In front of him stood his destination. Seeing the dilapated old building, his eyes lit up. A chill ran down his three and a half foot spine. He was wearing his favourite red T-Shirt and the denim shorts his father had got him from America.
As he stood there, bathed in the crisp rays of the morning sun light, he couldn’t muster enough courage to enter the building. Something inside his little body was thumping hard. He din’t understand what.
After standing still for fifteen minutes, he made a move towards the building.
As he reached the sign which read ' Kasturba Old Age Home,' he paused to look at it.
He moved on, and soon reached a desk. A woman was sitting on the chair behind the desk. She wore a white saree, and she had big spectacles on her face. She reminded him of his school teacher, who had hit him with a ruler, in order to punish him for talking in class. He looked at her with fear in his eyes. He was too scared to open his mouth.
After what seemed like ages, he finally said, " P-p-prashant K-kumar."
The lady pretended not to hear him. He repeated the words, only to get a stern look form the lady. He was scared, she was going to hit him.
She then pressed a switch, and a young man appeared from a room on her side. She barked some orders at him, in a language the boy could not understand. The young man beckoned him to follow.
The boy walked on. They walked through a pathway gardens on either side. The garden was a piteous site. The grass was dry and overgrown with nettles. Hedges lay wilting and dying. Not a single flower could be seen anywhere. It was as though, they were all dying due to the lack of love and care. The boy could feel something inside him sinking. A cloud of sadness enveloped him.
As the boy entered a doorway, he found himself in a dirty, musty room that was littered with bits and pieces of paper. On the far corner of the room, he could see the frail figure of a man sitting on a chair, with his back towards the little boy.
The ward boy left the boy in the room and walked away.
The boy looked around the room. There was a small bed on one side, with a table and chair at the far end of the room. There was a small almirah without any doors. The light fixtures in the room were broken. A naked bulb hung down from the ceiling.
The boy was scared. He was scared of something. And he di’nt know what is was.
After a few minutes, he walked up to the man sitting on the chair. He paused momentarily behind the chair, and pondered upon something.
Hesitantly, the boy came fact to face with the man.