her mother decorate it. She always looked forward to this day as it was the only day her mother would give in to all her demands and she would not be scolded.
Soon it was time for Krisha to get ready for school. The cake was made and ready to be eaten. She was just about to dig her tiny little hands into the freshly made cake, when Priya stopped her. Her father was coming back home from a long tour. They would cut the cake in the evening, after Krisha came back from school, and her father from the base. Her father was a lieutenant in the army and was always away from home on some or the other work. The moments when the whole family would sit together and spend quality time with each other, were rare. Krisha was disappointed on hearing that. She had been very excited to eat the tasty cake that her mother had made, and wasn’t happy on hearing that she had wait the whole day to do so. She had spent so much of her developmental years without a father figure in her life that she had not formed any kind of bond with him. Every time he came home, she would be a little jealous of him, as her mother’s attention would be taken away from her and to a man whom she barely knew.
With the little excitement she had left about the day, she sulkily went the school. Priya drove Krisha to school and came back home to prepare for the arrival of her husband. She had a lot of things to do and very little time. She cleaned the whole house and decorated it for Krisha’s surprise birthday party. The thought of Krisha always filled her with love and adoration. She remembered the time Krisha was born. Krisha was born amidst a period of loss and difficulty in their life. Priya had just recently lost her first child to the hands of cancer. Her sweet little boy, who always filled her day with happiness, died a sad and painful death. She had almost fallen into depression after the death of her first child. But god had other plans for the devastated family. Not even a year had passed when they received news of little Krisha. She was like a ray of sunshine in their dull life. The attachment between the mother and daughter was instant. From the first moment Priya held her little daughter in her hands, she was smitten. When Krisha’s little hands gripped her fingers tightly, she knew she could never let her go. Even when Krisha was old enough to play out in the garden, Priya never left her alone and always stayed by her side. It took a lot of convincing and crying from both sides, for Priya to finally let Krisha go to school all alone, without her loving mother by her side. The fear of losing her only daughter was always on her mind. If she ever lost Krisha due to any reason she would not be able cope up with it.
Priya was busy cooking a lavish dinner for her family, when the telephone in the hall rang. It rang for a minute or two, but Priya could not pick it up because her hands were soiled from kneading the dough. It started ringing again, and thinking that it was her husband calling, she quickly washed her hands and rushed to pick up the phone. “Hello” she said into the phone, but no answer came. There was pin drop silence on the other line. It almost seemed like the silence before a storm. Getting no reply from the other end, she kept the phone down.
And just then, before she could take a single step, there was a loud bang inside the house. The neighbours ten blocks away, heard the explosion.
Tragedy strikes where it is least expected. The happy family was ripped apart shred by shred, leaving only misery in its wake.
The news of an explosion was all over the news the rest of day. Krisha’s school received a call from the police, informing them of the tragedy that took place in Krisha’s house. School was about to be over and students were about to leave for their houses. Soon parents and cars started filling up the school’s driveway. Happy children left the school with their parents. But no one came to pick up Krisha. She was stopped in school without being informed about the reason. She was already fussy after the morning and coupled with the absence of her mother, Krisha became cranky. She threw tantrums, crying for her mother, but all she could do was wait. Little did she know that the morning before was the last time should be with her mother.
After a very excruciating 2 hours, Krisha’s father came to school to pick her up. Not seeing her mother in the car, saddened Krisha even more. She got into his car rather unwillingly and he started driving. During the whole she kept asking and crying to her father for her mother, but he didn’t reply to any of her questions. The car stopped and Krisha got out, but soon realized that they were not at her home. The were at her aunt’s house. Krisha’s father had to forcefully pick her up and take her inside the house when she broke down in the middle of the road, rolling around on the road, crying.
Her father was fed up of her little tantrums and finally raised his voice on her, shouting at her and scolding at her to go the room. It was the first time someone had shouted at her, let alone someone whom she barely knew. She ran into the room and banged the door loudly, shutting the door. Her father left the house soon after, probably on his way to the house, the only thing left of which was ashes and memories.
Bad times were not over yet. The next morning brought even more bad news. The whole town was mourning the loss of a brave soldier, who was shot to death in his car. This news soon reached Krisha’s house. Within less than 24 hours, Krisha had lost her whole family. She still hadn’t gotten over the absence of her mother, and was burdened with even more tragedy. She was but a little girl. She wasn’t ready to navigate her way through life, alone, when all she was used to, was her mother’s shadow hovering over her, keeping her safe from the miseries of life.