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The distinct scent of the winter night flew in the air, a clear sky resembled a supermarket of stars, eyes refusing to budge away from their sight, the cold wind piercing the back of her hand and bare cheeks turning them numb forcing her to slip them inside her pockets and hiding the face by pulling the jacket up.
A night bird flew above her breaking the ghost like silence with her loud cries, she paced up and down the terrace a few times before fixing her eyes on the moon. The stare stretched from a few seconds to a few minutes, her entire body absorbed in the experience, her body unaware of the chilly weather realized its ferocity when a sudden gust of freezing breeze kissed her bare skin.
She immediately folded her hands on her chest, the sleeves of the jacket stretched to cover the palms while digging her face in the middle of her folded hands almost kissing her own forearms.
The kohl eyes sparkling even in the dim moonlight threw the first pearl from deep inside, forcing her sleeves to taste the salinity of her life. The eyes with no control of their own followed what the heart desired, her body trembled, another burst of icy air hit her, but she instead opened her arms and threw them in the air, face turned red, eyes stretched far and wide, the scream ready to launch from her throat.
She was about to break the still of the night with her own loud chant when suddenly a faint voice murmured in the background.
‘Mumma’ someone spoke again.
She stood a few feet away feeling distant, their eyes gazing at each other, her open hands still hanging in the air slowly returned slowly to hit her legs, she stretched them again towards the little one.
‘Are you crying’ the voice asked softly, like a whisper, every word following her step as she moved inside the boundaries of her two arms running parallel, extended towards her.
She nodded her head to lie, embracing the child firmly in the safety of her arms, she stood up, while she rested her little face on her shoulders, little hands playing with her hairs falling on her back.
‘It’s been 1,2,3…….many months, since Papa came home, when will he come’
The question prompted another deluge in the eyes about to flood her face, but she gathered enough courage to avoid wetting her face, clinging even tighter to the questioner.
‘Very soon beta’ she replied, forcing the emotions back into her eyes.
‘You should sleep now’ she said, climbing down and putting her back in the bed.
The TV in the background ran a ticker of the one-year anniversary of martyrdom of Maj Singh.
Her dry eyes turned red as she looked at the family photograph sitting on the table besides the bed.
The smiling faces have forgotten everything about the smile.