The ‘Tempo Traveller’

He was an 11 year old kid. He belonged to a middle class Indian family. Being the only child, he was being well brought up by his parents. His mother had opted to be a housewife just to ensure his good upbringing. His father worked at a very respectable position in a bank. So he spent more time of the day with his mother. Every day, she would drop him and pick him up from the school. After returning from school he would tell her how his day went. They would talk for hours on various topics. She knew all his friends and their families very closely. She would sit beside him and help him study. She would serve him his favorite dishes. They were best friends.

One summer they had to go to a nearby town for his cousin brother’s wedding. As it was on a week day, his father could not make it to the wedding as he wouldn’t get any leaves from his work. So it was him and his mother. There were buses arranged for all the people departing from the same place. They were 12-seater buses called ‘Tempo Travelers’ those days. On the way to the wedding place, he sat near his mother. He really used to like sleeping peacefully with his head on his mother’s lap. The weddings in their part of India were 2 day ceremonies where the actual wedding event would be sometime in the morning on the second day. After the wedding was over, there would be a wedding lunch for the attendees. On the wedding day, his mother was busy meeting other relatives and helping in the event. He had a heavy lunch with one of his cousins and went to sleep on a couch in the corner of the wedding hall. The time went by. When he woke up, many of the people had left for home. The bride, groom and their parents and dear ones were busy finishing all the events. He searched for his mother. She wasn’t around. He asked others around but they were so busy that they didn’t know where she was. After around half an hour of relentless search, he met one of his aunts who told him that his mother had already left in another bus. As she saw him sleeping in the hall, she had asked his aunt to bring him along with her as he would wake up.

He came back along with his aunt. He was angry. Being a kid, he was angry on his mother. Moreover, he was furious that the Tempo Traveller bus took his mother away from him. He didn’t sleep during the complete journey. Those 3 hours went like 3 days. When they reached their place, his mother was waiting anxiously to see him. As soon as he saw her standing near the gate of their house waiting for him, he got down the bus and ran towards her. He hugged her tightly. She could see the tears starting to roll down from his eyes. His anger had vanished in a moment after meeting her. He asked her to promise him that she would never do this again to him. Smiling, she took him inside. He did not turn around to look back as he was still furious at the bus.

After that day, he never travelled in a Tempo Traveller.

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