That was the summer uncle returned from Bahrain. That now is a place full of crystal sands and blue beaches.
He tucked his overgrown son into the non existent curve of his hip and whispered loud of secrets and unseen wonders that would soon come out of his suitcase.
We all stood in a row waiting.
Once the best gifts were dispelled, then came us visitors.
We always did things in Army fashion in my family. By any order I was last.
I watched an airplane being given away.
A red and yellow train.
And then there were none. This time I was forgotten.
My uncle looked around apologetically. He hit his head playfully. Everyone laughed. I didn't find it any funny.
Plucking a ball from the hands of his overgrown son on the hip, he gave it to me. Everyone hastily left the room pretending of work when he started howling.
My mother plucked the ball from my hands and gave it back to stop the howls. We are an Army family maybe, but not yet Animal farm.
I scowled with disgust, an emotion totally wasted on him.
I walked out, kicking a random stone now and then. Generally walking you know.
Dad was always smoking.
He blew me a few hollow rings.
That don't impress me much.
He looked sideways at me.
Dissatisfaction I wore well.
Go to Bahrain. Now. I told him. And get me toys. Lots of them.
He thought a while. "It’s very far you know"
I didn't really care.
"I'll be gone an awfully long time. You’ll stay and without me?"
Recklessly and selfishly, 'Yes'
I felt ashamed a little later. But the need for the toys was more important I guess. Or the fact that even I could have things. So much so that I refused to see his hurt.
We never talked much after that for many days. I pretended I didn't care. The distance between us was greater than far away Bahrain.
Days later I wandered into my parents room and found mom packing. Seeing the neatly pressed clothes I found something amiss. Only father's was being packed.
My voice shook. "Is dad going somewhere?"
I ran out, tears blinding my eyes. Running into dad, holding him tight I sobbed fiercely "I don’t want toys. I hate them. I really do. And Bahrain is so far away"
Dad considered deeply. "So I need not go to Bahrain eh?"No. Ever never.
Dad was going for a conference to Pune for 2 days. Humbug.